Lajosmizse

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Lajosmizse
Aerialphotography of Lajosmizse
Aerialphotography of Lajosmizse
Coat of arms of Lajosmizse
Coat of arms
Lajosmizse is located in Hungary
Lajosmizse
Lajosmizse
Location of Lajosmizse
Coordinates: 47°01′35″N 19°33′28″E / 47.02643°N 19.55776°E / 47.02643; 19.55776Coordinates: 47°01′35″N 19°33′28″E / 47.02643°N 19.55776°E / 47.02643; 19.55776
Country  Hungary
County Bács-Kiskun
Area
 • Total 164.66 km2 (63.58 sq mi)
Population (2009)
 • Total 11,053
 • Density 67/km2 (170/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 6050
Area code(s) 76
Website http://lajosmizse.hu/

Lajosmizse is a town in Bács-Kiskun county, Hungary. It is located at the end of a railway line from Budapest.

History[edit]

Lajosmizse is situated at the meeting point of routes leading from the North to the South, and from the West to the East. Once the area was covered with groves, then with wind-blown sand. The town stretches over a large area, and is still considered to be a settlement with many outparts. People lived here as early as the Bronze Age, and after the Magyar conquest the area became the dwelling place of the chief's clan. Later it was a crown possession, so the inhabitants could freely graze their livestock on no man's land, that is, on the king's pastures. Around 1246, King Béla IV resettled Cumans whom he called back from Bulgaria, in this area destroyed during the Mongol invasion. Later, in the Turkish times, the Tartar hordes devastated the land in 1596, during the 15-year-war, and the wasteland was leased by the inhabitants of Kecskemét, Nagykőrös and Jászberény for grazing. In 1702 the monarch sold the area to the Teutonic Knights, but the dwellers took joint action and redeemed the lands which had previously been obtained by the Invalides from Pest. This is the origin of the locals' pride in the act of redemption.

The blue is also the colour of transcendence, and conveys the meaning that the mediaeval settlement of Mizse already had a church built of stone, where Franciscan monks were also engaged in converting the reluctant Cumans to Christianity. As soon as the settlement gained independence, its Catholic church was completed by 1896 and, by 1903, the Calvinist church had also been built. The only remaining ruins of the one-time puszta churches are still to be seen here.

Ruin of Church

The colour green recalls the former grovy pastures, on which in the period of the Magyar conquest, as well as in the Cuman and Turkish times, the breeding of sheep and cattle was dominant; nor can the number of horse herds be underestimated. As long as 1876, Jász-Lajos-Mizse was considered as the undivided pasture of the town of Jászberény. Having gained the rank of municipality in 1876, the settlement began to grow, but on the outer fields the isolated farmsteads kept on flourishing. Even if the forced organization of co-operative farms in the 1950s did bring about changes, following the changing of the political system in 1989, the number of privately owned farms was nearing 4,000. The settlement's industry used to be based on agricultural production (mills, oil presses, etc.), but in the past fifty years various kinds of metallurgical, timber, light, domestic, printing, chemical and meat industry have also appeared, employing part of the population.

The two combatant lions evoke the fact that once the town consisted of two settlements. Mizse might have gained its name after the palatine of King László IV (the Cuman) by the same name. In the 14th century it was here that one of the two Cuman headquarters called Mizseszék was set up, performing both military and administrative functions. By the end of the 15th century, the feudalization of the Cumans had shown remarkable progress. There were attempts to deprive them of their privileges, but in most cases these proved to be unsuccessful. The Turkish tax collectors still referred to both Mizse and Lajos as inhabited areas, which were eventually depopulated after 1596. It was in the nearby Bene-puszta that the grave of a horseman from the times of the Magyar conquest was unearthed and scientifically documented. The findings are believed to be "the remains of the warrior Bene and the ormanents of his garment".

The Jazygian horn held by the lions decorated seals as early as the 16th century, serving as the symbol of Jazygians. It was even related to the well-known legend of the chief Lehel, which is based on two factors. One is that the horn is in fact a piece of work from the 9-10th centuries. The other is that the edge is chipped, which can be regarded as the damage done when Lehel struck the German emperor dead. The historical validity of the story may be disputed, but its credibility as a legend has remained intact in local tradition. The horn is a symbol of the inhabitants' ethnic coherence, independence and desire for freedom.

The two stars refer to the two main denominations, the Roman Catholics and the Calvinists. It may again be related to one-time valour and tradition that the town's Catholic church was offered to be patronized by Louis IX (the Saint), the holy knight king, commander of the 7th and 8th crusader armies. It cannot be excluded either that the 14th century church was already consecrated to his honour, and the nearby place of dwelling (descensus) got the name Lajos after it.

Lajosmizse gained its current name in 1902, and it was in 1970 that the settlement was given back the rank of municipality. In 1993, the President of the Republic of Hungary raised it to the rank of town.

The crest is a memento of the victims and heroes of the past millennium and of the two world wars, while the crown is the expressive symbol of independence and local autonomy.