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 Gyöngyös [¤]
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Gyöngyös

(County Heves)

The coat-of-arms is an elongated shield lined sable with a straight top and a base curved to a point. The chief and the fess are tinctured azure. In the base a flat-surfaced grassy field vert, on it a wolf courant sable. In the dexter chief an eight-pointed star or, in the sinister chief a man-faced moon increscent argent. Round the shield a Baroque ornamental foliage or.

The town's oldest coat-of-arms has been preserved on the monochrome print of the 17th century seal. The earliest representation of the coat-of-arms of the town of Gyöngyös can be found on documents from the same century; with all certainty this served as the basis of the later designs of armorial bearings.

Later, in 1902, the coat-of-arms and the official seals of the county of Heves, as well as of Eger and Gyöngyös, which had their own councils, were altered by a decree enforced all over the country. Based on the seals and prints submitted to the Ministry of the Interior, it was the ministry that then defined the new seal of the town of Gyöngyös.

The town's new seal, made in December 1903 by Ignácz Felsenfeld, an etcher from Budapest, is mentioned by the official documents and inventories of the town's archives as "the official coat-of-arms of the town of Gyöngyös". Nevertheless, it was actually no more than a draft borne on the etching of a seal print.

Being aware of the need for a coat-of-arms drawn in colours, on 2 January 1904 the town's contemporary administration took steps in order to have one designed:

"... Herewith the town council requests József Pásztor, art teacher of the secondary grammar school, to have the town's authorised coat-of-arms drawn by his art students in the size of 50 by 60 centimetres, in which case the best drawing be rewarded by the town council with a 20-crown golden coin ..."

However, none of these drawings based on the seal print, if they existed at all, are to be found in the local archives.

Gyöngyös, the "Gateway to the Mátra Mountains", is situated in attractive natural surroundings by the southern slopes of the Mátra and the northern edge of the Great Plain - in other words, at the meeting point of mountainous and flat areas. With its 36,000 inhabitants, it is the second largest town of the county of Heves, and the cultural, economic and touristic centre of the Mátra region. The name of the settlement was first mentioned by documents from 1261 as Gungus. In 1334, King Charles Robert bestowed on the towns of Gyöngyös, Szécsény and Rimaszombat the same rights as those of the royal seat Buda, and raised them to the rank of market town. The present-day character of Gyöngyös was shaped after the fire of 1917.

The oldest part of the town, found at the crossing of four roads, is the Main Square (Főtér) and the impressive two-spired parish church of St Bartholomew (called Nagytemplom, Great Church) to the north.

The old Town Hall and the houses of the town's early landlords, built in an uninterrupted row on both sides, used to flank the one-time market square. In their reconstructed present form they offer a unique townscape hardly to be found elsewhere in Hungary. In the northern part of the square on a low pedestal there stands the statue of the town's founding king Charles Robert.

The Great Church, which stands on the site of an earlier church building, was rebuilt around 1350 by Tamás, son of Farkas Szécsényi of the Kacsics clan, Bailiff of Szolnok, Voivod of Transylvania, the town's contemporary landlord. This event is commemorated by the plaque bearing the coat-of-arms of Tamás Szécsényi and his wife on the southern side of the nave. At the end of the 15th century the church was rebuilt as a hall church, whereby it became one of the largest of its kind all over Hungary.

King Mathias made several visits to the town, which at that time ranked thirteenth in Hungary. The Gothic bronze baptismal font, the only existing example of the kind in the country, dates back to the beginning of the 15th century. Following the reconstruction of 1746-56 in Baroque style, the mediaeval belfry was demolished in 1774.

The treasury in the parish building (also called Almássy or Szent Korona Ház [Holy Crown House], because the crown was kept here on three occasions in 1806 and 1809) is the country's second richest collection featuring 43 masterpieces of goldsmithery and seven 15-16th-century chalices adorned with filigree-work and leather pins.

East of the Great Church there stands the former Jesuite secondary grammar school built in 1751-2. The eastern facade is decorated with two Baroque statues, while in front of the building a Baroque statue of the Virgin Mary is to be seen. It is here that the two branches of St Bartholomew Street (Szent Bertalan utca) merge into a small square and Kossuth Street starts, following the route of a former road leading to Eger. At the other end of this street, building No. 40 is the Orczy Mansion, built in 1826 in Classical style, which houses one of Hungary's most renowned science museums, the Mátra Museum, also famous for its hunting exhibitions.

The building of the museum stands in Orczy Park, a protected area, where visitors can find the country's biggest yew and Turkish hazel tree, both of which are also under protection. On the eastern side of the park is the terminal of the Mátra Railway, which takes passengers to Mátrafüred via Farkasmály famous for its wine cellars, whereas the other, longer route leads to Gyöngyössolymos and Lajosháza.

South of the Mátra Museum, from the coach terminal on the busy Koháry út (street), one can catch sight of the complex of the Franciscan church and monastery, originally built in the 14th century in Gothic style, then rebuilt in the 17th century in Baroque. By the southern wall of the Gothic choir of the church the tomb of General Vak Bottyán (Bottyán the Blind) can be found. The monastery building houses the Franciscan Order's library, a listed monument, still to be seen where it used to be at the time of foundation. The large-size painted windows of the neighbouring Mátra Cultural Centre are also worth seeing.

The other large group of listed historical buildings can be found west of Főtér (Main Square), across the bridge over Nagypatak, near Sándor Vachot utca (street). By the bridge there stands the triangular-plan chapel of St John of Nepomuk, built in 1736. To the south on the bank of the brook the mid 18th-century large-size Baroque style complex of the one-time hussar barracks can be seen, which later functioned as the county hall.

Across the brook there are the former synagogues, which today do not serve religious purposes any more. Along the narrow passageway opening from Sándor Vachot utca one of the town's oldest churches, in its present form Baroque church of St Urban can be approached.

Further to the west, at the end of the street there is a Baroque calvary enclosed with a high wall. Gyöngyös is the starting point of hiking tours in the Mátra. From the town all the settlements in the mountainous region are easily accessible on good roads.

Homepage: www.gyongyos.hu