Debrecen led the National “Night of Museums” programme in 2018. For 2019 Debrecen will shine just as brightly on this night, even though it is not leading the national event. This year one of the oldest towns in Hungary, Szombathely has the honour of taking the lead. The Savaria Museum of Szombathely and its 500,000 piece collection takes the pride of place and the spotlight for 2019.
However, Szombathely is a long way to travel for many……
Luckily, Debrecen has dedicated itself to providing an even better show than last year, so if you don’t fancy driving for hours from home then you can enjoy the Night of Museums here in Debrecen.
The Night of Museums is an international event with a 20-year history and the third time Debrecen has taken part this year. Participants and visitors will have the opportunity to visit many locations and enjoy programs all night long.
“Every exhibition and every institution that takes part in the program, will present very serious professional materials”, emphasized Szabolcs Komolay, Deputy Mayor of Debrecen.
The Town Hall Will Awaits You with Exhibitions and a Guided Tour by the Mayor
Similar to the previous years, the Old Town Hall will also be one destination of the program. The Old Town Hall first opened its doors to those interested in 2017. The goal was and still is to enable visitors to learn more about the work going on here and not just link the Old Town Hall with the administration.
The event will begin with a musical performance at 5 PM in the front of the Old Town Hall, followed by the flag raising, the greetings of the mayor and a play from the Csokonai theatre at 6 PM.
This night, the Town Hall is dressed in the colors of Hungarian Revolution of 1848−1849. In front of the offices of the mayor and the deputy mayors, we can enjoy exhibitions, while the mayor will personally host a tour after the opening ceremony.
All exhibitions of the Town Hall are free of charge.
Special time travel and passport to follow the footstep of Kossuth
That night, we can take part in a special time travel by entering the gate of Miklós Street, which Kossuth once entered. We will get a personal passport for entry, just how it was back in those old times.
On the first floor, we can see the people who came to the city in the past, where they lived and how they helped the government. We can learn more about the work of the National Defense Commission, who prepared the military for the spring expedition.
There will be a possibility to relax with a film screening in the general meeting room, enjoy the music of the band “Szeredás” and taste traditional cakes with the help of the Tradition Conservation Association of Hajdúböszörmény.
Not far from here, we can glimpse into the history of the Holy Crown, since the crown was in Debrecen long ago. The last stop of the walk is the Printing House of the town, where we can see an exhibition and get a copy of Kossuth’s 6th January edition.
Déri Museum Awaits You with Bonfire, Concerts and Museum Events
The programs of the Déri Museum are present at several locations of the city. The museum opens the event with a special exhibition on Thursday. It is in remembrance of Mihály Munkácsy’s birth, the 170th anniversary; and we can see how the artist worked in his Paris studio.
The Debrecen Literature Museum (formerly known as Medgyessy Ferenc Memorial Museum), will be awaiting us with an Emergency Exhibition since in the 1800s this building provided space for the Rescue Station.
The Déri Square will host the Forum fashion show, military music performance and the bonfire. This year, the Zsuzsi Forest Railway will be displayed, and we can enjoy concerts and different museum events.
MODEM: PANEL Beers, Chaos Camping and Mania Workshop
The Modem starts the Night of Museums event with a three-day art festival (Picnic and Art, – PAD Festival). From 19 to 21 June, we can see different art and theatre performances on Batthányi Street, in the B24 Gallery and in the former pub “Pirate” (Kalóz) that has become the most important place for alternative theatre.
On Saturday, we can participate in the “Labels for Beers”, a national graphic competition award ceremony and taste the PANEL beer, a craft beer manufactured for the event.
The program “Chaos Camping”, is a cool contemporary festival awaits us at Baltazár Square, while we can take our mania into Modem and work around it during a workshop, – referring to the closing exhibition “mania. quiet strategies”.
Children are invited to a separate program. If you did not have the time to see everything, you can go back to MODEM from 2 PM on Sunday. (Wristbands are required for Sunday).
