The next time you find yourself walking on Simonffy Street, consider the personality of the man and the family it is named after, Sámual Simonffy, since none other can claim to have done more for the city of Debrecen.
Since 1898, the street in the center of Debrecen has been called Simonffy street. It is named after Sámual Simonffy, who after moving to the city with his family in 1744, became chief judge between the years of 1811-1821, however he did much more for the city besides.
During his time, he restored the part of the town that was destroyed by fire in 1802, and was responsible for the building of both the Reformed Great Church and the Debrecen Reformed College.
His grandson, Imre Simonffy, served as mayor of Debrecen between 1875 and 1802. As a young man, he served as a soldier in the Hungarian Revolution of 1848. After the Revolution he worked as notary and the councilor of the town. During this time, the construction of the Csokonai Theater proposed by Simonffy was started. Its opening performance took place on October 7, 1865.
Under Imre’s mayorship Debrecen developed enormously, – palaces were built and most of the residential buildings were renewed. The inhabitants who moved to the city established new outdoor living areas including Csapókert, Homokkert and today’s Szabdságtelep.
He created the forest railway, the Zsuzsi train and due to the cooperation with the monarchy, urban public transport, towed by mechanical steam, started first in Debrecen in 1884. In addition, churches and schools were built.
There was also a huge development in industry, and the city also had its own brick factory.
He was also involved in the establishment of the public bank, the Mutual Relief Society and managed to settle several elements of the then judicial system in Debrecen, including the district court, tribunal, and royal court. These buildings greatly improved the cityscape of Debrecen.
In recent years, Simonffy Street, with its cozy bars and terraces, has become a popular destination for young people.
Source: Library Méliusz