Tatabanya - my hometown
Tatabánya lies at the foot of Kõ-hill, in the valley between Gerecse and Vértes Ranges. Motorway M1 (E60, E75) from Budapest to Vienna passes through the outer city limits, railwaylines Vienna-Budapest go through the city center. The city is located 50 km from Budapest. Tatabánya is the capital city of the county and possesses the same rights as a county.
It lies 91 square km 14 km long, the number of its inhabitants is 76.000; however, this number is more than 90.000 with the inhabitants of the surrounding settlements.
"A brief history"
Human life began here almost 300,000 years ago. Archeological finds from the paleolitic and neolitic ages were preserved in Szelim Cave – a few hundred meters far from monument Turul – and in the sand-pit in Felsõgalla. In 1962 in a nearby village, Vértesszõlõs, half-millon-year-old remains of a prehistoric man, ˝Samu˝ as he is known, were discovered.
Before the Hungarian conquest, this region was ruled by Svatopluk Moravian prince and according to the lengends his army was defeated by the Hungarian forces led by Árpád in Bánhida. The monument Turul was raised to the memory of this battle. Monument Turul is the largest bird sculpture in Central-Europe and a unique feature of Tatabánya.
The names of the original villages – which were unified later under the name of Tatabánya - were mentioned in early documents of the Hungarian history. The first written record of the name Galla is in a charter dated 1251. The names Kisgalya (Kisgalla) and Galya maior (Nagygalla) are mentioned in a charter dated 1440. One can read about Bánhida as a settlement in a charter of László (Kun) IV in 1288.
After the Ottoman occupation the villages depopulated, so in the 18th century Count Esterházy resettled them. German speaking people were settled in Alsó- and Felsõgalla and Slovakians in Bánhida.
The opening of the mines brought significant changes into the life of the villages. In 1891 the Hungarian General Coal Mining Joint -Stock Company (MÁK Rt) possessed the rights for extracting coal in the region, and at Christmas of 1896 the first carload of coal was pulled out from the blind sheft. In the period of 1896-1903 seven new pits were opened. Coalmining and developing industry replaced agriculture and livestock-breeding.
By 1947 the number of the inhabitants and the economic importance of the four villages had increased so much that their unification into a city became reasonable. The document unifying the four villages into a city was signed on 10th October 1947. The population of the city numbered 39,000 people at that time.
The industrial character of the city was significant until the political changes. After that the importance of heavy industry and mining decreased, the economic structure of the city changed remarkably. Leading economic sectors nowadays: machine-manufacturing, water and stone extraction, aluminum-processing, energy-production, packing-industry.
By visiting many historic places and buildings such as monument Turul on Kõ-hegy, Selim Cave, the late Baroque-style Roman Catholic church in Felsõgalla or the church of Felsõgalla designed by the famous architecture, Jakab Fellner it is hoped that the visitor will gain an introduction to the history of the city.
Tata, Várgesztes, Majk and Vértesszõlõs also offer pleasant walks in villages of special charm and atmosphere for visitors arriving by car. The beautiful hills of Gerecse and Vértes Ranges provide peaceful recreation for visitors to enjoy the sights and surroundings of the countryside.