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Szeged

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Szeged Template:Audio (in Serbian Segedin, in Polish Segedyn, in Romanian Seghedin, in Slovak Segedín) is the fourth largest city of Hungary, the regional centre of South-Eastern Hungary and the capital of Csongrád county.

Contents

Geographic location

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Szeged (Csongrád county) in Hungary

Szeged is situated near the southern border of Hungary, just to the south of the mouth of the Maros River, on both banks of the Tisza River (Theiss, Tiscia). Population: 175 301 (2003). Due to the high number of sunshine hours annually, Szeged is often called City of Sunshine (a name she shares with another Hungarian city, Debrecen.)

Demographics

As of the census of 2001, there are 163.699 people residing in the city; 93.5% Magyars, 0.7% Roma, 0.5% Germans, 0.2% Serbians, 0.2% Romanians, 0.1% Croatians, 0.1% Slovaks and 5.9% other. The population density is 582.9/km˛. There are 70.787 housing units at an average density of 252.05/km˛.

History

Szeged and its area have been inhabited since ancient times. Ptolemy mentions the oldest known name of the city: Partiscum. It is possible that Attila, king of the Huns had his seat somewhere in this area. The name Szeged was first mentioned in 1183, in a document of King Béla III.

During the Mongol invasion the town was destroyed and its inhabitants fled to the nearby swamps, but they returned and rebuilt their town soon. In the 14th century, during the reign of Louis the Great, Szeged became the most important town of Southern Hungary, and – as the Turkish armies got closer to Hungary –, the strategic importance of Szeged grew. King Sigismund of Luxembourg had a wall built around the town. Szeged was elevated to free royal town status in 1498.

Szeged was first pillaged by the Turkish army on 28 September 1526, but was occupied only in 1543, and became an administrative center of the Ottomans. The town was freed from Turkish rule on 23 October 1686, and regained the free royal town status in 1715. In 1719 Szeged got her coat of arms from Charles III (it's still used today). During the next years Szeged grew and prospered. Piarist monks arrived to Szeged in 1719, they opened a new grammar school in 1721, they also held scientific lectures and theatre plays. However, these years brought not only prosperity and enlightenment; between 1728 and 1744 witch trials were frequent in the town.

The citizens of Szeged played an important part in the revolution and war of independence of 1848-49. Louis Kossuth delivered his famous speech here. Szeged was the last seat of the revolutionary government in July 1849. The Habsburg rulers punished the leaders of the town, but later Szeged began to prosper again, the railway line reached the town in 1854, and the town got back its free royal town status in 1860. Mark Pick's shop – the predecessor of today's world famous Pick Salami Factory – was opened in 1869.

Today the inner city of Szeged has beautiful buildings and wide avenues. This is mainly due to the great flood of 1879, which literally wiped away the whole town (only 265 of the 5723 houses remained and 165 people died). Emperor Franz Joseph visited the town and promised that "Szeged will be more beautiful than it used to be." He kept his promise. During the next years a new, modern city emerged from the ruins, with palaces and wide streets.

After the first World War Hungary lost its southern territories to Romania, thus Szeged became a city close to the border, and its importance lessened, but as it took over roles that formerly belonged to the now lost cities, it slowly recovered. The University of Kolozsvár (now Cluj-Napoca, Romania) moved to Szeged in 1921 (see University of Szeged). In 1923 Szeged took over the role of episcopal seat from Temesvár (now Timisoara, Romania).

Szeged suffered a lot during the World War II, 6000 inhabitants of the city were killed, the Jewish citizens were confined to ghettos, then taken to death camps, and the Soviet army occupied the city in 1944. During the Communist era Szeged became a center of light industry and food industry. In 1965 oil was found near the city; now the area covers 67% of the country's oil demand.

In 1962 Szeged became the county seat of Csongrád. Whole new districts were built, and lots of nearby villages were annexed to the city (as it was a tendency during the Communist age).

Today's Szeged is an important university town and a popular tourist attraction. The University of Szeged was ranked as the best university of the country on Academic Ranking of World Universities, 2004 (http://ed.sjtu.edu.cn/ranking.htm).

The famous Open Air Plays of Szeged (first held in 1931) are one of the main attractions; they are held in every summer.

Economy

Szeged is one of the centres of food industry in Hungary. The Szeged paprika and the Pick salami are world-famous.

Tourist sights

Famous people born in Szeged

External links

Template:Commons Template:Hungarian counties Template:Wikitravel

bg:Сегед ca:Szeged de:Szeged eo:Szeged ja:セゲド hu:Szeged nl:Szeged no:Szeged pl:Segedyn ro:Szeged sv:Szeged

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