The earliest known map of Debrecen is from 1750, which shows the town surrounded by a plank and gates. This map is important because it also contains street names of that time. A new online “street name” database shows street names now and in the past, which indicating the origins of street names in Debrecen.
Let see some interesting facts about the streets of Debrecen.
Over the years Piac Street has had many names including Piac Square in 1564, Ferenc József Road from 1898 to 1915 and the “Red Army Path” from 1990 until the end of the regime.
As Debrecen’s Main Street it was the proud venue of the famous town fairs for 300 years starting in the 16th century. Today, you can still see a small part of an ancient “mud bridge”, outside Hotel Aranybika that enabled traffic for two centuries.
Széchenyi Street is one of the busiest and oldest streets in Debrecen and it is located in the city center. Originally known as German Street in the city, this street was named after German merchants selling their products. You can find here the “Old Post Restaurant” (Régi Post Étterem), one of the oldest buildings in Debrecen which also serves as an inn.
The Hatvan Street (“Sixty street”) its name from the fact that 30 x 30 plots were measured on both sides of the road in the 15th century.
There are many famous buildings on Hatvan Street, such as the former Post Palace (Hatvan Street 3-7), the Kerekes House (12 Hatvan Street), the Csokonai House (23 Hatvan Street) and the Fazekas Mihály Grammar School (44 Hatvan Street).
The Post Palace was built in 1931 according to the plans of Aladár Münnich and it enabled Debrecen to join the countrywide telecommunication network, while Kerekes House was the home of Professor Ferenc Kerekes, the discoverer and first publisher of Ludas Matyi (1850).
On the wall of the house, a sign marks the building as the home of Mihály Csokonai Vitéz, while the Fazekas Mihály Secondary School, built-in 1893, was the first state high school in the city where Árpád Tóth was his famous student.
If you walk around Debrecen you will see many streets named after famous European professors such as István Hatvani, György Maróthi, Ézsaiás Budai, György Tóth Martonfalvi, Miklós Sinai. These professors taught in Debrecen thanks to the Debrecen Reformed College that was, and still known as the “school of the country”.
Photo credit: debrecen.hu