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 Dunavarsány [¤]
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(County Pest)

The base of Dunavarsány's coat-of-arms is a heater, a traditional and conventional form of shield.

In the chief a bar enhanced or, on the one hand a symbol of Christianity, which has been the religion of the inhabitants for one thousand years, on the other hand that of the life-giving Danube. The river was an important source of living for the Magyars, who settled in the area at the time of the conquest.

The fish motif also appears in the coat-of-arms as an ancient symbol of Christianity, which was already present when the village came into existence. The two fish at the same time express that the two parts of the settlement, Dunakisvarsány and Dunanagyvarsány, belong together.

The shield is party per cross; in the upper dexter field or a hart saliant proper, borne reversed. In the upper sinister corner of the field the stylised image of the sun, partly covered. The golden field and the stylised sun represent the sunlit landscape characteristic of the region, whereas the hart symbolises the game that used to be native here. In addition, it refers to the mythical stag of Hungarian legendary prehistory, to the legend of the origin of the ancient Magyars.

The upper sinister field is barry of eight gules and argent. This ordinary, the colours of the Árpád dynasty, is a reminder of the conquering Árpád clan, which settled and found dwelling in this region. The village of Varsány came into being on the land owned by the Árpád clan.

The lower dexter field barry of azure and or refer to the fact that from the beginning of the governorship of János Hunyadi the village was under the authority of the comitat Pest-Pilis-Solt. The colours of the county of Pest are still the blue (azure) and the gold (or).

The colour blue (azure) of the lower sinister field symbolises the proximity of the Danube and the lakes nearby. The charge in the middle is one of the oldest fishing tools, the fish basket. Thus the coat-of-arms of Dunavarsány is one of the canting arms.

Although the word varsa and the place name Varsány suggest a common origin, as is known, the town did not acquire its name from the fishing tool. However, the varsa, as an important tool of fishermen, was always part of everyday life of the peoples living in the region.

Issuing from the top and surrounding the shield on both sides the typical plant native to the region, the willow can be seen. In popular culture it is called olive branch. (The willow is often to be seen together with the nation's coat-of-arms if borne with the mantling, e.g. on the banners of the armed forces.)

The willow branches are banded in the middle by a stylised coronet or (golden coronet), as a reference to the fact that the one-time village Varsány came into being on a royal estate.

The town of Dunavarsány is situated at barely 13 kms south of the capital Budapest, in the gateway of the plains of Pest or, in other words, at the edge of the lowlands of Solt.

Geographically it consists of two easily distinguishable settlements: the old historical part called Dunanagyvarsány and the barely a hundred-year-old Dunakisvarsány. Earlier geographical publications also use this distinction.

In the west, Dunanagyvarsány is bordered by the number 51 trunk road, whereas Dunakisvarsány is divided in two with an almost geometric precision by the railway line to Kelebia. The most important local institutions, such as the mayor's office, the railway station, the post office, the pharmacy, the cultural centre, schools and policlinics are to be found in this latter part. Nagyvarsány is inhabited by 1,000-1,200 people, while the number of the inhabitants at Kisvarsány is 4,600-5,000. Dunavarsány shares borders with the village Taksony in the north, Majosháza and Délegyháza in the south, the village Bugyi in the east, and the Kis-Duna (the Ráckeve branch of the Danube) as a natural borderline in the west.

The climate is more or less identical with that of the southeast of the Hungarian Great Plain, with a relatively low amount of rainfall.

Agriculture is not significant in the area; about 70 per cent of the wage earning population commute to the capital to work. Consequently, Dunavarsány is a typical satellite village in the capital's zone of attraction. However, part of the population is employed locally by some industrial units such as the honey processing plant, the concrete factory and numerous smaller enterprises. In the outer area there is a large gravel pit. Fodder is produced by one of the establishments that replaced the old co-operative farm named after the poet Sándor Petőfi.

The town's infrastructure has developed remarkably in recent times. This progress has in the last six years been demonstrated by the water main, a network of gas pipes and telephone cables, and the sewage system. Near the village border an American-system sewage treatment facility has been established in order to treat the sewage of six villages that joined the project, and to make the water reusable for agricultural purposes.

A short history of the village

Man first appeared in this region about 15,000 years ago, after the second Ice Age. This is proved by a variety of objects and tools unearthed during ploughing, construction work and excavation.

The chief's dwelling place of the conquering Magyars was on the nearby Csepel Island, while the auxiliary units occupied the left bank of the Kis-Duna. This might have been the time that the village Varsány, considered to be one of the major fishing settlements in the region, came into being. It supplied the princely and later the royal households with fish and game.

In the course of history the village got destroyed several times due to a series of devastating events, the first of which was the Mongol invasion of 1241-2.

The first written mention goes back to 1269. In the year 1270 King István V, together with several nearby settlements, bestowed the area on the nuns of Nyúlsziget. It was during the governorship of János Hunyadi that in 1448 the village of Varsány, which so far had belonged to the comitat of Fejér, went under the authority of the comitat Pest-Pilis-Solt.

The town, which had been devastated several times in the course of history, got almost completely depopulated during the Turkish occupation. In the middle of the 17th century, the treasurer of the Pasha of Buda was only able to register twelve taxpayers.

After the Turkish occupation, at the end of the 17th century Emperor Leopold I, at the beginning of the 18th century Joseph I, then Maria Theresa settled down German-speaking inhabitants in the region. In the middle of the 19th century, the village of Varsány already had 145 dwellers. The name Dunavarsány was obtained on the basis of area development principles in the second half of the 19th century, so that the town could be distinguished from the eight other settlements all bearing the name Varsány in the Hungary of the time.

The name Varsány denoted the fragment of a tribe of Persian-Alan origin, which had joined the conquering Magyars much earlier. According to Professor Gyula László, Varsány was the name of one of the conquering tribes.

The full area of the town Varsány was given over to a church foundation, since in 1782 Emperor Joseph II had dissolved the religious orders, the sisterhoods as well. It was then purchased by the villagers of Taksony in 1853. This meant that Varsány lost its independence, only to be regained in 1946.

The sights of the town include the life-size bronze statue of Pope John XXIII, unique all over the world, the above-mentioned sewage treatment facility, the floating swamps to be seen from the banks of the Kis-Duna, the region's most beautiful square called Heroes' Square, and an unfortunately ever-shrinking area covered with feathergrass.

The town boasts a folk choir and the Pro Musica chamber orchestra, both of national reputation, which are permanent and successful performers at the summer village festival.

Dunavarsány is linked to the capital by 12 pairs of trains and 13-15 pairs of coaches daily. These services make it possible for the commuters to reach and get back from the capital easily.

Since 1997, the village has twinned with the German settlement Gemmingen.

Pictures :

1. The Roman Catholic church

2. The centre of the village (detail)

3. The primary school

4. Pope John XXIII, convener of Synod II of the Vatican