Landscape where the earth and the skies meet
Hajduszoboszlo is located in the north- eastern part of the Great Hungarian Plain, 200 kilometres east of Budapest, and 20 kilometres south-west of Debrecen. Three regions meet one another at our town's boundary: the Hajduhat ridge from the north-north-east, Hortobagy from the north-north-west, and the Great Sarret and Berettyo region from the south. This is a landscape "where the earth and the skies meet," it is not a monotonous plain, not even for travellers accustomed to romantic mountains, sine here and there the landscape is enlivened by the backwaters of the Tisza river with patches of reed, thousands of wild fowl, and inviting groves. The surroundings are the renowned puszta, the "glorious plain". Szoboszló lies at a height of scarcely 100-110 metres above sea level and slopes down a little towards Hortobágy.
12-14 km reach of the Eastern Main Canal runs along the boundary of the town in north-south direction. This canal does not only serve the purpose of irrigation, but is also a splendid place of relaxation for the locals and their guests wishing to go in for swimming, boating, fishing or gardening in natural surroundings. One of the natural values of the region, besides the fertile agricultural areas, the gas fields and the medicinal water, is the abundance of sunshine. The number of hours of sunshine reaches, or sometimes even exceeds, two thousand hours on an annual average. That is to say, Hajdúszoboszló is one of the sunniest regions in Hungary. The prevailing wind direction is north-western. On the one hand, the micro-climate of the medicinal baths and the surroundings, with the iodine content and salty humidity of the air, speeds up recuperation, on the other hand, the visitors here always have a good chance to enjoy fine weather, for to be sure, the number of winter days is merely 30-40, with an average temperature of 0 °C, and the number of summer days with an average temperature of 25 °C is 80-85.
Accessibility to the spa is ideal. It is easy by rail because the town can be found on the Budapest-Debrecen-Nyíregyháza-Záhony main line. Every fast train, six Inter-City expresses, and also two international trains stop here. In summer there is direct connection to Lake Balaton. The timetable for railway line No. 100 gives precise information on possibilities of access. The highway No. 4 between Budapest and Záhony, which runs through the town, interconnects many other smaller and bigger routes, ensuring good travelling conditions for those coming here by car or in other vehicles. The modern motorway No. 3 can similarly be reached quickly from here, for example in the direction of Hortobágy-Tiszafüred-Füzesabony. The long-distance bus services connect the various regions of the country with this town of "miraculous springs". Once again there is the opportunity to approach Szoboszló by air, as well, thanks to Debrecen Airport.
Local transport from the railway station to the town centre and the holiday district, is provided for by regular bus services and taxies from early morning until late at night.
"A glance into the past"
The first written mention of Szoboszló dates back to 1075, when King Géza I. donated half of Szoboszló's royal duty taxes to the new abbacy to be established at Garamszentbenedek. With his deed of gift, decorated with his coat of arms and dated on 2nd September 1606, István Bocskai, Prince of Transylvania provided homes for 700 Hajdú (Heyduck) cavalrymen at the site of Szoboszló, which had formerly been destroyed by the Tartars of Crimea. This is why the prefix "Hajdú" was attached to the settlement's name of Slavonic origin. But this form - Hajdúszoboszló - only became widespread in the 19th century. The town led the customary, toilsome life of the small agricultural, stock-breeding towns of Hajdú County, until the end of the first third of the 20th century. The upswing of the town commenced from 26th October 1925, with the breaking up of the thermal spring. The medicinal water received an ever increasing role. The town's development into a resort place started, however, agriculture retained its significant role even after the discovery of the "second treasure", the gas field.
"The legend of the "hot gold""
Because of the discovery of the enormous treasure, the medicinal water, we can regard 26th October 1925 as the real birthday of the town, promising a bright future. Ferenc Pávai Vajna, chief geologist, had been searching for natural gas for a year, and on an autumn day, as a result of his deep drillings, a steaming, hissing column of water about 15 metres high and accompanied by a large amount of natural gas, spouted up from a depth of 1090.87 metres. It was thermal water at 73 oC! According to the few witnesses still alive, the town's inhabitants "gazed" in amazement at the phenomenon. From now on the life of the town changed. New hopes and new problems emerged in the life of this, up to then, simple market-town.
For a while the oil-smelling, hot "blessing" from God was just flowing and pouring into ditches, then some practically-minded women started washing their laundry in it, while the men and children started splashing about in the water. And wonder of wonders! After a few weeks of working and bathing in the water the splitting pains were relieved in the backs and knees of the women. After a while researchers also began to pay attention to this fact, and meticulous chemical analyses were performed. The unanimous opinion of the geologists, chemists, balneologists and doctors was that a "medicinal treasure" of incalculable value had been discovered. The treasure is nothing else but the waters of the ancient seas of the Triassic period, present here in the depths of the earth, in enormous quantities not expressible in numbers. Even after 76 years of exploitation it appears to be inexhaustible and not diminishing. Its chemical composition is so greatly favourable that there is hardly any illness for which it is not beneficial. So it can restore deteriorated or completely lost health. Although, after the discovery of the thermal water there were, for decades, set-backs and failures as to its use, the further “march" of the medicinal water became more and more "triumphant” and irresistible. Hajdúszoboszló became a resort place of international repute. The services are increasingly expanding, and medical tourism is blooming more and more vigorously. The fame of the "miraculous spring" attracts, like a magnet, those wishing to regain their health and throw away their crutches. But absolutely healthy people, too, come under the spell of the "hot gold". Remindof the "heroic age" by the pump near the railway station, to which, even today people are still coming with huge cans to draw from the hot medicinal water, from early morning until late in the evening, like parched travellers to the oasis in the desert.