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 Siklós
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(The County of Baranya)

The coat of arms of Siklós: The shield form is divided into three horizontal stripes. A silver figure of a castle in the central part represents the dominance of the castle in the city's life. The three golden disks in the upper deep-blue segment, rising slightly over the arms, refer to the city's historical past, expressing the presence of Hungarian, German and Yugoslavian nationalities. The lower golden part symbolises agriculture. The body, the figure of the castle and the three disks are emphasised by black contours.

The city of Siklós is situated at Hungary's southern border, in the southern part of Baranya county between Siklós-Villány hills and river Drava, an area rich in historical landmarks and natural beauties. The city is located in 10 kilometres from river Drava, 95-117 metres above sea-level. The Castle of Siklós towering on the top of the old Siklós Hill clearly pops up from its neighbourhood. The other peak points are Csukma, with a top of 339 meters, standing north from the city and Tenkes, with 408 meters in the north-west. Just a few miles away in the north-east, the gentle top of Göntér with the characteristic slopes of Szársomlyó in the east come into sight. The city's southern and western areas are flat, the shimmering waters of river Drava with the outlines of Papuk Hills are visible in clear weather. The city is located in Hungary's mildest climatic zone, with a precipitation favourable for plant cultivation all round the year. Siklós has ideal climatic conditions. The majority of the city's area lies on the plains of river Drava ensuring flat surface. Lanka canal serves for the area's natural catchwater drain.

The city takes an area of 51 square kilometers with a population of 11,081. The residents' age group pattern looks as follows: 0-14 years: 2142, 16-60 years: 7165, over 60: 1774. The prevailing majority of residents is Hungarian (96.3%) but Croatians, Germans, Gipsies and a few Serbs also live here. 30% of the active wage-earners work in industrial sector, another 30 per cent work in service sector while 10 per cent work in agriculture, forestry and water management.

Very few data are available on the city's old history. Traces of the settlement of man are originating from the neolit age. (a stone-age hammer, a bronze-age chisel, a needle, a wheat store pot, a bracelet and rings excavated from a migration tomb under the castle in 1932). The Illyrian and Celtic nations were followed by the Romans. A military camp was erected under the name Serena at the present site of Siklós (this fact was registered by Anonymus, the historian, as well). After the arrival of the Roman legions new roads were built near the camp. A good road was driving near Siklós to Sopiane (the present city of Pécs) the centre of Valeriana province at that time. Memories from this period are displayed in the courtyard of Siklós Castle (columns, an octagonal shaft, a fragment from a stone sarcophagus). The present name of Siklós originates from the Hungarian language. It was written in old documents in various forms: Suklós, Suglós, Suclos, Soklous. The name Soklous comes from the 14th century, while Sykloch from the 16th century. The present name of Siklós has been used since the Turkish invasion.

The settling Magyars continued their nomad lifestyle on occupied lands for a while. The gradual transition to permanent settlement and land cultivation started during Prince Géza's reign. The settlement was formed around the present castle. It was Béla IV who ordered the building of a castle after the Mongolian invasion. The castle was probably built by the noble Suklósi family coming from the Kán dynasty. The first valid document comes from 1294 stating Omodeus de Topord to be the owner. Siklós with its surroundings belonged to the Suklós earl family till 1387. Following the Horváthi uprising, the family lost the king's grace and was deprived of its properties. Thus, the castle went over into the hands of Pásztói and Kakas families. In 1395, the castle with all the licences and incomes, was taken from the Pásztói family by Nicolaus, Palatine Garai's son. The castle with all its surrounding estate remained in the hands of the Garai family until their death in 1482. The Garai family brought a golden age in the history of Siklós. The castle was extended into a large forest, its corner towers were erected at that time. The city became the economic and military centre of the Garai estate, and the family transferred its seat to here. In 1401 King Sigismund was kept here for five months. At that time Siklós was bearing the name "Civitas Palatinalis" (the palatine's city). In 1482 the city became royal property again. King Matthias donated the city to John Corvinus, his son, and King Ulászló II. was generous to leave it to the widow after Corvinus' death. In 1506, Siklós was donated to Stephen Stiljanovich a Serb despot. According to our sources, the first Serb communities came to Siklós at that time. A Serb church can verify the presence of Serbs. (A tombstone, and a memorial cross keep the memories of Stephen Stiljanovich on Göntér Hill).

