Békéscsaba, formerly known as Csaba, or Csaba Nagy-Csaba, then Békés-Csaba (Slovak: Békešská Čaba, German: Tschabe, Romanian: Bichișciaba), county seat, town with county status, economic-geographical center and seat of Békés county. Based on its size, it can be considered a central city in Hungary and a small city at the European level. The center of Békéscsaba district and Viharsarok, the 16th most populous city in Hungary. Its first written mention dates from 1332. It was destroyed in Turkish times, so it had to be completely reinstalled. The settlement, once called "Europe's largest village", has now become a tidy-looking city. The city is famous for its gastronomic specialties and events, such as the Csaba sausage, which is a hungaricum, and the festival based on it. The most visited beer festival in Hungary was also held here, but it was moved to Gyula.
It is located in the southern part of Trans-Tisza, in the geographical center of Békés county, between Körös and Maros, 8 km southwest of the Kettős-Körös river. The city is located 16 km west of Gyula and 36 km northeast of Orosháza. The Romanian border (Gyulavarsánd) stretches for about 20 kilometers to the east. The main roads 44 and 47 meet at the city. MÁV (Budapest–) railway lines 120 and 135 intersect the settlement.
Its average altitude is 85-90 meters. Its lower points include Jamina, the northwestern part of the city and the southern ends. Higher are the downtown and the “back” parts of the eastern part (such as Vandhát). The back threshold of the Great Lutheran Church is considered one of the highest points in the city, which is 88.75 meters above sea level.
The town takes on a roughly elongated rectangular shape, which is a bit concave on the south side and protrudes quite a bit due to the Lencsési housing estate in the southeast.
The soil is primarily a mixture of loess, clay and river alluvium. There are lands worth 21-28 gold crowns around the city, their quality is improving to the west as they are mixed with less and less clay and more and more loess.
Békéscsaba officially has six separate city districts based on the division of the local government, this division is largely in line with the natural-social and historical features. Of the six districts, three are completely separate areas away from the core area, while the other three are closed, unified areas. It is the largest and most important downtown of Békéscsaba, where the majority of the population and public institutions are concentrated. Also of great importance - according to its population - is the Lencsési housing estate, which is located in the southeastern part of Békéscsaba. Erzsébethely or as the people of Csaba call it, “Jamina” is located in the western part of the city, west of the railway, with its predominantly garden-town, one-storey houses. Mezőmegyer is located in the north, while Gerla is in the east and Fényes in the southeast. What they have in common is that they are all less urbanized, less developed parts of the county seat.
Békéscsaba is located in the northern temperate zone, especially in the continental climate zone, with relatively cold winters and warm summers, with average rainfall conditions. The continental influence is already quite strong here, as the city is far from the seas and the nature of the pool only reinforces this feature.
The average annual temperature is around +11 degrees, making it one of the warmest landscapes in the country. The average temperature in January is −1.6 ° C, while in the warmest month of July the thermometers show +22.6 degrees. The absolute cold record in the city was −29 ° C, while the absolute Hungarian heat record was maintained by Békéscsaba from 22 August 2001, by +41.7 ° C, until 20 July 2007. Thus, the average annual absolute temperature fluctuation is around 70 degrees, which is a lot in a national comparison. The average annual temperature fluctuation is 24 ° C, the highest values in Hungary are around 25 ° C, mainly in Hortobágy and Nagykunság. The amount of heat during the growing season is one of the highest in the country, above 3300 ° C, which is very favorable for agriculture.
The first frosty day occurs around October 23, while the last spring frost usually occurs on April 13th. The average number of frosty days is 96, the number of winter days (average daily temperature remains below 0 ° C) 28, the number of harsh days (minimum temperature below −10 ° C) 14. Summer day (maximum temperature above 25 ° C) in one year on average 84 times, heat days (above 30 ° C) 23 times, while hot days (above 35 ° C) occur in 1 case.
The annual amount of sunshine in the city is usually around 1940 hours, but this is lower than the national average - this is due to the chains of the Transylvanian archipelago, which slightly modify the degree of overcast. The sun shines in 44% of the possible sunny hours. The sunniest month is usually July, while the most overcast is December. The annual average overcast is around 57%.
In most parts of the country, northwestern and northern winds are the most common wind direction, but in Trans-Tisza, including Békéscsaba, the northeastern wind direction is most common. This is largely due to the influence of the Dukla Pass and the Transylvanian archipelago. The annual average wind speed is 3 m / s, so it is around 11 km / h, wind silence occurs in 7% of cases.
In Békéscsaba, the average annual rainfall is slightly above 550
mm (563 mm), which is roughly in line with the national average. To
the west of the city, the average annual rainfall is declining, in
the vicinity of Szarvas it does not even reach 500 mm. The average
number of rainy days per year is about 120 days. During the winter
semester all evaporation coefficients are positive and during the
summer semester negative. The increasingly frequent summer drought
is particularly damaging to agriculture.
Some of the precipitation falls in winter in the form of snow. The number of snowy days is around 20, the average snow thickness in the country is one of the lowest here, only 4 cm. This is detrimental to agriculture.
