Baja, Hungary

Last updated
Baja
Baja varoshaza.jpg
Town hall
Flag of Baja.svg
Flag
HUN Baja Cimer.svg
Coat of arms
Nickname(s): 
The Capital of Fisherman's Soup
Hungary physical map.svg
Red pog.svg
Baja
Location of Baja
Europe relief laea location map.jpg
Red pog.svg
Baja
Baja (Europe)
Coordinates: 46°11′00″N18°57′13″E / 46.1833°N 18.9537°E / 46.1833; 18.9537
CountryFlag of Hungary.svg  Hungary
Region Southern Great Plain
County Bács-Kiskun
District Baja
Government
  Mayor Klára Nyirati (Sikeres Bajáért Egyesület)
Area
  Total177.61 km2 (68.58 sq mi)
Area rank20th in Hungary
Population
 (2019)
  Total34,495
Demonym(s) bajai
Population by ethnicity
[1]
   Hungarians 83.4%
   Germans 4.3%
   Croats 2.1%
   Gypsies 1.2%
   Serbs 0.5%
   Romanians 0.2%
   Slovaks 0.1%
   Bulgarians 0.1%
  Others0.8%
Population by religion
[2]
   Roman Catholic 47.9%
   Greek Catholic 0.1%
   Calvinists 3.3%
   Lutherans 0.6%
   Jews 0.1%
  Other2.7%
   Non-religious 16.0%
  Unknown29.2%
Area code(s) 79
Website https://www.bajaionkormanyzat.hu/

Baja (Hungarian pronunciation:  [ˈbɒjɒ] ) is a city in Bács-Kiskun County, southern Hungary. It is the second largest city in the county, after the county seat at Kecskemét, and is home to some 35,000 people. Baja is the seat of the Baja municipality.

Contents

The environs of Baja have been continuously inhabited since the end of the Iron Age, but there is evidence of human presence since prehistoric times. The settlement itself was most likely established in the 14th century. After the Ottoman Empire had conquered Hungary, it grew to prominence more than the other nearby settlements, and was granted town rights in 1696.

Today, Baja plays an important role in the life of Northern Bácska as a local commercial centre and the provider of public services such as education and healthcare. It has several roads and a railway connection to other parts of the country, and also offers local Public transport for its residents. Being close to the Danube and the forest of Gemenc, as well as having its own cultural sights, makes it a candidate for tourism, but this is not well established yet.

Etymology

The city's Hungarian name is probably derived from a Turkic language. The commonly known "bull" name is likely not its real origin, but may have gotten its title from the first owner of the city, Baja. The Latin name of the town is Francillo. Baja also used to have a German name: Frankenstadt.

The South Slavs, Bunjevci and Serbs, who live in the city call Baja by the same name as Magyars do, but with a slightly different pronunciation ([baja] instead of [bɒjɒ]). Its spelling in Serbian Cyrillic writing is Баја.

History

The city was first mentioned in 1308. The Bajai family was the first known owner of the town. In 1474 the settlement was given to the Czobor family by Matthias Corvinus.

During the Turkish Conquest in the 16th and 17th centuries it was the official center for the region and it possessed a fortification. This era saw the immigration of Bunjevci and Serbs into the town. There was also an active Franciscan mission with monks from Bosnia.

Kalman Toth Square, Baja Toth Kalman Baja.jpg
Kálmán Tóth Square, Baja

In the 18th century, Hungary with its regained territories was a part of the Habsburg Empire. Germans, Hungarians and Jews migrated into the town. Due to its location on the Danube, it became a transportation and commercial hub for the region. This was the place where grain and wine were loaded onto boats to be transported upriver to Austria and Germany. In 1727 the Czobor family regained its ownership. Until 1765, the inhabitants belonged to three nations; Bunjevac (under name of Dalmatians ), the Germans and the Serbs. Following this, according to a government decree the Natio Dalmatica was changed into the Natio Hungarica, but even in 1768, the elected mayor swore the oath in the Bunjevac language in the Franciscan Church.

