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Zoltán Lendvai Kepe

© 2018, Galerija-Muzej Lendava • Galéria-Múzeum Lendva

LY N D VA M U S E U M 1 2 / 3

Centuries of Lendava

On the cover: Lindva (Justus van der Nypoort, 1686) The crest of the Bánffy family of Dolnja Lendava (


LYNDVAMUSEUM 12/3 Published and Issued By Galerija-Muzej Lendava • Galéria-Múzeum Lendva • Gallery-Museum Lendava Bánffyjev trg 1 • Bánffy tér 1, 9220 Lendava • Lendva, Slovenija • Slovenia Editor In Chief Dubravko Baumgartner Translation Lidija Kreft Linguistic revision Beverley Landricombe Graphic Design Peter Orban Photographs Zoltan Lendvai Kepe Original title Lendvai Kepe Zoltán: Lendvai évszázadok Lendava-Lendva, 2018 Printed By DigiFot Lendava

CIP - Kataložni zapis o publikaciji Narodna in univerzitetna knjižnica, Ljubljana 94(497.4Lendava) LENDVAI Kepe, Zoltán Centuries of Lendava / [[text and] photographs] Zoltán Lendvai Kepe ; [translation Lidija Kreft]. - Lendava : Galerija-Muzej = Lendva : Galéria-Múzeum, 2018. - (Lyndvamuseum ; 12/3) Prevod dela: Lendvai évszázadok ISBN 978-961-6695-27-5 295900672

Zoltรกn Lendvai Kepe

Centuries of Lendava

Lendava 2018

Centuries of Lendava Lendava Castle, 2017 The screenplay of the exhibition was written and prepared by: Dr. Mária Kepéné Bihar, PhD Historian, Ethnologist Dr. Zoltán Lendvai Kepe, PhD Senior Curator, Ethnologist in Gallery-Museum Lendava Graphic design of the exhibition: Dubravko Baumgartner dr. Lendvai Kepe Zoltán Peter Orban

The faces of the exhibited pieces were made by: Milan Gal The participants in the exhibition: Dubravko Baumgartner Marta Ferletič Robert Ivanič Vesna Kramar Beata Lazar Karmen Lebar Gor Marta Šernek Karel Tomšič

Lyndva The town of Lendava, known as the former Dolnja Lendava, stretches along the lower course of the River Mura, directly at the south-western foothills of the Zala hills, on the junction of the Hungarian, Slovenian and Croatian linguistic borders. The town and its surroundings belonged to Hungary and, after the Trianon Treaty, even this area was annexed to the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. Throughout history, the name of the Lendava settlement can be found in different languages and forms: in Hungarian it was most often named Alsólendva, Alsólindva and Lindva; in Slovenian Dolnja Lendava or Lendava; in Croatian Donja Lendava; in German Unter Limbach; and in Latin Lyndwa Inferior.1 At the very beginning it is necessary to clarify that, for almost a millennium, two Lendavas existed, Dolnja Lendava, situated in the historic Zala County, and Gornja Lendava, situated in the historic Vas County. Dolnja Lendava, together with Gornja Lendava, which is found 50 kilometres to the northwest, was first renamed in 1934 and then again after the Second World War in 1952.2 Ever since then, Gornja Lendva has been known as Grad,3 Dolnja Lendava has been known as Lendava, Lendva in Hungarian. The strategic significance of the settlement with its surroundings was mainly due to the fact that, even before then, there was a river crossing over the Mura, which is known for its strong currents. In ancient times, the province was part of the Roman Empire - part of the province of Upper Pannonia, known as Pannonia Superior. The famous ancient Amber Road cut through the land, from Italy through Pannonia to the Baltic. On the right and left banks of the River Mura, between two important towns in the province, Poetovia (Ptuj) and Savaria (Szombathely), two settlements were built, one was Hali­canum (Sveti Martin na Muri)4 and the other Lygano (Alsólendva / Dolnja Lendava).5 1

In Hungarian documents and maps it is most commonly known as: Asolindva, Asolyndua, Alsólendva, Alsó-Lendva, Alsolyndwa, Lendva, Lindva, Lyndua, Lyndva, Lyndwa, in Hetés dialect: Asulenva, Lenva; in Slovenian: Dolnja Lendava, Lendava, Spodnja Lendava; Croatian and Serbian: Donja Lendava, Lendava Dolnja; German: Limbach, Lindau, Lindova, Nieder Lymbach, Unter Limbach, Unterlimbach, Unter Limpach; Latin: Lymbach, Lindau, Lyndua, Lyndva Inferior, Lyndwa inferior.


SAVNIK Roman 1980, 295.


The name Grad is connected to the historically important castle complex above the settlement.


Sveti Martin na Muri, in Hungarian Muraszentmárton, a settlement in Croatia, the majority of the population is Croatian.


The name Lygano was allegedly retained in the name of the nearby settlement of Riganóc (1335: Liganuch) and in the still preserved fallow names of the vineyards Riganóc, Riganyóc, Riganjoc (KASZÁS József 1995, 73). In 1335, the registered geographical name was pronounced phonetically Liganóc, Liganovci. LENDVAI KEPE Zoltán – S. SEBESTYÉN József 2012, 8.


