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 Town of Székesfehérvár [** ¤]
Click to zoom

Székesfehérvár

(The County of Fejér)

Székesfehérvár is the capital of the region called Mezőföld, as well as the seat of the county of Fejér. It is located at the meeting point of important roads and economic lines of force, and has been inhabited ever since the Neolithic Age.

The coat-of-arms is a shield erect, with the base curved to a point. In the field azure on a triple mound vert a castle wall masoned with ashlars argent. In the middle of the wall a gate with wings open to the dexter and to the sinister; the iron mounting on the wings is tinctured sable and argent. In the upper portion of the gate a portcullis sable is borne. The wall is topped by three towers, the middle one of which is higher and is covered with a bulbous dome. All the towers are windowed three (arranged 2 - 1) and crenellated with three battlements each.

Across the top of the shield a five-pointed (five stylised flowers with four pearls in between) open crown or, lined gules and richly adorned with sapphires and rubies.

The mantling is azure and or on the dexter, gules and argent on the sinister.

On the mounds emerging as islands from the swamp, numerous peoples used to settle ever since prehistoric times: the makers of linear pottery, the people of the Baden-Pécel culture from the Copper Age, the Celts of the Iron Age and the Romans. Then, following the Avars, the Magyars also arrived.

According to legendary tradition recorded in the chronicles, Chief Árpád himself set up his camp here, "near Alba, on Noah's mount". In the Middle Ages nearly every hill was topped by a fortress or a fortified building, either a monastery or a castle. Thus it is justifiable that the mounds be borne as charges in the town's coat-of-arms.

The first castle might have been built in the time of Prince Géza, and it was this place where Prince István received the holy crown sent by the Pope, with which he was crowned King of Hungary. During the period of struggles for the throne, the Magyars occupied the town's bell towers and bastions, and by bolting the gates they locked out the approaching foreigner, King Péter. The fact that the town had already been built up so well was further justified by a chronicle of cca. 1063, which relates Fehérvár as the royal metropolis of Pannonia. The castle was fortified and rebuilt on several occasions by Béla IV, the Anjous and Mátyás (Mathias). However, the Turks managed to capture it in 1543. Since they transformed the castle into a borderline fortress and the town itself into an administrative centre, the place was able to preserve its significance. Following several attempts, the allied Christian armies finally managed to recapture Fehérvár in 1688. After the war of independence led by Ferenc Rákóczi, the Hapsburgs ordered the castle to be destroyed in 1724, but it took nearly a century until it was finally pulled down. The open gate in the coat-of-arms clearly indicates that the gates of Székesfehérvár were always open to anyone with honest and fair intentions, but were closed to tyrants and those approaching with hostile feelings. The castle played such a significant role in the life of the settlement that it is rightfully represented as the central charge in the coat-of-arms.

In accordance with its significance, the town can boast a great number of churches. The most outstanding of all is the royal basilica (cathedral church) founded by King Stephen I (the Saint) and dedicated to the God-bearing Virgin Mary (theotokos, deipara). It was here that during the 12th century the royal insignia were kept, and it also served as the coronation church of the Hungarian kings until the Turkish occupation. In addition, the basilica was chosen as burial place by many of Hungary's rulers. Its provostship functioned at the same time as the royal archives, thus it was to become the cradle of Hungarian literacy, giving the country many renowned chroniclers from Ms Ákos and Márk Kálti to Miklós Oláh. Thus the domed middle tower of the castle in the coat-of-arms proudly keeps the glorious memory of the cathedral.

Following the expulsion of the Turks, Székesfehérvár regained its former status and was granted a new charter on 23 October, 1703. According to the coat-of-arms' description in the Diploma Leopoldinum, the shield was to be ensigned with a golden crown, in memory of the coronation of the one-time glorious kings at Székesfejérvár. Furthermore, the crown also represents the desperate battles and bloody fights in which innumerable local heroes and civilians sacrificed their lives for their homeland. The crown also symbolises that the town is the centre of the region and the seat of the county.

The scarves suggesting lush floral ornaments that surround the shield express the locals' desire for life and their vigour with which they accept the economic, social and political challenges of recent times, so that, by following the example of their ancestors, they will be able to pave the way for further development and a better future.

Pictures:

1. Bishop’s Palace

2. The King Mathias Memorial in the inner city pedestrian zone

3. The sarcophagus of King St Stephen, founder of the Hungarian state