History of Debrecen

Crest Of Derbrecen City

We are all here... but how many of us know where we really are? no swearing please... this place surprisingly enough has a history of it's own and I was bored enough to find out about it.

Crows in the Debrecen sky.

Debrecen was reported for the first time in the City Registry (Varad Regestrum) of 1235. It was one of the few small villages untill the beginning of the 13th century. Later it became a big feudalist center, that housed a lot of landlords. This gave the place large prosperity, especially after the invasion by the Mongols of Obudai in 1552. The St. Andrew church was built at 1311 where the Yellow Church lies today. A Settlement commitee was established a year later and the town became a market town after the decision of Louis the Great. Untill the 15th century the city had even more privileges. More nation-wide markets, electoral judges, tax, custom exemptions and the right to erect it's own fortifications.


During the Turkish conquest, and the take over of the free part from the Habsburgs of Austria, the city was in the borders, and was forced to pay taxes to both the High Gate of Constantinople and the Throne of Vienna. The troops of both sides however, never stopped looting the city claiming it belonged to the opposite side.

Culturally, the Reformed Christianity dominated in the region. Until today 90% of the population is Calvinist which makes -according to Hungarians always- known as Calvinist Rome.

The Workers' Blocks

As the Ottoman Turks were expelled and the influence of the Habsburgs increased, Debrecen was considered free at April 11 of 1693, under Leopold I. Until the 19th century the city changed and the appearance was the one we see today. All the buildings worth seeing were built then.

During the revolt of 1848-1849 Debrecen became the Capital for the first time. The Government functioned in the Oratory of the Reformed College, and the city was called "the stronghold of freedom". Here the dethronement of the Habsburgs was announced. At this period the railway also reached Debrecen in 1857.

Urbanization of the end of the 19th century, and the beginning of the 20th helped it to double in less than 50 years. Electric light was installed in 1908 and the tram in 1911. World War II also touched Debrecen, in 1944 as the frontline b/w the Soviet Armada and the Axis. A few buildings were burned and one of the largest tank battles took place near town. The Soviet Red Army had tank a little out of town. Today motorcycles and Lada Jeeps challenge the obstacles made for the BMP's and the famous T-series Russian tanks.

In 1944 the City became the Capital for a second time, and of course the Government operated in the Oratory of the Reformatus Kollegium. Industrialization (check out the worker's blocks...) touched but did not destroy Debreen while after the establishment of Capitalism municipal elections were held for the first time in 1990.