Baja, Hungary

Baja, Hungary

Infobox Settlement

image_caption = Town hall
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = HUN

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pushpin_map_caption =Location of Baja, Hungary
pushpin_mapsize =



postal_code_type=Postal code
website= []

Baja (IPA2|'bɒjɒ) is a city in southern Hungary. It is the second largest city in Bács-Kiskun county after the county seat Kecskemét. The mayor is Dr. Zoltán Révfy, while the parliamentary delegate is Róbert Zsigó.

Baja is the seat of the Baja municipality.


The city's Hungarian name is derived from a Turkic language. The name means "bull".

The Latin name of the town is Francillo. Baja used to have also a German name: "Frankenstadt".

The South Slavs, notably Croats from Bunjevci group, and Serbs, that live in the city call Baja by the same name as Hungarians do, butwith a slightly different pronunciation ( [IPA|baja] instead of [IPA|bɒjɒ] ). Its spelling in Serbian Cyrillic writing is "Баја".


Early times

The city is first mentioned in 1308. During the Turkish Conquest in the 16th and 17th centuries it was the official center for the region and it possessed a fortification. This era saw the immigration of Croats (from group of Bunjevci) and Serbs into the town. There was also an active Franciscan mission with monks from Bosnia.

When Hungary was a part of the Habsburg Empire, the city was also settled by Germans and Hungarians alongside some Jews. Due to its location on the Danube, it became a transportation and commercial hub for the region. This was where grain and wine was loaded onto boats to be transported upriver to Austria and Germany. Until 1765, the inhabitants belonged to three nations; Croats (under name of "Dalmatians"), the Germans and the Serbs. The Magyars — who escaped from the Ottoman Empire to the reduced Kingdom of Hungary — returned to the Great Plain after Hungary regained her lost territories. Following this, according to a government decree the "Natio Dalmatica" was changed into the "Natio Hungarica", but even in 1768, the elected mayor swore the oath in the Croatian language in the Franciscan Church.

In 1699, Baja was Bács-Bodrog county's most 'industrialized' city. In the 19th century Baja became a minor railway hub, but its importance declined as the railway to Fiume (Rijeka) was built in order to get Hungarian grain seaborne. The city was still a commercial and service center for the region.

20th century

In 1918, after World War I, the ceasefire line placed a city under administration of the newly formed Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. By the Treaty of Trianon from 1920, the city was assigned to Hungary, and became the capital of the reduced county of Bács-Bodrog. (See Treaty of Trianon.)

Following World War II, the city became known for its textile mill and the bridge over the Danube. Its importance is still evident as people from the Bácska (Bačka) region of Hungary come for higher education, government and business services.

Historical population

According to 1715 data, the population of Baja numbered 237 houses, of which 216 were South Slavic (Serb and Bunjevac), 16 Hungarian, and 5 German.Fact|date=January 2008

The city's population was growing rapidly in the 20th century, but in the last decade, it slightly declined.


The city has 37,690 residents:
* 93.5% Hungarians;
* 2.7% Germans;
* 1.3% Croats;
* 0.4% Serbs;
* 0.1% Slovaks;
* 0.5% Roma people;
* 1.5% other.

There are 15,613 houses.



Baja is located about convert|150|km|mi|0|abbr=on south of Budapest and convert|108|km|mi|0|abbr=on southwest of Kecskemét, at the crossing of Road 55 and Road 51, on the river Danube. Baja's main river is Sugovica (also called "Kamarás-Duna").
Baja is at the meeting point of two large regions: the Great Hungarian Plain (Alföld) and the Transdanubia (Dunántúl). The river Danube separates the two regions. West of the city, the Gemencforest spreads. Gemenc is a national park. It can be discovered by the narrow-gauge (760 mm) railway.
Baja is located on the left bank of the river; on the Great Hungarian Plain. However, Baja is more similar to the cities of Transdanubia. We can find the large maize, wheat and barley fields of the Great Hungarian Plain east from the city.


Baja is at the meeting of the continental and mediterrenean region of Hungary. The summers are hot (the temperature sometimes goes up to 35–36 °C) and dry, while the winters are cold and snowy. It often rains in the spring.


