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County Hall Debrecen – The Beautiful End of the Former downtown

The County Hall of Hajdú-Bihar County is located in Debrecen, at number 54 Piac Street. It is considered one of the most beautiful Hungarian Art Nouveau buildings. 

The first guesthouse of Debrecen, Fejérló Szálló once stood on the plot and it had many famous guests since its opening in 1688), including Joseph II, the Holy Roman Emperor in 1770. The hotel was also famous for its performances that were held in the courtyard. The Miklós Wesselényi National Theater gave its first official performance in Hungarian here on 11th August 1798. After Cluj-Napoca, the theater piece “Hamlet” was played here in Hungarian. The fire of 1811 ended the performances. 

County Hall Debrecen

It was also where the historical downtown ended; as did the 670 m long raised walkway, and wooden bridge, starting from the Great Church that the locals walked free of mud. The wooden bridge was demolished in 1824 when the main street was drained. 

The former estate of today’s county hall building became the administrative center of Hajdú County in 1876, until 1911 when the construction of today’s building began. The county hall was built in 1911-1912 according to the plans of Zoltán Bálint and Lajos Jámbor.

The façade of the building of this new county hall was decorated with pyrogranite elements of the famous Zsolnay porcelain factory in Pécs, the garlands of flowers, and four armed sculptures. At the top of the hussar tower stands a bronze statue of Prince Árpád, while you can see the coat of arms of Hajdú County in the middle of the façade. 

The ceremonial hall of the building is known as the “Árpád Hall”. Its walls and ceilings are decorated with stucco and the coats of arms of the settlements of the county. Its ornate window panes were designed by Károly Kernstok and feature two of the leaders who led the conquest of the Carpathian Basin.