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Tamás Esze (Tarpa, 1666 - Nyitra, 27 May 1708)
The DRY-MILL at Tarpa
Tarpa history
Bereg Reborn
The flood of the new century
The Coat-of-Arms of the Village of Tarpa (The County of Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg)
We welcome you in Tarpa!
Natural values of Tarpa and its surroundings
General characterization of the Landscape Protection Area
Tamás Esze (Tarpa, 1666 - Nyitra, 27 May 1708)

A kuruc brigadier of serf origin. He tried to organize a peasant uprising against the Hapsburgs in 1695, and participated m the preparation of the "Hegyalja" kuruc uprising in 1797, in which he eventually did not take part because he had been caught and imprisoned by then.

Tamás Esze (Tarpa, 1666 - Nyitra, 27 May 1708)

After his release, he dealt with the trading of salt. After his conflict with the officers in charge of salt In Tiszaújlak (1701), he was hiding Iii the woods of the Upper-Tisza region. It was then that he againt met Albert Kiss, a vehement and loud man who escaped from the Várad prison. (Kis had been the second lieutenant of Thököly's infantry, and had been imprisoned along with Esze in 1695. He had also been a member of the delegation that went to Rákóczi before the war. Owing to his untamable character, however, Rákóczi had him executed in 1704.) Upon their return from Brezán, Tamás Esze and his fellows read out Rákóczi's proclamation in Tarpa, Vári, and Beregszász, and called the unsatisfied people of the country into war.

 Tamás Esze and Ferenc II. Rákóczi meeting (painting)

Tamás Esze was present at - the defeat at Dolha, from where he went to the Verecke Pass with his comrades. Ferenc Rákóczi II. appointed him commander of a regiment. Esze and his regiment took part in every major battle of the war. He was appointed brigadier by Rákóczi In 1707 as an honour for his achievements, and in 1708, he was given noble rank. His death came unexpected: at Whitsun in 1708, a fight was started between Catholic and Protestant soldiers, and when Esze tried to stop them, the crowd was gunned on superior order, and Esze suffered fatal injuries. His loyalty, merits and persistence were acknowledged by Rákóczi by promoting Eszes's regiment to his own courtiers.

"Kuruc-labanc" combating (painting)

The DRY-MILL at Tarpa

In the old time the place was called „Mező-Tarpa” which name is still used by the older people. The people of TARPA under the command of Tamás ESZE joined first the freedom-fight lead by prince RAKOCZI. The prince was generous for this and gave many special right for TARPA. The famous past of the village is kept by some architectural memorials only. One of the industrial memorial of this many streeted and large settlement is the horse drown, dry mill. The intensive agriculture has got started at the begining of the 18TH century. The increasing grain production resulted in building of many grain milling dry-mills. The dry-mills in HUNGARY were built in he middle age, mainly in the areas lacking water. in many places the dry mills were lined up in one street (i.e. Kecskemét, Cegléd). Before the XIXTH century the milling industry was a kind of folk industry. The mills were built by mill-carpanters who passed their mastery of mill-building from generation to generation. The dry mill was one of the centre of social life. While the farmers were waiting for their turn they have planty of time to talk. They have discussed the local events, weather and farming. The mill was respected and thought highly and it was not a place for smoking, swearing and shouting. In the beginning of the XIX-XX. centuries the steam-mills took over the role of dry-mills. The mill of TARPA did milling for the last time in 1929.

(...any further... )

Tarpa history

 "The village lies straight along the Ukrainian border, on the Eastern brink of Szabolcs-Szatmar-Bereg county. Its land area is 49.76 square kilo­metres, and with this, it is the largest of the community settlements in the region of Bereg-Tiszahat. In the South, it is bordering on the Tisza and its catchment area, with the river meandering along its borderline at a length of 12.3 km, while it is embraced by the water of the Szipa in the West and in the North. One of the two hills in the county rises along the border of the village, which lies at an elevation of 110-112 metres over the sea-level. This is the Nagy-hegy (Large-hill) (154 metres), a volcanic cone of andesite, covered in loess.

