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Balmazújváros

phone district code:
52
population:
17752 person
area:
20545 km2
Balmazújváros (1)
Balmazújváros (1)
Balmazújváros (2)

The town can be approched by turning off Route 33- at a point 55km from Tiszafüred, 24 km via Debrecen. As for tourism, the thermal spa and open-air bath are interest. The pools are filled by a thermal spring, the waters of which were declared to have medicinal properties. The economy of the town has been dominated by agriculture for centuries. At the turn of the millenium it is characterised by a great variety of ventures each employing a small number of workers. The local authority seeks to recommend the town to those wishing to invest through well-known but barely exploited means of the adminitrative field: for those planning to invest in industry there is an area available for entrepreneurs to the east and north-east of the town; the town has optimal conditions of investment in the tourist industry. Hortobágy National Park, declared to become part of the World Heritage, and the thermal spa at the center of the town are two most important attactions offerig oppotunities for ecotourism and tourism for medical purposes.

In the center of the town, standing in the eastern side of the Kossuth square is the Roman catholic church, which is an ancient monument and was built between 1781 and 1786 in baroque style during the occupation of the Andrássys. Its furnishing is also of Baroque style. The church was sanctified by Károly Esterházy, the bishop of Eger in 1788. In 1796 the new landowner, András Semsey commended the church the altar-piece entitled "The Ascension of Christ", painted by the Batavian painter Hubert Maurer in the early 1800's, which has been an adornment of the church ever since. There are three altars in the sanctuary: the high altar, the side altar and the front officiating altar. The painting above the side altar depicts the moment when Saint Stephen, the first king of Hungary offers the crown to the Blessed Virgin, the mother of Jesus. The font, above which the baptizing of Jesus can be seen counts as an aesthetic artwork. Also belonging to the church is the organ on the choir ant the three different sized bells in the tower.

The larger, Hungarian Calvinist church in the southern part of Kossuth square is also an ancient monument. The foundation-stone of this late Baroque style church was laid in 1804.  The construction of this church was finished by 1816, while its steeple was finished by 1835, and it was sanctified only in 1844. Its monumental interior reflects the puritan simplicity of the Calvinists. The pulpit dates from 1813, the Moses-chair and the Lord's table were made of nut-wood. Its two manual mechanic organ which has fifteen registers was made in 1856. Since the summer of 1999, there has been a 3 manual Johannus organ with 82 registers on the southern chancel, which is available for giving concerts. The church is 51 meters high, the two bells are electrically controlled. The church clocks have been operating since 1998, they are electromagnetically controlled. There are two bells in the steeple. The benches in the church are heated from the bottom, therefore divine worship is held there in winter as well. The new modern clergy-house, congregational house was built in 1987.

The Germans settled in Balmazújváros in the 1760s. In 1766 they received the permission from the bishop of the trans Tisza region to organize public worshipping in the Calvinist church. They built their own chapel in 1793, it became an independent congregation in 1801. In 1799 they built a church to the place of the chapel, and two years later the belfry was also finished. Today's "Germantown" church was built in late-Baroque style in 1892. The interior of the church follows the German evangelic prefiguration, where the pulpit-altar are separated. Its organ was made in 1894, and can be used even today. The renovation of the exterior was carried out in the summer of 2001.

In the center of the town, in 2 Debreceni street is the classicist single-floored Semsey curia. Construction plans and other documents related to designing have not prevailed, thus the date of accomplishment can only be judged by the style of the construction. The castle is dated from 1840. Originally- similarly to the contemporary country-house building customs, it had an entry only from the direction of the park and the courtyard. The front gate, standing on four stone columns is surrounded by an elegant iron railing. Its floor is covered with pink Sütt? marble, its low ceiling is a large terrace which can be reached from upstairs. Today the main entrance is from Debreceni street. On this façade, above four ion columns rests an accentuated projection tympanum, in the center of which an empty coat of arms stands in a stone coronary. In the past years the curia has accomplished functions derogatory to both its rank and value. Today it is a furniture-warehouse. There is an enormous arched system of cellars under the castle. With a height of approximately five meters, these interior rooms on the ground floor are convent-, or cloister coomb-ceiled, while the upstairs rooms have flat ceilings. Most of the doors between the rooms have been detached.

The Andor Semsey Museum - which used to be a catholic advowee school - was built in provincial style next to the catholic church, in front of the Semsey curia in 1889. The mandator of the building and also the denominator was Andor Semsey, one of the greatest Maecenae of Hungarian science and culture. It operated as a school from 1890 to the beginning of the 1970's, it has been the town museum since 1974. Its enouncement as an ancient monument is in progress. In its permanent exhibition one can trace back the history of one of the most ancient Hungarian family, the Semseys from 1247 to present times, visitors have an opportunity to look into the history of our town, may get acquainted with the ethnography of the region, there is a spectacular diorama which illustrates the flora and fauna of the Hortobágy. In its courtyard one can see the original limestone base of the Kossuth statue erected on 15 March 1898, which was made by Antal Gerenday and his son, while the statue-copy was made by Elek Szabó. The authentic bronze creation can be found in the imposing park in the town center. 

A building significant of  townscape perspective is the townhall, built according to the plans of Pál Paulovics in 1909. It was built in eclectic style and was inaugurated in 1911. It stands in the place of the old, single-floored town-hall. On its façade is a colorful town coat of arms made of  the shape of the supposedly Tatarian-age seal. The bustard standing in blue background on a green base is a symbol of freedom, the three wheatears it holds in its legs - "life", according to the archaic denotation - refers to the residents' traditional occupation, agriculture, which is the main source of income. There is a modern wood construction, bronze-covered concamerated wedding hall, which sometimes gives home to concerts.

