Komárom (German: Komorn, Slovak: Komárno, Latin: Camarum or
Comaromium), unofficially the city of Southern Komárom in Hungary, in
the county of Komárom-Esztergom, is a cultural, tourism and commercial
center located on the right bank of the Danube. In terms of population,
it is the fourth largest city in the county and the seat of the Komáromi
district. Komárom is located in a strategic location, at the 1768th
river kilometer of the Danube, at the mouth of the Vág and Csallóközi
Danube branches. The city, located on the eastern edge of the Lowland,
is an important road and railway junction. By road, it is connected by
the Erzsébet bridge and the Monostori bridge, which was handed over in
2020, and by rail, the Komárom railway connecting bridge with Slovakia's
Komárom and Érsekújvár. The city is connected to the economic
circulation by the M1 highway running south of it and the main railway
line 1 crossing the city. It used to be Hungary's western river border
station, but since the adoption of the Schengen agreement, the border
can be crossed freely without inspection.
The right bank of the Danube has been inhabited since Roman times, Brigetio, one of the important border towns of the Roman Empire, stood here. During the Turkish subjugation, the right bank of the Danube was depopulated, and Komárom became the final stronghold of royal Hungary. The unsuccessful Turkish siege of the city took place in 1594, after which the gradual construction of the Komárom fortress system began. The fortresses built to protect the settlements on the right bank later played an important role in the 1848-49 War of Independence, during which three battles took place between the troops of the Habsburg Empire and Hungary. An important milestone in the development of the settlement was the construction of the Budapest-Vienna railway line, which was fully completed in 1884. The railway network was further expanded in 1860 and 1890 in the direction of Székesfehérvár and Esztergom. The left bank part of the city was separated from Hungary by the Treaty of Trianon, which ended the First World War and was accepted in 1920. The new Czechoslovak-Hungarian border line was drawn here, and this is when the real development of the southern part of the city began. The division of the city remained even after the Second World War. During the Soviet occupation from 1945 to 1991, the city was the station of the Soviet Army Group South.
During the time of the Kingdom of Hungary, the name of the settlement was originally Új-Szőny, which was only merged with Komárom on the left bank of the Danube in 1896. It was only merged with Szőnny, built over the ruins of the Roman military town, in 1977.
The main attraction of Komárom is the fortress system that surrounds the city, which is on the list of proposed UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Monostori fortress, which belongs to the fortress system, plays a particularly important role in the cultural life of the city, in addition to the permanent exhibitions, the International American Car Festival is traditionally held here, but it has also hosted the Komárom Days on several occasions. The thermal spa located in the city center and the waterside leisure park built on the edge of the city attract many visitors every year.
There is no accepted, provable position regarding the origin of the
name Komárom; but there is more to the explanation. According to the
best-known version, the name comes from the Slovak word komár (mosquito
in Hungarian) and means mosquito castle. This theory can be confirmed by
the fact that the area around the city, which is located next to major
watercourses, still has many backwaters and swampy areas that are ideal
for mosquitoes. Others believe that the Latin name Camarum comes from
the Latin word aurum (gold). Possibly, based on Anonymus, it was formed
from the Latin name of the kuno (cumanus). Certain theories link its
origin to the name of the Kabar people who joined the Hungarians, while
others say that the settlement was named after tribes from the side of
the Kama River, which would mean a water bend. It has also been
suggested that the name of the city is of German origin, and is the
result of the words Komm morgen shouted to the besiegers, meaning come
tomorrow (because you won't come in today). However, this origin story,
which refers to the impregnability of the city, has no basis.
Whatever the truth, the name applied to the northern part of the city for centuries; and this logically gave rise to Rév Komárom (Révkomárom), as the name of the settlement on the right side of the Danube. The southern part of the city, which was destroyed and rebuilt again and again over time, was called Új Szőny (Újszőny) for a long time, because of the nearby town of Szőny (Ószőny), which is now a part of the city. Shortly before the turn of the century, the southern part of the city was called Komárom-Újváros or Újkomárom, after the city was split in two it became Komárom. From then on, the northern part of the city was also called Révkomárom in Hungary in addition to and instead of the official Slovak Komárno. After joining the European Union, the names North and South Komárom began to spread as a result of the cooperation between the two cities. Depending on the context, each name is used in public speech today.