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 Szeghalom [¤]
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Szeghalom

(The County of Békés)

The new (recent) coat-of-arms of Szeghalom was finally adopted in 1991, after the original one had been redesigned several times and used periodically.

The two fish naiant and counter naiant in pale is the only motif that has been kept from the old coat-of-arms. The tincture of the shield (azure) can also be regarded as original.

The two barrulets wavy argent in the base symbolise the two rivers that flow in the vicinity of the settlement.

The triangle-shaped field vert in the base refers to agriculture, while the form of the shield is reminiscent of the Nadányi coat-of-arms.

The historical coat-of-arms bears a fish in a field azure. Originally the fish was the heraldic charge of the Barsa clan, then it was taken over by the Nadányis before it appeared in Szeghalom's coat-of-arms. Some say that it symbolised the rivers Sebes Körös and Berettyó, but this is unlikely because at that time the Berettyó did not flow here.

The two dragons supporting the shield azure come from the coat-of-arms of the Nadányi family, the landowners of Szeghalom. This motif originates in the fact that one of their descendants, Márk Zsigmond I, took part in a military campaign in Italy, where he was awarded with the Dragon Prize. The coronet refers to the nobiliary origin of the landowning families.

Szeghalom is the capital city of the region called Sárrét. It is situated at the meeting point of the regions Nagy- (Greater) and Kis- (Smaller) Sárrét, near the confluence of the rivers Berettyó and Sebes-Körös. Due to the regulation of the rivers, the one-time waterworld has by now disappeared, but the untouched backwaters are still offering excellent opportunities for the exploration of Nature.

The town can easily be approached from a variety of directions both by rail and on the road, and the 47 trunk road also passes through the settlement.

Szeghalom has been inhabited for about 7,000 years; its first written mention goes back to 1067. According to the deed of foundation of the monastery of Százd, it was Bailiff Peter who bestowed the village on the monastery. Szeghalom is likely to be the oldest Árpádian-age settlement in the county of Békés, since the chronicler Anonymus in his Gesta Hungarorum relates that "the riders of Chiefs Tas and Szabolcs, on arriving from the direction of the marshes of Szerep, wanted to cross the River Körös at Szeghalom (Zeguholmu)."

Szeghalom was a market town from the late 15th century onwards, then during the Turkish occupation it got into the possession of the Nadányi family. Permanent settling-in took place in 1711, and the town soon became the second most populous settlement of the county. As early as in 1715, the purely Hungarian Calvinist population built a school and a church, then between 1784-94 the present-day church was also erected. About two hundreds youths from Szeghalom participated in the war of independence of 1848-9.

It was in 1854 that the regulation of the rivers Sebes-Körös and Berettyó began. In 1891 Gyoma and Nagyvárad got linked by rail and the line went through Szeghalom as well, creating the opportunity for the town's further development. This progress was terminated by the first world war and by the consequences of the Trianon peace treaty. On the other hand, local constructions started, and the buildings of the post office and the courthouse were soon completed. Using the inheritance of the peasant baron, András Péter, in 1926 the local secondary grammar school was opened, which was to become the driving force of the settlement's future intellectual life.

Following the second world war, Szeghalom took the first steps toward gaining the status of town, the stages of which included the industrialisation of the 1960s, and the building of housing estates as well as of public buildings in the 1970s. Owing to this development, in 1984 Szeghalom was raised to the rank of town, although it was only the 1990s, the period following the changing of the political system, that witnessed a considerable improvement in the town's infrastructure.

The majority of the population in this town of 11,000 primarily make their living out of agriculture, but today the local entrepreneurs also play an increasingly important role in the economy by absorbing the free labour capacity and by offering a variety of services.

The most important sights of Szeghalom include the previously mentioned Calvinist church and its surroundings with the Kossuth statue, the Sárrét Museum, which is housed in the historical building of the former Simay kindergarten, the D'Orsay mansion, at present under reconstruction, and the Catholic church with a belfry next to it. The town can boast a number of public statues, many of which are works by famous sculptors (e.g. Agamemnon Makrisz). The secondary grammar school, founded in 1926, which bears the name of the donator András Péter, as well as Szeghalom's Endre Szigeti Vocational Secondary School have a profound effect on the whole of the Sárrét region.

Local accommodation is offered by a student hostel and a camp site (next to Puszta Csárda), the capacity of which is being expanded now. Restaurants serving hot meals are also available; the Alma Mater and the Puszta Csárda are the best known.

Szeghalom is proud of its former residents; Zoltán Tildy, the one-time local clergyman, who later became the president of Hungary, and the numerous renowned teachers and famous pupils of the grammar school, who still lovingly remember their alma mater and help it with their donations.

In addition to the ambitions with which Sárrét's capital contributes to its present development and builds its future, Szeghalom worthily cherishes the financial and intellectual wealth accumulated in the past. At the same time, the town is also delighted in sharing this wealth with its guests and visitors.

E-mail: ssandor@egon.gyaloglo.hu

Pictures:

1. War memorial with a pleasure boat in the front

2. The bridge over the Berettyó

3. Bell cage