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 Jánossomorja [¤]
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(Győr-Moson-Sopron County)

The origin of the two identical systems of symbols borne on the late 18th-century seals of Szent-János, a market town, and Szent-Péter, a nearby municipality, can be interpreted from two different aspects. The most likely interpretation leads us back to the origin of the settlers and their Protestant faith.

In ancient myths the pelican was the emblem of rebirth and in early Christian culture it was used as the symbol of Christs’s Resurrection. Survival, the possibility for a fresh start in life always played a special significance in the mind of local people, who had to live in unfavourable geographical and historical conditions. It is not a coincidence that the inhabitants of both parts of the present-day settlement chose the same emblem, the pelican, as charge to be borne in their village seals. In the period of the Turkish Conquest both settlements got repeatedly destroyed and they were later always reborn. This is another reason why the inhabitants considered the pelican the source of Hope and thus it became an adequate emblem to express their faith and perseverance.

In Medieval arts the unnatural blood sacrifice of the popular bird of myths became the symbol of Christ’s death on the Cross : ’we were made by Him and we hurt him…and He was glorified on the Cross and from his open wound blood and water came out….’ In the villages of Szent-János and Szent- Péter the inhabitants naturally prayed with the following words:

’Our blessed pelican, heavenly Love,

Bathe me, thy sinful fellow in thy blood.

One drop is enough; let it fall into the scales

In order to save the world.’

The respect for this bird is not a local characteristic feature, since it is typical of all Protestant churches. From Oxford, England to Cluj, Romania the symbol of the pelican is borne as a common charge on wood carvings or on textile decorations in the churches of all Protestant university towns.

Another justification of the presence of this charge can be given by using geographical evidence. The endless waters and marshes of the Hanság region used to serve as habitat for this bird; by now it has become extinct. The name ’gödény’ was used to denote this bird in the local dialect.

Pusztasomorja, the smallest part of present-day Jánossomorja had a different emblem on its seal, which was created in the very same period. The main charge of this emblem was a reference to survival. The seal of Pusztasomorja had a field in flames in it and it was a reference to the burning reed of the Hanság region, which was a common sight in the past. Another charge of the emblem is the heart, which is the symbol of loyalty and faith. Three roses are issuing from the heart motif; this charge recalls the traditional coat of arms of Győr-Moson-Sopron County, where the settlement is located. The emblem of Győr-Moson_Sopron County had three white roses borne in it. Specialists of local history as well as local inhabitants explained the presence of the roses by referring to the village as an island of Hungarians amidst the German inhabitants of the other villages of the area. The previously described design on the settlement’s seal on the one hand meant the unfavourable geographical conditions of the area, which was called Hany in the past and it was also the symbol of eternal faithfulness. The seal was very likely to have an earlier version, which bore agricultural tools in it. The print of this seal did not survive.

István Thullner, a local teacher created the settlement’s present-day coat of arms and he used the best heraldic tradtions for this purpose. The design and the use of Jánossomorja’s coat of arms was regulated by a local council decree (NO. 9/1992.XII. 6.)

The charges of Jánossomorja’s coat of arms are borne in a Baroque shield erect, the form of which resembles the coat of arms of the historical Moson county. Shield tiercy and it bears the stylised depictions of the traditional charges of the settlement’s seal. In chief the charges of the pelican, its nest and offspring are borne encouped and facing each other. The charges of these fields include the pelican tearing its chest open with its beak and feeding its offsring with its own blood. The proximity of these charges is a reference to the neighbouring villages of Szent-János and Szent-Péter. In base vert a mound is borne, from which flames are issuing. Flames surround a heart motif borne encouped and three roses argent. All these charges refer to Pusztasomorja. These old emblems int he modern times symbolise the fact that the settlements belong together and they share a mutual present and future.

The history of the settlement can be described as follows:

Jánossomorja is located by trunk road E65 (M86) at the edge of the Mosoni Plain amd the Fertő-Hanság basin; it lies between the towns of Mosonmagyaróvár and Csorna.

In the area of Jánossomorja and its surroundings there was a settlement as early as prior to the Hungarian Conquest. The existence of such an early settlement is attested by the archeological excavations carried out in the vicinity of Jánossomorja. Copper and Bronze Age as well as Iron Age finds have been unearthed in the local gravel pit and the finds consist of various tools, used by prehistoric men who lived in this ancient settlement. As it is attested by the finds they were likely to make a living from fishing and hunting.

All the three settlements – Szent-Péter, Szent-János and Pusztasomorja – were royal properties in the period of King St. Stephen I. Later the Hungarian kings bestowed parts of their property on loyal noblemen, who were their supporters. From 1170 onward Frankish people, who were mostly farmers and tradesmen from the valley of the Mosel and Main rivers, settled down in the area. In 1242 the Mongol hordes destroyed Moson County, including the settlements of Szent-János, Szent-Péter and Pusztasomorja. As it is attested by a document of King Béla IV, the area was uninhabited as late as 1268.

In the 15th century local landowners and the members of the Habsburg family from their own Bavarian properties invited and settled down German-speaking villeins in the area to replace the original inhabitants, who had been killed by the Mongols It was around 1604 that the so-called ’heidebauers’ appeared in the area. Their origin as well as their history is obscure. The village in the area called Geszternye got destroyed in the Turkish period and this is why the new landowners, the members of the Esterházy, Nádasdy, Lippay and Mednyánszky families invited new settlers from Várossomorja (Nagysomorja) of the Csallóköz region. In 1686 the new settlement was given the name Puszta-Somorja.

In 1763 Empress Maria Theresia bestowed her Óvár properties on her daughter, Maria Kristina. Thus the settlements of Szent-János and Szent-Péter were owned by the members of the Habsburg family until as long as the end of the feudal period. On the other hand after the ’Kuruc’ War of Independence against the Habsburgs the village of Puszta-Somorja became the property of the Esterházy family of Counts.

The inhabitants of the villages of Szent-János and Szent-Péter were all German speakers in the 17th-18th centuries, and for the most part of the 19th century as well. Hungarians began to settle down only at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries in the village and their number increased very slowly. Naturally German was the language of education and administration.

In the early 19th century the village of Szent-János acquired the privilege of holding national fairs. The Magyaróvár estate had applied for such a permission as early as 1810 and as a result a permission was given to the market town of Szent János to hold national fairs four times a year and weekly local fairs every Thursday.

The completion of the Pozsony-Szombathely railway line on October 20, 1891 had a beneficial impact on the development of local economy. The railway line ran through both settlements. A few years later the steam mill of István Szórády and his sons opened in Szent-János. The Hanság canal was completed in 1895.

In 1907 the three settlements were given the names of Mosonszentjános, Mosonszentpéter and Pusztasomorja.