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 Szentgál [¤]
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Szentgál

(The County of Veszprém)

The coat-of-arms is a shield erect party per cross, the base curved to a point. In the upper dexter and lower sinister fields vert the charges are tinctured argent, whereas in the upper sinister and lower dexter fields argent the charges are tinctured vert.

The upper dexter field vert bears a falcon argent. This bird of prey, as a princely hunting bird, expresses Szentgál`s many centuries-old hunting privilege, independence and desire for freedom. The same field also bears a spontoon, which carries a double symbolic meaning. On the one hand it symbolises forestry in the extensive woodland, while on the other it represents pastoral life, also with remarkable traditions. The charge in the lower sinister field vert is a crossbow argent which, by re-emphasising the falcon`s more abstracted symbolic reference to hunting, represents this activity, Szentgál`s most famous and most important tradition, in a more direct way. The great historical past and the royal privileges are deliberately evoked by this archaic and spectacular weapon, which is also from the graphic point of view a more decorative sight than a gun or a bow.

In the upper sinister field argent the three yewtree branches represent Szentgál`s unique feature, since the fields of the village are covered with Europe`s largest and most famous uninterrupted yew forest.

In the lower dexter field argent the three oak leaves symbolise the village`s huge forests of valuable trees, as well as the breeding of animals by masting.

Due to the favourable conditions of the Szentgáli-basin the area of the village was inhabited as early as Prehistoric times, which fact is proven by finds unearthed in the Tűzköves cave.

The name of the village comes from a bishop-missionary, having arrived here from St. Gallen. He came on the invitation of Prince Géza and travelled all over the country. After the Mongol invasion the settlement was named after the patron saint of the local church, St Gal. The first written mention of the village by the name 'villa sancti galli' goes back to 1281.

During the Magyar conquest the Bakony region was occupied by the prince's tribe. According to contemporary documents five villages were established in this region, Szentgál, Horhi, Németi, Csepel and Hímháza. Of these settlements it was only Szentgál that managed to survive the storms of history including the Mongol invasion and the Turkish occupation, because this village was situated off the main roads. Although the village was part of Hungary which was under Turkish rule and it was burnt down on several occasions, it was never directly ruled by Turks and always remained inhabited. The surviving inhabitants of the surrounding villages got assimilated into the population of Szentgál.

By the 18th century by its area it was the largest village of the county and by the number of its inhabitants it was the second largest.

The population of Szentgál used to have a privileged role during history. Royal hunters used to live in this Árpád-age village and they enjoyed a number of privileges. The noblemen at Szentgál were using the title of 'royal hunter' as late as in the 19th century. This privilege was initially granted to them in 1328. They did not belong to any landlord and they were free like the members of the nobility. The hunters had no tax-paying duties and were not forced to deliver their produce to their lords. Hunters did not pay tithes to the church either. When at court the monarch sat in judgment on them and brought decisions in their matters. They could use these privileges only if they fulfilled their duties of remaining within their own territory of 40,000 acres, hunting and supplying the royal court with game, leather and pelt.

The inhabitants of Szentgál were able to keep these privileges until 1848 and even after that date they managed to keep some of their traditions alive until 1945.

In 1848 the locals joined the military camp of Lajos Kossuth and led by captain Tivadar Kerkápoly the people of Szentgál aided the freedom fighters with 21 armed hussars and also with money. When the war of independence was put down the inhabitants of Szentgál got deprived of their former privileges and many of them got even imprisoned. In the second half of the 19th century upon the call of Count István Széchenyi the villagers'clubs, associations were formed one after the other. Szentgál was one of the first settlements in Hungary where a literary circle was established in 1857.

Szentgál is a typical agrarian settlement. Its industry was late in developing and even then it served local agriculture. It was only the local potters and the tool makers who could sell their products on markets elsewhere. In the first half of the 19th century, in the so called Reform era Szentgál was one of the important settlements of the county. There have always been German settlers nearby but the village was able to keep its Hungarian traditions and characteristics.

In the 1880s farmsteads came into being in the outer fields of the village. 128 farmsteads were established until 1930. The inhabitants used to be Roman Catholic by religious affiliation before the lost battle at Mohács in 1526, but one year after the Reformation started all the inhabitants including their priest converted to Calvinism. Those people who settled down at Szentgál at a later period were predominantly Catholics. It was during the period of recatholicisation that the Catholic church was built at Szentgál.