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Szekszárd (Hungarian: [sɛksaːrd] About this sound  , German: Sechshard, Croatian: Seksar) is a city in Hungary and the capital of Tolna county. By population, Szekszárd is the smallest county capital in Hungary; by area, it is the second-smallest (after Tatabánya).

Location

Szekszárd lies at the meeting point of the Transdanubian Hills and the Great Hungarian Plain.

History

City center
Babits Memorial House

Szekszárd was first mentioned in 1015. The Benedictine monastery of the town was founded by King Béla I in 1061.

During the reign of King Matthias, Szekszárd was the estate of Bishop John, who was involved in a conspiracy against the king. Because of this, King Matthias ordered the castle of Szekszárd to be demolished.

In 1485, Szekszárd was already a significant town, holding five market days a year, but during the Turkish ascendancy of Hungary, the town became deserted and the monastery was destroyed.

By the 18th century, Szekszárd was again a significant town, it became a county seat, and got a coat of arms. The town was destroyed by a fire in 1794, but it could not stop the town's development. Most of the important buildings—including the town hall, the County Hall and several churches—were built during the 19th century. By this time, Szekszárd already had 14,000 residents.

Mihály Babits, an important Hungarian poet was born in Szekszárd in 1883.

During World War II, Szekszárd was captured by Soviet troops of the 3rd Ukrainian Front on 30 November 1944 as part of the Budapest Offensive.

In 1994, Szekszárd was granted the rank of city with county rights, in accordance with a new law stating that all county seats are cities with county rights. (Previously only cities with a population over 50,000 were granted county rights, and Szekszárd was one of only two county seats that had a smaller population than 50,000; the other was Salgótarján).

Significant minority groups
Nationality Population (2011)
 Germany 1,275
 Romania 40
 Croatia 33
 Serbia 27
 Slovakia 17
 China 17

Main sights

Church of King Béla square
  • Old county hall (neo-Classical style)
  • Augusz manor (Franz Liszt was a guest here)
  • Deutsche Bühne, Ungarn
  • Birthplace of Mihály Babits, museum
  • Birthplace of Valéria Dienes
  • Ruins of Benedictine monastery
  • János Garay, Poet, Square and Statue

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Szekszárd is twinned with:

Notable people

See also

External links