Here is another installment of the Small Town series. Today's country is Hungary. All of these small towns have 50,000 inhabitants or less. I will be covering 11 different towns in today's post. I have included as much as I can about each small town.
Ózd is a town in Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén county, Northern Hungary, 40 km (25 mi) from the county seat of Miskolc. Ózd is the second largest city in the county. The area has been inhabited since ancient times. The village of Ózd was first mentioned in 1272. The modern city came into being with the unification of the towns Ózd, Bolyok and Sajóvárkony during the socialist era of Hungary, when the northern part of the country was developed into a centre of heavy industry. Ózd has a large Roma population of 1,025 persons. Ózd is one of the poorest towns in Hungary.
Komló is a town in Baranya county, Hungary. The name of the settlement is derived from the local crop of hops (komló), an ingredient of beer. By the 18th century a depiction of this plant running up a support already featured on the herald of the town. The former village of Komló became a planned mining city during the socialist era. It was the second biggest mining centre in Hungary after Tatabánya. The area was inhabited by the Romans, the ruins of 2nd-century Roman villas were discovered during the laying of foundations for new buildings in the area (Mecsekjánosi, Körtvélyes). The existence of the once village is first mentioned in a charter from 1256 as 'villa Compleov', then part of the estates of the Pécsvárad Abbey. The small settlements that are part of Komló today were already inhabited during the Árpád Age (Kökönyös (Kwkenyes), Gadány-puszta (Gadan), Keményfalva (Kemefalua), Jánosi (Csépán), Mecsekfalu (Szopok), Kisbattyán (Battyan), Zobákpuszta (Zabaguy) and Sikonda (Sicund)). Komló was not deserted during the Turkish rule, however the population was very scant. After 1945, Komló was among those settlements whose expansion into a city was a somewhat forced affair directed by political decisions. A determining factor of its development was the role in coal mining. After more than 100 years of operation mining in the area ceased on 1 January 2000.
Mohács is a town in Baranya county, Hungary on the right bank of the Danube.Two famous battles took place there: 1) Battle of Mohács, 1526 2) Battle of Mohács, 1687. These battles represented the beginning and end, respectively, of the Ottoman domination of Hungary. In Roman times there was a camp on the banks of the Danube near Mohács. In the medieval Kingdom of Hungary, Mohács was part of the historical Baranya county, and during Ottoman rule it was the administrative seat of the Sanjak of Mohács, an Ottoman administrative unit. After the Habsburgs took the area from the Ottomans, Mohács was included in the restored Baranya county. In 1910, the population of the Mohács district numbered 56,909 people, of whom 21,951 spoke German, 20,699 Hungarian, 4,312 Serbian, and 421 Croatian. Another 9,600 inhabitants were listed as speaking "other languages" (presumably Bunjevac and Šokac).
Sárvár is a town in Hungary in Vas. The town has become a tourist centre of international renown. The most outstanding sights include: the arboretum (a nature reserve), the neo-Classical Lutheran church and the Roman Catholic church, the park forest and the Csónakázó (= Rowing) Lake. A new Thermal and Wellness bath of European standard was opened in 2002 awaiting visitors in pleasant surroundings. Sárvár's notable sights include the spa (with its famous medicinal water), a Baroque church, and an arboretum. A number of rarities of cultural remains are shown in the exhibition halls of the Ferenc Nádasdy Museum. During the Second World War, Sárvár was used as a centre for the internment for Polish soldiers who had arrived in Hungary in 1939. Later, during the Second World War, Sárvár was used as a concentration camp for the internment for thousands of Serb families expelled by Hungarian soldiers from their homes in northern Serbia in 1941. Now, there is a monument and graveyard for hundreds of Serbs who died in Sárvár concentration camp.
Through the Nádasdy family, the castle of Sárvár, now called Nádasdy Castle, played a significant role in the progress of Hungarian culture in the 16th and 17th centuries. The first Hungarian book, The New Testament of 1541, was printed here. The knight's hall of the castle is decorated with the battle scenes of Lord Chief Justice Ferenc Nádasdy (married to the notorious Elizabeth Báthory) and with scenes from the Old Testament.
The Nádasdy Castle and estate later became a property of the kings of Bavaria, and the former King Ludwig III died there in 1921, three years after being deposed. During the Second World War, the castle was used as the retreat of Ludwig's grandson Prince Albert of Bavaria.
Budakeszi- 13,248 inhabitants
Budakeszi is a town in Pest County, in the Budapest metropolitan area, Hungary. It is located beyond the János Hill at the western city limits of Budapest, about 12 km (7 mi) west of the Zero Kilometre Stone in the city centre. A popular recreational area, the landscape is characterized by forests, predominantly oaks, by vineyards and by orchards. The settlement in the Kingdom of Hungary was first mentioned about 1270, it was completely devastated during the Ottoman Siege of Buda in 1541. In the aftermath of the Ottoman defeat at the 1683 Battle of Vienna, the depopulated area was re-settled with "Danube Swabian" (most of them actually descending from Lorraine, the Palatinate and Alsace) immigrants by the order of the Habsburg King Leopold I. Budakeszi was for centuries a predominantly "Schwabian" (ethnic German) village.
After World War II Budakeszi's history was influenced by the deportation of its ethnic German population according to Article 12 of the 1945 Potsdam Agreement. Though the expulsion was ordered under pressure of the Soviet forces, many Hungarians relished in the humiliation of ethnic Germans throughout the region and collectively took part in organized, forced deportations of German-speaking citizens to Germany proper. Most of these expellees had never been to Germany before, as even their great-grand parents had been born in Hungary. Budakeszi lost a great number of its citizens due to the above and the vacuum was later filled with the settlement of families from other regions, such as Transylvania.