Some years later, Ulászló II. donated Siklós with the surrounding estates to Imre Perényi. It was done out of gratitude, for Perényi, in the name of Hungarian aristocracy, protested against the marriage and succession contract made between Ulászló I. and Miksa, the German Emperor. Imre Perényi was Hungary's palatine, so Siklós regained the title "Civitas Palatinalis" for the second time. The host, with Dorottya Kanizsai, the hostess of the castle, reinforced the castle, preparing for the attack of the Turkish army. The humanitarian intelligence of the Perényi family gave way to the establishment of Renaissance style in Siklós. They had a good sense of transforming gothic monuments into Renaissance style. Dorottya Kanizsai got her fame by burying Hungarian soldiers died at the battlefield of Mohács.

After the Mohács Disaster, following Ferdinand's coronation, the Holy Crown and the royal insignia were kept in Siklós for a while. Reformation, having a great influence on the whole population of Baranya-county, uprooted during Perényi's time. The Turkish army occupied Siklós during King Soliman's sixth invasion. This was the start of a 143 year Turkish occupation, memories of which can still be found in the city (water pipe, Turkish bath, names of streets, mosque). The renovated mosque awarded by the title "Europa Nostra" has an extreme beauty. During the Turkish invasion Siklós was a cadi centre. A school (mekteb) also may have been here. In 1852 the city was a district centre (nahié). In 1566, Arslan, the Pasha of Buda, was beheaded in the castle's courtyard. During the Ottoman reign the city was a prominent base of Ottoman power. In 1603 the city was ravaged by Ghazi Khan's troops, and after the reoccupation of Buda Louis Badeni's army attacked the Turkish troops. General Scheffenberg started the siege of Siklós on 24th October 1686. Louis Badeni sent his report on the reoccupation of Siklós Castle to the Emperor on 31st October. (A memory table keeps a record of it on the walls). There were only 73 houses in Siklós at that time. The castle with its surroundings was given to General Caprara Aeneas as a reward, and he gave a start to the castle's renovation. It was only the host's loyalty to the Habsburg monarch that could prevent the castle from blowing-up after beating Ferenc Rákóczi's freedom fight. In 1728 the castle was sold to Eleonora Batthyány-Strattman. It was the Batthyány family that finished the castle's renovation and erected a new church on the abbey's base-walls. Kázmér Batthyány was the most outstanding figure of the family who, ahead of his age, gave freedom to his peasants. During the 1848-49 War of Independence he gave very active support to the revolution. On the first national parliamentary elections Mihály Táncsics was elected the city's MP who was followed by Mór Jókai (1861-1869) twice. In the Kossuth government Kázmér Batthyány had a position of foreign minister. He was also responsible for commercial affairs. After the fall of the War of Independence he emigrated with Louis Kossuth and died in Paris (on 4th November 1854). He was buried in the Montmartre cemetery Paris. His ashes returned and are buried in the Chapel of Siklós Castle. A street name, a school and a statue preserve his memories in Siklós. After the fall of the revolution the castle's importance diminished. The present shape of the city centre was formed in 1860.

After the Austro-Hungarian Pact a slow development process started in the city. The city had famous fairs, tradesmen and craftsmen. Although the city lost its country-town title but had an importance as a district centre. In 1872, with the termination of guilds various civil associations and bodies were formed. A singing groups, a reading group, a sports club, a huntsmen association, a voluntary fire brigade, a public library and a permanent winter theatre group were working in the city during the second half of the nineteenth century. The artisans were grouped in an industrial chamber. The city had several schools. A higher elementary school for boys was opened in 1881, which was followed by another school for girls. A trade school was opened for future craftsmen. A weekly magazine was published in the city from 1888 but there were times when two came out (Siklós and Vicinity, Citizen of Baranya). A hospital and a Poorhouse were opened in 1894. Single-storey buildings, small shops and tiny workshops formed the city's character. In 1920 still one-third of the houses in Siklós were built from mud. Although some large industrial plants as brick factory, steam mill, vinegar factory, ice factory, woodworking plant, soda-water works, silk reeler plants were working in the city but they employed only few workers. The city was world famous for its pottery. The today's Vértanúk Street was named as Potter's Street in the past, for 8-10 potter dynasty used to live there. During the Hungarian Soviet Republic Serb troops occupied the city.