The area of Alsólendva (Dolnja Lendava), K.k. Militär, the Geographical Institute, 1880 (detail)

‘Gyepű’, the border guard system in mediaeval Hungary, was, after the consolidation of the external Hungarian borders in the 11th century, transformed into a permanently guarded border area or Őrség (the name can be translated into English as ‘watch-post’ TN). Evidence of the mediaeval border system in the Mura region was preserved in documents in the form of the name Nemethkapw (Németkapu / Nemška vrata / German Door), that was situated on the moat, west of Murska Sobota, between the River Mura and Őrség, on the border area of the Hungary-Styria (known today as the Slovenia-Austria) border area.6 During the centuries of the Kingdom of Hungary, Alsólendva was the gateway of the country to southern Styria and Italy. In 1600, when the Turks conquered Nagykanizsa, the role of Alsólendva as a border fortress became significantly more important. After the Trianon Treaty, in 1920, and the annexation to the South Slav state entity, it became an important political and cultural centre of Hungarians in Slovenia, also known as the ‘Hungarians of Pomurje’. It is by no means a coincidence that, on the south-western side of the hills, guarded on three sides by the waters of the rivers Mura, Lendvavíz (Ledava) and Kerka (Velika Krka), a fortress was built, that, despite several conversions and the extensive damage that it sustained, remains, to this day, the most prominent symbol of the town and wider area. Today, Lendava and Lendava Castle can be reached by five routes. From Hungary, the route to the town leads from the north and east. From the north, the route to Lendava leads from Szombathely, through the towns of Körmend and Zalalövő. From the east, the routes that lead from Zalaegerszeg and Keszthely join at Nova and lead through Lenti towards Lendava. From the south-east, it is possible to reach Lendava through Nagykanizsa and Letenye. The southern route leads from Međimurje, from the area of today’s Croatia, namely Zagreb,7 Varaždin,8 Čakovec9 and Mursko Središće.10 From Lendava, the route leads to the west into central Slovenia, and splits into two in Črenšovci;11 one of the routes leads to the heart of Prekmurje, to Beltinci12 and Murska Sobota;13 the other


KISS Gábor – ZÁGORHIDI CZIGÁNY Balázs 2010, 711-721. SZILÁGYI Magdolna 2012, 217-234, 449. „... vadit ad porticum seu transitum Nemethkapw vocatum in fossato inter civitatem Regede et terram Belmura posita pro metis, super quo fossato venit ad ipsum Kapw et in magna via, que venit de Theutonia ad orientem...” MOL DL 69210.


In Hungarian Zágráb.


In Hungarian Varasd.


In Hungarian Csáktornya.


In Hungarian Muraszerdahely.


In Hungarian Cserföld, folk term, Cserencsóc.


In Hungarian Belatinc.


In Hungarian Muraszombat.


to Styria, to Ljutomer,14 Ormož15 and Ptuj.16 The fifth route from Lendava leads to the north-west through Hetés (Hetiš/Hetish) to Dobrovnik,17 Murska Sobota and Gornja Radgona.18 This route divides in the settlement of Genterovci19 towards Turnišče.20 In the church in Turnišče that was built during the Arpad Dynasty, frescoes of Johannes Aquila from the 14th century can be found, as well as the tomb of several family members of the Bánffy family of Alsólendva (Dolnja Lendava). The route that leads to Gornja Radgona divides again in Dobrovnik. Via a side road we can reach the region of Őrség. In Murska Sobota, the route divides - one leads straight to Gornja Radgona, the other splits into several roads that lead to spread out villages in Goričko.

Lazarus secretarius: Tabula Hungariae, 1526-1528. (Detail: Alsolindua/Dolnja Lendava)


In German Luttenberg.


In Hungarian Ormosd, in German Friedau.


In Hungarian and German Pettau, in Latin Poetovio.


In Hungarian Dobronak, once a square (small town). The majority of the population is of Hungarian nationality and are a part of the Hungarian Ethnic minority area.


In Hungarian Regede. A town on the River Mura in Styria, 45 kilometres north-west from Dolnja Lendava. After 1919, the town was split into two parts. One part, that was annexed to the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, is called Gornja Radgona, the Austrian part is called Bad Radkersburg.


In Hungarian Göntérháza. A settlement that is in majority populated with a Hungarian population in the so-called bilingual area in Slovenia. It is one of the typical villages in the Hetés region.


In Hungarian Bántornya, folk term Tornisha. It is situated approx. 15 km north-west from Lendava.


