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 Gyula [¤]
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(The County of Békés)

The town's coat-of-arms is a shield party per pale. On the dexter the old mediaeval armorial bearings of the town of Gyula are borne: in a field azure a five-pointed crown or adorned with gems, the two outer stems and the one in the middle ending in a cross, the two inner stems in a five-pointed star each. In the chief gules four piles argent.

On the sinister the town's coat-of-arms used from the beginning of the 18th century is borne: in a field gules the Virgin Mary ascending to Heaven, vested in undergarment argent and overgarment azure, statant on a moon crescent argent, surrounded by a glory or and accompanied by angel's heads. Across the top of the shield an open coronet or, adorned with gems.

The right hand side of the coat-of-arms bears Gyula's mediaeval armorial bearings. The piles (wedges) in the chief refer to the Maróthi family's origin, the Gutkeled clan, which was the ancestor of several famous families such as the Báthoris. The origin of the crown in the blue field is unclear; nevertheless, the town's first known seal already bears both motifs. The legend of the seal reads "The Civilians of Ban [i.e. governor, warden] János Maróthi at Gyula". After Gyula was occupied by the Turks in 1566, this coat-of-arms fell into oblivion.

The coat-of-arms on the left hand side has been known since 1715. That was the year when, under the leadership of János Deák, a university tutor, about twenty Catholic Hungarian families settled in the town. They had a new seal made with the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary as the charge. From that time onward, this served as the armorial bearings of Magyar (Hungarian) Gyula. The two settlements (the former one and the one dwelt by Germans, called Német [German] Gyula) were united in 1857. The present coat-of-arms was made by Albert Molnár, counsellor for architecture and technology, and was approved on 3 November 1906 by King Franz Joseph I.

This coat-of-arms was in use until 1945. Following the changes in the political system (1990), the combined coat-of-arms was put in use again.

Gyula - The Portrait of a Town

Gyula is situated in the southeast of the Great Hungarian Plain, on the left bank of the River Fehér-Körös, directly on the border of Hungary and Rumania. It is an important international border crossing toward Arad-Bucharest and the Balkans. Due to its ethnic composition of Hungarians, Germans and Rumanians, the town itself can be called Transylvania Minor, or the gateway to Transylvania. In the course of past and present history, the three ethnic communities have always lived in a peaceful coexistence. Each of them has a church and a parish of its own, and they freely cherish their ethnographic and national customs and traditions.

In addition to the aesthetic value of the countryside around Gyula, the waters are of outstanding importance. The rivers Körös are among the cleanest waters of Hungary, and are abundant in fish. The protected river banks offer beautiful scenery. The region is also noted for its hunting facilities.

The first authentic mention of the town goes back to 1313 by the name Gyulamonostora. The domain of Gyula was established by King Charles Robert, then King Sigismund bestowed it on János Maróthi, Ban of Macsó, in 1403. The ban is known to have been the chief organiser of the domain and the builder of the castle. In 1419 Gyula was described as oppidum (market town). Its owners included wealthy aristocrats, King Mathias himself, his son János Corvin, as well as Transylvanian barons, until in 1552 it finally got into the hands of Ferdinand, the Hapsburg emperor. The building of the castle might have begun around 1405. Today it is the only brick castle in Central Europe, which never underwent major reconstruction. After the expulsion of the Turks the king bestowed the town and almost the whole of the county Békés on János György Harruckern, as a reward for his services. The new landlord brought Hungarian, German and Rumanian settlers to Gyula. The county Békés was reorganised in 1715 and from that year until 1950 Gyula was the county seat. On 23 August 1849 it was here that 1,300 officers of the Hungarian army, among them ten of the would-be Arad martyrs, laid down their arms.

In the 19th century the town suffered many disasters, fires, floods and epidemics. Even so, there was evidence of a slow development, and by the turn of the 20th century, the number of inhabitants approached 20,000. The Treaty of Trianon drew the border of Hungary at barely five or six kilometres from Gyula, so the town lost most of its area of attraction. After the second world war hardly any new industries were established here, which resulted in a large-scale migration. It was the thermal baths and tourism that remained the main potentials to be exploited by the local people and, as a result of their efforts, within two decades Gyula became an internationally renowned spa.

For long centuries, the town of Gyula acquired particular significance as a centre of education, a function that has been kept until today. Out of the eight primary schools, one is run by the Catholics and one by the Calvinists. Here is to be found Hungary's only primary and secondary school as a single unit operating for the Rumanian minority, where the language of education is Rumanian. The region's only Catholic secondary school is also at Gyula. The other schools include a secondary comprehensive school, the new impressive building of which was completed in September 1997, three vocational schools, two skilled worker training schools and one adult learning centre with a wide range of specialisations. Since the Medical University of Debrecen opened its medical college at Gyula in 1993, the town can even boast an institution of higher education.

A 140,000-volume public library in the building of the old town hall with lush interior meets the requirements of modern times.

In the building of the Ferenc Erkel Cultural and Community Centre one can find a 500-seat theatre, a larger and a smaller lecture hall, as well as several common rooms. In addition, the Körös Dance Ensemble and the Ferenc Erkel Mixed Choir are also based in the centre.

The network of local museums consists of eleven units and is directed by the Ferenc Erkel Museum. The brick castle, under renovation for several years now, is a significant historical monument. Since 1964 it has given home to the Gyula Castle Theatre of Europe-wide reputation. In addition to the summer theatre, many other cultural events can be linked to Gyula. The local artists' colony has gained a national fame. In every two years the student art festival named after Ferenc Erkel (Erkel Diákünnep) is organised, which is unique of its kind all over the country.

During its 750 years of history, Gyula has had many famous sons. This is where the painter Albrect Dürer comes from, since his father, a goldsmith, emigrated to Germany from Gyula. This town was the birthplace of Ferenc Erkel, creator of the Hungarian national opera. Gyula meant a turning point in the life of the great Hungarian painter Mihály Munkácsy, since it was here that he decided to become an artist. The Kossuth-prize winning painter György Kohán, who bequested his works to the town, was also born and brought up at Gyula. Another famous son of the town was Zoltán Bay, a world-famous physicist, who later lived and worked in America.

The town's long-cherished dream came true in the autumn of 1994, when the new sports hall was opened. Its arena is suitable for international sports events. In addition, there is a 10.5 hectare open-air sports ground at the disposal of the citizens.

Gyula's greatest attraction is the open air bath next to the castle, covering an area of 8.5 hectares in the park of a former mansion. The medicinal water is especially suitable for the treatment of the articular diseases of spinal and limb joints and their side effects, including muscular and nervous pain. The alkali hydrogen-carbonated water is also used for the healing of rheumatic, bone and gynaecological disorders.

With its seven hotels, seven resort houses, three campsites, four pensions and many bed and breakfast places the town is capable of accommodating 4,500 guests at a time. The annual number of visitors is 100,000, who spend half a million nights here. The touristic spots of this intimately small-size town include a 100-year-old confectionery founded in 1840 and the nearby Ladics House, which gives home to a museum of the history of bourgeois lifestyle. At the Kohán Gallery the Kossuth-prize winning painter's works of art are exhibited, which depict the eternal struggles in human life. In the Municipal Gallery mainly end-of-19th-century paintings are on display. An exhibition of graphic art titled Ferenc Lajos and His Contemporaries can be found in the upper floor rooms of the one-time gendarmerie barracks. In the Erkel Memorial House, the birthplace of the composer, visitors can follow the main events of Erkel's life and the most important stages of his oeuvre. The farm museum at a distance of four kilometres from the town, in addition to displaying the everyday tools of a peasant's household, also offers horse shows and riding programs to visitors.