In 2012, the highest annual sunlight duration was measured here. This year, 2645 hours of sunshine were in the town.
The area has been inhabited since ancient times, and since the Late Bronze Age, masses have been found in the city, which indicates the first culture of the Great Plain, the people of the Körös culture. In the Iron Age, it was conquered by the Scythians, Sarmatians, then the Celts, and then the Huns. After the conquest, there were several smaller settlements in the area where semi-nomadic farming took place. Only after Vata's pagan revolt in 1046 could the organization of feudal state power, the conversion of Christianity, and the organization of the county begin more seriously.
According to archaeologists, Csaba was formed in the first half of the 13th century at the latest, but this does not mean that it was not inhabited before. The Árpádian settlement may have been south of today's city center, in the area of the Castle vineyards. The settlement is first mentioned in the papal tithe register of 1332–1337. His name is of Turkish origin, derived from the same personal name. Next to Csaba, eight other settlements stood where the city now stands. In 1521, the castle of the Ábránfy family probably stood, written memory is first mentioned in 1529. During the Turkish Wars, the village initially survived, although it suffered enormous damage during the Fifteen Years' War, and was permanently depopulated during the liberation struggles against the Ottoman Empire during the 17th century. According to recent research, its population did not perish completely, but rather fled. The villages of Gyula burned the village in 1703, so it became depopulated again.
In 1715 Csaba was mentioned as an uninhabited place, but a year later its name can be found among the tax-paying villages. The resettlement is due to János György Harruckern, who distinguished himself in the battles against the Turks and thus received significant parts of Békés County as a reward. He played a major role in the repopulation of the town: he settled predominantly Lutheran Slovak peasants. The settlers typically came from the counties of Nógrád, Gömör and Hont. The settlement of the lakes lasted until the end of the 18th century. The city is still one of the cultural centers of Slovaks in Hungary.
Due to the large amount of free land and the large natural population, the population of the village tripled between 1773 and 1847, exceeding 22,000. In addition to the natural population growth and population movement, the demographics of Békéscsaba were also determined by the epidemics, such as the plague of 1738–1740. Nevertheless, bright Elek did not call it "Europe's largest village" for no reason. The locals called it a “terrible, big village”.
In 1777, the excavation of the Living Water Canal (Körös Canal) was a significant step in the development of agriculture, urbanization and health care. In 1787, the newly built post office was handed over and a post road was built in the direction of Orosháza – Békéscsaba – Sarkad – Oradea.
Between 1807 and 1824, the largest Lutheran church in the country was built, the large Lutheran church on today's Kossuth Square.
From July 25, 1831, a cholera epidemic that claimed the lives of the whole country claimed many lives here as well, and by the end of August 2019 people had died. Their common grave is located in the Széchenyi grove, under a hill.
In 1840, Csaba received the rank of a market town. By 1847, the city was among the twenty largest cities in the country, with a population of 22,000. Regardless, it still had a small village resembling a small village, with crowded, muddy streets.
In 1848, the Slovaks living in Csaba set a good example of patriotism, as two thousand national guards were issued, stationed on the border of Nagybecskerek, although they were not eventually deployed. In material terms, too, the residents enthusiastically contributed to the war of independence: they helped the government with grain, fodder, gold and silver jewelery.
By 1858, the Arad-Szolnok railway line was built, which
accelerated development. Industrialization began, new civic
buildings built of stone replaced the village adobe houses. . One of
the most important personalities of the city was András L. Áchim L.,
who founded a party of peasants and was a member of the city
parliament for years.
In 1885, Béla Zsigmondy finished drilling the artesian well in Kossuth Square: since then the city has had healthy drinking water. In the spring of 1888, the flooded Körös Box broke through the dam and flooded the entire border. The highest point of the city, the back threshold of the Great Lutheran Church, was crossed by the Living Water Canal by 1 cm (culminating at 88.75 meters above sea level). Only with extraordinary effort was it possible to save the city from destruction. As a precaution, a circular dam was built a year later.
The town's school, which began as a private high school in 1855 and operated as a Lutheran high school from 1859, won eight-grade high school status in September 1899. According to the contemporary spelling, the building of Rudolf High School, based on the plans of Ignác Alpár, was completed by József Wagner and others on August 15, 1899.
The city is one of the centers of the famous and infamous Storm Corner, where by the beginning of the century there was a great deal of dissatisfaction among the peasantry and the workers due to material inequalities, narrow suffrage and more. As a result of the international labor movement, the city also wanted to celebrate May 1 in 1891, but the demonstration was banned. The gendarmes eventually opened fire on the protesters. by the end of the century the so-called agricultural movement.
On May 11, 1911, Gábor Zsilinszky, the brother of Endre Bajcsy-Zsilinszky, shot András L. Áchim, a representative of a fiery nature demanding radical reforms, the peasant leader of the party founder (Hungarian Peasant Party), who was mortally wounded.
