Meet Kecskemét – a cultural and educational center in Hungary
September 9, 2015 -
Kecskemét, the seat of Bács-Kiskun County is situated in the middle of Hungary, approximately 85 kilometres from Budapest. Due to its advantageous geographical location, the settlement, which gained the title of “agricultural town” in 1368, developed into a thriving economic, administrative, educational and cultural centre of the region during the past few centuries. It gives home for several institutions of fine arts, unique collections and dignified festivals. In addition, the city also offers secessionist monuments, unrivalled intellectual life, high quality educational institutions, rich youth and cultural programmes, exceptional workshops. Kecskemét is also famous for specially flavoured apricots, golden grape bunches, sand, equestrian tourism and the Kiskunság National Park.
The city of Kecskemét is proud of its tolerant and open history that naturally defines the present attitude and spirit of the community. The historical central square is characterised by the presence of churches, representing the most important denominations of Hungary. Kecskemét is traditionally a multiethnic city as well. The local German, Polish, Croatian, Armenian, Greek, Bulgarian and Gypsy nationalities have their own minority governments, which provides the preservation and development of their identity and cultural heritage.
The town respectfully cherishes the spiritual heritage of its great sons. Zoltán Kodály, the world famous composer and music educator, and József Katona, the writer of the first Hungarian language drama were also born in Kecskemét. Among the institutions operating in Kecskemét the Zoltán Kodály Music Pedagogical Institute, the Zoltán Kodály School, the József Katona Theatre and the József Katona Library are named after them.
Kecskemét also has varied and outstanding cultural life. The Kecskemét Animation Film Studio has helped to produce hundreds of films since its foundation in 1971. Many of these films have been shown in several European and overseas countries and conveyed the values of Hungarian culture. The one and only toy museum and workshop in Hungary can also be found in Kecskemét. The institution called “Szórakaténusz” has unique opportunities and programmes to offer: it teaches the relationship towards natural materials and hosts workshops that do not depend on age. Beside that Kecskemét also organizes international ceramic, enamel art and steel sculpture workshops which result that the city became a major contemporary art centre as well. The Hungarian Photographic Museum, the Folk Applied Art Museum, the Leskowsky Musical Instrument Collection or the private collection of János Bozsó are also providing space for the introduction of contemporary artists several times a year.
The best-known representatives of the town’s scientific life are the Institute for Viticulture and Enology, the Research Institute for Vegetable Cultivation and the Regional Research Centre of the Hungarian Academy of Science. Due to the high volume automotive industrial investments of the past few years, the engineering researches and developments became more and more important and successful. The College of Kecskemét is the centre of these scientific activities, in cooperation with such worldwide known companies like Daimler A.G. or Knorr-Bremse Ltd.
Those who arrive with the purpose to participate in different festivals will not be disappointed in Kecskemét as well. The Future of Europe International Children and Youth Meeting is a unique youth and cultural festival, which received numerous Hungarian and international awards. The International Animation Film Festival is also an outstanding cultural event which is well known all over the world. The Fringe Festival is an arts festival for creative young people who get the opportunity to showcase their talent to the audience.