Baja (pronounced bayah) is a city in southern Hungary. It is the second largest city in Bács-Kiskun county after the county seat Kecskemét.
The city's nameThe city's name comes from an old noble family name; the Baja family was the first proprietor of this area. The name means "bull".
Locationis located about 150 km south of Budapest and 108 km southwest of Kecskemét, at the crossing of Road 55 and Road 51, on the river Danube. Baja's main river is Sugovica (also called Kamarás-Duna).
DemographicsAs of 2001, the city has 38,143 residents:93,5% Hungarians2,7% Germans1,3% Croatians0,4% Serbians0,1% Slovaks and
- 0,5% Roma
- 6,1% other
HistoryThe city is first mentioned in 1308. During the Turkish Conquest in the 16th and 17th centuries it was the official center for the region (nahije) and it possessed a fortification. This era saw the immigration of Bunjevci and Serbs into the town. There was also an active Fransiscan mission with monks from Bosnia.
When Hungary was a part of the Habsburg Empire, the city was also settled by Germans and Hungarians alongside some Jews. Due to its location on the Danube, it became a transportation and commercial hub for the region. This was where grain and wine was loaded onto boats to be transported upriver to Austria and Germany. Until 1765, the inhabitants belonged to three nations; the Dalmatians (Bunjevci), the Germans and the Serbs. Following this, according to a government decree the Natio Dalmatica was changed into the Natio Hungarica, but even in 1768, the elected mayor swore the oath in the Croatian language in the Franciscan Church.
In 1699, Baja was Bács county's most 'industrialised' city.In the 19th century Baja it became a minor railway hub, but its importance declined as the railway to Fiume (today: Rijeka) was built in order to get Hungarian grain seaborne. The city was still a commercial and service center for the region.
After World War I, Serbs occupied the city. After they left, the city became the capital of the reduced county of Bács-Bodrog. (See Treaty of Trianon.) Following World War II, the city became known for its textile mill and the bridge over the Danube. Its importance is still evident as people from the Bácska region of Hungary come for higher education, government and business services.
Historical populationto 1715 data, the population of Baja numbered 237 houses, of which 216 were South Slavic (Serb and Bunjevac), 16 Hungarian, and 5 German.
Population between 1870-2001:<table border="1"><tr><td><b>Year</b></td><td>1870</td><td>1900</td><td>1920</td><td>1941</td><td>1970</td><td>2005 est.</td></tr><tr><td><b>Population</b></td><td>21 248</td><td>23 681</td><td>22 522</td><td>32 084</td><td>34 689</td><td>37 153</td></tr><tr><td><b>Density</b></td><td> </td> <td> </td><td> </td><td> </td><td> </td><td>209,2/km<sup>2</sup></td></tr></table>
TourismTourists should visit one of the museums and art galleries in the city, taste the finest fish soup in a restaurant, or have a rest at the beach (Sugovica Beach, free).Baja is an ideal place to start discovering southern Hungary; for example, it's close to the Gemenc forest (see http://www.bajabela.sulinet.hu/okp/kornyek/gemenc.htm or http://www.gemenc.hu). Baja is the best place for fishing of course. Discover the universe from the Observatory.(http://www.bajaobs.hu/)
<!-- has to be be moved to WikiTRavel // Hotels
- Hotel Duna *** (room service, TV, Internet access, fax, printing, 24h reception, wellness center, restaurant, drink bar, 53 rooms). For more information, see http://hotelduna.hu/index.php?aktualNyelv=english
- Hotel Sugovica*** (Prices $US 35 to $US 58, telephone, television, bar, restaurant, parking, ports).
- Akva Hotel&Camping (8 rooms, next to the Danube).
- Hotel Ba-Na-Ra (restaurant, garage&parking, television, max. 66 guests)
Culture and educationThere are 15 churches in the city. Baja's library (Ady Endre Városi Könyvtár) has a very large collection of books made before the 18th century.
Baja has a railway station, a small airport, and a bridge across the Danube. Baja's 220 years old hospital serves about 100,000 people.
German centreThe MNÁMK (Magyarországi Németek Általános Művelődési Központja; English: General Cultivation Center of Germans Living in Hungary) is internationally respected for providing German education for the German minority living in Bácska, and in Hungary. Students get up-to-date education with modern tools useing their mother tongue.
The Endre Ady LibraryBaja's library got its name from the famous Hungarian poet, Endre Ady. The library's building used to be Baja's synagogue. The building was offered by the city's Jewish community. The Holocaust memorial stands in the synagogue's garden.
The library's "Ancient book" collection includes 4,352 volumes, and a lot more writing, because many of the volumes are collectives (for example, one of them contains 17 writings). The library has three incunabulums.
Famous people from Baja
- Lázár Mészáros, Hungary's first Minister of War;
- Kálmán Tóth, famous poet;
- István Türr, Garibaldi's general.
- József Bayer, member of MTA
- Jenő Ernst, doctor, biologist, member of MTA
- Dénes Jánossy, mailing member of MTA
- András Jelky, a man who travelled around the world in a strange way (1730-1783)
- Dezső Miskolczy, respected explorer of the mental disease, member of MTA
- Emma Sándor, composer, wife of Zoltán Kodály
- Ede Telcs, sculptor
Twin townsBaja is twinned with:Argentan, FranceSombor, Serbia and MontenegroWaiblingen, GermanyThisted, Denmark
- Nemzeti és etnikai kisebségek Magyarországon, Budapest 1998
- Központi Statisztikai Hivatal
- Baja, river of Sugovica (username: sugo ; password: baja) - http://220.127.116.11:82/view/view.shtml
- Baja, Holy Trinity Square (currently under reconstruction) (username: beke ; password: baja) - http://18.104.22.168:15628/view/view.shtml
- Baja, Danube bridge (username: duna ; password: baja) - http://mail.adukovizig.hu:15628/view/view.shtml
Cities, towns and villages in HungaryCities, towns and
villages in Bács-Kiskun countyBačka
Duna Wellness Hotel ***, Baja
Malom Club Panzió, Étterem, Baja