Theme Week Hungary – Nyíregyháza

Friday, 24 September 2021 - 12:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
Reading Time:  6 minutes

Town Hall on Main Square © David Sallay

Town Hall on Main Square © David Sallay

Nyíregyháza is a city in northeastern Hungary and the county capital of Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg. With a population of 118,001, it is the seventh-largest city in Hungary and the largest in Northern Hungary and the northern part of the Great Hungarian Plain (Alföld). Its development has been ongoing since the 18th century, making it the economic and cultural center of the region. Nyíregyháza Zoo, with over 500 species, is recognized throughout Europe. From the 1960s, the city grew and developed quickly. Today, Nyíregyháza is one of the most prosperous cities in Hungary, serving as both a center of education and a popular tourist destination. After the fall of Communism, several foreign-owned companies appeared in the city. In the early 2000s, the largest employers were Hübner Flextronics Ltd. and Hirsch’s, but during the period of economic recession, many companies eliminated several thousand jobs. Today, the largest public companies are the Lego Manufacturing Kft. and the Michelin Hungaria Abroncsgyártó Kft., providing employment for about 3,000 people.

Nyíregyháza is located in Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County in the northern Plain region (Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg county, Hajdú-Bihar county, and Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok County). It is located in the center of Nyírség as an agricultural town. The boundaries of the city are often understood as a very broad frame, because generally the near suburbs are included in them. It is located at the intersections of routes 4, 41, 36, and 38, making the city easy to reach, lying at the crossroads to Sub-Carpathia and Transylvania.

Nyíregyháza Zoo © Szilas County Hall © Jozsef Rozsnyai/cc-by-sa-4.0 Main Street © PM Street view © Globetrotter19/cc-by-sa-3.0 Town Hall on Main Square © David Sallay Váci Mihály Municipal Cultural Centre © Jozsef Rozsnyai/cc-by-sa-4.0
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Váci Mihály Municipal Cultural Centre © Jozsef Rozsnyai/cc-by-sa-4.0
The first written mentions of Nyíregyháza date back to 1209, although it was then called simply Nyír (‘birch‘), after the Nyírség, the greater region in which the city lies. A source from 1326 mentions that by then the city already had a church, hence the second part of the name, egyház (meaning ‘church’). By the middle of the 15th century, the town had about 400 inhabitants. In the 16th century, during the Turkish occupation of Hungary, Nyíregyháza became deserted; it was resettled only in the 1630s-1640s.

After the War for Independence led by Prince Francis II Rákóczi, the town’s population increased. Most new settlers were Slovaks from the area of Békéscsaba. In 1786, Nyíregyháza was granted the right to hold four market days a year; by this time the town was the biggest in the county, with 7,500 inhabitants. In the early 19th century, Nyíregyháza was wealthy enough to secure freedom from its feudal lords, the Dessewffy and Károlyi families. During these prosperous years, the town got a new town hall, a hospital, several schools, and a restaurant by nearby Sóstó lake (“Salty Lake”).

The town’s inhabitants took an active part in the revolution and war for independence in 1848-49, and after the suppression of the revolution, several were imprisoned, among them the mayor, Márton Hatzel.

In the second half of the 19th century, Nyíregyháza became more and more urbanized, and in 1876, became the seat of Szabolcs County (now part of the larger integrated county Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg). In 1858, the railroad line reached Nyíregyháza; several new buildings were built, including a telegraph office, the main post office, and the theater. In 1911, the tramway network was complete. After the grim years of World War I, Nyíregyháza remained under Romanian occupation for ten months. Between the two world wars, the city celebrated the 100th anniversary of its independence from feudal landowners.

During World War II, Jews were used as forced laborers by Hungarians. After the German invasion, more than 6,000 of the city’s Jewish inhabitants were deported to Auschwitz. After the war, 2,000 Hungarians were sent to Soviet labor camps (colloquially called malenky robot, or “little work”). Several buildings were destroyed, too, including the Status Quo Synagogue, whose front wall was preserved and is now displayed in Nyíregyháza’s Jewish Cemetery. A monument in the memory of the holocaust victims was constructed in 2004.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on Nyíregyháza, Wikivoyage Nyíregyháza and Wikipedia Nyíregyháza. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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