The Region of the Mura Valley Lendava and its area is situated in the region of eastern dry, western ocean and southern Mediterranean winds. The average annual rainfall is approx. 800mm, half of which falls in the growing season. The climate is continental. The average yearly temperature is 9.9 º Celsius, the warmest month is July with an average of 20.3º Celsius. The average number of hours of sunshine per year is 1790, the relative humidity of air is approx. 75%. To summarise this data, we could say that the most important characteristic of our climate is that it is balanced without any outstanding extreme weather conditions.21 From a hydrological point of view, Lendava and its area is a part of the river basin of the Mura. Three rivers flow through the region, along with several streams and springs. The watercourses - the Mura22 from the south; the Ledava23 from the west; the Kerka from the east; the Kobiljski potok24 from the north-west - are surrounded by triangular shaped hills, with sides that are eight, nine or ten kilometres long and can be said to resemble an island. On the northern foothill of this triangular hill is situated Lenti, on the emerging part Tornyiszentmiklós can be found, and on the steepest side of it is Lendava. The hills with the highest altitude of 334 metres are known in Hungary as Tenke-hegy and in Slovenia as Lendavske gorice. The main street in Lendava runs along the base of the hill and it was formed from parts of the ancient postal route that connected Vienna and Zagreb and led from Lendava to Nagykanizsa. On the plain that is directly below the settlement, the Ledava carved its riverbed; its source is found in Kapfenstein, Austria, and is fed by waters that flow from the hills of Goričko.25 The Ledava reaches the Hungarian language area in Dobrovnik, where it forms the south-western and southern border of the Hetés region. In the aforementioned watercourse is the estuary of the Kobiljski stream and the Črnec. The Ledava flows into the Velika Krka in the village of Kerkaszentkirály. The Velika Krka flows into the Mura in the village of Muraszemenye. The Ledava used 21

Zbornik občine Lendava, 1981, 99.


Hungarian and Croatian Mura, German Mur, in the Prekmurian dialect Müra.


Ledava is Lendvavíz in Hungarian and has always been categorised as a river and not a stream. After 1920, the Slovenian language influenced the Hungarian name and it was changed to Lendva patak (potok Ledava / Ledava stream). In German: Fluss Lendva. In Latin: Lyndwa (1208: ad aquam Lyndwa), Lyndua (1232: ad fluvium Lyndua), Lindua, (1339: prope fluuim Lindua), Lindwa (1366: : iuxta fluuium Lindwa), Lynduauize (1389: a parte fluuij Lynduauize).


Into Kobiljski potok (Kebele-patak) flow Szentgyörgyvölgyi-patak (Nemesnépi-patak / Ivanjševski potok, Curek).


Goričko can be found to the west of Őrség.


to, even in the 20th century, transform the southern, western and north-western foothills into wetlands, that in the past proved to be an exceptionally good moat. However, in the 19th century the wetlands were more damaging than useful. In 1826, Zala County regulated the river to a three fathoms wide and 2800 fathoms long section between Dolnja Lendava and Hetés. When dredging the channel, 1800 acres of land that was not cultivable before became farmland.26

Lendava/Lendva, 2009


BENCZE Géza (ed.) 1986, 45-46. Content: Antal Póka: Tekéntetes Nemes Zala Vármegyének Vízi Leírása.


Lygano When speaking about the wider historical region of Lendava and its area, we are speaking about the western and south-western part of the former Zala County, although some people mention this region as Southern Zala. In the centuries before feudalism was abolished, it covered the feudal lands of Dolnja Lendava27 and, from the second half of the 19th century to 1920, the county of Dolnja Lendava. From the Trianon Treaty onwards, the name Lendava and its area refers to the Municipality of Lendava.28 Archaeological findings show that the western and south-western areas of the historical Zala County were inhabited as far back as the Stone Age. Engraved Gem from the Roman settlement of Lygano. Dolga Near the settlement of Becsehely, Sormás and Nagyvas near Lendava (Pomurje kanizsa, archaeological findings from the Neolithic Museum, Murska Sobota) era29 were discovered; in the surrounding area of Lendava30and Dolga vas,31 findings from the Copper Age were discovered; in Dolnji Lakoš,32 Lendava33 and Dolga vas34 from the Bronze Age; and near Lendava,35 Dolga vas36 and Čentiba37 from the Iron Age. In the first century C.E., Pannonia was occupied by the Romans. Evidence of Roman settlements in Prekmurje and the area of the historical Zala County were found by archaeologists in the surrounding settlements of Sveti Martin na Muri (Halicanum), Zalalövő (Leontium), and Dolga vas (Lygano), but traces of the Roman age are also to 27

LENDVAI KEPE Zoltán 2007, 43.


The area of the Municipality of Lendava changed multiple times in the 20th century.


P. BARNA Judit – TOKAI Zita Mária – EKE István – PÁSZTOR Emília 2015.


TUŠEK Ivan – KAVUR Boris 2011.


ŠAVEL Irena – KERMAN Branko 2008. KERMAN Branko 2013.


ŠAVEL Irena 1999. DULAR Janez – ŠAVEL Irena – TECCO HVALA Sneža 2002.


ŠAVEL Irena 2008.


ŠAVEL Irena – KERMAN Branko 2008. KERMAN Branko 2013.


ŠAVEL Irena – SANKOVIČ Samo 2011.


ŠAVEL Irena – KERMAN Branko 2008. KERMAN Branko 2013.


