Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Debreczyn
DEBRECZYN, or Debretzyn, a royal free city of Hungary, the chief town of the comitat of Hadju, and one of the largest in the kingdom, is situated in the midst of a slightly elevated sandy plain 114 miles east of Pesth, with which it is connected by rail. It is a meanly-built, straggling town, with irregular suburbs stretching out into the plain ; its wide roadways are only paved with wood down, the centre and along the sides ; its houses are with few exceptions only one story high, and the courtyards or gardens with which they are usually furnished give the whole place the appearance of an overgrown village, in spite of the number of its public buildings. The most prominent of these is the principal Protestant church, which ranks as the largest in the country, but has no great architectural pretensions. In its immediate neighbourhood is the Protestant Collegium, a large and flourishing institu tion founded in 1792, and possessed of an extensive library. The town-house, the Franciscan church, the Piarist monastery and college, and the theatre are worthy of mention ; there are also hospitals, two gymnasiums, and an agricultural academy. The industries of the town are pretty various, but none of them are of importance enough to give it the character of a manufacturing centre. Its tobacco-pipes, of the genuine national style, its sausages, and its soap are widely known ; and the first of the three are imported to England and France. Flour and beet-root sugar are also manufactured. Every three months the neighbouring plain is covered with the booths and bustle of a great fair ; but since the opening of the railway there is hardly so extensive a concourse as before. Between 300 and 400 square miles of territory belong to the municipality, which derives a large annual revenue from the woods, pas tures, &c. The inhabitants are, with very few exceptions, of Magyar origin and Calvinistic creed, and are in bad repute for their alleged selfishness and inhospitality. The town is of considerable antiquity, but owes its develop ment to the refugees who flocked from the villages plundered by the Turks in the 15th century. In 1552 it adopted the Protestant faith, and it had to suffer in consequence, especially when it was captured in 1 686 by the imperial forces. In 1693 it was made a royal free city. In 1848-9 it formed a refuge for the National Government and Legislature when Buda-Pesth fell into the hands of the Austrians ; and it was in the great Calvinist church that Kossuth read the proclamation that declared the house of Hapsburg to have forfeited the crown of Stephen. On the 3d of July the town was captured by the Russians. Population in 1869, 46,111.