Ráckeve: city of towers and water

Ráckeve, located 40 km south of the Hungarian capital, is well worth a one-day visit. Situated right on the banks of the Danube, its beaches and resorts are packed with holidaymakers in the summertime. However, interesting architectural relics and rich cultural and festival life offer something for visitors all year round. The efforts of the town were rewarded with the title "Hungarian city of Culture" in 2010.

Let's start the sightseeing tour on its main square. Only a few steps from here lies the Boatmill museum of Ráckeve which is the only operating mill-boat in Hungary. Thanks to local initiatives, a recent restoration project was carried out based on written records, and old photos and drawings. The aim of the project was to give today's visitors an insight into milling traditions. Hydro-power has been used to mill grain and wheat since ancient times. The Danube, flowing slowly on the Great Plain can provide sufficient energy only if the right technology is used. The trick was to place extra-wide water wheel slats on a rigid boom between the shore and a moored boat, which also housed the milling wheel. This way the water wheel can be positioned in the part of the river where the current is the strongest, and in fact can be taken out of the water and stored for the winter months to prevent damage to the slats.

Churches of different religions belong to the major sights of the city like the Protestant church and the St. John the Baptist Catholic Church. However far the most attractive and unique house of worship is the Serbian Orthodox Church which is part of the Serbian Monument Complex with bell tower and vicarage. This is the only remaining Gothic church in Hungary (the others were demolished by the Turks in the 16th and 17th centuries). Iconostasis from the 18th century is beautifully decorated with fantastic icons and unique wood carving, and frescoes on the walls are a real wonder. Escaping from the continuous attacks of the Turks in the Balkan region, the Serb settlers arrived in the city in the 15th century.

First Baroque palace in Hungary was erected by the famous military commander of his age and high-ranking statesman, Prince Eugene of Savoy in the first half of the 18th century. He played a leading role in expelling the Ottomans from Hungary at the end of 17th century. Nowadays his palace operates as a castle hotel and occasionally it is possible to take part in guided tours inside it.

Let's climb up in the Fire Watch Tower and have look out over the city and Danube from 40m up! By the way this is the tower of the Art Nouveau- style town hall.

Ráckeve, situated on the banks of the smaller arm of the Danube, is one the starting of points of canoeing tours from spring to autumn. Guesthouses to 4-star wellness hotels await visitors in this region, and most of these can organize boat tours for their guests as well. Small islands, lagoons and bays make this waterway quite exciting. Due to the quality of water here, it is possible to bathe on designated beaches. However we can bathe in the  Thermal and Fun Bath of Aqualand all- year round which has medicinal water as well.

Looking for festivals? 4 major ones attract many visitors. National Ethnic Festival in each spring hosts national and ethnic minorities of Hungary. We can get familiar with their traditions, customs and folk music and dance. Next exciting event is János Vitéz Napok on the first week of June. Equestrian programmes, theatrical performances, exhibitions, folk arts fair, different competitions await the tourists. The most well-known festival of the region is the Summerfest International Folklore Festival and Folkart Fair in August. Matchless event during it is the Watercarnival on 19th of August. Let1s imagine the coast of Small Danube is decorated by lampions and boats parade on river, finishing the event we can take part on the beach party.

How to get there? The best tip to get on the suburban railway at Közvágóhíd Station, in the 9th district of Budapest whose end station is in Ráckeve. It runs every half an hour. Another options is getting here by car through Csepel Island.

 For further information, contact the Ráckeve Tourist Information Office

Contact details of Tourinform Ráckeve:
2300 Ráckeve, Eötvös utca 1.
Tel.: 24/429-747