In 1699, Baja was Bács-Bodrog county's most "industrialized" city.

In the 19th century Baja became a minor railway hub, but its importance declined as the railway to Fiume (Rijeka) was built in order to get Hungarian grain seaborne. The city was still a commercial and service center for the region.

In 1918, after World War I, the ceasefire line placed the city under administration of the newly formed Kingdom of Yugoslavia. By the Treaty of Trianon from 1920, the city was assigned to Hungary, and became the capital of the reduced county of Bács-Bodrog.

After World War II the city became known for its textile mill and because of its important bridge crossing the Danube. Its importance is still evident as people from the Bácska region (Serbian: Bačka) of Hungary come for higher education, government and business services.

Historical population

Population growth in Baja, 1870-2005 Population of Baja, Hungary.svg
Population growth in Baja, 1870–2005

[3] The city's population was growing rapidly in the 20th century (especially in the interwar period and during the socialist era), but in the last decade its population declined significantly.

The demographic evolution of Baja is the following:

YearPopulation
187021,248
191024,588
192022,522
194132,084
194927,936
196030,263
197035,575
198038,523
199038,686
200138,360
200837,573
201934 495

See also

Demographics

The city has 34,495 residents as of 1 January 2019. In the 2001 Census, the 11% larger population of 38,360 reported its ethnicity thus:

As of 1 January 2019, there are 17 149 houses.

Geography

The Franciscan Monastery Baja-Paduai Szent Antal Plebania.jpg
The Franciscan Monastery

Location

Baja is located about 150 km (93 mi) south of Budapest and 108 km (67 mi) southwest of Kecskemét, at the crossing of Road 55 and Road 51, on the river Danube. Baja's main river is Sugovica (also called Kamarás-Duna).
Baja is at the meeting point of two large regions: the Great Hungarian Plain (Alföld) and Transdanubia (Dunántúl). The River Danube separates the two regions. The occidental part of the city is where the Gemencforest starts to spread out next to the István Türr Bridge. Gemenc is part of the Danube-Drava National Park. It can be discovered from Baja via a narrow gauge railway.
Baja is located on the left bank of the river, on the Great Hungarian Plain. However, Baja is more similar to the cities of Transdanubia. To the east, arable crops such as maize, wheat and barley are grown.

Climate

Baja is at the meeting of the continental and mediterranean region of Hungary. The summers are hot (the temperature sometimes goes up to 36–37°C) and stifling, while the winters are cold and snowy. It often rains in the spring. At summertime extreme torrential rains are getting common every now and then in the region.

Economy

The city plays an important role in the country's water transport on the river Danube with its second biggest port in Hungary. Baja gives home to an extensive corporation: to AXIÁL Co. Axiál sells agricultural machines all over eastern Europe with great success. Gemenc Forest and Game Co. Ltd. is managing the nearby nature reserve, Gemenc. There are numerous commercial structures in the city, which prove important to the people living in and around Baja. Roughly 10 years ago a TESCO supermarket opened along with a shopping centre next to it.

Culture, education, and life

The city has some museums and art galleries, most of them with permanent exhibitions. These include the István Türr Museum (exhibits objects of former local life), the István Nagy Gallery (a collection of István Nagy's paintings), and the Bunjevci House (about Bunjevci traditions). The annual Fisherman's Soup Boiling Festival is a famous event in Europe, which includes a great fish soup boiling contest, and other cultural occurrences.

There are 15 churches in the city, representing the religion of each ethnicity. These religions include (with the number of believers) Roman Catholic (25 203), Protestant (1 623), Evangelist (268), Unitarian, Orthodox (90), Lutheran and Judaism (27).

Located relatively close to the Great Hungarian Plain, to Gemenc and Transdanubia, the city is also feasible as a base for regional tourists.

