In our new weekly series we present the maybe less known cities and regions of Hungary, showing that while Budapest is undoubtedly center of the country, the rest of Hungary still has a lot to offer!
Békéscsaba is an educational, cultural and economic hub of the surrounding Békés county, set in the historically troubled region of the Great Plains, nicknamed only as “Viharsarok”, or “land of storms”. With a population of 65,000 people, the city is the perfect example of county city life, where the weekdays are uptempo, but the weekends are all about peace and quiet.
Sights and activities
Békéscsaba is not a touristy place to visit, but it still can be your perfect getaway, if you prefer to visit something different, yet strangely authentic. A peek into the everyday life of Hungarians, however, is not the only sight in the city. Békéscsaba has an impressive Lutheran Church, the biggest such building in the country, surrounded by a smaller Lutheran Church and a similarly impressive catholic church.
It is also a little known fact that famous realist painter Mihály Munkácsy was born in Békéscsaba, well, or at least a little known fact outside of Békéscsaba. The city has a rich museum, showcasing the work and life of the artist, while the Munkácsy Memorial House, opened on the 150th anniversary of the birth of Munkácsy, presents the lifestyle of a Hungarian noble family in the 19th century, while giving an overall picture on the works of Mihály Munkácsy.
The city also boasts a cozy, 92 year old thermal bath, with several outdoor and indoor pools, a place where one can easily forget about the troubles of yesterday.
Nowadays Békéscsaba is best known for its rapidly growing October Sausage Festival, or Kolbászfesztivál, which is slowly gathering an international fame. The city – with the neighboring Gyula as well – is known for the traditional Hungarian sausage, or kolbász. The festival usually takes place around the national holiday of October 23, when the city welcomes visitors from all across Hungary and neighboring countries. The buzz of the festival provides an ideal atmosphere to spend a long weekend in the city of Békéscsaba!