Huge art-nouveau buildings dominate the center of Kecskemet, a pleasant town in the heart of Hungary. These landmarks were built mainly by the Hungarian Odon Lechner in an effort to develop a new architectural identity drawn heavily from folk art. The Cifrapalato, a ceramic-covered palace, is the most elaborate. The town was also the home of Zoltan Kodaly, one of the world's leading musicologists (his institute is located in a former Franciscan monastery).
At the Museum of Naive Artists, a gallery sells original paintings by self-taught Hungarian artists (at fairly low prices). Also of interest is the Hungarian Photography Museum, with works by the leading contemporary Hungarian photographer, Andre Kertesz, as well as others, on display. The museum is also home to Hungary's largest bookshop dedicated to photography. Kecskemet, which is 55 mi/85 km southeast of Budapest, makes a good base for a visit to nearby Bugac and a convenient stopping point on your way around the country.
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