GUŠTIN Mitja – TOMAŽ Alenka 2016a. GUŠTIN Mitja – TOMAŽ Alenka 2016b.


be found around several settlements of the Municipality of Lendava (Lendava, Gaberje, Gornji Lakoš, Čentiba).38 As previously mentioned, the famous Amber Road in Roman times, maybe even centuries before that, led through the area of the Lendava of today (Sveti Martin na Muri, Kot, Gaberje, Dolga vas, Zalalövő).

The gravestone of Vibenus. Dolga vas near Lendava (Pomurje Museum, Murska Sobota)


GUŠTIN Mitja – TOMAŽ Alenka 2016a, 8.


Lendava and Its Area in the Middle Ages There is very little archaeological and historical data about Lendava and its area from the Migration Period. Smaller settlements and other findings from the period of the Huns were discovered in the nearby settlements of Pókaszepetk, Kehida, Hahót, Zalaszentbalázs and Nagykanizsa.39 The Slavic people settled in the western part of the Carpathian Basin40 or on the left bank of the River Mura in the era of the Avars or in the 6th century.41 It is interesting to note that the Huns, King Attila, the Hungarians and King Matthias Corvinus did not become a part of the folk tales in neighbouring Styria, but are embedded in the lore of the entire Slovenian language area.42 In the era when the Hungarians settled there, the entire region of the historical counties of Somogy County, Vas County and Zala County belonged to a tribal chief by the name of Bulcsu. Göcsej was the watch-post in that era.43 The River Mura was considered as an ideal border due to the fact that it rarely froze even in the harshest of winters and had constant, relatively high water levels, strong currents and was surrounded by several kilometres of wide wetlands. This area was the first ring of the border defence system in the western part of the Hungarian country. The Gyepű-system with its impenetrable forests and wetlands made for an excellent defence of the central plains of the country and could be as wide as ten kilometres. On the higher parts that were not exposed to the waters were the settlements of the border guards. It is likely that the west of the Hungarian country was guarded by the Szekélys and Pechenegs. It is a fact that, in the Hetés, Göcsej and Őrség dialects and lifestyle, one can detect some obvious similarities with the Szekélys of Transylvania. First to draw attention to the anthropological similarities with the Szekélys was a scientist by the name of Lajos Bartucz.44 A testament that the Pechenegs indeed settled here, too, can be found in the name of several places, as in Zalabesenyő, Bak and Kalócfa.45 The settlements of Besenyő, Bak and Szentadorján existed even during the reign of King Saint Stephen of Hungary. In the era of the Árpád Dynasty, there were mentions of the settlements of


MÜLLER Róbert 1971.


GÖNCZ László 1996, 26.


KERMAN Branko 2011.


LUKÁCS István 2001.


TÓTH János 1965, 7. HOLUB József 1929, 10-20.


BARTUCZ Lajos 1913, 15.


GYÖRFY György 1959, 167.


Csatár, Kökényesmindszent, Dobron, Kislengygel, Lenti, Lickó, Milej, Nova, Alsólendva (Dolnja Lendava), Oltárc, Petrikeresztúr, Salomvár, Sárd, Teskánd and Zalaegerszeg. Along the national route Varaždin (Hungarian: Varazsd)-Bratislava (Hungarian: Pozsony, Latin: Posonium) there were numerous settlements as early as the 13th century. It has been proven that in the surrounding area of Lendava, as early as the 14th century, there was a wide web of settlements and small villages.46 János Tóth assumed that in that time there were more than a hundred settlements and abandoned villages in the neighbouring region of Göcsej.47 All of these settlements, the lives of the inhabitants and their possessions were guarded by the carefully constructed wide belt of the Gyepűsystem, watch-posts and fortresses. Some claim that the first written mention of the settlement of Dolnja Lendava (Alsólendva) is to be found around 870-875CE in the work Conversio Bagoariorum et Carantanorum,48 where it is named as Lindolveschirichun.49 In the above mentioned paper from the 9th century, it is written that, under the rule of the Slavic prince, Pribina (†861), a church was built and consecrated by the Metropolitan Archbishop of Salzburg, Liupram (†859),50 between 840 and 859. The biggest flaw in identifying the place name of Lindolveschirichun as Dolnja Lendava is that, for now, we have no archaeological findings or other data that could verify this assumption. We have to take into account that there is a possibility that the place name Lindolveschirichun can be likened to other names of places in the area of today’s Slovenia and Austria, as well as the fact that, historically, there were two Lendavas: Dolnja Lendava (Alsólendva) and Gornja Lendava (Felsőlendva), that are approx. 50 kilometres away from each other.51


LENDVAI KEPE Zoltán 2005, 237.


TÓTH János 1965, 7.


The author of the paper, ‚The Conversion of the Bavarians and the Carantanians’, is likely to be Adalwin, Archdiocese of Salzburg (died 14th of May, 873), the addressee, Louis the German, the king of East Francia. It has to be mentioned that the original manuscript of this paper has, to this day, not yet been discovered, the oldest known transcript originates from the 11th century.


