Kecskemét

The Icing on the Cake

I could tell you about Kecskemét in two ways. One would be to say that Kecskemet is a city of just over 100,000, southeast of Budapest, on the southern portion of the Hungarian Great Plain.

It has no defining geographical characteristic, it has no rivers to speak of, no hills, no large forests surrounding it. It’s besieged by cropland all along its flat flanks, it sits on sandy soil overgrazed centuries ago.

The Town Hall. Bells play tunes from different composers throughout the day including native son Zoltan Kodaly, as well as Mozart and Beethoven pieces as well.

The Town Hall. Bells play tunes from different composers throughout the day including native son Zoltan Kodaly, as well as Mozart and Beethoven pieces as well.

It is also in the middle, the exact middle point between the Danube and Tisza Rivers, the middle point between Szeged and Budapest and to be quite honest in the middle of nowhere.

Those are just the facts, but there’s another way of looking at Kecskemet. If cities were confections, Kecskemét would be the icing on the cake, rich and embellished, full of tangy oranges whipped lemon crèmes and raspberry swirls.

Kecskemet is a city that feels like a small town. It has a paradoxical quality, quaint grandeur.

The Cifra Paolta (Ornamental Palace), Hungarian Art Nouveau at its finest.

The Cifra Paolta (Ornamental Palace), Hungarian Art Nouveau at its finest.

This is what Hungary must have been like at the turn of the 20th century. All tidy squares, stately provincial buildings, spiraling staircases meanwhile the bells of the Városháza (Town Hall) peel out the siren songs of victories past.

I have seen this city in dreams, I just didn’t realize it was Kecskemét until I went there.

written by CHRIS WILKINSON
edited by CHRIS KOVACS

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About the Author: Chris Kovacs

Technical Consultant, Traveller, Filmmaker & Photographer
Much like most people, I like to be all sorts of things.

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P.S.: some of articles are edited and co-written by a mysterious person called Tatjana. But I take all the credit.

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