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(The County of Csongrád)
Apátfalva is situated in the east of the Stormy-Cornes (this name of this area originates from the historical events from 1891 to 1896 in the south-east of Hungary). Geographically it belongs to the Békés-Csanád loess soil territory, which is the best for agricultural production. In the past it was situated in Csanád County, on the present-day place of Magyarcsanád. Today it is in the south of Csongrád County on the right bank of the River Maros, 10 km east of Makó. Main Road 43 goes through it. The administrative territory of the village is 5002 hectares.
It was an inhabited area during Szent István's reign. It had a church and a Vicar in 1332. The first written document dates back to 1334, which calls the place "Potfalua".
In a document from 1447 it is called "Patfalva". The linguistic origin of the name Apátfalva isn't clear, but the inhabitants of the village use the old name "Pátfalva". In 1493 the village became the possession of the Csanád County's Bishop.
In 1514 on the occasion of the Peasant's Revolt, on 23rd May, György Dózsa's advance guards defeated Lord Lieutenant's of Temes County, István Báthory's and Bishop Miklós Csáki's troops. The nobles, who were killed in this battle got the name of "bloody-heroes of Apátfalva" in the history of that period.
The River Maros and the storm of the history destroyed the village many times. In 1552 after the Turkish Invasion (the troops of Ahmed Beg) the village became unpopulated. For 100 years the village was called the "puszta". The inhabitants of the village Szecse situated in the forest of Apátfalva, used its lands.
From the end of 17th century the territory began to be populated. In 1751 it fell under the administration of the Chamber. After the withdrowal of the Serb border guards the territory was repopulated by 500 inhabitants from Jászjákóhalma and Heves County. They are considered to be the ancestors, of the present population. It separated from Csanád in 1762. Its oldest seal dates back from 1764.
Beginning with this period for 200 years we can talk about a dinamic and proper development of Apátfalva. When the number of the new colonists exceeded 5000, for Maria Theresia's wish the Bishop of Csanád made Apátfalva an independent parish in 1753. The building of the church began in 1754, which was finished in 1757. when the subdeacon of Makó consecreated it on St. Michel's Day. The present interioir of the church was built at the beginning of the 19th century. In 1842 the side-altars were restaurated. The Saint Ann's picture was painted in 1854 by Károly Kargl, an artist from Vienna. The principal altar's picture was painted by József Peski, an artist from Budapest. The 26th July, St. Ann's Day is considered to be a pledge-day for the remembrance of the end of the cholera epidemte, in 1831.
Apátfalva has got an important agricultural traditional production. Until the end of the 19th century the growing of hemp and cereal were as famous as the cultivation of grapes and fruit. In the 20th century the cultivation of potato, onion, garlic and parsley spread over. Fishing and water-mills were flourishing at the beginning of 20th century. Nowadays only the agriculture is considerable.
The most parts of the agricultural area in Apátfalva are pough-lands and gardens. The grass fields represents only 3% of the whole territory. The value of the soil is changeable. The value of the ploughlands mainly is more than 19 "gold crown". The most important plants are maize, autumn wheat, autumn barley, carrot, parsley, onion, potato, spring barley, oat, sunflower and sugar carrot.
The main part of the agricultural production goes on private farms and agricultural associations. After the privatization (after 1990) the structure of the property has changed. There are a lot of 15-20 hectares properties which represents 40% is represented by the 3-5 hectares properties and only 20% is represented by less then 3 hectars properties.
The 90 C thermal water is used to grow first-fruit. The thermal water consists heavy metal ions which has therapeutical effects.
We can't talk about a local industry nor in the past, nor in the present. Export was characteristic in the past. In 1895 a highway bridge and in 1904 a railway bridge were built accross the River Maros, near the village. The highway bridge connected Makó-Őscsanád-Nagyszentmiklós, and the railway bridge connected Hódmezővásárhely-Makó-Nagyszentmiklós. After the Trianon Peace Treaty dual land owners used the highway bridge. In the autumn of 1944 the Rumanian part of the bridge was blown up. The railway bridge was closed in 1920, the tracks were taken away and the building was demolished.
Aspect of the village, infrastrucure, population:
Nowadays Apátfalva loks like a well-planned village. The ancestral part of the village lies on the right side of the Main Road 43, having a church in the centre. Here are the Mayor Office, the school, the kindergarten, the Cultural House, the cinema and the library. In the direction of Magyarcsanád on the right side - at the end of the village there is the new part of the village inhabited by gipsies, which was built after the flood in 1970. On the left side of the Main Road 43 the new village lies, which houses formed streets beginning from the fifties, and a dynamic development started in the seventies. The Cemetary is in this part of the village, which is the resting place of the unknown, the Russian, and Apátfalva's heroes of the First and the Second World War. Monuments were built as a "memento" for them.
The infrastructure of the village is average in comparation with the national infrastructure. The asphalt roads represent 70%. The 97% of the houses have got water-conduit. Electricity is in 100% of the houses. The gas was installed in the village in 11. November, 1998. The selection of the waste is not solved, but it is planned to be attached to Makó until 2000. Telephone is installed in 50% of the houses. Medical service is adequate.