There are three notable educational institutes in the city: Béla III High school, famous for high teaching skills; Eötvös József College, the only top-level educational institution of Northern Bácska, and the German center. A smaller observatory also exists.

German center

Tha MNÁMK (Magyarországi Németek Általános Művelődési Központja; English: General Culture Center of Germans Living in Hungary) is internationally respected for providing German education for the German minority living in Bácska, and in Hungary. Students get up-to-date education with modern tools using their mother language.

Endre Ady Library

Baja's library got its name from the famous Hungarian poet, Endre Ady. The library's building used to be Baja's synagogue. The building was offered by the city's Jewish community. The Holocaust memorial stands in the synagogue's garden.

The library has a very large collection of pre-18th-century books. The "Ancient book" collection includes 4,352 volumes, and a lot more writings, because many of the volumes are collectives (for example, one of them contains 17 writings). The library has three incunabulums.

Current and past residents in Baja

Twin towns – Sister Cities

Baja is twinned with:

Nearby villages

Related Research Articles

Vojvodina Autonomous province of Serbia

Vojvodina, officially the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, is an autonomous province of Serbia, located in the northern part of the country, in the Pannonian Plain.

Subotica City in Vojvodina, Serbia

Subotica is a city and the administrative center of the North Bačka District in the autonomous province of Vojvodina, Serbia. Formerly the largest city of Vojvodina region, contemporary Subotica is now the second largest city in the province, following the city of Novi Sad. According to the 2011 census, the city itself has a population of 97,910, while the urban area of Subotica has 105,681 inhabitants, and the population of metro area stands at 141,554 people.

Sombor City in Vojvodina, Serbia

Sombor is a city and the administrative center of the West Bačka District in the autonomous province of Vojvodina, Serbia. The city has a total population of 47,623, while its administrative area has 85,903 inhabitants.

Bunjevci are a South Slavic ethnic group living mostly in the Bačka region of Serbia and southern Hungary. They presumably originate from western Herzegovina, whence they migrated to Dalmatia, and from there to Lika and Bačka in the 17th century. Bunjevci who remained in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as those in modern Croatia today maintain that designation chiefly as a regional identity, and declare as ethnic Croats. Those who emigrated to Hungary were largely assimilated, and assumed Hungarian or Croatian designation. Bunjevci are mainly Roman Catholic, and speak the Bunjevac dialect of Croatian with Ikavian pronunciation and with certain archaic characteristics. During the 18th and 19th century, they formed a sizable part of the population of northern Bačka, but many of them were gradually assimilated into larger ethnic groups in the region.

Bačka Geographical area in the Pannonian Plain

Bačka is a geographical and historical area within the Pannonian Plain bordered by the river Danube to the west and south, and by the river Tisza to the east. It is divided between Serbia and Hungary. Most of the area is located within the Vojvodina region in Serbia and Novi Sad, the capital of Vojvodina, lies on the border between Bačka and Syrmia. The smaller northern part of the geographical area is located within Bács-Kiskun County, in Hungary.

North Bačka District District of Serbia

The North Bačka District is one of seven administrative districts of the autonomous province of Vojvodina, Serbia. It lies in the Bačka geographical region. According to the 2011 census results, it has a population of 186,906 inhabitants. The administrative center of the district is the city of Subotica.

North Banat District District of Serbia

The North Banat District is one of seven administrative districts of the autonomous province of Vojvodina, Serbia. It lies in the geographical regions of Banat and Bačka. According to the 2011 census, the district has a population of 146,690 inhabitants. The administrative center of the district is the city of Kikinda.

West Bačka District District of Serbia

The West Bačka District is one of seven administrative districts of the autonomous province of Vojvodina, Serbia. It lies in the geographical region of Bačka. It has a population of 188,087 inhabitants. The administrative seat of the district is the city of Sombor.

