Culture and Entertainment
Debrecen is one of the cultural and social centres of Hungary for almost half a century, and has been dedicated to establish and maintain a remarkable and outstanding cultural credo. Since 1538 the most marvellous minds of Hungarian culture and science learned in the famous Reformed College. The Museum of the College has an outstanding collection of 17 000 pieces and its library owns distinctive book rarities, while its collection of embroidery and goldsmith’s crafts also offers a unique experience. The Kölcsey Conference Center, one of the largest ones in the country, was opened in 2006 and hosted a number of national and international stars, at the same time its hall and gallery regularly houses distinctive and unique exhibitions.
The famous Déri Museum is also a part of the rich and vivid cultural and intellectual life of the city. Although the main attractions are the monumental paintings of Mihály Munkácsy about Jesus Christ, there are other extremely interesting and rare pieces in the permanent collection as well, ranging from Egyptian mummies to South-Asian weapon rarities. At the same time the Déri Museum houses an incredible collection of local history that positions Debrecen in the cultural and thematic history of the region and the country too.
But not only the Déri Museum invites those who seek culture in Debrecen: the recently opened art gallery for contemporary fine arts, the MODEM hosted the world famous The Real da Vinci exhibition in 2007. The exhibition which arrived to Debrecen after touring in Florence and Tokyo attracted more than 160 000 visitors. Besides these major museums, other, smaller, though similarly outstanding museums await the visitors interested in the treasures of local cultural history, just as the Literary Museum, the Sculpture Museum, the Medggyessy Memorial Museum or the Tanners’ House of traditional handcrafts, and an enormous number of art galleries.
The theatre life of the city is also very vibrant, as the two stone-built theatres of the city, the Csokonai Theatre and the Vojtina Puppet Theatre offer a cornucopia of programmes for the theatre-going audience. Nevertheless, a number of experimental, amateur and alternative theatre groups also shape the interesting cultural life of Debrecen, which usually offer plays and stage productions in several foreign languages.
Moreover, this rather flourishing cultural life is essentially supported by the organic life of the larger and smaller community centres, where besides the various colourful programmes, almost a hundred different clubs, amateur groups and circles await those who want to spend their times in useful ways.
As Debrecen is the city of festivals and concerts, thousands and thousands of people visit the city for the Flower Carnival, the International Festival of Military Bands, the Debrecen Jazz Festival, the Poetry Festival, Summer and Autumn Festivals, or the Debrecen Turkey Festival and the Béla Bartók International Choir Festival. The numberless concerts, music groups, and choirs – let it be classical or light music – are obvious evidences of the flourishing musical life of the city, which offer day after day their various programmes for the citizens and the tourists as well.
But one should not forget the immense possibilities lying in the elegant and all-inclusive restaurants, pubs, clubs and plazas, and spas which satisfy all needs and desires.