The city plays an important role in Hungary's water transport, with the international harbour. Baja gives home to two extensive corporations: to AXIÁL Co. and DÉLHÚS Co. Axiál sells agricultural machines all over Hungary, while Délhús produces meat products. Gemenc Forest and Game Co. Ltd. is managing the nearby nature reserve, Gemenc. There are numerous commercial structures in the city. This is important for people living in and around Baja. A few years ago, a TESCO supermarket opened.

Culture, education, and life

The city has some museums and art galleries, most of them with permanent exhibitions. These include the "István Türr Museum" (exhibits objects of former local life), the "István Nagy Gallery" (a collection of Nagy's paintings), and the "Bunjevci House" (about Bunjevci traditions). The annual "Fisherman's Soup Boiling Festival" is a famous event in Europe, which comprises a great fish soup boiling contest, and other cultural occurrences.

There are 15 churches in the city, representing the religion of each ethnicity. These religions include (with the number of believers) Roman Catholic (25 203), Protestant (1 623), Evangelist (268), Unitarian, Orthodox (90), Lutheran and Judaism (27). Located relatively close to the Great Hungarian Plain, to Gemenc and Transdanubia, the city is also feasible as a base for regional tourists.

There are three notable educational institutes in the city: Béla III High school, famous for high teaching skills; Eötvös József College, the only top-level educational institution of Northern Bácska, and the German center. A smaller observatory also exists.

German center

The MNÁMK (Magyarországi Németek Általános Művelődési Központja; English: "General Culture Center of Germans Living in Hungary") is internationally respected for providing German education for the German minority living in Bácska, and in Hungary. Students get up-to-date education with modern tools using their mother tongue.

The Endre Ady Library

Baja's library got its name from the famous Hungarian poet, Endre Ady. The library's building used to be Baja's synagogue. The building was offered by the city's Jewish community. The Holocaust memorial stands in the synagogue's garden.

The library has a very large collection of pre-18th century books. The "Ancient book" collection includes 4,352 volumes, and a lot more writings, because many of the volumes are collectives (for example, one of them contains 17 writings). The library has three incunabulums.

Famous people from Baja

* Lázár Mészáros, Hungary's first Minister of War
* Kálmán Tóth, famous 19th century poet
* Radovan Jelašić, Governor of the National Bank of Serbia
* István Türr, Garibaldi's general
* József Bayer, member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences
* Jenő Ernst, doctor, biologist, member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences
* Dénes Jánossy, corresponding member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences
* András Jelky, a man who travelled around the world in a strange way (1730–1783)
* Dezső Miskolczy, respected explorer of the mental disease, member of Hungarian Academy of Sciences
* Emma Sándor, composer, wife of Zoltán Kodály
* Ede Telcs, sculptor
* Ibolya Dávid, present-day democrat politician of the Hungarian Democratic Forum


ister cities

* Argentan, France
* Sombor "(Zombor)", Serbia
* Waiblingen, Germany
* Hódmezővásárhely, Hungary
* Târgu Mureş "(Marosvásárhely)", Romania
* Sângeorgiu de Pădure "(Erdőszentgyörgy)", Romania
* Thisted, Denmark
* Labin, Croatia

Nearby villages

* Pörböly
* Dunafalva
* Érsekcsanád
* Gara
* Vaskút
* Csávoly
* Szeremle
* Bátmonostor
* Hercegszántó

Web cameras

* Baja, river of Sugovica (username: sugo ; password: baja) –
* Baja, Holy Trinity Square (username: beke ; password: baja) -
* Baja, Danube bridge (username: duna ; password: baja) –


* "Nemzeti és etnikai kisebségek Magyarországon", Budapest 1998
* [ Központi Statisztikai Hivatal]
* "Baja története." Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest 1989

External links

* [ Baja's public homepage]
* [ Ady Endre Library's home page (English; German available)]
* [ Baja & Bacska sportnews]
* [ Baja Story magazine]
* [ Home page of Hotel Duna*** (English; German available)]
* [ Observatory Home Page; English as well.]
* [ City map] – "(Magnifiable; grey zones are urban/industrial/commercial zones; dark green zones: forests; light-green zones: new urban and farm-styled zones; yellow zones: agricultural zones)"
* [ Aerialphotographs from Baja]

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