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 Sátoraljaújhely [** ¤]
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Sátoraljaújhely

(The County of Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén)

Sátoraljaújhely is situated in the northern part of the county of Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén, near the border between Hungary and Slovakia, on the eastern spur of the Zemplén hills.

The town's coat-of-arms is a heater erect, in the field azure a stylised letter V or narrowing toward the base, between its limbs a bunch of grapes verdured, all or. Across the top of the shield a five-pointed crown verdured or, the two wedges between the three verdures adorned with an acorn each, the middle verdure cross-shaped; on the headband geometric patterns are borne.

The earliest seal of the town was made in the 16th century; the charges on it were arranged in a V-shape with a grape-flower in the centre and a few grapes to the left and to the right. These motives were transformed into a landscape in the 19th century, while in the 1960s communist symbols: a five-pointed star and a cog-wheel were added to it. This coat-of-arms burdened with a political message was replaced by a reconstucted one in 1990, based on the original version.

The blue field symbolises the days of yore, as the area has been inhabited since the earliest times. During the Hungarian Conquest Chief Árpád gave this land as well as its inhabitants "from Sátorhalom to the waters of Tolcsva" to a valiant soldier called Ketel. The colour blue refers to the local brooks of Ronyva, Zsolyomka, Bózsva and the river Bodrog.

This settlement, which had been owned by the Rátót clan since 1110, was also devastated by the Mongol invasion. In 1261 Stephen V the younger founded Újhely on a safe spot of the region and also bestowed privileges on the new settlers.

The capital V of the coat-of-arms refers to the name of Újhely, the settlers, the castle, the town, and later it became to mean the county seat as well. (In Hungarian all these words begin with a V). The shape of the letter V is also reminiscent of the tusks of most typical beast of the region's forests, the wild boar.

During the centuries the settlement was the king's property, then it was run by Finta, member of the Aba clan (1281) and the Croatian governor János Bobonity (1327-34). In the 15th century the land changed owners several times, it belonged to the Pálóczy, the Perényi and then to the Rákóczi family. The county assembly was held here and a new county hall was erected in 1768. From that time onwards Sátoraljaújhely functioned as a county seat.

As an old Christian symbol, the bunch of grapes signifies that as early as the early 13th century, Augustine monks used to live here. The Paulines also settled down in the midcentury and lived here until the reign of Emperor Joseph II, then the Dominicans and the Franciscans also came. The town already had a church as early as 1261, since its inhabitants had been given the right of choosing freely their own priest. Its church was within the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Esztergom, while the tithe was given to the parson. Later the Calvinist and the Lutheran congregations were also formed, as well as the Greek Orthodox and Jewish communities. In addition to its Christian symbolism, the bunch of grapes borne in the shield has a concrete meaning as well. Historical sources as early as the 14th century mention Sátoraljaújhely in connection with its viticulture, which has remained until recently an important branch of local economy.

The leaves of the crown are also references to the local wine-culture, while the acorns in-between refer to the wooded hill slopes.

The crown recalls the historical fact that Sátoraljaújhely in the past was founded and also owned by the Hungarian kings, and later still remained a major administrative centre. Ferenc Kazinczy, a renowned Hungarian writer and neologist, worked in the archives of the county of Zemplén (1816-1831). Lajos Kossuth's career also began here, who later became the governor of the country. Sátoraljaújhely gained the title of settled administration in 1902. In June 1919 the conquering forces of Little Entente were defeated here. As a result of theTrianon Peace Treaty Sátoraljaújhely turned into a dismembered bordered town, but even this decision could not break its vitality.

Sátoraljaújhely is Hungary's northernmost town, which looks back on an eventful history. It was King Stephen V who raised the settlement to the rank of town, thus making further development possible.

Due to the privileges granted by the royal charter and by benefiting from the protection offered by the castle that would stand on Várhegy (Castle Hill), trade and handicrafts started to develop rapidly.

The significance of the town gradually grew, owing to which it became the country town of the historical (i.e. pre-war) Zemplén comitat in the middle of the 18th century. In the town centre they built the county hall, which is still the centre of administration. This beautiful Baroque building gives home to the local authority, the mayor's office and the Kazinczy Archives. In the 18th century several other remarkable buildings were added to the townscape, and the centre still keeps the traditional atmosphere of small towns to be found in Upper Hungary. The citizens cherish the memory of the language reformer Ferenc Kazinczy and that of Lajos Kossuth, who started his political career here.

As a result of the provisions of the Trianon Peace Treaty, today Sátoraljaújhely is a border town, yet it has remained a regional centre of trade, culture and education. Tourists and hikers are attracted by its clean air, natural environment and memorial places. Those who want to pursue winter sports are awaited by several ski and sleigh tracks on Magashegy.

The area is also renowned for the excellent furmint and hárslevelű grape, which is grown on the volcanic soil of the nearby hills, and from which the world-famous Hegyalja wine is made.

E-mail: ujhelpmh@mail.matav.hu