5th Central-Eastern European Congress on Cell-Free Nucleic Acids
21-22 June 2018
Life Science Building, University of Debrecen, Debrecen

about debrecen


Debrecen is Hungary’s second largest city. It is located east of Budapest, in the Northern Alföld, a region which, when it comes to geothermal resources, is Hungary’s richest. A mere two-hour drive from the capital via the new motorway, it also boasts one of the country’s few international airports.

The city has served as the nation’s capital twice, in 1849 and at the turn 1944-45, respectively. Each time represented dramatic episodes of revolution and war, when the Reformed Big Church and the College became iconic venues of momentous historic occasions. Today, Debrecen exudes the feel of a pleasant provincial town with its colorful piazzas and spacious parks. At the same time, it also serves as Eastern Hungary’s commercial, administrative, cultural, and educational center. The presence of several multinationals as well as the university, with a student population of 30 thousand, including thousands of overseas students, lends a cosmopolitan atmosphere to the city. This is further accentuated by international sporting and cultural events. In addition to the internationally renowned annual Debrecen Flower Parade on August 20, the whole year is packed chock-full with boisterous festivals of cultural and gastronomic interest. However, the city is large enough to fully accommodate those who would rather get away from it all and find safe havens devoid of the noise of weekdays.

The nation’s first designated conservation area, the Nagyerdő neighborhood, gives home to Aquaticum Health & Spa Center, which offers the healing power of thermal water as well as a wide range of recreational facilities. Debrecen is a place where state-of-the-art metropolitan facilities are in close proximity to the peace and serenity of nature.

The cozy downtown “hidey-holes” are supplemented with the unique natural beauty and excursion options of nearby Erdőspuszta and Hortobágy National Park, the latter only a half hour-drive from the city center. This cornucopia of leisure activities offers holiday experiences without compromise to tourists of any age group. Whatever your pick, you sure won’t forget your stay in Debrecen.


Debrecen is easily accessible by all means of transport due to its favourable position in the international road and rail network and its international airport.


The main regional hub of Eastern Hungary, Debrecen is easily accessible from other major cities on Highway M3 as well as Routes 4, 33, 35, 47, 48, and 471.


Hourly InterCity services from Budapest Nyugati Station via Budapest Airport; InterCity services every two hours from international railway hub Budapest Keleti Station; Hortobágy EuroCity Train provides a direct link between Vienna’s Main Railway Terminal and Debrecen every day of the week.

Each part of Debrecen can easily be reached by tram, bus or trolley bus departing from or stopping in front of the main railway station of Debrecen. The main ticket office of the local public transport company - DKV - can be found in front of the building of the railway station where tickets and passes can be purchased every day of the week.

Web: elvira.mav-start.hu

Web: https://tickets.oebb.at/en/ticket



Debrecen can be reached from several big cities of Europe - London, Eindhoven, Milan, Malmö  Paris and Tel-Aviv - via Wizz Air’s scheduled flights. On 11 April 2016 Lufthansa opened a new direct air route between Munich and Debrecen.

Debora Transfer provides comfortable, fast and favourable transfer solutions between Oradea and Debrecen Airport. The timetable is adapted to the scheduled flights from and to Debrecen Airport. More information is available on deboratransfer.eu.


Web: www.debrecenairport.com

Web: www.wizzair.com

Web: www.lufthansa.com


Before the arrival of the Magyars, several different tribes lived in the area of present-day Debrecen. Our ancestors took the area at the end of the 8th century and it has been continuously occupied by Magyars and is thus one of the most ancient of all Hungarian cities. During its history Debrecen often found itself on the border of big empires and peoples.
From the Antiquity to the 16th century

The vicinity of Debrecen was already inhabited in ancient times. At the crossroads of highways from the four points of the compass, Debrecen was born from the merging of several villages. The meaning of its name is “let it live, move”.
In 1361, Louis I granted a royal charter to Debrecen, making it a market town, which resulted in economic development by way of especially the cattle trade, animal husbandry, crafts and the fairs held here. Debrecen soon became one of the largest and richest towns of Hungary.
Református Kistemplom

From the 16th to the 18th century

The religious reform movement of 1536 soon took roots in Debrecen, whose population became predominantly Protestant from the mid-16th century. In 1538, the still operating Debrecen Reformed College, often mentioned as “the school of the country” was founded. During the Ottoman rule, starting in 1541, when Hungary was split into three parts, Debrecen managed to maintain its independence through clever diplomacy and generous gifts.

On 11 April 1693, Leopold I elevated Debrecen to free royal town status, and set as a condition the return of the Roman Catholic Church to the “Calvinist Rome” after a century and a half. By this time, the city was an important cultural, commercial and agricultural center.

The 19th century
In the first half of 1849, during the country’s war of independence, the Hungarian government fled here for five months: they brought the Holy Crown, and so Debrecen became the temporary capital and the “guardian city of liberty”. It was here, in the Great Church, that the dethronization of Habsburgs and the independence of Hungary were proclaimed by Lajos Kossuth.

In 1857, the railway line between Budapest and Debrecen was completed, and by the late 19th century, as part of the large-scale constructions and modernization of the city, Hungary’s first steam tramway was also built here.

The 20th century

As a result of the peace treaty after World War I, the city’s role changed: with Hungary losing a considerable portion of its eastern territory to Romania, Debrecen became a border city.

Towards the end of World War II, bombings and other military actions caused severe damage in the city, and more than half of the buildings were destroyed. At the turn of 1944 and 1945, Debrecen once again briefly served as Hungary’s capital.

The 1950s was characterized by large-scale industrialization in the city. On October 23, 1956, the revolution also started in Debrecen, even before the demonstrations in Budapest. It was here that the police forces first turned against the demonstrators, the first shots were fired, and the first casualties of the revolution were also in Debrecen.
In the period after 1956, industrialization continued, the population of the city increased significantly, and housing estates were built on the outskirts.


Since the political transformations

After the political transformation in 1989-1990, Debrecen started to witness phenomenal development. New communal places and institutions were created and the existing ones were renewed in the new millennium.

In August 1991, Pope John Paul II visited Debrecen, which was a symbol of the reconciliation between the Roman Catholic and the Reformed churches. As a result of his intervention, the Debrecen-Nyíregyháza Roman Catholic Diocese was formed in 1993. 

By the first decade of the 21st century, Debrecen has become an economic, administrative, cultural and educational center of Eastern Hungary. Scheduled flights started from the second international airport of the country operating a permanent border station. The presence of several multinational companies and the 30,000-student university, including thousands of international students, lends the city a distinctively cosmopolitan atmosphere.