Kecskemét, lies halfway between the capital Budapest and the country’s third-largest city, Szeged, 86 kilometres (53 miles) from both of them and almost equal distance from the two big rivers of the country, the Danube and the Tisza. It is the northern of two centres of the Hungarian Southern Great Plain (Hungarian: Del-Alföld) region (comprising the three counties Bács-Kiskun, Békés and Csongrád); the southern centre is Szeged, the seat of Csongrád county.
- The literary and cultural traditions of Kecskemét are connected to the whole of Hungarian culture by a thousand threads. Here Mihály Kecskeméti Vég translated Psalm 55, which Zoltán Kodály’s Psalmus Hungaricusa raised to the brilliance of Hungarian culture.
- László Kelemen (1762–1814), the leader of the first Hungarian professional theater company, was born in Kecskemét . After the dissolution of his company in Pest, in 1796 he organized the first rural theater performances here.
- In 1791, József Katona , the author of the most significant national drama, Bánk bán , was born in an old Kecskemét family .
- Between 1842-44, Mór Jókai was a student of the Reformed Law Academy , who called Kecskemét the “metropolis of the steppes”.
- In 1843, Sándor Petőfi , who previously studied at the Lutheran elementary school between 1828-31, appeared here as a traveling actor for three months . As a traveling actor, he wrote nine poems in Kecskemét. He called Kecskemét a “famous city”, while Zsigmond Móricz called Kecskemét “a model area for the working life of the Hungarian people”.
- Zoltán Kodály, the greatest Hungarian composer and music teacher, was born in Kecskemét in 1882 (in the building of today’s railway station) . The music teaching method marked by its name is now world famous. The Zoltán Kodály Primary School and Gymnasium of Singing and Music, as well as the Zoltán Kodály Institute of Music Education , which opened in 1975, serve the acquisition and dissemination of the mother tongue and culture of music .
- In 1889, Kálmán Mikszáth’s romantic novel in Turkish times, The Talking Robe, was published in Kecskemét.
- In 1912, the Kecskemét Art Colony was established under the direction of Béla Iványi-Grünwald . The famous painter of the town was János Muraközy (1824–1892), in whose honor a separate room was arranged. Fényes Adolf grew up in Kecskemét. Vilmos Perlrott-Csaba, Lipót Herman, Dezső Czigány, Béla Uitz, Zsigmond Kisfaludi Strobl, Vince Korda, János Kmetty and Imre Révész lived and worked in the artists’ colony for a long time .
- The local studio of the Pannonia Film Studio has produced highly successful, award-winning works, especially in recent years.
- There are many public collections, museums and intellectual-art workshops in Kecskemét. The József Katona Museum, the Ráday Museum, the Museum of Hungarian Naive Artists, the Szórakaténusz Toy House and Museum, the Museum of Medical and Pharmaceutical History, the Hungarian Museum of Photography, the Museum of Hungarian Folk Applied Arts, the Bozsó Collection are of national importance. Watch collection. Among the artistic and intellectual workshops, the Enamel Art Workshop, the International Ceramics Studio, the Forrás c. the editorial board of a literary journal can be highlighted. The Kodály traditions are also brought to life by the already mentioned Zoltán Kodály Institute of Music Education and the Kodály School.
- The central museum of Kecskemét is the Katona József Museum . The eclectic building in the Railway Garden offers a rich archeological, ethnographic and local history exhibition. The Cifrapalota houses the collection of the Kecskemét Gallery, the exhibition presenting the oeuvre of the painter Menyhért Tóth, the Nemes Marcell collection and the Glück legacy. The Museum of Hungarian Naive Artists and the Museum of Hungarian Folk Applied Art also await visitors with a permanent exhibition. The Ferenc Erdei Cultural Center, which is the professional center of county public culture, hosts numerous theatrical performances, periodical exhibitions, etc. In addition, the works of the residents of the International Ceramic Studio and the Enamel Art Creative Colony can be seen regularly.
- The city’s diverse cultural life contributes to the region’s tourist attractions. The work of Zoltán Kodály is still a living tradition.