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 Orosháza [¤]
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Orosháza

(Békés County)

The town's coat of arms can be described as follows:

Baroque shield erect, its base is curved to a point. In chief azure two bends argent and two lions or, facing each other and holding a bell. In base vert a vambraced arm is holding a bunch of grapes, or. Above the arm an ear of corn. Below it a wavy line separates the two fields of vert and azure.

A brief history of Orosháza

From the beginnings till 1744

The history of the town and its surroundings both date back to the Neolithic Age, which has been proved by archaeological relics found in the vicinity. Among its first inhabitants, researchers list members of the so-called Kőrös Culture.

A remnant of the Early Iron Age which is still visible to this day is an earthwork, situated at the south-eastern border of the town, called Nagytatársánc. Here on the alluvial deposits of the ancient Maros, waves of migrating ethnic groups found their homes, then later the conquering Hungarians also occupied this area. After the devastation of the Mongol invasion the area was in time gradually repopulated.

The first time we come across the name of Orosháza is in a document dated 1466. The name of the village from the Middle Ages is a compound of an old Hungarian name Oros and common noun "ház" (home, place of residence) supplied with the possessive suffix "a". The word Oros itself is the diminutive suffix form of the common noun "master", which means that the settlement derives its name from its first owner.

It originally belonged to Zaránd county, then, after Zaránd county was abolished in the 15th century, it became part of Békés county. According to archival sources a student named Tóbiás Orosházi studied at Cracow University in 1517, while in 1555 there was an canon named András Orosházi in Várad. Apart from these, a document which goes back to the year before the Mohács battle mentions Orosháza as the centre of an estate in Békés county, its owners being the Komlóssys at that time.

Under Turkish occupation the settlement was destroyed again, the inhabitants either dying in battles or fleeing to parts of the Hungarian Kingdom which offered better security.

From resettlement to the 1867 compromise

The history of the present town commenced with the resettlement of people in this region in the 18th century.

In the area ravaged and depopulated under Turkish rule, new settlers moved in from Zomba in Tolna county. Serfs who were anxious for their Lutheran faith made a pact with Baron Ferenc Harruckern. As a consequence, 70 families moved into the Orosháza plain on 24th April 1744 (St George's Day) led by their teacher Sándor Dénes. Six weeks later the evangelical pastor András Horváth, a nobleman, joined the settlers and soon they built the first church of osier and mud to house a bell brought from Zomba.

While the settlers mainly concentrated on agriculture and animal husbandry, it wasn't long before gardening appeared, and in the 18th century a tradesman layer took root.

From the reform age onwards Orosháza slowly took on a market-town-type development. In the 100-year-old settlement life went on peacefully without great political upheavals until the outbreak of the 1848-9 revolution and war of independence. The Orosháza people got news of the March revolution on the 18th from a letter of pastor Mikolay's son, at that time a student in Budapest. Those invited learned about the March resolutions on 20th March at a meeting of the people's representatives in Gyula. Here for the first time representatives of serfs were able to participate alongside nobles.

After the Serbian onslaught in the southern region a national guard was set up here, comprised of 665 foot-soldiers and 149 cavalry-men who had volunteered. Then, after the news of Jellasich's attack, the settlement recruited a further 172 soldiers. 64 Orosháza people fought with the Rákóczi batallion founded by Pál Vasvári. This batallion, however, was almost totally annihilated in the middle of 1849 in a battle against Romanian insurgents. After the collapse of the war of independence, the spirit of the revolution managed to survive in spite of harsh reprisals. Many refugees sought shelter here, among them for a night the wife of Lajos Kossuth. For habouring her Ferenc Mikolay (son of the pastor) received a 10-year term of imprisonment.

The subsequent decades brought a suppression of the Lutheran religion. During the Alexander-Bach [Austrian Home Minister] years the feudal system disintegrated as well. The development of an internal market by the end of the 1850s at last brought welcome opportunities for agriculture. Common-grazing areas were divided up, farms proliferated, and cereal production rose.

From the 1867 compromise to 1945

The 1867 compromise encouraged stronger activity of local political life. The peasants and artisans, dissatisfied with the conditions after the compromise, elected Mihály Táncsics as member of Parliament for Orosháza and its surrounding districts in 1869. Later in 1899 the settlement elected Lajos Kossuth as its honorary freeman. The statue of Kossuth, unveiled in 1904, became a symbol of the Kossuth cult. A most tragic event of the budding agrarian-socialist movement which occurred on 1st May in 1891 at Orosháza, known as Bloody May 1st, brought an instant nation-wide reaction and condemnation.

The building of a railway line between Nagyvárad and Fiume (1870) accelerated economic development of the settlement. Through the later-established branch lines our village became the railway junction of the Korös-Tisza-Maros region. Local trade and commerce grew stronger, especially the agricultural processing industry. Poultry processing, the milling industry and associated construction industry all flourished.