English Guided Tour in the Museum of the Reformed College
For the non-Hungarian speaking, Balázs Venkovits provides a tour of the exhibition he curates in English. The exhibition looks at the experiences of Hungarians who visited America from early travellers up until the First world war.
Through their experiences, we can get an insight into the turning points of Hungarian and American history. Rare maps, diaries, and photographs, unique objects remind us of the hardships of traveling Hungarians. How did Lajos Kossuth and the ’48 emigrants receive in North America? What motivated the “one and a half million kickbackers” to find a new home? How did our first female travelers succeed?
There is a guided tour in English in the exhibition entitled Revolutionaries, Travelers, Emigrants – Hungarians in the Americas. It will take place on the 22nd June at 9 p. m. at the Reformed College of Debrecen.
The Martin Bras band will have a concert in the Szabó Magda Memorial House and the Reformed College, while Dr. Károly Fekete, Reformed Bishop, will show his art treasures to registered groups. Families and children can meet some rescue dogs in the yard of the Szabó Magda Memorial House.
Reformed Great Church of Debrecen: Organ concert and letter from 1806
The Reformed Great Church of Debrecen opens its gates at 6:30 PM and you can enjoy the organ music once you enter the church. For the more adventurous visitors can climb the bell towers. On this evening, we can get an insight into the thematic programs of the Great Church including as Kossuth’s work and the treasures of the church.
At midnight we can take part in an organ concert, we can enjoy the night view, sit in the copy of Kossuth chair, and read a letter written by Sámuel Diószegi from 1806.
The Programms of the Night of Museums in a Nutshell
Programs at Déri Square:
4 PM – MH. 5. István Bocskai Battalion Brigade Garrison Band
5 PM – Debrecen Dixieland Jazz Band concert
6 PM – FÓRUM Fashion Show
7 PM – Concert of the VAN band
8.30 PM – Bordeaux Dragon Old Music Order Concert
10 PM – Gergő Dánielfy and the Travelers Concert
11.30 PM – Display of “Flaming Snail” Firefighter Team
4-10 PM – Travel to “Zsuzsi” at Night of Museums
Programs at Assembly Hall:
10 PM – Bulgarian and Hungarian folk songs performed by Sas Nelli
10.30 PM – MUNKÁCSY – Presentation of Éva Fodor, art historian
11.30 PM – “Death as a World Creating Factor”- Thoughts on the Universal Cultural Creator Power of the Death Cult in connection to the Archaeological Exhibition “The Star Dwellers” – lecture of Zsigmond Hajdú, archaeologist
00.30 AM – MUNKÁCSY – Presentation of Éva Fodor, art historian
4 -10 PM – Museum programs
Debrecen Literature Museum (formerly known as Medgyessy Ferenc Memorial Museum) – Courtyard:
5 PM – “The Old Woman and Death” – Giant Puppets’ Show
6.30 PM – Concert of Private Affér band
8 PM – “Lovely Dance”, program of the Sebő band
9.30 PM – Concert by Ölveti Blues Band
10.30 PM – “Son of Heaven and Magog” by DebreSlam
Medgyessy Ferenc Memorial Exhibition:
6 PM – Medgyessys in Medgyessy – Guided tour with Mónika Gábor and Kata Györgyi, students of Ferenc Medgyessy High School and Secondary School of Arts
7.30 PM – Medgyessys in Medgyessy – Guided tour with Mónika Gábor and Kata Györgyi, students of Ferenc Medgyessy High School and Secondary School of Arts
Pricing and tickets
Wristbands are now available at diverse locations including Fórum Shopping Mall, Déri Museum, MODEM, Reformed Great Church and the Reformed College.
You can visit all the museums and exhibitions with a wristband.
Entrance fee: 1200 HUF
For children (7-14 years): 600 HUF
Family entrance fee (2 adults, up to 3 children): 2800 HUF
Wristbands are worth buying now, to avoid any disappointment and so you don’t have to queue during the programs!