Barcs (German: Draustadt, Croatian: Barča) is a town in Somogy
county, the seat of the Barcs district. It is located in the natural
center of the Barcs district, next to the Croatian border and the
Drava River. The city is located in the Danube-Drava National Park.
From the more distant parts of the country, it is most easily accessible on the main roads 6 and 68 (the end of the former road is here, a border crossing to Croatia, on the other side of the border is the settlement of Trézenföld). Road 6623 connects with the Zselic area and road 6801 with Berzence.
It is currently only available by rail on the Gyékényes – Pécs railway line. Traffic on other railway lines that previously affected the city (towards Kaposvár, Nagyatád and Sellye-Harkány-Villány, Croatia) ceased.
The name of Barcs was first mentioned in the diplomas
between 1389-1417, when it belonged to the Seges estate. The castle
was first mentioned in 1460, when it was owned by János and István
Bakonyai. In 1467 the Marczali family had the right of landlord
here. In 1472 the castle was owned by Gergely Gáji Horváth. In 1480,
after the death of István Bakonyai without an heir, he received a
royal donation from Peter the Transylvanian provost, royal secret
chancellor and treasurer of Orbán Nagylucsei, as well as Peter's
brothers, Balázs Nagylucsei and János. In 1489, Orbán Nagylucsei was
the bishop of Eger. In 1495 it was donated by members of the Báthori
family. According to the tax register of 1550, it was owned by
András Báthori. It was included in the Turkish treasury head tax
register of 1565-1566 with 46 houses. In 1598-1599 it was recorded
as the property of Ferenc Nádasdy. In 1660, it was included in the
list of St. George's Castle in the Pannonhalma Archabbey's tithe
register. In the winter of 1664, as Miklós Zrínyi's armies
approached, the Turks left the castle, and Zrinyi burned the castle.
In 1677, Archbishop György Széchenyi of Kalocsa, the governor of the
bishopric of Győr, received a donation from King Lipót I. In
1715-1733, the Count Széchenyi family became the landlord. In 1835
it belonged to the Csokonya (Erdőcsokonya) estate. At the beginning
of the 20th century, the heirs of Count Imre Széchenyi had a larger
In the autumn of 1848, when Jellasich's Croatian Ban armies invaded Hungary, a group of border guards began firing at the locality. One of the cannonballs was visible in the wall of a Roman Catholic church even in the early 20th century. The Croats camped here for a few weeks, until finally, as the troops approached, the Croats ran across the Drava.
In 1857 a large fire destroyed the settlement.
Bajcsy-Zsilinszky Endre u. No.
155 is the city’s oldest building, a classicist-style former tobacco
and salt depot built in the early 1800s, which is now a listed
residential building. The building, originally intended as a port
warehouse, was installed on the banks of the then meandering Drava.
At the beginning of the 20th century, it belonged to the Barcs district of Somogy county. In 1910, out of 6,415 inhabitants, 4,529 were Hungarians, 1,477 Germans and 238 Croats. Of these, 5,314 were Roman Catholics, 289 were Reformed, and 659 were Israelis.
The village came under Serbian occupation in 1918, the new South Slavic state demanded it, but although sentenced to Hungary in Trianon, the South Slavic troops did not evacuate it for 33 months, for a few months it became part of the Serbian puppet state of Baranya-Baja.
From the 1870s onwards, Barcs began to develop rapidly, but Trianon broke that momentum. After the First World War, light industry, mainly processing agricultural crops, started to grow: in addition to brick factories, leather factories, wood and flax processing plants, pig fattening and slaughterhouses, dairies and cheese factories, and distilleries were built in the settlement. During this period, the construction of the electricity network also began, and the village grew due to the addition of the Drávapálfalva in 1928.
The post-World War II land redistribution gave the Barcs people new hopes, but these were soon shattered by the Soviet occupation and the new economic system that followed. The structure of the industry has also changed, and since then the production of building materials, the milling industry, the wood processing industry and the chemical industry have strengthened. Barcs received the city title in 1979, when Drávaszentes and Somogytarnóca merged with it.
In the evening of October 27, 1991, a Yugoslav plane invaded Hungary's airspace and dropped explosive charges on the outskirts of the city. There were no personal injuries, but some residential houses were damaged.