Between the two world wars Orosháza was known in the public mind as the "largest Hungarian village", its inhabitants numbering around 25,000 in 1936. The special type of farming used by the smallholders, the sparsely-distributed farm system, reflected the new affluent aspirations of the peasant-farmers. In the farms of the younger generations, besides modern furniture, books and periodicals appeared. From this a rich cultural life sprung up in the settlement, which took on more of the shape of a market-town.

Society life which had evolved in the era of the Austro-Hungarian dualism, now came to flourish. In the years 1891-1918, 53 new local societies alone sprang up.

Apart from traditional religious and civil organisations several worker circles, reading circles on the town outskirts and a few sports clubs came into being. József Veres, Lutheran pastor, MP, and historian of Orosháza was an outstanding figure of local intellectual life then. His name is kept alive today through his book, published in 1886, entitled "Orosháza on the basis of historical and statistical data".

Zsigmond Justh was born and bred in the castle of the Justh estate, situated in Pusztaszentetornya, on the outskirts of Orosháza. As a writer he chose the themes and characters for several of his short stories and novels from the plains environment. In 1892 he founded a peasants' theatre in the park of his residence, where peasant girls and boys gave performances of Shakespeare, Moliere, Aristophanes and Plautus.

As a landowner of Pusztaszentetornya, writer and politician Baron József Eötvös took part in public life in Békés county. He, as minister of religion and public education, initiated a teacher training-college in Orosháza, but unfortunately nothing came of it.

Rising aspirations and affluence brought about the creation of a Higher Elementary School for Boys in 1890, later followed by a School for Girls in 1892. In 1902, Endre Thék was the first in the country to start a boarding school for training apprentices in 15 trades. The reputation of Orosháza agriculture, and farmers' desires to learn about and utilise the most advanced production methods, inspired our village to include teaching agricultural knowledge in the school curriculum. After a long wrangle students of the Higher Agricultural School took their final exams for the first time in 1926. A Lutheran secondary school, organised in 1930s, grew out of a Lutheran elementary school.

The storms of history touched Orosháza as they did in every other part of the country. After the Trianon peace treaty Orosháza suddenly found itself in the frontier region of "small Hungary" and this fact had a significant effect on its later development.

The Second World War brought serious losses in human life and property, and even to this day the exact number of victims isn't known. Near the War's end, Russian troops took Orosháza in a one-day battle on 6th October, 1944.

From 1945 up till now

Under the new regime Orosháza displayed a number of contradictory features of development. In 1946 the settlement achieved town-status with the merging of Szentetornya and Orosháza. However, the promising gains were soon followed by the wilful wrecking of small industrial and retail businesses, and the winding-up of peasant estates. The majority of farmsteads were demolished in the 60s, while at the same time the newly-organised co-operatives and state-owned farms grew stronger. But thanks to the peasants' love of work and fight for survival, the people of Orosháza brought about outstanding results. In both large-scale agricultural production and livestock breeding they received national acclaim.

The results of explorations in oil, natural gas and thermal springs were also commendable. Partly based on this, high-quality machine, glass, and metallurgy industries developed. The Orosháza glass factory for instance began operating in 1963, providing work for several thousand people.

The sight of the town has altered as well. The current Lajos Kossuth Technical School of Agriculture has moved into a new building. In 1953 the Mihály Táncsics Secondary School was completed, then in 1964 a Professional Industrial Training School was erected. A new hospital, museum, and cultural centre have been built since then. Today, one typically finds that village streets have been replaced by housing estates.

The present

The changes after 1989 happened smoothly in Orosháza, which led to it becoming the town with the highest level of privatisation in its county. It has the highest production output and investment value, thus attracting the most foreign capital there. The town has taken on both an agricultural and industrial side to its nature.

The former large-scale agricultural farms are gradually being replaced by small- and medium-sized farms. In the field of traditional food processing, its poultry processing has acquired a Europe-wide reputation in the past few years. Several medium-sized industrial plants have been set up. Besides glass production, agricultural-machinery products, X-ray and hospital equipment, bio-ceramic products, boiler manufacture, heating- and cooling systems, and timber products, the food and textile industries are also represented. The role played by the town in the county has also been reconsidered.

The Association for Regional Development jointly established with 9 nearby settlements now represents the interests of some 67,000 inhabitants. Owing particularly to conscious regional planning of the last decade, the technical infrastructure of the town has markedly improved. A healthy drinking water supply is now available, along with a full-scale urban supply of natural gas, street-lighting and an up-to-date sewage-treatment works.

Besides a modern digital telecommunications network, there is an organised selective-refuse collection and recycling service, and a rainwater and drainage network under construction to better the lives of the inhabitants. A second railway overpass intended to alleviate current traffic problems, and a new stretch of Highway 47 which bypasses the town is being built. In the 8 primary schools of the town, around 3000 children study here, while in the 4 secondary schools there are some 1400 students. In addition, 3 kindergartens can accommodate up to 1200 children.

The reorganisation of public health facilities has begun with the modernisation of the hospital, social care and local shopping amenities.

