National and historical symbols of Hungary

In this section you can find the crests of almost 2400 settlements of Hungary with notes. Find the starting letter of the settlement in the list and click if you want to see it.

The Coat-of-Arms of the Town of Bonyhád [¤]
Click to zoom


(Tolna County)

Spade shield tiercy, in chief azure the charge of a lion is borne; on the beast’s head a crown or. In its paw it is holding a sword. This motif of Bonyhád’s coat-of-arms is a reference to the German province of Hessen, a region, from which the majority of Bonyhád’s German-speaking inhabitants had come from. At fess a horizontal bend argent which is symbolical of the Völgység brook. In the silver bend a goose-pen is borne, a charge, which recalls the rich literary heritage of the settlement. In base gules three charges are borne. The sun and the moon are reminders of the Sekler population, while the patriarchal cross is a reference to the Hiungarian and to the Upper Hungarian inhabitants of Bonyhád. Shield is supported by two lions, a motif, which was taken over from the coat-of-arms of the Perczel family. Below the shield the motto ’Loyalty to the Country’ is inscribed, a reference to a patriotic movement of the past, which originated from Bonyhád and the main ideas of which were supported by all ethnic groups in the town.

The history of Bonyhád can be described as follows:

Bonyhád and its area belong to the small region of Völgység. The northern ridges of the Mecsek gradually become lower and lower until they turn into mild undulating hills in the Völgység region. At the foot of these hills thirty villages are hidden in the valleys. On the south Bonyhád borders on the Mecsek Hills, on the west on the flat area of the Kapos basin, on the north on the Hegyhát region of Tolna and on the south on the Sárköz plains.

The settlement’s name goes back to the late 1600s and originally it was a word used only in the local dialect.

The central part of the region is the Bonyhád basin, which is located at 160-180 metres above sea level. The area is covered by loess and it is a mildly indented platform. Its lowest point is the flood zone of the occasionally narrowing, occasionally 1-kilometree wideVölgység brook. The town of Bonyhád is the centre of this picturesque region. In November 2003 the number of Bonyhád’s inhabitants was 15000.

The area was inhabited as early as the Bronze Age. In the period of the Roman Empire the main military road linking Sopianae and Aquincum went across the settlement.

Bonyhád was first mentioned in writing in a document of 1309 as Bohman and Bohmány. Legends have it that the settlement was named after Bonyha, a nephew of King St.Stephen.

A text, which was found in the Képes Krónika (Illustrated Chronicle) goes like this:’…int he year 1002 King St. Stephen sent Gyula, his wife and two sons to Hungary.’

In the Middle Ages the settlement of Bahnyan, Bachnya, Bohmyan or Bonyhan belonged to several owners.

In the period of the Turkish invasion the settlement was often called Bonyhan, sometimes Bonyha and it was also recorded then that it was inhabited by 15-30 tax-paying families. Later the settlement got depopulated.

Bonyhád got resettled in 1702 and in that period it was inhabited by Hungarians and Serbs. In 1721 a house of prayer was erected in the village and a belfry was also added to it.

The first German settlers arrived in 1724 upon the initiative of the Kun and Schilson families. It was in 1743 that the Schilson family sold their property to the members of the Perczel family, who, from this year onward played a significant role in the history of Bonyhád. In the middle of the 18th century the settlement was raised to the rank of the district centre of the Völgység region, then in 1782 it became a market town and by Emperor Joseph II Bonyhád was given the right to hold fairs The four religious congregations of the settlement had their own churches and schools built.

The famous Hungarian poet, Mihály Vörösmarty was a private teacher in the Perczel household and he got nacquainted with the tranquil and romantic aspects of the small town of Bonyhád and of the Völgység region.

The local nobility set a good example by actively participating in the political struggles of the Reform Era. The villeins were liberated in this period, too. Both the German and the Jewish inhabitants of Bonyhád fought heroically in the battles of the War of Independence of 1848/49. After the agreement with Austria was signed three religious congregations remained active at Bonyhád (Catholic, Lutheran and Jewish) and there were as many as four elementary aschools, several administrative offices and large shops int he town.

The transfer of the secondary grammar school of Sárszentlőrinc (founded in 1806) to Bonyhád in 1870 contributed to growing prestige of the town. This educational institution was known for its ethnic and religious tolerance. It was also this school, where the wellknown Hungarian writer, Gyula Illyés learnt.

In the last decades of the 19th century animal husbandry made Bonyhád really famous and a local red-speckled breed of cattle became widely known all over the country.

At the beginning of the 20th century two industrial plants, the enamel factory and and shoe factory were opened, both of which have remained the major employers in the region.

In the middle of the 20th century the number of inhabitants was 6000. The town’s relatively peaceful development was halted by the events of the second world war as well as by some post-war atrocities. The Jews were deported, the German-speaking inhabitants interned and then uprooted and relocated. In 1945-48 Seklers from Bukovina and Transylvania, as well as Hungarians from Upper Hungary were settled down to replace the persecutees.

The one-time market town and district cenrtre of Bonyhád, barely surviving the post-war period, was once again raised to the rank of town in 1977 and since then it has functioned as the centre of the Völgység region.