Ráckeve (Serbian: Српски Ковин / Srpski Kovin) is a town on Csepel Island in the county of Pest County, Hungary. Its residents are Magyars, with minority of Serbs.
The Serbian Kovin Monastery, the oldest in Hungary and one of two in the Diocese of Buda of the Serbian Orthodox Church, was built in 1487 in the centre of Ráckeve. Also in central Ráckeve is the Savoy Castle of Prince Eugene of Savoy, built in the baroque style in 1702–50.After the Árpád dynasty was established, the region of today's Ráckeve belonged to the Hungarian king.
In the Middle Ages, there was a settlement here called Ábrahámtelke, and also a monastery built in the 12th century, mentioned in official document in 1212 the first time.
In the 15th century many Serb refugees came from the South, fleeing the invasions of the Ottoman Turks. In this time, the settlement was called Kiskeue, that is to say "Kiskeve" in modern Hungarian. Kiskeve means "Little Keve" in English, and the Serbs in the town called it Mali Kovin = "Lesser Kovin", or Gornji Kovin ("Upper Kovin") in contrast with the name of other Kovin (Donji Kovin / "Lower Kovin") in the South, where the Serbs had fled from.
In the 16th century, Ráckeve was a respectable mercantile town. The Calvinist variant of Reformation was spread in the town by Szegedi Kis István.
In 1541, the town fell under Ottoman rule, and most of its population fled towards North. Many Serbs who used to live in the town settled in Győr and Komárom. Those who stayed in the town elected a "duke" called Đurđe (1543–46). In 1567, the town was populated by (mostly Calvinist) Hungarians and Serbs.
In 1698, after the expulsion of the Turkish, the whole of Csepel Island (Csepel-sziget), and thus Ráckeve too, became the land of the victorious Prince Eugene of Savoy. The new landlord had his mansion built in this settlement; it can be visited by prior appointment.
In the 18th century, the arrival of German settlers increased the number of inhabitants in the town. Thus the settlement became a tri-ethnic location with Hungarians, Serbs and Germans. Their descendents still refer to the place as Srpski Kovin or Ratzenmarkt.
The end of the 19th century, the Millennium period represented a great upswing in the life of the town. At that time, the original wooden bridge was replaced by a permanent iron bridge and the decision was taken to build a new town hall, which was later erected in the Secession style on the site of the original.
A renowned angling paradise, Angelic Island divides the Danube branch here. The holiday resort areas have been developed in the 1970s, at the same time the hot water spa and lido were also established. City status was granted again to Ráckeve in 1984.
Ráckeve is famous for the only Gothic style Serb Orthodox Church in Hungary from the 15th century.
The Catholic church was designed by Patay László. The Fresco-secco in the church is worth seeing.
The Calvinist church is built in neo-gothic style in 1913.
There is also an Árpád Museum.
There is Hungary's only authentic old Ship mill. It was built only from donations and operated by "Ráckevei Molnár Céh" (Ráckeve Miller Guild). This is the most visited attraction in the city.
The Savoy Castle of Prince Eugene of Savoy in central Ráckeve was built in the baroque style in 1702-1750.