The history of Szilvásvárad

We can find several assumptions concearning the origin of the village's name. According to Elek Fényes, Szivásvárad (meaning Plumcastle) simply got its name from plum production. Others think that it got it from the silicon rich raw iron, called "szilvas", produced in the forge that was functoining in the 1790's. Becouse a village can be found in the Baranya-county with a similar, Szilvás name, the Department Of The Interior made a decree (number: 39840/1. E. 1906), that from the two nearby castle, its name will include the word "castle". The formation of the name can be also explained with the latin word "silvae", meaning forests. According to a legend there was a village in Transilvania, called Szivás, from where during the religious war, reformed people were chased away, who fled to the Uplands and found refuge and new home on this land.

The Bükk-mountain- Szilvásvárad too- was already inhabited in the prehistoric age. The wide forests provided rich food, the caves gave security against the predators. The culture of Bükk can be found in the caves of Szeleta, Istállóskő, Petény ect. The mountain was continously habited in the copper and bronze ages too. The Bükk- mountain was mostly populated by the people of the Kyjaticeian kulture exploiting the natural forestsystem, and secureing their protection with earth-works. In the region of Szilvárvárad two stone-works like that can be found, in Kelemencszék and Dédes-Verebenc.

In the VII-VI. century BC. the Scythian migration reached the village too. The burrial fossils found in the north-east side of the Tófő-Mountain are one of the most significant. Untill the appear of the Hungarians, Slavonians and Scythians lived here, sometimes Avars and Vandals appeared too. The conquering Hungarians conquered the wide and plain area the first, and moved slovly in the northern regions of the Bükk. The abbey in Bélapátfalva was founded in 1232. According to a tradition, King Béla IV. during his escape from the battle of muhi, spent one night in the cave of Istállóskő, than spent some time in Bélapátfalva. ( Dr. Mór Wittner, The history of king Béla IV., 1983. Temesvár)

After the Tartar demolishion, nearly a houndred years had to pass, till the first written record, the 1332-37. year pontifical tenth-calculation mentions it by the name Warad. In the XIV'th century it belonged to the castle of Éleskő than Dédes. It became a royal estate with Dédes, when King Róbert Károly confiscated it, because of the disloyal grandchildren of Ernye Ban. In the time of Lajos Great, it was a royal hunting castle. It remained a royal castle estate untill 1438, when King Albert, along with the castle of Dédes, gave Szilvásvárad to the Palóczy. In this time, the name of the region was written Zylwaswarad, than Sylvas Varad. After the battle of Mohács, the half of it became the estate of the Perényi. The royal part was taken in earnest by Ferenc Kátay. In 1576 a reformed congregation existed in the village. The royal part of the village was given to Miklós Keglevich, by King Lipót I., Fernec Kátay gave his own part to Pál Szepessy, from whom Keglevich reconverted, and with this, he became the sole owner of the village. In 1966 Ádám and Zsigmond Keglevich gained donation at the whole village. Szilvásvárad from this to the end of 1980's remained the property of the Count Keglevich family. In 1792 Count Ádám Keglevich in order to use out more the wood material of his forests, he set up an iron refiner and forger factory in the Szalajka-valley, that used to be a memorial of the potash-burning. (The potash is an elemental material to glass produceing, in latin it is called sal alcalicus, the name "Szalajka" comes from this, earlier it was called Hámor-valley.) In the beginig the factory didn't have an iron melter, forge, thus he bought and carried the raw iron on a carriage from the ironforge in Gömör, to the Szilvas factory. Here, Slovakian workers settled in the Tótfalusi-valley, med tools from the refined raw iron. In 1802, Keglevich had set up an iron melter forge, from that on, he could melt the iron ore and produce raw iron in his own factory. Due to the weak quality and inadequacy of the iron ore, the enterprise worked in a small way. In 1851, in the Gyár-valley, or Hámor-valley, 40 worker house, factory buliding- for providing the water motivepower for moveing the bellows and iron-beater hammers- a flood gate and weir could be found. The iron factory produced mainly cast-iron, an amount of 8000 'metric center'(100 kg) cast-iron and 4000 metric center wrought iron, and sold it the the region of the Hungarian Great Plain. In the begining of the 1870's its equipment and producing techniques became outworn, the factory made deficit, thus it was closed and knocked down. The community seal's crest symbol in the XVIII'th century was a plum tree groving from the earth, with a plowshare under it, a flower on it's both side and the writing "Szylvas" going around.

In the 1950's the lipicai stud-farm was moved to the Bükk karst. Due to this, the equastrian sport started to develop in Szilvásvárad. The cooperation of the village and the county called forth the Coach And Four-Driving World Championship,ending with supreme Hungarian success, in 1984.

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