Baja (German: Frankenstadt) is a town in the southern part of Hungary, on the left bank of the Danube. It is the second largest settlement of Bács-Kiskun county, the center of the Baja district. It is a major port city and transport hub. It is the 25th most populated city in Hungary. Economic, cultural and educational center.



It is located opposite Mohácsi Island, 160 kilometers south of Budapest. It was built at the confluence of three large regions, the Danube floodplain, the Kiskunság sand ridge and the Upper Bačka loess ridge. The most important southern crossing on the Danube.

The left tributary of the Danube is the Sugovica (also known as the Kamarás-Danube), on the east bank of which is the center of Baja, and on the west bank of the popular resort area, Petőfi Island; the two are connected by a bridge. The Franciscan Canal starts at the southern end of Sugovica.



The present-day area of ​​the city was already inhabited in prehistoric times, and has remained so continuously since the Iron Age; archaeological excavations have found Neolithic, Bronze Age and Migration (Sarmatian) finds. From the 6th century, the area was inhabited by Avars.

After the conquest, it became an important river crossing. Its first written mention dates from 1323. Its name may be of Turkish origin; probably from his first owner, Baja. The well-known meaning of “bull” is unlikely, as it is buka in Old Turks and has no palatal version in any Turkish language. In ancient Turks, only one of the many meanings of the word bay can come into play. Its earliest known owner was the Baja family, then in 1474 King Matthias donated it to the Czobor family.

Baja was the center of the Baja nahije during the Turkish occupation, a significant fortress and port during the period, with hundreds of houses, mosques and baths. According to Turkish tax censuses at the end of the 16th century, there were 18 to 22 tax houses in the city. By the end of Turkish times, however, the settlement was depopulated. Between 1686 and 1690, Bosnians fleeing the Turks settled in Baja. The population of the town increased again in the 17th century due to the Croatian (Bunyevác, Sokác) and Serbian, then in the 18th century due to the German (Swabian) and Hungarian settlers.

The city was liberated from Turkish rule after the recapture of Buda and became treasury property. He played an important role in the wars against the Turks, especially in securing the supply, so on December 24, 1696, Emperor Leopold I gave him the rank of market town. (His coat of arms depicts the biblical Adam and Eve because of this date.) The associated rights III. It was confirmed by Charles in 1714. Later it became the property of a landlord again: between 1727 and 1741 it was owned by the Czobor family, then the pledged estate - after the extinction of the Czobor family - became the property of Antal Grassalkovich from 1750. Baja finally redeemed himself from Felix Zichy Ferraris in 1858, then in 1862 he bought the estate of Baja and the Grassalkovich Castle from Zichy Ferraris for 722 thousand forints, which became his town hall.

Its trouble was destroyed by a plague (1739), flood (1751) and fire (1840). Nevertheless, the 18-19. In the 19th century, through water transport, it became one of the most important commercial centers of the Great Plain, so it developed into an economic and cultural center in the area. In 1828, the streets began to be paved. In 1830, the town was granted the right to collect stoneware, which has had intermittent public lighting since 1833. In 1839, education in the Hungarian language began in the city, and in 1845 the first steam bath was opened. In 1848, István County was added. From 1873 it was endowed with the power of law. In the last third of the 19th century, utilities also began to develop. In 1886, Riedinger L.A. a company from augsburg built a gas factory, and from 1887 the streets were lit with gas - then known as spirits. The telephone network in Baja was completed in 1892. In 1898, an artesian well was drilled in the main square. However, the city did not have a water or sewer network at the end of the 19th century.

After the First World War, in 1918, it came under Serbian occupation and the new South Slavic state formed a claim to it. Although sentenced to Hungary in Trianon, it was not evacuated by South Slavic troops until August 19, 1921, and for a few days became part of the Serbian puppet state called Baranya-Baja Serbian-Hungarian Republic. In 1930, the large village of Bajaszentistván was added.

Between 1921 and 1941, it became the seat of the mutilated Bács-Bodrog county. This rank was regained by the former county seat, Sombor, with the recapture of the South. After World War II, it was again the county seat until the 1950 county settlement.