There are two family doctors, a dentist, two nurses and a pharmacy. There are two vets, too. Retail trading of the village is one of the best in Csongrád County. In the most part, the population is Hungarian but there are some gipsies (10%). The majority of the inhabitants is Roman Catholic. Since the elections in 1990, 13 representatives direct the village.
Tradition, education, cultural life, old people's assistance:
After the colonization from the "jászság" and "palócföld" in 1700, he families preserved their traditions until the end of 1950. The "palóc" dialect can be join in the present days. They have their own national costume. Girls and women were wearing a tight blouse and 4 or 5 underskirts. They had an embroidery with holes, on a white base a white embroidery, which they used to decorate their costumes, their cushions and their wadded quilts. They had rich folk music, folk songs and folk dances. Béla Bartók noticed a lot of folk songs in the village in the thirties. The "dél-alföldi" dance partly originated from here. Márton Burkus Kerekes and István Kardos gave the most famous documentation. István Kardos was not only a good dancer but he was recognized as a national master of wedding ceremony as well. (He was distinguished with the prime of Master of Popular Art).
The public primary education started in the 18th century and in 1893 kindergarten was founded. In 1899 education for land owners was organized because of the agricultural characteristic of the village.
After the Land Owners' Association was founded, in 1885 a library and a market place were established. The new Cultural House was built in 1959 with the help of the population. In 1974 the new school was built with 16 calassrooms and a gymnasium. In 1972 the cinema was built with 210 seats. A modern sport yard was built in 1994.
The school - according to the present requirements - has personal and material conditions: computers with internet connection, fine arts workshop, sport facilities not only for children but for grown-pus, too. There is a possibility for children to use the canteen and the day-nursery.
The Institution of the Kindergarten has 3 buildings in different part of the village, and it provides the education for children between the age of 3 and 6, with the help of modern materials and well-qualified kindergarten teachers.
The local library has 40.000 volumes, a language and a musical studio, a computer (connected to the Internet). The institution has one of the highest level among Csongrád County's village-libraries.
The most important tasks of the Cultural House are to preserve and transmit the traditional past through its groups: Decorative Art group, "Apátfalvi Pávakör" and Zither Orchestra, Children's Zither Orchestra, Children's Folk Dance Group, Apátfalva's Folk Dance Group. It organize county, national and international meetings, too. It takes care of Borbély András's remembrance (who got a posthumus "honorary of the village" title). He was one of the founders of the local brass band, and organized brass band presentations.
Year by year the Cultural House organizes exhibitions in the Pálfalva Gallery. It helps the associations' work (the most important organizations and associations are: Apátfalva's Landowners Group, PEREC-Apátfalva' Youth Group, Association for Apátfalva, Civil Guards Association, P7 Carrier-pigeon Association, "Coexistence" Romanies' Safeguarding of Interests Organizations and organizes free-time programs and courses for each age group of the village. All cultural and political events take place in the building of the Cultural House.
The most important event is Apátfalva's Village Days, which is connected to St Anna's Day and it was organized for the fifth time in 1998. On this occasion cultural and free-time program are organized. Apátfalva's Honorary, the voungest and the oldest citizens and the oldest couple are declared and congratulated.
The most important sport event during the village days is the five-man amateur football chapionship, which is organized for the remembrance of József Sinka Varga, who was a teacher and got posthumus "Apátfalva's Honorary" Title. It was the third time that Apátfalva's Horse-racing was held.
Since 1995 the village has got fratemal sellements especially on cultural areas with Jászjákóhalma, Magyarcsanád (Hungary), Apáca (Rumania, Transilvania), Kisoroszi (Jugoslavia), Cenad (Rumania), Comlosu Mare (Rumania), Nadlac (Rumania).
Another task of the sellement is to take care of the old, because a quarter of the inhabitants are old-age pensioners. In 1994 the Old's Club building was restaurated, where the old van spend their days in a pleasant way. They have the possibility to use the canteen and the family doctor visits them regularly. For those who are too ill to go to the club, the social nurses help them regularly.
For those people, who have less ability to work the Mayor's Office one of its buildings and opened rehabilitation centre which provides the possibility of work for living. In the Kinder workshop from 1997 and in the Luxin workshop from 1998 sixty people can work.
We can talk about a dynamic demographical development from 1762 to 1945 or 1960. At the first national census the population was 4000 (in 1870). The demographical culmination was in 1929, when the population was 6237. Beginning with this year the number of the population is decreasing, in spite of this fact it was more than 5000 in 1960. In 1998 Apátfalva's population is 3576, that means 33% decreasing from 1960. The unemployment level is 16%, higher than the national level.
In the past Apátfalva's economy was flourishing, in the present it's in a peirpherical situation, but the possibilities of the development are evident.
During history Apátfalva's inhabitants were proud, hard-working and god-fearing. Its lands assured people working, living, social and economical developing. Over the work people had a lively political and an individual cultural life. Taking in consideration the historical and social conditions of the last decades we can understand what is characteristic nowadays Pátfalva's people. Economical, cultural, natural and human sources are given for the development of the settlement in he future.
1. The bank of the Maros
2. The Roman Catholic church
3. Adult's folk dance ensemble
4. Children's folk dance ensemble
5. Equestrian Day, an outstanding event of the village festival