Szeged is the ultimate proof that a city can not only survive a natural disaster, but thrive in its wake.
In March, 1879 the Tisza River overflowed its banks, causing a catastrophic flood which destroyed all but 200 of 6,800 structures in the city. Within five days, Habsburg Emperor Franz Josef arrived in the city to view the damage. He proclaimed that Szeged would not only be rebuilt, but it would be even more beautiful than it was before.
He wasn’t kidding! The city today contains a dazzling array of buildings showcasing the architectural styles of neo-baroque and electicism.
Its brightly colored buildings, broad streets and grand squares are a delight.
I can safely say that Szeged is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever had the pleasure of visiting. It is as though the city is eternally set in the Belle Epoque (Golden Age) of the 1867 – 1914 era when Austria and Hungary united as the Dual Monarchy.
A burst of intellectual, artistic and architectural creativity was the upshot of this age. Szeged provides the ultimate eye candy for imperial architectue buffs. Its historic buildings bear witness to what the Hungarian creative imagination can accomplish when unleashed from the shackles of history.
Be sure to view Szeged’s Varoshaza (Town Hall). On a warm’s summer day, set beneath a deep blue sky, the cream exterior has each of its three stories of windows framed by fiery red flowers.
Atop the hall sits a small tasteful tower, a crown of neo-Baroque stylishness. The Varoshaza is one of many such buildings which recommend Szeged to those looking to take a walk back in time to a golden age when an entire cityscape was rebuilt and embellished by the finest architectural talent.
A writer once remarked that Szeged is like “a lace covered woman dancing in the moonlight.” Come to this city and witness the timeless beauty for yourself.
written by CHRIS WILKINSON
edited by CHRIS KOVACS
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