KOS Milko 1936. KERMAN Branko 1994, 12−17.


The Archdiocese of Salzburg, Liupram, died on 14th of October, 859.


The first part of the place name Lindolveschirichun some understand as the German word ‚Linde’, which means Linden tree or ‚Lindbach’ which means Linden grove, others, on the other hand, understand it as a German proper name ‚Lindolf’. The word ‚ves’ in the Prekmurian dialect means ‚vas’ in Slovenian, as in village. The word ‚chirichun’ derives from the German word ‚kiricha, kirchen’ that in southern Slavic words means the same as ‚cerkev, cerkva, cirkva, crkva’: church. The place name Lindolveschirichun some consider to be a mix of German and Slavic, that is supposed to mean the ‚church in the village of Linde (Lindolf, Lindbach or Lendava).’ LENDVAI KEPE Zoltán – S. SEBESTYÉN József 2012, 20.


Family tree of the Bรกnffys of Alsรณlendva (Dolnja Lendava) (MOL P1288)


The Bánffys’ Era The name of Dolnja Lendava unequivocally appeared for the first time in a written source in 1192, regarding the dispute of ‘valiant knight’ Hahold, − his witness was the Zala County district governor, Stephen – he was the winner of the lawsuit against Paris, the son of Mayor Ivan (John).52 From then up until 1645, when the last male descendant of the Bánffy family of Dolnja Lendava (the most famous branch of the HahótBuzád family) died53 and for a short period after Knight Hahold (Illustrated Chronicle. Budapest, 2003, 30.) his death, the remaining family solidified their role as the central border castle. Under the rule of the Hungarian king, Ladislaus the Kuman, the town was the residence of the CroatianSlavonian ban and the count (Latin: comes, Hungarian: ispán) of Zala County, Nicholas Háhot. In 1366, the settlement, that was even then mentioned as oppidum, received from the Hungarian king, Louis the Great, permission to hold annual fairs on the Feast of Saint Simon and Saint Jude.54

The document from 1366 by King Louis I of Hungary, with which he gave permission to hold annual fairs to Alsólendva (Dolnja Lendava)


WERTNER Mór 1898, 19-33. FEJÉR György 1829-1844, III/1, 277. VÁNDOR László 1994, 59. „Hoholdo, militi religioso, duo praedia Lindua et Fenetü adiudicat. A. 1192. p. 277. A. 1193. p. 289.” Codex diplomaticvs Hvngariae ecclesiasticvs ac civilis/INDEX 1./Index Tomi II./Comites Palatini.


TÓTH Sándor 1995, 94.


Oppidum Lyndua 1403, MOL DL 8902. (MOL DL: Magyar Országos Levéltár, Diplomáciai Levéltár = Hungarian State Archive, Diplomatic Archive).


From the legal record of property division from 1389, we learn that the settlement that is mentioned as civitas, comprised of 23 whole, 2 half and 4 quarter hides (Latin: sessio, Hungarian: jobbágytelek).55 Among the peasants in the document, we find mention of a shoemaker, fletcher, hunting dog breeder, weaver, knife sharpener, cook, goldsmith, merchant, tailor and cartwright. There are sources that suggest there were large numbers of watermills in the 15th and 16th centuries that were usually found on the Ledava River and were largely owned by the Church.56 In the Deed of Gift by the Hungarian king, Matthias Corvinus, on the 17th of May, 1469, can be found the first mention of Customs in Lendava.57 The reputation and important political function of the Bánffy family in the mediaeval Kingdom of Hungary is supported by the information that King Wladyslaw I, with a written document, dated the 28th of June, 1441, to Paul, son of Stephen Bánffy from Dolnja Lendava, granted him the right to mint money in Dolnja Lendava, more accurately, in Castle Beckó (Beckov, Bolondóc). This exceptionally generous gift is connected to the fact that Paul Bánffy was very faithful to his ruler and with the right to mint money he could defend Upper Hungary far more effectively.58

A coin from Dolnja Lendava inscribed with an ‘A’ (Alsólendva)


MOL DL 7467.


GÖNCZ László 1996, 61.


»King Matthias Corvinus to the Mayor of Posonium, Nicholas of Dolnja Lendava, the son of Stephen of Stephen for merits, especially since from a young age he participated in several battle campaigns of the Hungarian Country, in the King’s campaign against Duke Stephen of Moldova, where he was wounded in the leg and as a knight fought against the heretic Czechs of Moravia, successfully invoked the interests of the country on missions to the Pope and the King of Apulia, re-donates to him and his brothers Jacob and Paul, the sons of Stephen of Dolnja Lendava and his son John, the castles of Zala County in Lendava and Lenti, with all the associated settlements and customs in the market towns of Lindwa (Lendva, Lendava), Hwzzywfalw (Hosszúfalu, Dolga vas), Dobronok, (Dobronak, Dobrovnik), Chezteregh (Csesztreg), Kwthws (Kutas) and Zemenye (Muraszemenye) …« MOL DL 16853.