In the church garden - opposite the castle - there is a statue of  Saint János Nepomuki, the patron saint of bridges and the martyr of the confession. It was made in 1829 of soft sandstone. The statue used to stand in front of the wooden bridge that bent over the Kadarcs-course- now it drains water off the swimming pool.

The town was among the first ones to erect a statue to commemorate Lajos Kossuth. The statue, erected on 15 March, 1898, is now in its fourth place - the northern side of the square. The bronze bust which was made by György Kiss in the previous century and depicts the elderly Kossuth stands on a roller-shaped marble base. The original limestone base adorns the garden of the Andor Semsey museum.

Next to the Kossuth statue and on the same base is the statue made by István Kiss, a Kossuth-prized sculptor. This in fact is an agrarian socialistic group of statues, which were erected on 9 April 1988. It consists of three life-sized figures (worker, peasant, and intellectual).

In the center of the park there is an artwork of Hondromatidisz Rigasz, a sculptress of Greek origin who lived in Debrecen for a long time, and died young. The sculpture is a feminine figure made of limestone. Her head is bowed and she holds a flower in her arms. The monument commemorates the war dead of World War II. The sculpture is surrounded by cast-stone postaments in a semi-circle in which the names of the victims had been carved. The center marble board reads: "Those who die are not the ones who are buried but those who are forgotten."

In the Kossuth square, almost in the center of the square is the artwork of Lajos Rápolty the monument which was erected in 1943 and commemorates World War I.  and II. The approximately sesquaialterous life-sized cast-stone soldier figure holds a bayonet-rifle in his left hand and blows an "alarm horn", thus depicting the idea of preparation for a new (WW II) war. Behind this figure, on a six meters high cast-stone column - on the side of which the names of the heroic dead are written, - there is an eagle (turul) with its wings expanded.

In the southeastern tip of the main square, right of the entrance of the Veres Péter General Community Centre is the sitting figure of  Péter Veres. The creation of Árpád Somogyi was inaugurated in 1972, on the 75th anniversary of the writer's birthday. A native of the village, this great figure of Hungarian literature is depicted in a rigid, recoiled attitude, which was not a characteristic of his dinamic nature.

Through the old park of the Semsey castle is the three hectares big thermal baths and open-air bath. The two hotwater and one coldwater wells supply six pools. From the 1180 meters deep wells 61 C hot water reaches the surface. The Country Health-resort and Spa Office certified the water of the wells medicinal water in 21 February 1994. Medical examinations prooved the beneficial effects of the water to patients suffering from arthritis. As a result of the new development phase, accepted in the summer of 2002 three new pools were created which serve sporting and fun elements.

Another sight worth visiting in the town is the Veres Péter Memorial House. This is where the writer lived and worked until the end of World War II. It now functions as a literary monument and museum. The exhibition in the old house - it was built in the beginning of the nineteenth century - the writer's personal items, letters, and works are shown in the original surroundings, thus illustrating his life and work.

In the town there is a great tradition of respecting the past, preserving and cherishing values. Thanks to the revival of  traditions, the old reading circles are alive again. The Rákóczi Reading Circle and the 48th Reading Circle provide ground for entertainment, culture and community life. The folk circles has played a significant role in the town's life. As for the future, they are given an important role at the Town Cultural Days as locale, cooking facility, and of course as presenters, since both reading circles have their own choirs.

Rákóczi Reading Circle: It was founded in 1905. The present building was established in 1924 from the members' bestowments. During the two wars, it was called "Small Circle". It was named after II Ferenc Rákóczi in the coalition times. It was concorporated by the Hungarian Workers' Party in 1949, from 1954 it has had its original name, and operated according to its original function. Its "golden age" was from 1936 to 1942, when the number of its mebers rose to 150. In the past five years we organized the Nation-wide Meeting of Reading Circles twice with the 48th Reading Circle, where more than three hundred guests were accommodated. At present there are 170 members. Their major goal is preserving and cherishing traditions, organizing high-standard balls, improving the town's cultural life and also improving cultural acquaintance with the help of lectures, books and journals. 

48th Reading Circle: One hundred years ago, in the place of today's Árpád street, in Third street then in being, there was a small, shingle-roofed house. Even back then, whith its yellow walls, it was different from the other reed-thatched houses. It was founded on 9 September 1895. It was originally called "Downstreet Independence and 48th Reading  Society of Balmazújváros. " In the course of the past hundred years, it stopped operating for longer periods five times. Two times due to wars, and on three occasions it was the ruling political system which tried to ban operation. Most of the reading circles in Balmazújváros became legally working societies only at the end of the 1920's. After a long torture to gain allowance, it received its permission on 28 February 1930, after several rejected and modified founding principles and name changes. The new, official appellation was "Independence and 48th Reading Society". The circle was shut down on 8 September 1949, faintly referring to a decree ordered by the minister of the interior. It had to be given over to the local collective farm. This is where the crops were stored. A government decree set back the old authorities, but our circles, except for one, had fallen into decay by then. In 1988 they wanted to pull down the building, but with the help of the local self-government, it waas given back to the re-established circle. On 16 March, 1988 court records were also made. The circle nowadays counts approximately 250 members, it operates as a non-profit civil organisation. It has its own folk-song choir, folk dancers and pensioner's club, who regularly participate in town organizations.