Some additional colour has been brought to the town's cultural life besides those activities of its educational establishments and the Music School of Ferenc Liszt, through the work of spontaneous cultural circles. Apart from its stock of 100,000 volumes, the Town Library offers an up-to-date computerised information service for those interested. An adequate information service is ensured by a local TV-channel, two radio stations and a fortnightly local newspaper.

Among the 13 sports clubs the one which can boast of the longest history is the Workers' Physical Fitness Centre in Orosháza (OMTK), founded in 1913. The athletes of its various sections compete in top national and European events. The recently-finished sports hall is amply suited for holding international sports competitions.

In the centre of the town stands the only historic building, that of the Lutheran church erected between 1777-1830 of late Baroque style. Inside it by the altar is where the bell brought from Zomba is kept. A few houses built in peasant-Baroque style with "sunshine" carvings on their gables also survive.

In the square in front of the Táncsics Secondary School, there is a Historical Memorial Park, the work of Tibor Szervátiusz. It was built to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the founding of the town. Public statues, memorials and name plates, totalling almost a hundred in number, recall important figures and events of the town's history.

The statue of Lajos Kossuth that stands in Szabadság tér (Freedom Square) was made by János Horvai in 1904. Elsewhere there is a 5-figure statue composition, entitled Statue of Heroes and made by János Pásztor, in memory of the victims of the First World War. It is considered to be the most beautiful war memorial in the region.

The collection of the János Szántó Kovács Museum was founded by Balázs Juhász, a higher elementary school teacher in the early 1900s. After 1945 it was further developed by Gyula Nagy, museum curator. One of its permanent exhibitions, "Life of eight generations", records changes in town life from the early settlers up to the present day.

And in the old water tower at 1 Könd Street is housed Hungary's only water-well collection. The Arts, especially fine arts, have always played an important role in the town's cultural history. Several artists who took their first steps here on the road to international fame and never forgot their native town, bequeathed their works to Orosháza. Our pride and joy is the Town Gallery, completed in the year of the mille-centenary (1996). In its exhibition hall of about 500 m2 is housed a permanent exhibition of famous painters, such as those of István Boldizsár (1897-1984), Ferenc Bolmányi (1904-1990), Gyula Pap (1899-1983) and József Csáki-Maronyák (1910-) as well as works of the renowned socio-photographer, Miklós Müller (Nicolas Muller 1913-) from Orosháza, who now lives in Spain.

Natural beauty-spots

Between the old Orosháza and Szentetornya, now an inner urban area, lies Gyopáros Lake, a natural feature of nation-wide repute. The lake was already mentioned by name in a late 18th century map of József II's reign. It probably derived its name from the cottonweed flower that flourished on its shores. From a chemical analysis ordered by Dr. Elek László, a local physician in 1869, it was proved that the lake's waters had positive healing properties. Later analyses also confirmed these initial findings. Its thermal waters are useful in the treatment of rheumatic and gynaecological ailments. Even in the 1930s it was a nationally-known spa dubbed the "Pearl of the Plain". Nowadays it can provide modern physiotherapy services for the guests. Boasting of a beautiful park and swimming pool with wave-dampers and water-recirculation system, the latter is perfect for holding international swimming events.

On the edge of Orosháza is Lake Fehér of Kardoskút, which forms part of the Korös-Maros National Park. The 488 hectares of sodic water is one of Hungary's most valuable bird sanctuaries. On the sodic moors ancient Hungarian Racka sheep and long-horned grey cattle live and breed in natural surroundings, and are protected species.

The ancient grass of Nagytatársánc is quite unique. After the last ice-age the flora characteristic of the warm-up period remained and exists to this day here in a unique floral combination. On the town's outskirts old farm houses have today been turned into romantic inns, promoting village tourism and offering horse-riding and hunting facilities.

- Our town, once regarded as the largest Hungarian village, is now recognised throughout Europe today. In recent years numerous twin-city ties were formed. We have long-standing and fruitful links with Kuusankoski, Finland. With them we have regular exchange programmes in various topics of interests ranging from the arts and sports to economic fact-finding visits. Tusnádfürdô and Nagykároly, two former Hungarian towns inhabited by Hungarians, also have close links with us to this day. Our secondary schools have a day-to-day working relationship with the secondary schools of Rothenburg, Münster and Kézdivásárhely. Moreover, through the Internet, people living anywhere in the world can take a glimpse at our town's daily life. A warm, loving relationship still links the former home of Zomba with its late descendants of Orosháza.

The local municipality has created an honourary award "For Orosháza Town" and title "Freeman of Orosháza". It bestows them annually to commemorate the spirit of Orosháza, to which our town originally owed its survival and later its prosperity.

Photos:

1. Downtown

2. Lookout tower

3. Museum of Wells

4. Hunguard

5. Market place

6. Secondary School Mihály Táncsics

7. Statue of St. Stephen

8. Pleasure Pool

9. Spring Festival

10. Orosháza Football Club