Csorna- 10,825 inhabitants
Csorna is a town in Győr-Moson-Sopron county, Hungary. Csorna is located near the Fertő-Hanság National Park. There are two districts in the town: the Földsziget and the Csatárimajor. Jews first settled in the town in the second half of the 18th century, at the invitation of the estate owner, count Eszterhazy. The majority were engaged in commerce, while there were some industrialists. The community was organized in 1853. the synagogue was built in 1854 and enlarged in 1884. because of differences between haredim and maskilim (reformer) at the Jewish congress in 1868, the community affiliated with the orthodox stream (which refused to accept the decisions of congress). In 1885 land was obtained for a cemetery and a Khevra Kadisha was established. There were also a school, Talmud Torah and charitable institutions. In World War I 19 Jews fell in action. During the period of the "White Terror" (1919–21) one Jew was murdered. In 1930 the community numbered 795 Jews.
In 1941 Jewish males were conscripted for forced labour (work on fortifications and in services together with other Hungarian citizens whom the authorities would not permit to join the armed forces). In May 1944 a ghetto was set up in Csorna, in which the Jews from the surrounding area were also confined. They were sent on foot and in carts, often for long distances. On 18 June they were all sent to the ghetto in Sopron, and on 5 July they were transported to Auschwitz. In April 1945 Jewish workers from a forced labour unit at the extermination camp at Balf were brought to the municipal hospital in Csorna. They were wounded, having been shot by members of the S.S. and men of Szalasi's "Arrow Cross" fascist party. They all died and were buried in the Jewish cemetery. After the war, some tens of survivors returned who renewed communal life. In 1955 there were 70 Jews in the area, including 22 children born after the war.
Ráckeve- 9,229 inhabitants
Ráckeve is a town on Csepel Island in the county of Pest County, Hungary. Its residents are Magyars, with minority of Serbs. The Serbian Kovin Monastery, the oldest in Hungary and one of two in the Diocese of Buda of the Serbian Orthodox Church, was built in 1487 in the centre of Ráckeve. Also in central Ráckeve is the Savoy Castle of Prince Eugene of Savoy, built in the baroque style in 1702–50. After the Árpád dynasty was established, the region of today's Ráckeve belonged to the Hungarian king. In the Middle Ages, there was a settlement here called Ábrahámtelke, and also a monastery built in the 12th century, mentioned in official document in 1212 the first time. In the 15th century many Serb refugees came from the South, fleeing the invasions of the Ottoman Turks. In this time, the settlement was called Kiskeue, that is to say "Kiskeve" in modern Hungarian. Kiskeve means "Little Keve" in English, and the Serbs in the town called it Mali Kovin = "Lesser Kovin", or Gornji Kovin ("Upper Kovin") in contrast with the name of other Kovin (Donji Kovin / "Lower Kovin") in the South, where the Serbs had fled from.In the 16th century, Ráckeve was a respectable mercantile town. The Calvinist variant of Reformation was spread in the town by Szegedi Kis István.
In 1541, the town fell under Ottoman rule, and most of its population fled towards North. Many Serbs who used to live in the town settled in Győr and Komárom. Those who stayed in the town elected a "duke" called Đurđe (1543–46). In 1567, the town was populated by (mostly Calvinist) Hungarians and Serbs. In 1698, after the expulsion of the Turkish, the whole of Csepel Island (Csepel-sziget), and thus Ráckeve too, became the land of the victorious Prince Eugene of Savoy. The new landlord had his mansion built in this settlement; it can be visited by prior appointment. In the 18th century, the arrival of German settlers increased the number of inhabitants in the town. Thus the settlement became a tri-ethnic location with Hungarians, Serbs and Germans. Their descendants still refer to the place as Srpski Kovin or Ratzenmarkt.The end of the 19th century, the Millennium period represented a great upswing in the life of the town. At that time, the original wooden bridge was replaced by a permanent iron bridge and the decision was taken to build a new town hall, which was later erected in the Secession style on the site of the original. A renowned angling paradise, Angelic Island divides the Danube branch here. The holiday resort areas have been developed in the 1970s, at the same time the hot water spa and lido were also established. City status was granted again to Ráckeve in 1984.
Ibrány- 6,880 inhabitants
Ibrány is a town in Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg county, in the Northern Great Plain region of eastern Hungary.
Fonyód- 5,199 inhabitants
Fonyódis a town and holiday resort on the southern shore of Lake Balaton, in north-west Somogy, western Hungary. It is the seat of Fonyód District. The first mention of Fonyód was in a letter of Saint Ladislaus from 1082, as the village Funoldi. In 1232, the village was included into the lands of the Tihany Abbey. Maps from the 14th century show Fonyód as an island (with Balaton being larger), with a castle. The castle was occupied and destroyed in 1575 during the Turkish invasion, with no one living in the village by 1580. After the Turkish occupation, Fonyód remained uninhabited until the 19th century. The construction of a railway around Lake Balaton greatly contributed to the village's development. By 1900, Fonyód had become a holiday resort, and by 1910 over a thousand visitors were arriving each year. Fonyód attained town status in 1989.
Körösladány- 5,006 inhabitants
Körösladány is a town in Békés County, in the Southern Great Plain region of south-east Hungary. Béla Wenckheim, a Hungarian politician, who served as the Prime Minister of Hungary in 1875, was born here.