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 Segesd [¤]
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(The County of Somogy)

The coat-of-arms is a shield erect, with a rounded base ending in a point. In the field azure a lion rampant or, holding in the raised dexter paw a scimitar argent hilted and crossbarred or, the sinister paw reaching out for prey.

In the dexter side of the shield, along a curved line starting from the lion's outstretched sinister paw and ending above the scimitar's point, nine six-pointed stars or.

From the outside the shield is framed by two laurel branches leaved vert and fructed with berries gules, the stalks crossed in saltire.

Segesd, a settlement of great historical past in Central Somogy, is located on trunk road 65, which connects Lake Balaton with the region by the River Dráva. The area is bordered by the spurs of the Marcali Ridge, by forests, and by the valleys of the brooks Rinya. The landscape is made more varied by three heights called Felső-hegy (Upper Hill), Várhegy (Castle Hill) and Alsó-hegy (Lower Hill). This is where the Segesdi-Rinya flowing into the Dráva takes its source. The park around the one-time royal palace counts as the most valuable nature reserve area in the region.

The settlement stretches out a long way alongside the road. It also incorporates some more distant farmsteads like Felsőbogátpuszta, Lászlómajor and Bertalanpuszta. Outside the village runs the railway line between Balatonszentgyörgy and Somogyszob, with a station at Segesd and one at Felsőbogát.

The area's past has been opened up by excavations. Sites from the Copper Age virtually embrace Segesd, the Bronze Age is evoked by an ornamented chisel, whereas the Iron Age by a spear found at Csákszeg. In the centuries B.C.E. the area was inhabited by Celts, then it belonged to Pannonia, which was part of the Roman Empire. The Roman predecessor settlement of Segesd was called Silacanae. It was also here that an important Roman military road led toward Lake Balaton.

The remains of a Roman brick kiln have been unearthed in the vicinity of the village, which is presumed to have served as a military rest area. The conquering Magyars, who appeared in the former Roman province Pannonia around AD 900, liked to settle down on sites left behind by the Romans. The settlements called Alsó- and Felsőbogát are reminders of the name of Chief Bogát. Later the area was acquired by the Tarhos branch of the Árpáds (the family that became the first Hungarian royal dynasty). One of the descendants of this branch was the chief Koppány, who revolted against King Stephen I. The golden age of Segesd came after the Hungarian feudal state had been established. At that time it was a queen's possession, the centre of the bailiwick, as well as the archdeaconry of the Bishopric of Veszprém. In the coat-of-arms this status is evoked by the lion, the sword-holding royal beast.

The first written mention of the settlement by the name of Sequest dates back to 1193. Later it was also called Segest, Següsd, and then Segesd. In the Middle Ages, in what today is the county of Somogy, there used to be two comitats, Somogy and Següsd. The latter was given by King Andrew II to his wife Jolánta as a dowry and, with occasional interruptions, it remained a queen's possession until 1395. As early as in 1215, the village already had a significant church. The area was for a short time owned by Prince Kálmán of Slavonia, then King Béla IV consolidated the organisation of the royal comitat. During the Mongol invasion it happened several times that the king visited Segesd, and after the hordes had left, on his way home from Dalmatia, he stayed here with the royal household in 1242. It was also here that he formed his government with the aim of rebuilding Hungary, departed for hunts or visits all over his country, or went to war. The king also invited artisans, craftsmen and merchants, some of whom came from abroad. The new settlers (hospes) were granted privileges of their own. Not only was the settlement a self-governing entity, but it also belonged to a separate ecclesiastical suzerainty, and the archdeaconry of Següsd extended from the River Dráva as far as Lake Balaton. The monastery was the centre of the Franciscan province as well as the seat of the provincial. The church was built in 1295, whereas the first mention of the parish dates back to 1320. The settlement was raised to the rank of town in the 14th century. It was governed by a council headed by a magistrate and his counsellors. Local industry was well developed, and trade concentrated on large market places. Youths who wanted to be educated went to study at famous European universities.

In 1289 King László IV spent part of the year in the palace of Segesd, and it was also here that King Lajos the Great, fleeing from the Black Death in Italy, met his mother Erzsébet. The end of the 13th century witnessed the starting of the bailiwick's partition, during which Segesd went into the possession of Miklós Mezőlaki Zámbó in 1389. The area was in 1404 pledged by King Sigismund to Miklós Marczali, formerly Voivod of Transylvania, then he granted it to Miklós Marczali II as a perennial fief. From 1477 it was owned by the Báthoris, then by Bálint Török. After he had been taken prisoner by the Turks, the area once again became a crown possession. The castle of Segesd was built in the Middle Ages. During the excavations of 1981 archeologists found the moats, and thus were able to draw the sketch of the palisaded fortress built during the Turkish occupation. Further findings from the same time include brick buildings, hearths, pits for storing corn, furnaces, and the system of cellars under the Gothic palace in the town centre. In addition, a wing of the palace, the chancel of the church, the mediaeval graveyard and the centre of the fortified town have all been unearthed, which made it possible for the one-time centre of the bailiwick to be reconstructed.

