Szeged (German: Segedin, Croatian: Segedin, Slovak: Segedín,
Romanian: Seghedin, Serbian: Сегедин, Latin: Partiscum, ancient Greek:
Partiszkon) is a city with county status, the third most populous
settlement in Hungary, the largest settlement in the Southern Great
Plain, Csongrád-Csanád county and seat of the Szeged district at the
confluence of the Tisza and Maros rivers.
The area has been inhabited since the Neolithic Age, the first archaeological finds date back to the Neolithic, i. e. Around the 6th millennium. Szeged was founded by the Romans under the name Partiscum, and salt, gold and wood were also transported on the waterways and land routes that pass through Szeged even today. The excavations indicate that the Hun king Attila had a base here, and after the Hungarian conquest, the Hungarians settled here in the 10th century. The first written information about the city comes from 1183, in which Szeged (Ciggedin) is mentioned as the center of Hungarian salt transport. After the city burned down during the first Mongol invasion in 1241, the city was rebuilt and fortified with a castle. Szeged grew into a commercial center in the 13th century, primarily because of its salt production. In 1247 IV. King Béla claimed the city as his own, during the reign of King Louis the Great it developed into the most important city in the region, and in 1498 it received the status of a free royal city.
In 1526, the Turks looted and burned the city. The Turkish rule, which lasted for 143 years, ended in 1686, when the Austrian imperial armies recaptured the city and the castle. After the Turkish rule, in 1715, it regained the status of a free royal city. It received a coat of arms on May 21, 1719, and the town day is still celebrated on May 21. Several notable events of the 1848-49 revolution and war of independence are connected to the city.
The flood of 1879 is one of the most decisive events in the history of Szeged and the development of today's cityscape. Most of the buildings were destroyed, and today's Szeged was largely built after the flood: nicer, more modern buildings replaced the old ones. Only 300 of the approximately 6,000 houses survived the flood. The city was rebuilt with international help, practically everything was redesigned. This explains the city's street structure with rings and avenues. The ring roads today bear the names of the cities that helped in the reconstruction. With its uniform, eclectic cityscape, downtown palaces, spacious parks and squares, Szeged has the character of a modern European city. After the flood, the people of Szeged made a vow: if their city was rebuilt, they would build a large church. In 1880, a year after the devastating flood, they decided to build it. The foundation stone was laid in 1914, and the Szeged Cathedral was completed in 1930. It is the fourth largest church in Hungary and the only cathedral built in the 20th century in Hungary.
After the end of the First World War, Szeged and its surroundings were occupied by approximately 28,000 French soldiers from the spring of 1919 in accordance with the Belgrade Convention of November 8, 1918. The occupation lasted until 1929. After the Trianon Peace Treaty, it took over the role of several annexed cities in southern Hungary, and its importance continued to grow.
After the Second World War, in which mainly the bridges were destroyed, the city began to develop again. In the 1960s, many new apartments were built, and the food industry (salami production, paprika processing, canning) became Szeged's most important industry. In 1962, it became the seat of Csongrád county. During the years of socialism, its role in the light and food industry was strengthened, and today it is still one of the country's food industry centers.
Today, Szeged is one of the Hungarian centers of economy, culture and science. His university, the University of Szeged, is the best-rated university in the country. Szeged's events, such as the Szeged Outdoor Games, attract many visitors every year. In addition to summer outdoor games, international fairs, exhibitions and sports events, Szeged is also well known among gastronomy lovers.
Szeged is located close to the southern border of Hungary in the
Great Plain, at the confluence of the Tisza and Maros rivers. Its
distance from Budapest is 169 km on the M5–M43 highway. The Fehér lake
is located north of Szeged. It is the deepest city in the country. For a
long time, it was known that the lowest point in the country is located
south of Szeged, on Tiszasziget, near the Serbian border, at an altitude
of 75.8 meters above sea level. According to recent GPS measurements,
the lowest point in the country is located on the right bank of the
Tisza, southwest of the city, but still within the administrative
border, between the settlements of Gyálarét and Röszke, at an altitude
of 75.8 meters, and the height of the Tiszasziget memorial point is
actually 76.7 meters.
The city was established at the confluence of the Tisza and Maros rivers, on the right bank of the Tisza, on islands protruding from the Tisza floodplain. The population living here gradually filled up the hollows and swamps between the islands, so the city area was in the 18th and 19th centuries. became unified during the century. The core of today's Szeged is actually three islands: Alszeged, Felszeged and Vár a Palankk. These are today's Lower Town, Upper Town and Belváros.
The continental climate prevailing in Hungary also dominates the area around Szeged, but weather extremes are more characteristic of this region. The average annual temperature is 11.2 °C, and the amount of precipitation is 520 mm based on the average of the last hundred years. The territory of Hungary receives the most sunshine here - around 2050-2100 hours of sunshine per year - which is why Szeged is called the "city of sunshine".
Explanations of the origin of Szeged's name:
word explanation: a mere personal name (the -d derivative of the color marker word nail/angle).
word explanation: the water color change caused by the Maros flowing into the Tisza was denoted by this word, that is, above Szeged is the place from where the Tisza changes its greenish color to yellowish brown (that is, in the vernacular, the color of nails).
word explanation: near the city, the river continues to bend almost at a right angle, makes an angle, and the name of the city of Szeged comes from the -d derivative of the word angle.
explanation (this seems the most likely): it comes from the word sziget, because Szeged was created on an island, in the area surrounded by the main branch of the Tisza and its tributaries (the word sziget, by the way, is related to the Ugric word for corner, bend, wedge).