South Bačka District District of Serbia

The South Bačka District is one of seven administrative districts of the autonomous province of Vojvodina, Serbia. Geographically it lies in the southern part of Bačka and northern part of Syrmia. According to the 2011 census results, it has a population of 615,371 inhabitants. The administrative center of the district is the city of Novi Sad, which is also the capital and the largest city of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina.

Bács-Bodrog County county of the Kingdom of Hungary

Bács-Bodrog County was an administrative county (comitatus) of the Kingdom of Hungary from 1802 century to 1920. Most of its territory is currently part of Serbia, while a smaller part belongs to Hungary. The capital of the county was Zombor.

Pest-Pilis-Solt-Kiskun County Historical county in the Kingdom of Hungary

Pest-Pilis-Solt-Kiskun is the name of an administrative county (comitatus) of the Kingdom of Hungary. Its territory is now in central Hungary, comprising the territory of the present Hungarian county Pest and the northern part of present Bács-Kiskun county. The capital of the county was Budapest.

Bács-Kiskun County County of Hungary

Bács-Kiskun is a county located in southern Hungary. It was created as a result of World War II, merging the pre war Bács-Bodrog and the southern parts of Pest-Pilis-Solt-Kiskun counties. With an area of 8,445 km2, Bács-Kiskun is the largest county in the country. The terrain is mostly flat with slight emergences around Baja. The county seat and largest city of Bács-Kiskun is Kecskemét.

Bácsalmás Town in Bács-Kiskun, Hungary

Bácsalmás is a small town in southern Hungary in the region of Bácska close to the border with the Vojvodina region of Serbia, with a population of 7,694 people.

Ivan Antunović was a Bunjevac writer, one of the most prominent public persons among the Bunjevci and Šokci people of his time. He was titular bishop in the service of the Kalocsa Archdiocese, Hungary. Antunović's writings helped preserve the language and culture of the Bunjevci and Šokci people.

Serbs in Hungary ethnic group

The Serbs in Hungary are recognized as an ethnic minority, numbering 7,210 people or 0.1% of the total population. The number of Serbs in Hungary has drastically diminished; in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries large Serb communities existed throughout Hungary, notably in Buda, Baja, Szentendre and Szeged. The Serb community in the territory of present-day Hungary has its origin in migrations from the territory of medieval Serbian states during and after the Ottoman conquest of these states. Matthias Corvinus and his successors are known to have welcomed Serbs from the other side of the Danube, giving the exiled military commanders fiefdoms to rule and defend from the Ottomans. After the dissolution of Austro-Hungarian Monarchy in 1918 and after new borders were defined by the Treaty of Trianon in 1920, only a small fraction of ethnic Serbs remained within the borders of post-Trianon Hungary.

This article is about demographic history of Subotica.

This is demographic history of Bačka. This article contains data from various population censuses conducted in the region of Bačka during the history. Censuses from 1715 to 1910 contain data about population of the entire Bačka, while censuses from 1921 to 2002 contain data about population of the Yugoslav/Serbian part of Bačka.

Count Imre Cseszneky de Milvány et Csesznek (1804-1874) was a Hungarian agriculturist and patriot, born in 1804 to the impoverished Bácska branch of the Cseszneky family. In the 1830s he served as lieutenant. Later he became a talented agriculturist landowner in Szabadka area, who following the steps of Count István Széchenyi gained distinction by developing Hungarian horse breeding.

Zombor District

Zombor District was one of five administrative districts of the Voivodeship of Serbia and Temes Banat from 1850 to 1860. Its administrative center was Zombor.

Pörböly Place in Tolna, Hungary

Pörböly is a village in Tolna County, southern Hungary.

References

Bibliography

Notes

  1. KSH - Baja, 2011
  2. KSH - Baja, 2011
  3. "Detailed Gazetteer of Hungary". www.ksh.hu. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
  4. [Baja, Hungary at the Hungarian Central Statistical Office03522 Baja] at the Hungarian Central Statistical Office. 1 January 2009.

Official sites

Web cameras