The encyclopaedia lists Siklós in the period between the two world wars, as follows: "Large village. Population 5740 (it was 5791 in 1910!) with a railway station, a post office, a telegram and phone office". Still the castle was city's greatest attraction. The Benyovszky family became the castle's new proprietor. Móric Benyovszky had several times been a representative of the electorate of Siklós as well as the county's Lord Lieutenant. His tombstone stands in the castle. The castle was purchased from the Benyovszky family by the Hungarian government in 1940. There were no major damages in the city during the Second World War but after the war it became a "frontier zone". There was no tourism in the city and every odds and ends of everyday life were strictly regulated. After the restrictions the city got new chances for development. Industrial expansion, major flat construction and school building programs started.

In 1955 the renovation of the castle, being in poor condition at that time, started. On the basis of careful plans a program for the protection of monuments started, which was supported by voluntary work. Upon the completion of these works, the Castle became a real tourist's spot, the flower of the city, with accommodation, dining and conferencing facilities as well as housing a museum with an archeological exhibition. There were times when Siklós and the Castle reseived 400,000 visitors annually.

From 1970 the city underwent a dynamic development: new roads, pavements, water and sewage network, new housing estates were built. The city's shopping, education and health care system were modernised. In 1970 the total number of population was 6906. As a result of development, city rank was given to Siklós on 1st April 1977. Several industrial works, co-operatives institutions, offices and other organisations offered job opportunities to local residents. The rate of active wage-earners was 44.3 per cent in the city. Awarding a city rank to Siklós was a declaration of being the political-economic and cultural centre of its gravity zone.

Although before the system change in 1990-91 the city's industrial structure was far from being suitable, additional cutbacks had to be taken to reduce the number of jobs. 50 plcs, 67 companies and 878 private businesses were registered in the city in 1996. This was a typical indicator of the city's economic development. Today, industry is represented by Renaissance Stone and Building Sculpture Share Company, Chain Industrial and Commerce Company, Siklós Building Co-operative, Corn Commerce and Milling Company, Siklós Baking Company (Bakery) and Krio Food Preservation Ltd.

The Siklós Branch of Renaissance Stone Carving Ltd. is the most important factory in Hungary's ornamental industry. The company is specialised in ornamental stone mining, marble floor cover manufacturing, special stone products, facade building, monuments, public spaces, public statues, fireplaces, steps, window sills and tombstones. The company runs two mines with an annual production of 2,000 cubic meters of yellow and green marble ingredients. These mines were already in use in the 1800s and the marble, mined here, has been built into several buildings in Hungary. 80 people work in the mines and workshops. Their greatest task now is the full replacement of the floor cover of the Hungarian Parliament, which has been made of Siklós marble. During privatisation the company went into the hands of Canadian and English proprietors and investors plan significant development in mine technology and processing. The volume of stone available here is enough for a long time, but the Company purchases raw material from several parts of the world and sells semi-finished material to provide quality products for customers. An annual quantity of 50,000m2 of floor cover tile is manufactured here, which can be increased according to demand.

The agricultural co-operative has been terminated, and works as a productive-service co-operative on the fields leased from the members. Private farmers or agricultural contractors work on fields acquired through compensation or purchased from the co-operative.

Before system change, commerce in the city was based on county-seat based commercial companies and local consuming and selling co-operatives. Now the supply comes from private contractors and companies. About 600 businesses are involved in commerce but big supermarket chains (SPAR, DÁLIA) also put their hands on it. Local services (construction, remedial, telecommunication technology remedial) are rendered by a small company and private contractors. About 100 people work in this field. Personal services as hairdressing, cosmetics are also delivered by private contractors. The quality of services is good, the number of hotel beds is 24, the number of rooms in private accommodation is 54.

The city has 4080 flats. The total length of drinking water network is 38 km providing water for 3995 households. All households have electricity. The total length of the city's canalisation system is 26.3 kilometres. The total length of asphalt covered roads is 32.5 km.

Today four primary schools work in the city (a Roman Catholic, a Presbyterian, and two public). All the schools are divided and specialised. The city's secondary school is the Táncsics Mihály Grammar and Technical School. Since 1995 an individual School of Music has been working in the city. Infants can choose from 3 kindergartens and a day nursery is available for the smallest. The number of children learning nationality languages in kindergarten (41 German) and primary schools is fairly high (451 German, 74 Croatian).

The library in the four primary schools has a total of 18,000 volumes including 160 written on a nationality language.

