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 Tolna [* ¤]
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Tolna

(County Tolna)

The town of Tolna had first been granted a coat-of-arms by King László V, but the related document issued in the mid-15th century got lost, and after the expulsion of the Turks no official renewal of the coat-of-arms took place. It must be noted that Tolna's 18th century seal already bore the main charges of today's armorial bearings, but at that time there were four buildings to be seen, in the order of a tower, a domed house, a tower and a domed house again.

Tolna's coat-of-arms is a shield erect, at base point party per fess azure and vert. In the field azure, in the middle chief a Maltese cross alaisé argent in pale. Under it a single-storeyed and single-windowed domed building argent, flanked on both sides by a single-windowed gate tower masoned with ashlars and crenellated with three merlons each, all argent. Both gates are open. Above the dome of the central building, at the height of the tower windows a Nativity star rayonnant argent. In the middle of the field vert a bar wavy argent. These are the charges borne on the town's 18th-century seal.

The coat-of-arms evokes the town's one thousand years of history. The towers symbolise that the settlement was already mentioned as Tolnavar in the 11th century, whereas documents often referred to its castle (castrum) until the end of the 17th century, when the retreating Turks burnt it down.

The ownership of Tolna was divided: part of the land was possessed by Hungarian kings and queens, while other pieces by high dignitaries of the country (the Marcalis) as well as by the church (the abbot of Tihany and the provost of Fehérvár).

The second tower in the coat-of-arms keeps the memory of the local heroes who died in the fights against the Mongol invaders and the Turkish conquerors. The tower also refers to the locals' participation in our wars of independence: during the war led by Rákóczi the Hungarian population either died or fled,and, in the two world wars the total number of casualties was about 1,000.

The domed building in the middle of the shield is a symbol of the town itself, which first had the status of villa, then of possessio, and in 1424 it was certainly a market town (oppidum), where a number of county assemblies were held (in 1347, 1350 etc). In the 15th century, in 1463, 1466 and 1501, even parliamentary sessions assembled at Tolna. It was here that the Hungarian army led by King Lajos II had its last recruiting station while advancing against the Turks.

The Nativity Star evokes religious life at Tolna. From the 11th century onwards it was an archdeaconry seat and obviously it had a church of its own with its priest paying a considerable sum of papal tithe. A monastery, possibly belonging to the Pauline monks was mentioned in 1488 by Ransanus, bishop at Lucera. During the Reformation many excellent preachers came to this place including Imre Eszéki Zigerius, Mihály Sztárai and István Szegedi Kis. The resettling that followed the expulsion of the Turks again resulted in a Roman Catholic majority.

The Maltese cross signifies that it was the archives of the Trinitarian convent at Fehérvár surviving the Turkish occupation as well that used to keep the greatest number of documents related to a two-century-long period of the town's history, namely from 1270 to 1469. On the basis of these documents the everyday life of the inhabitants of the past centuries, in many cases even the lives of individual persons can be reconstructed.

The green field callsattention to local agricultural production which has always been the main source of living for the inhabitants. In the 18th and 19th centuries the trade of agricultural produce was very important at Tolna. The model farms introduced silk-worm breeding, the breeding of good milking cows and big-bodied mangalica pigs as well as tobacco growing.

The silver wavy bar symbolises the Danube river. As early as the Roman times there was a river crossing place at Tolna and along the limes a strategic military station was established by the name of Alta Ripa. The town is first mentioned by the name Thelena in 1055, in the deed of foundation of the Abbey of Tihany. The word Thelena is likely to derive from the plural form of the Latin word telonium, meaning customs. At that time a customs house stood at this place and duties and tolls were collected in the port and at the ferry as well. The Danube was for many thousand years the vital element in the settlement' life, it was the main transport and military route as well as the main defence line. It used to be the chief source of living for many bargemen, fishermen, shipwrights, water-mill keepers as well as for many poor people until in the middle of the 19th century the big curve at Tolna was cut off from the river and then in 1894 the Tolna branch of the river eventually became backwaters.

Photos:

01. War Memorial

02. The Statue of Holy Trinity

03. Mihály Sztáray Secondary Grammar School

04. Festival Thelena – Benediction of New Bread

05. Festival Thelena

06. Tolna. City Hall.

07. Fishermen from Tolna.

08/1. Church at Tolna

08/2. A statue decorating the local church.

08. A view of Tolna

09. Deák House. A newly renovated building.