National and historical symbols of Hungary

In this section you can find the crests of almost 2400 settlements of Hungary with notes. Find the starting letter of the settlement in the list and click if you want to see it.

The Coat-of-Arms of the Village of Helvécia [¤]
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(The County of Bács-Kiskun)

The settlement’s coat of arms can be described as follows:

Shield erect, party per pale argent and gules. It is decorated with a long-stemmed, tendrilled and leaved bunch of grapes, also gules and argent. The curved stems are borne crosswise and they are symmetrically arranged in relation to the pale.

The location of the village:

The village of Helvécia is located in Bács-Kiskun County, at a distance of 7 kilometres south of the county seat of Kecskemét. The village is part of the zone of attraction of that town.

Helvécia is easily accessible by taking an easy turn within the area of Kecskemét from main road No. 52 (Izsáki Road) or from main road No. 54 by taking a turn at milestone 9.

There is a direct bus service from Kecskemét to Helvécia and by rail it is accessible through the Kecskemét-Fülöpszállás main line or through the Kecskemét-Kiskőrös narrow-gauge line.

One of the main characteristics of the settlement is that it consists of two parts, that is the village of Helvécia itself and the Sándor Szabó residential area. Both parts have approximately the same number of residents. The settlement is also surrounded by a relatively large number of detached farms. There are examples of long rows of individual farmhouses. The best known ones include the historical buildings of Iskolasor, Magyarsor, Németsor, Csókasor. The areas with scattered farmhouses are called Köncsög and Matkó and the fields of Fehértói dűlő, Korhánközi dűlő and Lővi dűlő can be found between them.

The History of the village:

In the past the area of Helvécia used to belong to the property of the Turkish sultán. Its two main settlements, Ballóság and Therekegyháza got destroyed toward the end of that period. After the expulsion of the Turks from the Kecskemét region the area of today’s Helvécia remained practically unchanged for several centuries.

After 1870 the historical wine regions of Hungary were destroyed by a phyloxera epidemic and thus the sandy areas of the country theoretically became more valuable. The parasite died in the sandy soil. Before 1870 only a few landowners had tried to grow fruits in the vicinity of Kecskemét. In former Kentyegháza it was landowner János Sigray and his wife Karolin Jalsoviczky who grew vine on their 3-acre land estate. Several other landowners followed their good example. It also turned out that the growing of other fruits was also profitable and the local nuts, grapes and apples became famous all over the country..

Helvécia owes its good reputation to the tireless activitiy of a Swiss-born teacher. It was Baron József Eötvös, the Minister of Culture who invited the Swiss teacher Heinrich Eduard Weber to Hungary in 1870. In Balatonfüred, where he worked first, he could get acquinted with local wine growers and also with the degree of destruction phyloxera had caused. The Swiss teacher considered work the most significant psychological factor in human life. In 1883 he got acquinted with the supervisor of the Kecskemét state vineyards . József Gábor then introduced him to Gyula Miklós, the government commisioner for vine-stock planting. It had been one of the Swiss teacher’s dreams to establish a vineyard of considerable size in Hungary in the region between the Danube and the Tisza rivers to replace the destroyed ones. These vineyards would support as many as 200 families. The politician recommended the area in the vicinity of Kecskemét for vine-stock planting.

The local government and primarily mayor Péter Lesetár supported the idea and Weber’s application for land purchase. On November 20th, 1891 the application was approved on the condition that the planting would begin right away. The company called ’Helvetia’ was established and it consisted of Hungarian and Swiss citizens. A year later 600 acres were officially handed over to them in Ballószög and another 1400 acres in Fehértó dűlő. It was in the spring of 1892 that the members of 88 Hungarian and 17 German families moved to the area from Zala and Veszprém Counties. From this year on the settlement has been called Helvécia as a mark of esteem to its founding father. Next fall the settlement consisted of as many as 129 small homes and its first shop, first office building, and the homes of the local GP and midwife were also built. (Although it took long until the doctor’s position was actually filled in the village.)

The railway line was also to reach Helvécia soon and a decade later in 1905 the conditions were already given for further development. Agreements were signed with 79 new settlers who were given 3 acres of land as property and one additional acre was leased to them. Using the mansion of Miramar as a model in the vicinity of the railway station.

Ede Weber had a new mansion built for himself and in its cellar a presshouse and a wine cellar were also established. After 1898 hundreds of acres were resold to new owners. The vineyards were eventually purchased by the Nartional Credit Bank in 1911. Their shares were then purchased by a firm in Gyöngyös. At the outbreak of the first world war Helvécia had 1300 inhabitants. More then 200 of them fought in the battlefields of Europe . Aladár Weber, son of the Swiss founder was discharged from the army as captain of a Houssar regiment. There were 24 local people who died from Helvécia in the first world war and the first military cemetery of Kecskemét was established in this village. In addition 20 people were invalidated.

Lifestyle was primarily determined by the size of the land the families used to own. In the second half of the 1930s 180 families had small properties, 60 owned medium-size estates (10-100 acres of land) while it was only 3 people who owned large areas in the neighbourhood. Helvécia was occupied by Soviet troops on the last day of October, 1944. The paved road of the village was opened to the public in 1949 and it was the same year that the narrow-gauge railway line was also constructed between Kecskemét and the village of Helvécia. In 1950 Kecskemét became the county seat. The first drilled well of the village began to give water in 1952. Electricity was introduced in 1961 but it took almost a decade to have electricity in all local farmhouses.

The Photos of Helvécia:

01 Roman Catholic Church

02 Millennium Monument

03 The statue of Ede Wéber

04 Office of the Mayor

05 Sándor Petőfi Community Centre

06 Primary School Of Feketeerdő (Blackwood)

07 Ede Wéber Central Primary School

08 Camp of Fehértó (Whitelake)

09 Wéber wine cellar