Kiskunhalas (German: Hallasch) is a city of 28,000 people (2009) in Bács-Kiskun County, Hungary.
The city is an important railway junction. It crosses the Budapest-Subotica-Belgrade railway line. The Kiskunfélegyháza railway ends in Kiskunhalas.
Its known history goes back to the 9th century. Several villages were known to have been in the area from 895. The place became significant when the Cumans arrived. Its name is derived from the Hungarian word, Kun, for the Cumans. The first written documents mentioning Halas date to 1347.
After 1596, the town lost much of its population due to warfare during the Ottoman invasion and plague.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, Kiskunhalas welcomed the Protestant Reformation. Until 1754 the city was the center of the region, but after that, its significance declined under Catholic rulers because of the local people’s support for Protestantism.
Kiskunhalas is 130 km (81 mi) south of Budapest.
- Halas Lace House: The Halas Lace is famous for its special patterns. In the museum the visitors can see the process of the lace sewing and beautiful lace samples. The history of Halas Lace began in 1902 and it has become an important part of the Hungarian folk art. The purpose of the Lace House was to save the tradition of lace sewing and the especially Halas Lace. Later, the building was extended with new work rooms, conference room and with the Lace Museum, so now it is the home of the Kiskunhalas’s lace and folk art collection.
- János Thorma Museum: The collection of the museum has more than 88,000 objects. The museum presents folklore, local history, archeology, fine art and applied art exhibitions. The archive of letters, pictures and photos is remarkable as well. The paintings of János Thorma are a charming part of the permanent exhibition. At the beginning of his career Thorma was a pupil of Bertalan Székely, one of the most famous Hungarian painters in Budapest. After he finished his studies, he attended the Hollósy Circle in Munich. Later, Thorma became the representative and leader of the Nagybánya School, which led to the acceptance of the Modern Art in Hungary. This museum has the biggest collection of the School of Nagybánya.
- Hungarian Fair in Kiskunhalas: Traditional folk art, and handmade and agricultural products. Also, cultural programs.
- Town’s day: A is a big festival every year to celebrate the town. The festival begins with a flag-raising ceremony, exhibitions, honorary citizenship and Pro Urbe award ceremonies. During the town’s birthday parade an international lace exhibition and trade fair takes place.
- Alkaline Lake: The lake is is a really popular destination for fisherman, and for swimming and sunbathing. Along the lakeside there is an educational trail and a forest park presenting the local fauna.
- Wine Harvest Festival in Kiskunhalas: A three-day exhibition of the products of artisans and local farmers, and the wines of the local wineries. There are concerts and a folklore themed-playground. The highlight of the festival is the traditional wine harvest parade, that attracts thousands of visitors to the town.
- Kiskunhalas Szabadka Cycling Tour: Hundreds of people decide to ride their bikes from Kiskunhalas to Szabadka and back.
- Thermalbath and Camp: Classified as a health-resort since 2016. The hot spring (48 °C) has natural curative effect. It is efficient in helping to cope with musculoskeletal disorders, joint illness, gynaecology problems. The bath is recommended for rehabilitation after surgeries and accidents, and for stress relief. There are covered and uncovered swimming pools, thermal pools, a hot spring at 36 °C, an adult swimming pool at 26°C and a children swimming pool at 31°C. Weight-bath, medical massage, therapeutic gymnastics in water, and camping are available.
There is a special dish called “savanyúmáj” (sour liver) that is really popular in Kiskunhalas. The dish is usually cooked in winter. The liver is served with a traditional Hungarian stew seasoned with red paprika powder, salt, pepper, onion and cumin. The dish with salty boiled potato and white bread.