Southern Great Plain, Hungary Attractions
Memorials and ruins, from before the Turkish conquest of the 16th century, abound in the Southern Great Plain. Thermal springs are plenty as well as fishing opportunities in the river Tisza.
As a major part of Kiskunság National Park, the town of Bugac has a varied landscape that features meadows of wild flowers, sand dunes, and freshwater lakes.
In the region between the Danube and Tisza rivers, 28km (17mi.) north of Szeged and 10km (61/4mi.) east of the E5 Highway, lies the little town of Ópusztaszer. According to the ancient chronicles of Hungarian history written by the unnamed scribe "Anonymus", it was here that the seven tribal chiefs of the invading Magyars, headed by their army commander Prince Árpád, held their first legislative national assembly and divided the newly conquered country up into settlements. In 1945 a second meeting to apportion land was held in this spot, when a symbolic act removed large tracts of land from the great landowners, divided them up and parceled them out among small farmers.
The agricultural town of Orosháza (91m (300ft); pop. 37,000) lies 38km (24mi.) southwest of Békéscsaba on the main road to Szeged, and the surrounding region is a center of poultry production in Hungary. Industrial development commenced with the discovery of natural gas, and foodstuffs and glass are now manufactured here. The modern glassworks in Orosháza accounts for 40 per cent of the country's glass production. In the early years of this century the town was a stronghold of socialist agricultural movements and the radical peasants' party.Apart from the Evangelical church on Gyory Vilmos, Orosháza boasts no historical monuments. The church authorities were granted permission to build a church only on condition that the tower, which they began to erect in 1777, was kept separate. It was 1830 before a start was made on building the main body of the church. In the Rágyánszki Arboretum in Gárdonyi Géza utca thrive more than 2000 species of tree, including many conifers and exotic plants.
On the right bank of the Tisza, 24km (15mi.) west of Kiskunfélegyháza on Road 451, lies the fishing village of Csongrád (pop. 23,000), a quiet little place reflecting some of the tranquility of the region.
Tari Lászlo Múzeum
Visitors may care to visit the little local history museum and the listed fishermen's huts at the mouth of the Körös. This backwater is now a nature reserve.
Fifty km (31mi.) southwest of Kiskunfélegyháza, between the Danube and Tisza rivers, lies the little agricultural town of Kiskunhalas (alt. 113m (371ft), pop. 31,260), with a beautiful bathing lake on the edge of the town.
In 1903 the drawing teacher and local-art collector Arpád Dékáni founded a workshop to produce lace to his own designs, thereby pioneering the Kiskunhalas lace industry. The success of his enterprise was due in no small measure to the skills of one Mária Markovits who, assisted by a small work-force of lace makers, translated his designs into high quality work which received international acclaim at the 1904 World Exhibition in St Louis. Mária Markovits also developed the normal Venetian technique of 10-12 stitches per cm into one of 40-50 per cm.The former workshop, today houses the Lace Museum (Csipkeház) with some particularly beautiful examples of Kiskunhalas lace on display. In the garden there is a memorial and bronze bust of Mária Markovits.
At one time there were a large number of windmills (Szélmalom) to be seen in the flat countryside of Little Cumania, but only a few have survived. On the northern edge of Kiskunhalas, a 19th C windmill still stands.