Introduction to Kistarcsa
Where the association organizing this seminar is located
Kistarcsa is located in the conurbation area of Budapest, in the north-eastern part of the capital. The town is right next to the Szilas-brook. It has a population of more than twelve thousand people. The town is divided into two parts by a suburban-train line between Gödöllő and Budapest (hév) and by the No. 3 main road. Journey time is less than twenty-five minutes to both destinations. From the hospital we can travel to the city by a local city-bus, and the coaches from other parts of the county stop here as well. Between Budapest and Kistarcsa there is the M0 orbital motorway.
Kistarcsa has a library with 13 500 books for the service of the inhabitants. Our community centre is housed in a barrack kind of building. The previous offices of the local government can now be rented by local civil organisations, but it has pretty small importance, unfortunately. The buildings of the kindergarten can be found in two different locations in the town. One of our two primary schools is also an art college. The secondary school offers normal grammar school classes or classes for health workers.
The history of Kistarcsa
Only a few archaeological investigations have been performed on the territory of Kistarcsa, but there are signs that it may be rich in finds. The first finds originated from the Neolithic age (4000-2500 BC). The later finds prove that the territory has always been inhabited. Celtic, Vandal, Alan and Sarmation people used to live here. During the decline of the Avar state the Hungarian people, when they occupied our current homeland, found a sparsely inhabited territory. Because of this they could settle down without difficulties. According to the finds opened up near the recent cemetery a village was there in the X-XI. centuries.
The name "Tarcsa" was first used in 1352 when this area was owned by the Tarchai family. The first document which mentions Kistarcsa - under the name of Felsőtarcsa - as an independent settlement originates from 1467. The Turkish conquest didn't cost many lives, but by the end of the 16th century during the fifteen-year war (1593-1606) the village had become depopulated.
After the Turkish conquerors left and the Rákóczi war of independence the area was distributed among the followers of the Habsburgs. The new possessors preferred Slavonic or German settlers instead of the returning Hungarian serfs. This is how Slavonic inhabitants from the Trencsén and Nyitra county from the highlands came here thanks to Prince Grassalkovich.
During the Hungarian War of Independence (1848-49) at the time of the Great Spring Expedition Kistarcsa was the place where the army, commanded by Lajos Aulich, gathered for the great battle of Isaszeg.
The introduction of train service resulted in a great change around the end of the 19th century, and is still of great importance from the point of view of the inhabitants of Kistarcsa, together with the main road.
The building of the Catholic Church was started in 1880 using the stones of the medieval ruins.
The rapid increase of the population can be attributed to the Machine and Train Accessories Factory founded in 1908, which needed a lot of workers. The factory, which gave employment for more than 1,000 people, built blocks of flats for the workers on the uninhabited side of the train line. From this time the settlement started to expand in this direction.
During The Great Economic Crisis the factory shut down. Ganz bought the shares and during the recession it pulled down the most of the buildings. A few years later a little yarn factory was established which developed very fast, to such a degree that in it's golden age in the 60's and the 70's - under the name of Kistarcsa Yarn Factory - more than 1,000 people worked there in three shifts. After winding-up its buildings stood empty for a decade because of privatization problems. But new owners finally got possession. In some of buildings production has restarted, and there is a big Far Eastern wholesale trade.
In 1930 the factory's block of flats became the property of the Ministry of the Interior and functioned as a concentration camp up to 1953 and after the revolution in 1956 many innocent people were imprisoned here. It also worked as a police academy or as a reserve officer training and after the change of regime it was a kind of communal accommodation, it was the gathering place for illegal emigrants, like a refugee camp. The local government bought some of the buildings for a very favourable price, but its final purpose and use is still undecided. The buildings owned by the Ministry of the Interior are also empty.
The recovery in the beginning of the 20th century made itself felt in public life as well.
