Tatabánya (German: Totiserkolonie) is the seat of Komárom-Esztergom county and the Tatabánya district, a city with county status, the smallest county seat in Hungary.
It is located in the southern part of the county, in the valley between Gerecse and Vértes (Tatai Trench), 55 kilometers from the capital; its average altitude is around 199 meters. Due to its location, it is a traffic hub, not only at the county level, but also at the regional and national levels. It is affected by the M1 motorway (E60, E75), which connects Budapest and Vienna, and the main road 1 and the Budapest – Hegyeshalom – Rajka railway line also cross the city, which is connected to all settlements in the area and even to the larger cities of the country. also bus services connect.
The area of Tatabánya has been
inhabited since prehistoric times. Numerous finds prove that people
have lived in the area continuously since the Stone Age. The first
Hungarian conquerors to come here had already found many tribes of
different ethnicities in the area. The Banhida, close to the former
Tata fortification, is already mentioned in a document from 1288.
Soon Alsógalla and Felsőgalla settlements also developed around
Bánhida. As a result of the beneficial effects of the nearby
fortifications, the area was soon populated, artisans appeared, and
agriculture and trade flourished.
During the Middle Ages, the area was hit by numerous natural disasters, and then in the 16th century, the area was occupied by the Turks. As a result of the Reformation, the locals became Reformed and built their own churches. After the Turkish conquest, the area became the property of the Esterházy family, who settled many German and Slovak Catholics, as a result of which the population became Roman Catholic.
According to the 1785 census, the population of Alsógalla was 580 and that of Felsőgalla 842. It was at that time that the surrounding coal fields were discovered, which rapidly changed the life of the area. In 1891, the Hungarian General Coal Mine Company was founded, which began to develop the local mining and metal industry, which significantly changed the lives of those who had been living mainly from agriculture until then. At Christmas 1896, the first charcoal was brought up, the coal fortune approx. It was estimated at 100 years. The colony formed around the mine belonged to Alsógalla for a few years; On September 16, 1902, the Alsógalla mining settlement became an independent village, and on May 1, 1903, as Tatabánya. During this period, industry and trade became more diverse and quite a few new companies (cement plant, brick factory) emerged. The lives of the locals were revitalized, local newspapers appeared, and social and cultural organizations were founded.
Shortly after the fall of the Soviet Republic, on September 6, 1919, miners organized before the Tatabánya Mining Directorate protested against the drastically increased working hours of the counter-revolutionary government and the series of arrests of union leaders. The evicted gendarmes fired on the protesters, resulting in several workers being killed and many seriously injured. In memory of this tragedy, a 1950 law placed the celebrations of the National Mining Day at 6 September each year.
It was already possible to hear
about the plan to unite the villages in the 1920s and 1930s, and the
four mining communities were already undergoing significant
In the summer of 1945, at the local initiative, in addition to the district certification committee operating in Tata, the certification committee in Tatabánya also started its activities. On June 12, 1945, the representatives of the workers' parties and the representatives of the trade unions from the four municipalities asked for the reorganization of this certification committee. In the autumn of 1945, at the initiative of the Ministry of the Interior, preparations for unification began. On November 10, the notary of the four mining communities met with representatives of the Ministry of the Interior in Tata, where they presented their positions on the merger.
The war damage significantly influenced the decisions, as the recovery took a lot of time, money and energy. The villages feared losing their independence and also feared being marginalized. After lengthy negotiations, Banhida, who suffered the most damage in the war, finally agreed to join.
On November 24, Alsógalla rejected the merger because the area had the highest level of utilities, its central buildings were in good condition and they feared their development would slow down and other parts of the area would grow faster. On June 24, 1946, the issue of unification was again on the agenda, when Alsógalla joined.
This is where the organizing work started. On October 1, the four municipal representative bodies jointly discussed their financial situation, including their own dissolution. With this decision, the county town of Tatabánya became a new representative body (30 MKP, 25 SZDP, 4 trade union and 1 FKgP), which consisted of 60 people.
On October 10, 1947, the villages were effectively declared a unified city.
It is a question of the county seat
After 1945, the seat of the county was Esztergom, but the leading
bodies of the county requested the relocation of the seat on the
grounds that Esztergom is difficult to reach, it is on the edge of
the county and the country border. Discussions have begun on this.
In 1948, it was suggested that Tata or Tatabánya be the county seat.
In 1950, the National Economic Council argued for Tatabánya that
coal mining would develop significantly and the city would be easily
accessible. In addition to the dynamic development of coal mining,
Tatabánya was made the county seat, which created the foundations
for the development of the city.
After the Second World War, after the renovation of the old factories, organizations and buildings, the mines were reopened. These changes also had a significant impact on the population, which began to grow rapidly and peaked in the mid-1980s, when the population was around 80,000.
The industrial character of the city was dominant until the late 1980s. After that, the importance of heavy industry and mining decreased and the economic structure of the city changed significantly.
In the years following the change of regime, a slow gradual economic restructuring took place, during which an industrial park was established, in which plastic companies, a company manufacturing medical aids and automotive suppliers (car glass factory, rim factory, tire factory) settled. In 2009, approx. On an area of 500 hectares, more than 2 dozen medium and large companies employed about 13,000 workers in the area.
In 1991, Tatabánya was granted county town rights.
In 2007–2008, two shopping centers were opened in Tatabánya: the Vértes Center and the Omega Park, the latter of which soon went bankrupt, and the administrative and office administration bodies are moving into the building.