Southern Great Plain

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This region is comprised by three counties: Bács-Kiskun, Csongrád and Békés. The immense river crisscrossed lowlands (the Alföld), stretch eastwards from the Danube to the Romanian border. It is a rich harvest bringing farmland dotted and crossed by ponds and river valleys with untouched flora and fauna; an alkaline wilderness of sand dunes, made productive by the hardy peoples of the lowlands.

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Rich finds from the period the Hungarian settlement have come to light in this area. The commemorative park of Ópusztaszer, also known as the Vésztõ-Mágori Commemorative Site, emphasizes the importance of the region at that time. Thriving towns developed in the lowlands under the kings of the Árpád period. The castle of Gyula is a beautiful example of the castles erected as prescribed in a royal decree of after the invasion of the Mongols. During the 150 years of Turkish occupation several important towns were abandoned, either their habitants died out or they fled. A reminder of this is what remains of the Medieval buildings of Kalocsa, entombed meters under the earth. At the end of the Turkish occupation the dwindling population was restored through German, Slovak and Romanian immigrant families. To this day, those settlers preserve their own traditions. The Slovak village museums of Bé késcsaba and Tótkomlós and the German village museum of Hajós proclaim the riches of the national folk arts.

Southern Great Plain

From west through the forests of the eastward stretching flood plain of the Danube valley, across the sand dunes, across valleys cut by the dead branches of the Tisza, to the lowlands wedged between the rivers Maros and Körös one finds unmatched value in the southern lowlands. The forests of the flood plain near Baja are characteristic of the southeastern protrusion of the Danube – Drava National Park. The opulent plant life as well as abundant animal life rich in big game give the impression of an environment untouched by man. Between the Danube and the Tisza we find six large nature reserves belonging to the Kiskun National Park. One of them is the world-famous Bugacpuszta. On the other side of the Tisza, the Körös – Maros National Park is comprised by nine characteristic biotopes. Of them, the reservation in the neighborhood of Dévaványa is noteworthy as being created for the preservation of the flightless, and in Europe nearly extinct, Large Bustard. Though it does not belong to any of the national parks, the arboretum of Szarvas contains one of the most interesting artificially established collection of plants. The southern lowlands have one of the richest supplies of medicinal waters in the country. In almost every city, and even in the larger villages there are beaches or therapeutic baths. To name only a few, the therapeutic baths of Dávod, Szeged, Orosháza – Gyopárosfürdõ, and Gyula are known well beyond our borders. Once known as the pantry of the nation, the lowlands will always be an important agricultural center.

Well known are the light sand wines of the lowlands, produced in the area between the Danube and the Tisza, represented by the towns of Solt, Helvécia, Pusztamérges, Csongrád, and especially Hajós, which has a number of unique wine cellars which stand under monument protection. The sand dunes between the Rivers Danube and Tisza are also known for their fruit cultivation; beyond the Tisza we find the region where grains and vegetables are grown. A so-called onion festival is how the city of Makó honors their products.

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The region serves numerous gastronomical specialties. The fish soup of Szeged, the Gyula and Csaba sausage, Szeged Pick salami, in addition to the Szeged and Kalocsa paprika, or the Kecskemét apricot brandy all have an international reputation.

Popular too, are the folk art masterpieces from the lowlands, the embroideries of Kalocsa, Hódmezõvásá rhely, Sárrét, and the carvings of the Kunság peasants.

Among the national costumes, attention must be called to those of the Serbs from the area of Baja, the people of Bunyevác, the Slovaks of Békés, and the Romanians of Méhkerék.

The hand made Halas Lace made from hair fine thread won a world fair gold medal. Numerous examples of these masterpieces can seen at the lace museum of Kiskunhalas. Opportunities for horseback riding, hunting, and fishing can be found in almost all parts of this region. Mezõhegyes is proud to have the most famous stud in the land.

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The most beautiful trophies in Hungary come from the woods of the Danube valley; the plain is particularly abundant in small game. Six important rivers and uncountable tributaries and ponds make the southern lowlands a fisherman’s paradise.

That cultural center of the region is Szeged, known for its famous universities. Kecskemét and the county seat of the district Békés, Békéscsaba are in the middle of the lowlands. These cities, as well as the other towns of this region, await you as their guests all year round with diversified events.