The city has 4 sports clubs. The Pelikán SC has a male handball team participating in National Championship NB T/B and a female handball team participating in National Championship NB II. Siklós FC has a football team participating in the 1st Class County Championship. Siklós SE specialises in judo and swimming, and the fourth club is the Siklós Chess Group. The most outstanding sports events in the city are Tenkes Cup International Chess Championship (every November, annually), Tenkes Cup Swimming Championship (June), Harkány Sprint Swimming Championship (September in co-operation with Harkány). Leisure sports: walking tours on the tourist routes of Villány Hills.

A public swimming pool is available for swimmers in Gábor Baross Street. A tennis court is available in the Hofbrau Leisure Centre in Gordisa Street. The surrounding lakes and huntsmen associations offer fishing and hunting facilities.

Siklós Summer is a regular programme in the city for several years. During the summer months art groups, folk ensembles, dance groups show their programs to the public here. The biannual International Brass Band Festival, concerts, open-air performances, permanent and temporary exhibitions attract crowds of visitors. Siklós is the home of the National Sebestyén Gerencsér Pottery Festival displaying the best artists' works. Cultural life in the city is directed and organised by the local Culture Centre. The city's permanent exhibitions are as follows: Paintings of Kálmán Istókovits in the City Gallery, The Medieval Museum of Stonework with Glove Exhibition in the Castle, Géza Bakó's Collection of Farmers' Tools on János Vajda square, and the Exhibition of Turkish Folklore in the mosque.

The City Library offers a great variety of collections: Several ten thousand volumes, daily papers, periodicals, records, video films are available for visitors. The Junior Library separated from the main collection has an important role in youngsters' education.

Siklós is the centre of art colonies in Baranya-county. The Baranya Artists' Camp is famous worldwide. Sculptors' and ceramics' symposiums, organised here, are visited by artists from all over the world. Without the Artists' Colony's contribution the city would not have sculptures and artistic works (relieves, embossments etc.) in such a big number.

The population has diverse interests for religion. The majority is Catholic but the number of Presbyterians is also large. Religious ceremonies and services are visited in a great number. Churches in Siklós were built in the 17th-18th centuries. Evengelists keep their ceremonies in houses of God. Before the Second World War the number of Jewish was large, they had a separate synagogue and school in the city.

Community life looks back to a long tradition in Siklós. Loval residents led an active social life especially during winter. Almost every social class formed a society. Churches, intelligence and tradesmen grouped into a society. Catholic, Presbyterian, Jewish women's societies and singing choirs were formed. The gypsies founded two societies. During the period of dualism 37 societies were formed in Siklós. Civil society looks back to a long history. Today the Friends of Castle and Museums Society and the Pensioners' Club are the most active. The so-called "friendly societies" are in full blossom now.

Following Pécs, Siklós was the second city to have a local press and printing house in Baranya. "Siklós and Vicinity" was the first paper to come out, bearing the subtitle "a public and belletristic paper for general interest" which was a very informative definition for the paper's profile. The editor's and publisher's office were seated in Siklós, the paper was printed in Harangozó and Pandurovits' Printing House. Charles Rédei a school headmaster was the paper's editor in chief and publisher. Due to financial difficulties, the publishing of the paper ceased in the 1930s. The city's present paper was restarted in 1980.

Siklós was making large efforts to establish good neighbourhood relations every time in its history. As Siklós is situated near the border, the city established its first sister city connection with Donji Mihojlac a Yugoslavian city also situated at the border. This connection is still a living one. Following the system change, new relations were established with Fellbach and Aiud. This is the third occasion when teachers and students in Siklós have visited their fellows in Aiud and vice-versa. It is a pity that the earlier "Old Castles, Young Cities" annual meeting has ceased. Majors and residents of six newly born cities with a castle were meeting regularly in this program. Although the city is small, it is full of sights. The following list of the monuments of Siklós is far from being complete: The Castle, an Augustine, later a Franciscan Catholic Church including renovated wall-paints and Baroque altar pictures, a former Franciscan Church, an artists' workshop in the Baranya Artists' Colony with artworks open for the public, a Presbyterian and a Greek Catholic Church (with a nicely ornamented iconostas), Malkocs Bey's Mosque with an exhoibition of Turkish folklore and a Franciscan Church in Máriagyűd.

The city hosts several popular programs - International Brass Band Festival, Castle Festival (both are held biannually), Tenkes Days (quadrennial), Autumn Festival (annually in October), ART-Siklós Festival (annually), Siklós Summer Festival (annually).

All these facts mentioned - the city's climate, monuments, the proximity of Harkány and Villány - predestine Siklós to become South Baranya's tourist centre.