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Schandorf is located in Austria
Location within Austria
Coordinates: 47°15′N 16°25′E / 47.250°N 16.417°E / 47.250; 16.417Coordinates: 47°15′N 16°25′E / 47.250°N 16.417°E / 47.250; 16.417
Country Austria
State Burgenland
District Oberwart
 • Mayor Josef Csencsics
 • Total 22.3 km2 (8.6 sq mi)
Elevation 260 m (850 ft)
Population (1 January 2016)[1]
 • Total 280
 • Density 13/km2 (33/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 7472

Schandorf (Croatian: Čemba, Hungarian: Csém) is a village in the district of Oberwart in Burgenland in southeastern Austria.


The earliest record of the village's existence dates to 1244.[2] In the first half of the 16th century, the region was devastated by attacking Turkish troops, and villages were depopulated. The Hungarian magnate Franz Batthyány arranged for Schandorf and other villages to be repopulated by immigrants from Croatia, and for centuries, the village was an island of Croatian language and culture, surrounded by speakers of Hungarian and German. A dialect of Croatian unique to the village gradually evolved, rich in loanword vocabulary from Hungarian. With ever-increasing intermarriage, outmigration, and cosmopolitan influence of German, this dialect is today endangered.[3]

For centuries the village was part of Hungary. Following the First World War, with the breakup of the old Austrian Empire, the division of the land between the new nation states of Austria and Hungary was accompanied by turmoil; for details, see "Burgenland". The final establishment of the boundary in 1921 had the unfortunate effect of separating Schandorf from nearby Croatian-speaking communities, which remained part of Hungary.[4] The separation became extreme after the Second World War, when the Iron Curtain descended blocking almost all passage across the border. This would have been a particularly salient fact of life for residents of Schandorf, whose outskirts lie only about 400 metres (1,310 ft) from Hungarian territory.[5]

Schandorf has not prospered in recent times; lack of economic opportunity has led to outmigration, particularly to the United States and Canada.[4] Between 1900 and 2005 the population declined from 720 to 297.[4] Municipal government was suspended in 1972, but restored in 1996.[4]


Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1869 641 —    
1880 697 +8.7%
1890 670 −3.9%
1900 724 +8.1%
1910 719 −0.7%
1923 638 −11.3%
1934 624 −2.2%
1939 562 −9.9%
1951 536 −4.6%
1961 448 −16.4%
1971 409 −8.7%
1981 392 −4.2%
1991 342 −12.8%
2001 310 −9.4%
2011 299 −3.5%


Schandorf is the home of a tamburrizza orchestra, a reflection of its Croatian ethnic heritage. (The tamburizza is a traditional Balkan folk instrument, widely played in Croatia.) The orchestra performs frequently, often outside the village.[6]


  1. ^ Statistik Austria - Bevölkerung zu Jahresbeginn 2002-2016 nach Gemeinden (Gebietsstand 2016-01-01), 2016-01-01.
  2. ^ "Geschichte" ("History"),, 2010, web: SDhist.
  3. ^ "Kroaten",, 2010, web: SD-kr
  4. ^ a b c d "Urspruenge",, 2010, web: SD-ur.
  5. ^ Source: Google maps
  6. ^ "Tamburizza",, 2010, web: SD-verein

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