Zámoly Summary

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Zámoly is a settlement with several streets, and with long and narrow plots of land, lying in the Southern foreground of the Vértes mountain. Its fragmented and varied ground features, its closeness to Székesfehérvár, the capital city of the county and to lake Velence, as well as its position between the hills and the plain offered favourable conditions throughout the centuries for those who settled here. Until the last decade of the XX century, archaeologists explored two dozens of archaeological sites in its area, dating back to times from the prehistoric age until the end of the Turkish era.
According to our knowledge, in the Middle Ages, three settlements were formed in today’s area of the village: Kerekszenttamás, Kér and Zámoly. Charters mentioned Kerekszenttamás first in 1231, Kér in 1009, and our village in 1193. Zámoly, however, had already been inhabited in the years preceding the Hungarian Settlement, and we can determine the time of its establishment around 900. Its first written mention is considered to be a record in a chronicle from the XIV century referring to the year of 1046. At that time, Peter Orseolo, the fleeing Hungarian king defended himself heroically against his attackers in a manor house here for three days. Finally, the superior number of the enemy prevailed, Peter was captured, and blinded. In the following centuries, the village was owned by the Csák dynasty, then in the XIV century, it was part of a big domain in Csókakő owned by the Rozgonyi family. There was already a church and a presbytery standing in the village in this century, and its inhabitants mainly dealt with sheep keeping. In the years before the battle at Mohács (1526), a census was taken of 26 tax paying serf families and two innkeepers. Its number of inhabitants was over one-hundred and fifty.
After Székesfehérvár got into Turkish hands (1543), Zámoly also became one of the villages ruled by the Turks. It even became depopulated for a time, but after the 1570-ies, it became demonstrably inhabited again. Practically, its revival may be put to the middle of the XVII century, when the number of its tax-payers hardly amounted to the number of people who had lived here before the battle at Mohács. Those who lived in the village in the last decades of the Turkish rule, followed the Calvinist religion, advocating John Calvin’s tenets.
In the first years of the liberation war against the Turks, from 1683 to 1690, the inhabitants escaped from the village and took shelter in the safe border castles in the Western part of Hungary. In 1696, a census was taken of ten serfs with a whole plot of land, fifteen with half a plot of land, and nine with a quarter of land, with a note that almost twenty plots were deserted and empty. The period of the Rákóczi freedom fight meant some new trials; almost unbearable military burdens, and in the last years of the freedom fight, there was the Black Death, the epidemic of the plague, taking its significant death toll. The next settlement process until the middle of the XVIII century, was organised by the new landowners, the members of the Hochburg and then the Lamberg families. After the Lambergs, the count-landowners of Zámoly, came the count members of the Merán family, who were the heirs of the archduke John.
The XVIII century was the time of growth in the history of the village. Its population was over one thousand five hundred by the end of the century. In addition to the Hungarians following the traditional Calvinist religion, German families advocating the Roman Catholic religion appeared, followed by Jewish tradesmen, and leaseholders. Local administration became firm, the Calvinists and the Catholics maintained a public elementary school, and both denominations built their churches as well, which were further extended in the XIX century due to the growth in the number of the parishioners.
The inhabitants of Zámoly proved to be committed advocates for national independence and bourgeois transformation during the revolution and fight for independence in 1848-1849. They launched a movement to put an end to the controversies of the abolishment of serfdom. They organised guerrilla bands in September 1848. And they had to meet their punishment: one of the military formations of the occupant Austrians tied the aldermen of the settlement to the whipping post and had them thrashed in August 1849. The aldermen had to suffer the blows but symbolically, all the villagers were humiliated.
The happy times of peace characteristic of the last decades of the XIX century, were swept away by the First World War. This cataclysm, which lasted for five years, did not leave even this settlement hidden in the Vértes mountain intact. More than two hundred from its men were fighting on the fronts, and eighty-six from them died heroically. The bourgeois-democratic revolution that burst out in the autumn of 1918, was followed by a Soviet-Russian type dictatorship. There was a strong political shift to the left in the village: either the landless poor or the industrialists voiced their dissatisfaction, or the behaviour of the Roman Catholic priest gave rise to scandal in the life of the community.
During the relatively peaceful decades between the two world wars, we could witness positive developments in the root movements of the local society. Some cultural and public educational societies came into being, schools were extended, and built, and local agricultural production and sales were organised under the Hangya, an efficiently working co-operative. The number of the inhabitants of the village kept growing: the number of those living here was 2213 in 1900, and two thousand five hundred in 1941. The capability of the settlement to sustain and maintain its population dropped significantly during the years of the Second World War. After the spring of 1943, when the 2. Hungarian army met its catastrophe on the Don, more and more of the people mourned their relatives who died in the frontline, and after December 1944, the area of the village itself also became a military scene. Weapons were rattling for three months in the vicinity of Zámoly; in January 1945, the village was evacuated pursuant to a Russian military command. There were severe fights raging in the region, as a result of which the village was plundered, there were many military and civilian victims, and a high number of ruined buildings.
In the spring of 1945, political parties were formed in Zámoly, as well, out of which the Communists proved to be most active. That was why the neighbouring settlements called the village "the small Moscow" at that time. During the implementation of the land reform, the Merán estate was wound up, and the land area of 1960 cadastral acres was distributed among two-hundred eligible families, and two hundred and fifty housing plots were measured out.
After the estate and the farms belonging to it were wound up, there was a dominance of small and middle peasant farms in agricultural production. The process, which started in 1945, however, did not prove to be lasting. The Soviet type of bourgeois dictatorship had a negative attitude to private ownership: political pressure changed free peasant farming into large-scale (co-operative) farming. The local small-scale industry was wound up, and trading became socialised. Zámoly became a co-operative settlement in 1959, where the Petőfi Agricultural Co-operative came into being, farming on almost six thousand cadastral acres. More and more people stopped farming, turned their backs on land cultivation, and cast away their small industrial tools into the limbo. The thus released labour force was engaged by Székesfehérvár, the industrialising seat of the county. The above described process was also reflected in the downward trend in the number of the population: the permanent population of the village was 2074 in 1949, 2139 in 1960, 2017 in 1980 and 1949 in 1990.
The capability of Zámoly to retain its people became quite good in the decades following the changes of the political system. In the settlement, which belongs to the satellite area of the dynamically developing Székesfehérvár, there are 2160 people living, and the number of operating companies is close to a hundred. Its self-governing community can see a chance again, to add another success story to the many new beginnings throughout its history.



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