MOL DL 44313. Beckó or Bolondóc in Hungarian, Beckov in Slovak, a settlement and a castle on the territory of today’s Slovakia.


Joannes Bรกnffy de Alsolindva, the Viceroy of Hungary between 1530 and 1534 (Hungarian National Museum, Budapest)

György Kultsár: Postilla… Alsólendva (Dolnja Lendava), 1574. (OSzK RMNy 334, Országos Széchényi Könyvtár, Régi Magyarországi Nyomtatványok)


Matthias Corvinus sent Nicholas Bánffy, who lived in the castle on the hill above the town, and Archbishop György of Kalocsa to Naples to arrange matters regarding his marriage.59 According to historian Antonio Bonfini, Matthias Corvinus regarded Nicholas as his brother,60 so it comes as no surprise that, in 1483, the aristocratic family, Bánffy, was bestowed with the title of baron.61 It must be mentioned that the Bánffys of Dolnja Lendava were important supporters of the Reformation. At the time of Nicholas Bánffy IV, in both the town and in the castle, there were important literary and religious activities by Gáspár Ráskai, Ferenc Tőke, György Orbonai Rácz, György Kultsár, István Beythe and numerous other Hungarian Reformation scholars. In 1573, in Dolnja Lendava, Rudolf Hoffhalter worked a printing press, which was the first press in the whole of the Zala County area. In 1573 and 1574, three very important books by the priest, György Kultsár, were printed in Hungarian62 on that printing press. When Dolnja Lendava and its area were annexed to the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes in 1920, then to Yugoslavia and after that to Slovenia, these books became the first books printed in the territory of the three mentioned countries.63

Hungarian sword FRINGIA, 18th century 59

BONFINI Antonio 1995, 795 (4. 3. 250).


BONFINI Antonio 1995, 883 (4. 8. 55).


TANTALICS Béla 1997a, 177. Source: MOL DL 33437.


TANTALICS Béla 1988, 26. TANTALICS Béla 2009.


LENDVAI KEPE Zoltán - NAGY Zoltán (ed.) 2009.


In the Midst of the Maelstrom of War There were significant changes in the life of the town even in the time of the Turks. The castle of Nagykanizsa, one of the largest fortresses in the southern Hungarian Transdanubia, which was of crucial importance in the defence against the Turks, fell into Turkish hands on the 22nd of October, 1600. Despite several sieges on the town, the worst of which occurred in 1603, the Turks never conquered the castles of Dolnja Lendava and Lenti. The Turks travelled to their raids in Styria past Dolnja Lendava on the Radgona64 route, so it is no surprise that the inhabitants of those settlements were forced to acknowledge their authority and paid them taxes.65 In the era of danger, in the 16th and 17th centuries, the centre of trading of goods moved from Nagykanizsa to the better protected markets in Čakovec and Dolnja Lendava, which afforded the town additional economic importance.66 After the extinction of the Bánffy family in 1645, their properties in Dolnja Lendava were inherited through the female branch by the Nádasdy family. The era of the Nádasdys lasted only twenty-five years because Ferenc Nádasdy was executed on the 30th of April, 1671, in Vienna for his participation in the Wesselényi Conspiracy. The properties of Dolnja Lendava’s feudal lords was returned to the Crown. The descendants of the female branch of the Bánffy family, from the families Bánffy chalice, 1608 of Révai, Szunyoghi, Perneszy and Pongácz, includ(Lendava Parish) ing Pál Esterházy, initiated a litigation regarding the properties. It needs to be mentioned that Pál Esterházy already owned an eighth of the feudal lands in Dolnja Lendava and Nempti.67 He was able to enter into a contract


A town by the River Mura in Styria, that is 45 kilometres north-west from Dolnja Lendava. After 1919, the town was divided into two, one part was annexed to the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes and is called Gornja Radgona and the other part, the Austrian part, is called Bad Radkersburg.


TANTALICS Béla 1997a, 16.


DANKÓ Imre 1991, 684.


Nempti, Nemphti or Lenti.



Dolnja Lendava Castle (Justus van der Nypoort, 1686)

with the state treasury and, for the payment of 102,500 Forints, he became the owner of the two lands. In 1690, he received the Deed of Donation from King Leopold I.68 The state treasury recorded the surrender and gave it to Esterházy’s agents on the 4th of July, 1691. Regarding the surrender, they prepared a thirty-pages-long record that contained 44 articles in which they stated how to better manage the properties. Among other things, it was written that the abandoned hides of land needed to be re-populated and forbade them from being used by peasants who had run away and cultivated the vineyards and land from afar so that they could outmanoeuvre their lord.69 In 1690, the Turks were banished from Nagykanizsa.70 With that, the situation in Dolnja Lendava and its surrounding area calmed down. The region suffered under the Great Turkish War, especially because of the burden of supplying the Imperial Army, which went through the region on its campaign. In 1689 and 1691 the feudal lords sent a letter to Zala County regarding the damages.71 In the era of the uprising led by Ferencz Rákóczi, our region did not play a big role, but the population suffered because of the frequent campaigns. In 1704, the

A stone from the demolished castle doors of Lendava Castle, dated 1716


CSAPODY Csaba 1933, 11. TARJÁN G. Gábor n.d. 11.


