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 Jászberény [** ¤]
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Jászberény

(The County of Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok)

The town of Jászberény is situated in Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok County, in the northern part of the region between the rivers Duna and Tisza, on the banks of the river Zagyva.

The town's coat-of-arms is a Renaissance shield erect, the base fish-tailed. It bears: azure, hanging from a looped strap a horn with the funnel to the sinister, all or.

Across the top a barred helmet affronty lined gules, bordered, laced and grilled or; round the gorget on a ribbon a medaillon, both or. The helm is ensigned with a double-headbanded, five-pointed coronet verdured or, adorned richly with pearls, and for the crest a dexter arm eradicated issuant from the sinister, vambraced sable and diapered or, the hand holding a patriarchal cross bendwise sinister or. Mantling: dexter azure and or, sinister gules and argent.

The creators of the symbol, adopting the principle of heraldry by which the simpler the shield the more historic it is in character, emblazoned their shield with one single motif, the Jazygian horn.

According to tradition, this richly carved 10-11th-century ivory horn originates from Byzantium, form the era of the Magyar incursions. It is reputed to have been taken by the Magyar chief Lehel from Emperor Basileios, or it might have been presented to Lehel, since Byzantium had to pay tax to the raiding Magyars. A contemporary chronicler describes that the moment Lehel blew 'his horn known to the whole army, on hearing the sound of it every one of them hastily gathered for a disputation'. Other chroniclers who wrote up the popular legend hold that after being captured and sentenced to death by the Germans, Lehel struck 'Kaiser Conrad' to death with this horn. As the poet Petőfi relates, 'In Jászberény the horn still exists/ Its edge chipped on the Kaiser's head/ By Lehel, still victorious in his defeat.' (These lines, of course, also remind people of the local Jazygian Museum's rich collection.)

The blue field evokes the boundless fields where Jazygian herdsmen, shepherds and horse-herders used to graze, the boundaries of which further expanded during the Turkish era with the areas and fields of the depopulated villages. A reminder of the one-time famous life on the puszta is the well-known statue of a shepherd in the town, together with the one erected to honour St Wendelin, patron saint of herdsmen, or the group of statues honouring the weather-forecasting Saints Urban, Donat and Medardus.

In addition, the colour blue, the typical colour of waters, is a representation of the swampy and boggy areas of the old region, the rivers Zagyva and Tarna, as well as of the brook Ágó.

In the Great Plain (Alföld) region, Jászberény can be regarded as the centre of holding ancestors and heroes in respect. The memories of the raiding Magyars and the warriors fighting the Turks are equally alive, the statue of the Jazygian-Cuman hussar is a reminder of victories over the past thousand years, whereas the monuments erected in memory of the soldiers and victims who fell in the world wars represent mourning and piety. Thus is the coat-of-arms of this noble town rightfully adorned with the helmet.

The coronet indicates that since the middle of the 14th century Jászberény has been one of the centres of the Jazygian region. Chartered as a market town, it was able to give shelter to refugees from all over the region during the Turkish era. The coronet also evokes the fact that the citizens, based on nothing but their own resources, repurchased their lands, which were unlawfully possessed by the Teutonic Knights. After the redemption, until 1876, the town was the seat of the the Jazygian-Cuman Region, then it became a town of district rank.

The armoured right arm is a symbolic representation of the fact that, from the second half of the 13th century to the beginning of the 15th, the Jazygians and the Cumans formed a decisive part of the royal army, and that they took their share of the patriotic wars as well as of the wars of national independence, in which the legendary Jazygian-Cuman hussars were especially famous.

The patriarchal cross held by the armoured hand relates to the keenness in the defence of Christianity, to the mediaeval church built here after the conversion, to the monastery-founding Franciscans who settled down here in 1472, to the local people who rebuilt their churches after the expulsion of the Turks, and to the religious citizens of today alike.

E-mail: phjb@pr.hu

Pictures:

1. Town Hall (built 1838-9)

2. Well of the Girl with a Pitcher (by Zoltán Zilahy, 1995)

3. Déryné Community Centre (built 1894)