Debrecen’s historic city center has an amazing amount of cultural and historical sights and attractions on almost every square meter. In addition to the monuments, museums and statues, the city’s rich cultural heritage is now preserved in four spectacular murals. The new tourist attractions not only decorate the city, but also send an important message to visitors about what Debrecen is. The murals can also be visited on a pleasant stroll through the city center.
1. station: Kálvin tér
Debrecen’s first mural was completed in 2021 on the firewall of the Bethlen Gábor Economic Technical School. Located next to the iconic Reformed Great Church and the long-established Reformed College, the mural was created by the Debrecen Vocational Training Centre to commemorate the 460th anniversary of the founding of the local printing industry. The entire wall is covered with a painting of the title page of István Werbőczy’s Three Books, a collection of the customary laws of 16th-century Hungary. The book was printed in the predecessor of the Alföld Printing House in 1565.
2. station: Gambrinus köz
The second mural of Debrecen, entitled The Artist and the City, was completed in July 2023 on the firewall of the building at 28 Piac Street, facing Gambrinus köz. The nearly 260-square-metre mural depicts the graphic artist Ákos László, but it also features one of the most beautiful buildings on Piac utca, the spectacular twin houses on the corner of Simonffy utca, and a quote from legendary Hungarian poet Endre Ady. The mural depicts Ákos László, an iconic figure of Debrecen and a true Debrecenian who, although not born here, found a home in the city and in this way is able to authentically represent the traditions of Debrecen.
3. station: 39 Piac utca
Debrecen’s third mural was painted in the courtyard of an iconic merchant house on Piac Street in September 2023. The 90-square-metre mural decorating the courtyard of the Rickl House at 39 Piac Street depicts a postcard from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, showing the main street of former Debrecen. In conjunction with the mural and their local history exhibition, The World of the Cívisek, the Déri Museum is hosting a tableau exhibition showing the history of the Rickl House and shop entitled the Turkish Emperor, once located at 39 Piac Street, which was a key point in Debrecen for almost 130 years and was run by the Rickl family, the maternal ancestors of Debrecen-born writer Magda Szabó. The shop is now a popular, cozy café, Wellington & Pie, which evokes the spirit of the former shop with its décor – and now the exhibition.
4. station: Sesztina courtyard
In the passage between Bajcsy-Zsilinszky Street and Hal Street, in the Sesztina courtyard, the fourth mural of the city was completed in early October 2023, depicting the medieval Debrecen with people working in the fields, the peasant and civis houses, and the four churches: the Great Church, the still onion-domed Small Church, the Church of St. Anne and the Church of Ispotály. The artists who created the 22-square-meter fresco placed the picture on an antique paper-effect surface to give the impression that it was a print. The town scene is surrounded by ornate floral ornamentation and features the coat of arms of the free royal city of Debrecen.
The murals were created by Grafik Trafik street art artists.