In 1928 a Calvinist temple and in 1931 a Lutheran old people's home were built, the latter of which has 30 rooms. When education started in the second half of the 19th century it was in Slovakian. In the beginning of the 20th century the increased population needed more space for education, which was built in the housing estate. After the heavy industry stopped a school was established with eight classrooms using the rooms of the former civil servants.
After the formation of agricultural co-operatives many families from the countryside - who had lost all their land - settled here in the hope of getting work in the capital. Their needs resulted in a new school being built in 1971 and, after the construction of the 1,000-bed hospital in 1979, a new education base was needed.
Education in the secondary school, which as mentioned above is both a normal grammar school and a high school for health workers, started in 1989.
From 1919 the kindergarten operated for two years, after it was restarted in 1936 it has been expanding. It was also a créche. The two kindergartens were taken under the same management, but they still have two buildings.
The thought of building a library first came up in 1903. Nowadays those who want to improve their minds or only need a little entertainment can choose books in a nicely furnished environment.
The building of the suburban train line (hév) started at the same time (1911) as the electrification of Kistarcsa. Since then the sewer and water system, the gas works and the telephone network have been built.
The agricultural co-operation called "Új Barázda" (New Furrow) took a new name: "Szilasmenti" (Szilas-side) after the fusion. After a fast privatisation it is working in small production teams with very good results.
Local healthcare started in 1922. Our surgery works with four general practitioners and with a regular medical service. Two dentists, two paediatricians and a health visitor service help the inhabitants' healthcare. The first pharmacy was built in 1923, now there are two places where people can obtain their medicines. Our welfare has functioned since 1932. Although the Flór Ferenc Hospital is supported by the county it belongs to Kistarcsa.
In 1979 the executive branches of local government of Kistarcsa and Kerepes were united under the name of Kerepestarcsa. But Kistarcsa and Kerepes have always lived an independent life, so in 1994 a referendum was held on separating our governments from each other, since then both Kistarcsa and Kerepes have their own government.
Kistarcsa got town status on 1st July 2005.
The 25m pool swimming-pool which has been operating since 1989 gives an opportunity for entertainment and sports for all the inhabitants here and in the region. In the two riding schools both children and adults can satisfy their riding needs. Only one restaurant can be found in the settlement, but most of the guests are not from the local population.
Two banks can be found in Kistarcsa. There are three shopping centres, three department stores and three supermarkets which serve the locals' shopping needs. In front of the hospital, next to a new self-contained housing area, there's a hypermarket and a big DIY store, a sport shop and car parts store, although these belong to Csömör's administrative area.
Since the change of regime many little shops have opened. In an industrial area which stands in the fringes of the village near Budapest there are many warehouses of bigger companies, and working factories. Along the road to Nagytarcsa there are a several businesses.
To the overall view of the settlement there is a car showroom, where new and second-hand cars are sold.
Most of Kistarcsa's streets are metalled. There are two petrol stations where we can fill up our cars, one of them also serves LPG. In case of breakdown there are many garages for the car owners to choose from.
For culture programmes there is an assembly hall for 200 people. Many events are organized traditionally every year: town day, family's day, folklore meetings, gastronomy festival, cultural week, etc...
Our folk-dance group takes pride in some international success. Three circles of folk-song singers are active in our settlement, and one of them also performs cheerful scenes - especially for pensioners. Our amateur dramatic societies give several performances every year. The catholic youth choir usually performs at ceremonious religious events. The cultural association's activity is mainly organizing events.
Our nation's most popular sports event's fans can cheer our football team. Our tri-athletes and cyclists compete at national level. Our women's handball players play in the national second division, and we have a new amateur team, too. The judoists are in the forefront in their age-group, but besides them there are many people who are interested in other kinds of martial combat sports.
Most of the inhabitants from Kistarcsa work in the capital nowadays. We welcome entrepreneurs with investment plans to provide more jobs for the local people. For this purpose there are properties available owned by the local government and the thermal water found near the border of the town.