TANTALICS Béla 1997b, 19.


HÓMAN Bálint – SZEKFŰ Gyula 1939, 368. The historian Gyula Szekfű alleges that, in 1683, Dolnja Lendava and its area were free of Turkish rule.


TANTALICS Béla 1997b, 20. Source: MOL Archive of the princes’ branch of the Esterházy family P108 R38 690.10.169.


town acknowledged the rule of Rákóczi II. The Duke’s legendary general, Bottyán the Blind, designated Dolnja Lendava as his residence.72 In the beginning of the 18th century, the plague ravaged the region. Records show that, in 1710, the buckwheat that belonged to the deceased was not harvested and, in 1711, there was no harvest in Lenti due to the plague.73 The era of Napoleonic Wars and economic growth that was a result of the rise in grain prices is historically not further investigated. One of the most important consequences of the revolution and the fight for freedom in 1848 and 1849 was the abolition of socage. The land registry verification and assessment of the situation took place in the historical Zala County between 1853 and 1864. In the villages of Hetés, in the area of Lendava, they took land measurements in October 1855 - the division occurred in May of 1858.74 The dependence of peasantry on the ruling class of feudal lords was over and self-sufficient farms arose instead. The law abolished the duties that stemmed from common land. That land came into the hands of the freed peasants. The law, however, did not deal with the characteristics of the open-lands. Former peasants usually did not have enough financial means to buy the lands.75 Dominical lands, gardens and forest remained, on a whole, in the ownership of the former overlords.


GÖNCZ László 1996, 84.


PIVAR Ella 1983, 96.


SIMONFFY Emil 1968, 134.


TANTALICS Béla 1997b, 27.


Pelican feeds its offspring with its own blood (sculptured stone from the castle defence walls of Lendava Castle)

Duke Pál Esterházy (E. Widemann, 1652, etchings)

Flourishing Bourgeoisie In the second part of the 19th century, Dolnja Lendava experienced important administrative and economic prosperity. In 1849, it first became the centre of the county76 and for the second time in 1870.77 The county of Dolnja Lendava was second largest in size and third in populace among the twelve counties in Zala County.78 For this reason, the town got a county Local Court, Land Registry, Notary and Office of the District Governor. The town developed into an important economic, commercial and cultural centre of the region, alongside Nagykanizsa and Čakovec. The development of industry brought the development of the banking system and savings banks and, in 1873, the first savings bank in town was opened.79 From 1890, Dolnja Lendava was included in the railroad system and, with it, into the world economic and commercial chain of supply.80 The public school was founded in 1872, the apprentice school in 1891.81 One after the other, different economic and civil societies and clubs were founded: the Reading Club, Association of Firemen, Society of Crafts, Funeral Society and the Society for Battling Peronospora (Downy Mildew) and Vine Louse. In 1903, the first Lendava Football Club was founded and is believed to be the oldest football club in the country of Slovenia.82 The famous umbrella factory was founded in 1904,83 the print shop and weekly magazine in 1889. The cattle fair in Dolnja Lendava was of regional importance. Many craftsmen and tradesmen opened up shops in town and several bakeries and steam mills began to operate in the town and nearby villages. By the First World War, a large Jewish community settled in town. In 1866, the community began to build a synagogue, and today the building is still standing.84 After the Austro-Hungarian Compromise, a specific bourgeois culture developed with a lively economic and cultural life and, with that, the residents became town dwellers and more cultured. The prosperity of the town was reflected in the development of the entire region.85 76

Between 1849-1861. HALÁSZ Imre 1996, 161. KEPÉNÉ BIHAR Mária – LENDVAI KEPE Zoltán 2014, 95.

77 42nd Article of Law from 1870. 78

HORVÁTH Zsolt 1999, 53-56.


LENDVAI KEPE Zoltán 2013.


KEPÉNÉ BIHAR Mária – LENDVAI KEPE Zoltán 2015, 12-25.


KISS Dénes 1896 (1898), 37-41.


HORVÁTH Ferenc 2004.


KEPÉNÉ BIHAR Mária – LENDVAI KEPE Zoltán 2013, 146-149.


GAŠPAR Mirjana – LAZAR Beata 1997.


FÚSS Nándor – PATAKY Kálmán (ed.) 1896 (1898). ŠIMONKA Tanja (ed.) 2003. LENDVAI KEPE Zoltán (ed.) 2008. KIRÁLY M. Jutka (ed.) 2013.