World War I brought a lot of suffering. The sons of the city fought in the famous 101st Infantry Regiment and the 4th Infantry Regiment, on the Eastern Front and the Italian Front, respectively. They had decisive merits in the successful defense operations around Kőrösmező, and then they also took part in the breakthrough in Gorlice. The fighting had more than 963 victims in Békéscsaba. Their worthy monument stands in the Heroes' Cemetery and in the center, on Freedom Square. Between 1919 and 1920, Békéscsaba first bore the dictatorship of the Soviet Republic and then the difficulties of the Romanian occupation. After the Treaty of Trianon, Hungary lost its largest cities beyond the Trans-Tisza, including Arad, Timisoara and Oradea, making Békéscsaba one of the cities that had to take over their role. In memory of the dictatorship, on June 4, 2008, the people of Békéscsaba erected a Trianon monument, where a French guillotine equipped with an English ax struck Greater Hungary, thus symbolizing the intentions of the Western great powers at that time.
After the First World War, Békéscsaba became a city with ordinary councils, the Trianon borders made it a new regional center, and it started to develop rapidly. The industrial plants established at the turn of the century were strengthened, and agriculture maintained its former good positions. Its service industry has risen to a level worthy of a regional center.
During World War II in 1944, two tragic events shook the city. Between June 24 and 26, more than 3,000 Jews were sent on their way to Auschwitz, barely 20% of whom returned after the war; and on September 21, hundreds of heavy bombers from the British and American Air Forces bombed the train station and its surroundings, killing 93 people. As a result of the bombing, the railway station and its surroundings were almost completely destroyed, several other buildings were damaged. For this reason, the square opposite the station building, on the site of the former Kakas Hotel, is still toothless. Even more airstrikes have hit the city, bringing the total number of deaths to 170. The Hungarian air defense has a total of approx. He was able to shoot 15-20 attacking planes. On October 6, the Soviet Red Army occupied and then occupied the city.
After the war, the Germans from Békéscsaba were also deported, a
total of 324 people. The Hungarian-Czechoslovak population exchange
began in 1947, during which mainly Hungarians from the Csallóköz
Highlands were settled in place of the Slovaks (lakes) living here.
Many resettled people came mainly from Révkomárom, Gúta, Losonc and
Érsekújvár. The city still had 52,000 people in 1941, by 1949 this
number had fallen to 43,000, making Békéscsaba one of the biggest
casualties of the Second World War. This was due, among other
things, to the fact that while 5,500 people left Csaba as a result
of the relocations, only 1,700 new settlers arrived instead.
During the 1950 county settlement, Békéscsaba was declared the county seat of Békés county. In 1956, the army units stationed in the city sided with the revolution, and on October 23, the soldiers of the division stationed in Békéscsaba took the Rákosi coat of arms off their caps. On October 26, a demonstration took place in the center of the township, 16 points were printed. On October 27, police also sided with the protesters. Pál Fekete was elected chairman of the Békéscsaba city - and then county - revolutionary committee. One day later, on the 28th, the party committee paper, the People of the Storm Corner, was banned, replaced by the revolutionary Kossuth People, and from November 1, the Independent Newspaper was published for three days. The settlement was in order throughout the period, there were no swings. On October 30, some city ÁVHs were detained. On November 4, Soviet troop-fortified Soviet troops flocked to Békéscsaba. Soviet armored personnel and soldiers were shot in several places in the city, the nests of resistance were the building of the Revolutionary Council and the Primary School on Petőfi Street. Several Soviet soldiers, two police officers and a civilian were killed. A man died in the crossfire, his memory is preserved today in a memorial plaque in Freedom Square. On November 10, Black Paul was arrested and strikes erupted on the news. On December 6, with the slogan of paying homage to the heroes of the revolution in Budapest, there was a mass, silent demonstration in the city, which was the last moment of the events of the 56th in the settlement.
During the unfolding socialism, the city was developed into one of the most important food industry centers in Hungary within the framework of planned management. In twenty-five years, the population increased from 42,000 to 65,000, and the housing shortage resulting from the increase in population was largely met by panel construction. From the sixties onwards, planned industrialization began, and the poultry processing and printing industries also flourished. In addition, a cutting machine tool factory, a gear and elevator factory, a canning factory and a cold store were established. It was then that Kner Nyomda was formed by merging several small plants. Mezőgép became a significant base of the county's machine industry. The large grain depot of the Grain Traffic and Flour Industry Company was built in the seventies. By the eighties, more than half of the city’s population was already working in industry. In the 1990s, after the regime change, the industry went into crisis, many production plants closed or continued to operate with only reduced capacity, and many lost their jobs. This was mainly due to the overdeveloped capacity of the former CMEA countries, which proved unviable under market conditions.
The city had already reached its lowest point by the 2000s. New investors have also arrived, the city's shopping center, the Csaba Center, has been completed, which is the largest such facility in Hungary with a gross floor area of 80,000 m2. The beach bath was renovated, the bypass road, the four-lane expressway to Gyula were built, and the airport was handed over. The pedestrian street of the city was renewed, two squares, the Andrássy Gyula Grammar School and the College could also move to a new building. At the end of the 2000s, large investments were made, including the construction of a new banking center by Budapest Bank, the start-up of brick and tile production by Tondach Magyarország Rt.