Szeged, the most sophisticated city in the Great Plain, straddles the River Tisza as it flows south towards Serbia. The present layout of the city, and its beautiful Art Nouveau architecture, date from after the great flood of 1879, when Szeged was rebuilt with strapping new buildings and squares thanks to foreign funding. The student population gives the city a real energy, and it’s more than pleasant for a day or two’s stopover.
Szeged’s biggest monument is Dom tér, ringed by scholarly cloisters and busts of celebrated Hungarians. It was created in 1920 to accommodate the enormous double-spired Votive Church, which leading townspeople pledged to erect after the great flood. At 12.15pm and 5.45pm, the Musical Clock on the south side of the square comes alive, as figurines from inside pop out and trundle around to the chiming of bells.