Székesfehérvár (Latin: Alba Regia, German: Stuhlweißenburg), a
county town in Transdanubia, the center of the Central Transdanubia
region, the headquarters of Fejér County and the Székesfehérvár
district, is one of the largest and most important cities in
Hungary. It is located at the confluence of large geographical
landscapes: mostly in the northwestern corner of Mezőföld, which is
part of the Great Plain, in Sárrét, to a lesser extent in the
Transdanubian Central Mountains, in the Velence Mountains, at the
foot of three mountains, close to Lake Velence, Lake Balaton and
Budapest. It is one of the richest Hungarian cities in the past: one
of the capitals of the medieval Hungarian Kingdom, a royal seat and
a coronation city. The primary site of many of its monuments and
sights is the Baroque Old Town, which is internationally renowned.
It is an economic, railway and road junction of European
significance, as well as one of the most developed cities in Hungary
with a lively sports and cultural life.
Its territory has been of strategic importance from the very beginning, as it is an intersection of extremely important routes. However, it has been inhabited since prehistoric times, an organized city in its present territory until the 10th century, according to the main belief, it was not founded, the ruins of a significant Roman city called Gorsium, the predecessor of Székesfehérvár, are located 12 kilometers south. Székesfehérvár was founded by Prince Géza in 972 on the islands emerging from the swamp world fed by the Gaja and Séd streams, the largest of which, at the highest point of today's Downtown, had a princely headquarters and church built. His son, St. Stephen, expanded the castle, a few hundred meters away he founded a royal basilica and a provostship rivaling the authority of the Archdiocese of Esztergom, all of which granted special rights to the city, establishing its significance and wealth for centuries. From then on, the development of Székesfehérvár was unbroken, as the city was the first and for a long time the only authentic place in the country. This development is shown in Table III. The municipal privilege issued by King Stephen around 1170, the so-called Fehérvár law, culminated, as the privilege made Fehérvár the first free self-governing settlement in Hungary. From the beginning of the kingdom (1000/1001) to the beginning of the Turkish conquest (1543), it was the exclusive coronation city, as many say that a crown was also laid here on the head of our first king. The only day of law-making days, the almost obligatory venue for parliaments, royal burials and weddings, has been the sacral center of the kingdom since the consecration of Prince St. Imre and King St. Stephen (1083).
During the Turkish occupation (1543–1688) it was an important and rich Ottoman border town, the seat of the Sandzak. After its recall, Articles 18-19 The present-day, largely Baroque image of the city center was built in the 16th century, with the demolition of medieval and Turkish buildings, and the royal basilica founded by St. Stephen, among others, was destroyed. The railway appeared in the city in 1860 and the settlement quickly became the most important hub of Transdanubia, however, it became an industrial city only in the 20th century. The rapid development of the 1930s and 1940s was interrupted by World War II, which caused extremely severe damage to the city, which was of great strategic importance. After the war, economic development continued, the population multiplied. For example, a significant part of the world-famous Ikarus buses were built here, the Videoton military equipment and consumer electronics factory operated here, and the Light Metal Works, the center of domestic aluminum processing, operated here. Even after the change of regime, Székesfehérvár was one of the fastest growing cities, with companies such as IBM, Philips and Ford appearing here. This momentum of development continues to this day, although compared to the 1990s, the city’s most important economic actors have largely been replaced. Today, the most significant companies in Székesfehérvár include Mondélez, which produces Milka, TUC and Édes in Győr, Harman, which signs JBL products, Videoton Holding, Hanon Systems, Arconic-Köfém, Hydro Extrusion, Denso, the Milk of the Great Plain and the Cerbona. The most significant representatives of his sports life are Fehérvár AV19, MOL Fehérvár FC, Alba Fehérvár, Alba Fehérvár KC, Fehérvár Enthroners, Volán Fehérvár Pentathlon Division and Alba Regia Athletics Club. Higher education in the city does not have a long history, as the absorbing power of the nearby capital has always had an impact in this regard. Székesfehérvár, on the other hand, is one of the most important school cities in Hungary in the public education sector, and thanks to its dozens of institutions, its catchment area extends beyond the borders of the region. Incidentally, nowadays the higher education sector is developing rapidly in the settlement, the most important institutions are the Alba Regia Faculty of Technology of the University of Óbuda, the János Kodolányi University and the Székesfehérvár Campus of the Corvinus University of Budapest.
Due to its role in Hungarian history, the city pays special
attention to historical monuments; Székesfehérvár received the
Europa Nostra Award in 1989 for the establishment of the Palace City
Open-Air Museum and the restoration of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
The rehabilitation of the listed Main Street around 2010 is
similarly significant, which is the first step in a complete
downtown rehabilitation process, which has been intensive since
then. The traditions of the city are also nurtured with a series of
nationally known and recognized events, the largest of which is the
Royal Days of Székesfehérvár.
The name of the town used to be simply Fehérvár, which name may refer to the white stones or whitewashed walls of the headquarters and church built by Prince Géza. The distinctive prefix “Székes-” is shown in Figures 17–18. It was connected to the name of the settlement during the 16th century and refers to the official royal throne erected here in the Middle Ages. The well-known Latin name is Alba Regia, meaning Royal White, the most popular nickname for the city of kings.