After the Turkish occupation the original structure of the settlements changed. Even in the Turkish tax register, Város-Segesd and Segesdvár (today's Felső [Upper] and Alsó [Lower] Segesd) were listed separately, because the former had been built around the Franciscan monastery destroyed by the Turks who, by using its building material, raised a fortress. This stronghold had in turn been taken by the Turks and the Hungarians, until it finally fell to the Turks in a disgraceful way in 1591, when the bey of Szigetvár launched a surprise attack on Segesd. The success of the shock action was aided by the fact that the drunken defenders were asleep. The Turks put them to the sword and set the castle on fire. György Zrínyi, Castellan of Szigetvár, only learnt what had happened when he saw the smoke rising. Even if he managed to recapture the castle in a few years, it was exposed to the constant harrassment of the beys of Babócsa and Koppány, until the whole "lower" comitat got into the possession of the Turks in 1601. The burnt-down castle was rebuilt and a house of prayer erected. From this time onwards Segesd, with a garrison of 500, served as an outpost of the castle of Kanizsa. The fortification would consist of three castles built on the three heights of the hill of Segesd. The castles were presumably connected with an underground passageway. One of them still bears the name Tüskevár (vár means castle), and parts of the remains of its entrenchment are still visible. Today's monastery also stands on the castle hill, whereas in the area called Badacsony long sections of wall dating back to that age can be seen. The farmers of Segesd, while cultivating their land, would often come upon archeological findings and human bones. Locals sometimes relate the story of a mason who, while he was laying the foundations of a house, found 78 skulls in the ground at the beginning of the 20th century. In the 1980s, large-scale excavations were carried out in the area by dr Kálmán Magyar, the archeologist of the county museum, who managed to unearth numerous remains of the one-time queen's town.

The landowner György Széchenyi had dwellers of mostly Croatian origin settled at Felsősegesd. He also ordered that the newcomers only be the followers of the Roman Catholic faith. Alsósegesd, on the other hand, always remained Protestant, and the difference between the two denominations was always perceptible. From the 1700s to the recent past, the two parts of the settlement were totally separated from each other.

After the expulsion of the Turks, the Franciscans started to rebuild their ruined monastery in 1703, but even the new one got destroyed in a few years' time. After the war of independence led by Ferenc Rákóczi the reorganisation of the Roman Catholic church started, and the archdeaconry of Segesd included 38 parishes. The religious intolerance of this period manifested itself by the fact that while during the Turkish era Calvinists had been allowed to practise their religion relatively freely, now they lost their churches one after another. That was what happened to Alsósegesd as well; in 1734, the Calvinists were banned from the practice of their religion, although their community was seven times as big as that of the Catholics. Nearly half a century had passed until reconciliation took place; after registration and teaching had been allowed again, in 1798 they were able to build their church, which still stands.

The Roman Catholic church and the cloister were built in 1777. The former is adorned with valuable altar-pieces, whereas the latter used to have a much-valued library and archives, which have by now disappeared. The shrine chapel was built beside the holy source rising at the foot of the hill. For a long time, it was frequented by pilgrims as a miraculous spring. It was at the monastery of Segesd that the county's first pharmacy was opened in 1769, and Somogy county's first pharmacist who had graduated from university was Brother Simon of Segesd. The Croatians of Felsősegesd today are mostly remembered only by family names, since assimilation was so strong that already at the turn of the 19-20th centuries the village was mentioned as one exclusively Hungarian.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Count Bertalan Széchenyi had a thriving great land possession around Segesd. In many acres of land sowing seed, sugar-beet and tobacco were grown. The horse stock included Belgian draught horses (seignorial and coach horses alike) as well as English halfbreds. In addition, cattle, swine and sheep were also raised. The catch from the seven fish-ponds was sold at Budapest and Vienna.

In 1950 the village's own council formed, but the fifties evoke bad memories of excessive taxation, delivery obligation, hail and draught, which impoverished many families. There were people who abandoned their lands and went to work at mines and factories. In the village fields hundreds of hectares of land were left uncultivated. The two villages were united in 1952. That was the period when the short-lived co-operative farms were organised and the Felsőbogátpuszta State Farm formed, the profile of which included both cultivation and animal husbandry.