Tiszavárkony Summary

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The settlement lying on the right-bank of the Tisza, has a rich historic past. Its archaeological sites with relics from the Avar and Arpadian ages are recorded. Historic documents support the memory of local events that have come down in history, and strengthened the local historic awareness: our kings crossed the Tisza here in the Middle Ages, or happened to meet their subjects or opponents exactly here. King Andrew and prince Béla, as well as king Matthias and Mihály Szilágyi met here, and even György Dózsa crossed the Tisza here with his rebellious army. The settlement was on the route of marching armies also in later times. In the Turkish era, the neighbouring Varsány lost its rank as an oppidum, but the significance of Várkony also decreased gradually. At the beginning of the XVIII century, the settlement had to be re-populated again.
The landlord, supporting the re-population of Várkony became the Pély Nagy family. Although members of the small nobility also arrived in the village, they could preserve their status only through difficulties. The landlord – counting on the work of his serfs – developed his estate gradually. In 1771, there were eight serf families with a full plot of land, three with three-quarters of a plot, sixteen with half a plot, and fourteen families with a quarter of a plot of land living in the village. The number of cotters with a house was nine, and that of those without a house was two.
In the XVIII century, it was not only the administration of the village that had to recover, but it was also necessary to create ecclesiastical organisations.
The church, which is still standing in its place today, was built at the beginning of the XIX century. The landlords had their share in it. The construction, renovation and maintenance of public buildings were always a great problem for the village with its meagre financial possibilities. The settlement could only obtain state grants for the large construction works in the XX century. External help was badly needed for the construction of the village hall, and the school.
In the XIX century, the new landlords that moved here started construction on their own estates. That was the time when the Böszörményi, Domokos and Fehér manor-houses were built. The abolishment of serfdom created a new situation in the village. Its effect could be seen clearly as early as in the 1870-ies. The earlier large estates became weaker, and many of them got to the hands of new owners. They, however, were not local inhabitants or farmers. Their estates were managed by their bailiffs.
While the large landowners had a say in the economic life, spiritual life was controlled by the clergy. The role of those priests was especially significant who stayed in the settlement for several decades. The former small nobility and serfs, due to their almost identical legal and economic positions, pursued a similar life-style and farming. More and more of them became deprived of their lands. The frames of the social order of the village were stretched by social problems by the turn of the XX century. The break-through from this situation could be found in the flood- and inland water-regulation, which was started in the meantime. The dam construction on the Tisza, and the drainage of the Gerje-Perje provided work for several hundreds of the local people. Later, the day-labourers of Várkony leased their labour out to Tápió and other regions.
In the second half of the XX century, the people of Várkony could get jobs through the industrialisation of Budapest and Szolnok. This meant commuting and moving away. Right now, the majority of the population of the village goes to work away from the village. Thus, this settlement became a dormant village.
The inhabited places that were created in the peripheral areas (vineyards and ranches) were the communities of those socially disadvantaged people who had found shelter here earlier. The intellectual and clerical strata of the village were created from those who arrived here from other settlements. Due to the closeness of Szolnok, the town did not only draw the people away, but the village could also offer jobs for others.
Traditional peasant culture – due to the meagre financial position of the population of the village – did not show any special characteristics. We can reconstruct a picture typical of the life-style and culture of the people living on the Great Hungarian Plain in the first half of the XX century. By our days, even this picture has been forgotten, and as a result of new effects, we can find a kind of culture in Tiszavárkony that is being transformed, united, and losing its rural image.



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