Church of St. Catherine in Lendava (1941, postcard)

Inside the parish church in Lendava (first half of the 20th century)

Main street in Dolnja Lendava (1897, postcard)


The Chaotic 20th Century After the First World War ended, on the 12th and 13th of August, 1919, Dolnja Lendava and the nearby villages were occupied by the army of the Kingdom of Serbs.86 In the occupied Hungarian villages, the numerically fortified Army units occupied battle positions and were full-battle ready. In time, the official border between the newly-formed Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes and the post-Trianon Treaty Hungary developed. Lendava and its area was, from 1919 until 1929, annexed to the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, which was later renamed the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.87 During that time, the government did everything to break apart the ethnic, homogenous Hungarian community in the area of Dolnja Lendava. They organised a planned colonisation of the Slavic population into so-called colonies. On the former Esterházy estate,

Rigged railway bridge across the Mura at Mursko Središče (1941, Fortepan 57474, Karabélyos Péter)


GÖNCZ László 2000, 45. ZSIGA Tibor 1996, 76.


The Hungarian name for Pomurje, or Muravidék in Hungarian, was used after 1920 and does not cover the whole area of the basin of River Mura in Austria, Slovenia, Croatia and Hungary. The name ‚Muravidék’ is in the wider sense used for Pomurje in Slovenia and for the so-called bilingual area in Prekmurje, where the Hungarian nationals live.


1300 immigrants settled. Between the two wars, 1100 hectares of farming land was given to 254 families that settled in the area.88 The politics of the Second World War that had begun in 1939, once again unsettled the area. The Kingdom of Yugoslavia governed the region until the 16th of April, 1941, when the Hungarian troops entered Dolnja Lendava. With this, the area was once again annexed to Hungary for the next four years. In 1942, the Hungarian government interned 589 people from Slovenian families to Sárvár, who the Yugoslavian government settled in the area of Lendava. After the German occupation of Hungary on the 19th of March, 1944, the Jews of Dolnja Lendava were, on the 26th of April, interned to concentration camps. The Holocaust claimed the lives of 132 Jews of Dolnja Lendava, 23 survived and only a handful returned to their place of birth. Acts of war reached the area of Lendava on the 2nd of April, 1945. That same year, the so-called Trianon border was once again in effect.89 On the 9th of July, 1945, the new communist government of Yugoslavia interned 558 adults and children of Hungarian nationality from 19 settlements to Hrastovec and other Slovenian concentration camps.90 Greatly helped by the Soviets after the Second World War, the Communists rose to power in Yugoslavia, as well as in Hungary, and took over the governments of both countries for over forty years. In Hungary, the one-party system was abolished in 1989, and in Yugoslavia in 1991. In the multi-ethnic Yugoslavia, war broke out in 1991 and Slovenia gained independence. At the beginning of the 21st century, there were significant changes in the lives of Hungarians in Slovenia. On the 1st of May, 2004, Slovenia and Hungary became fullmember states of the European Union,91 and, in 2007, became a part of the Schengen area. As a result, the old routes that connect villages on both sides of the border have once again become crossable without border control. The citizens of Lendava town say of themselves that, in the 20th century, they lived in six countries: At the beginning of the century in the Kingdom of Hungary, after the Trianon Treaty they lived in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, and in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. After the re-annexation they were once again citizens of the Kingdom of Hungary. After the Second World War, they were part of the socialist, socalled new Yugoslavia and, after the downfall of Yugoslavia, they have become citizens of the independent Republic of Slovenia.


KOVÁCS Attila 2004.


GÖNCZ László 2006.


KOVÁCS Attila 2013.


LENDVAI KEPE Zoltán 2005b, 215-226.



Gyula Háry: Panorama of Dolnja Lendava circa 1900 (Kiscelli Múzeum T7802)


Abbreviations Bp.



in Croatian




in German


in Hungarian


in Latin


Magyar Országos Levéltár, Diplomáciai Levéltár, Budapest National Archives of Hungary, Diplomatic Archives, Budapest


no author


as in no date


as in no place


Országos Széchényi Könyvtár, Budapest National Széchényi Library, Budapest


in Prekmurian dialect


in Slovenian

Permanent historical exhibition titled ‘The Centuries of Lendava’ at Lendava Castle (2017)


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Contents Lyndva.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 The Region of the Mura Valley.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Lygano.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Lendava and Its Area in the Middle Ages. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 The Bánffys’ Era. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 In the Midst of the Maelstrom of War. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Flourishing Bourgeoisie.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 The Chaotic 20th Century. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Abbreviations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Literature. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33


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Bethlen Gábor Alap • Bethlen Gábor Fund

Hadtörténeti Intézet és Múzeum, Budapest Museum of Military History, Budapest

Magyar Nemzeti Levéltár The National Archives of Hungary

Ministrstvo za kulturo Republike Slovenije Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia

Občina Lendava • Lendva Község Lendava Municipality

Országos Széchényi Könyvtár National Széchényi Library, Hungary

Pomurska madžarska samoupravna narodna skupnost Muravidéki Magyar Önkormányzati Nemzeti Közösség

Župnija Lendava • Lendvai Plébánia Parish of Lendava

Zoltán Lendvai Kepe

© 2018, Galerija-Muzej Lendava • Galéria-Múzeum Lendva

LY N D VA M U S E U M 1 2 / 3

Centuries of Lendava

On the cover: Lindva (Justus van der Nypoort, 1686) The crest of the Bánffy family of Dolnja Lendava (