Nagy-hegy (Large-hill) (154 metres)

In the X-XIII centuries, this area was covered by gallery forests, where rich recd-grass, moor and marsh vegetation was abounding along the rivers and backwaters. The landscape was transformed after the field- and agri­cultural activities of the inhabitants, and their river regulating and flood protection activities started in the middle of the XIX century. The gallery forests became scarce, and arable land, grassland as well as the pastures of the flood areas covered bigger and bigger areas of land. In spite of all this, one of the cultures in Hungary can still be found here that basically stayed untouched. The most beautiful stock of ash-elm gallery-forests is the Téb­forest lying South-East from the Large-Hill, and the Old-Oak forest fur­ther to the North. Both of them are ancient forest remains (with 120-130 year old oak-trees) of hornbeam-oak trees where even the Carpathian cro­cus, a rare sub-Alpine plant from the Carpathians can be found.


The stone tools found at the foot of the Large-hill can mean that man settled in this region as early as in the Mesozoic era, and has been living here ever since that time as witnessed by archaeological relics (gold relics from the Bronze Age, tumulus from the Early Iron Age). As a strategic point, it was occupied by the Hungarians, who settled into the country at exactly this point at the end of the IX century. This is proven by the pre­served parts of the female tomb from the age of the Hungarian Settlement, found on the Large-hill.
    Tarpa was first mentioned in charters in 1299. At this time, its parish church erected for Saint Andrew was already complete. It was the estate of the Hungarian queens, and part of the adjacent domain of Munkacevo until 1395. Its owners introduced some Hungarian settlers (hospes) to increase the number of inhabitants in the village. They have come down in history due to their brute force used against the landowners of the neigh­bouring villages. In 1410, King Sigismund donated half of the village to Albert Nagymihalyi, his court page, who later became a church baron, a Croatian ban. The other half was inherited by the Báthories through the female line. These latter ones pulled down the Romanesque style church of the village in the first half of the XV century, and built a new one in a I Gothic style, decorating it with frescos. At that time, the number of the population might have been around 480, which meant that the village was one of the largest communities in the vicinity.

Village center: Tamás Esze statue, civil-masterly office, church, primary school, kindergarden

The village - due to its seclusion - was not affected by the Turkish-Hungarian wars in the XVI-XVII centuries, however the frequent change of its landowners had a major impact on it. After the Bathories died out, the serfs living on this estate of the Transylvanian dukes, dealing with trad­ing and commercial activities, were exempted from customs duties. In 1665, Leopold I. even endowed a right of holding fairs onto Tarpa. Out of its landowners, Zsófia Bathori left a very bad memory behind. She wanted to re-convert the population, converted to the Reformed faith in the middle of the XVI century, back to the Catholic religion forcefully around 1670.
    The most victorious years of the community were those of the freedom ; fight (1703-1711) led by Ferenc Rákócsz II, Transylvanian duke. Tamás Esze, one of the organisers of the armed revolt against the Habsburgs, was born in Tarpa. As a reward for his merits and those of his soldiers from Tarpa, the Duke vested the village with the right of the Heyducks in 1708, which meant that the people only owed him as their landlord military ser­vice.

Tamás Esze (Tarpa, 1666 - Nyitra, 27 May 1708)

Although this privilege faded away after the freedom fight, and was not confirmed by the king, the new landlords, the Károlyies appreciated the situation that had been created earlier until 1850. The people of Tarpa did not have to toil, and pursuant to a contract concluded every third year, they could redeem the services to the landlord, and the tithe to the king for money. The village slotted between the villages of the Bereg, and belong­ing to Szatmar county from the XVI century, was attached to Bereg county in 1836, where it used to belong in the Middle Ages.
    The Peace Treaty of Trianon, as a closing act of the First World War brought another significant change in the life of Tarpa. This Treaty drew the Czechoslovakian-Hungarian border on the Eastern edge of the village, cutting it off from its natural market, Beregovo and Munkacevo. The village, as the largest community with almost four thousand inhabitants, that remained on the Hungarian side, was the capital town of the incomplete Bereg county between 1920 and 1924, hosting several offices. The poverty between the two world wars, and an intention to remedy it encouraged Endre Bajcsy-Zsilinszky, a highly honoured politician of this era to stand for the parliamentary elections here in 1931. After one cycle, however, violence was used to make the candidate of the government party win again in 1935. The politician executed in 1944 was buried - in line with his will - in the graveyard of his beloved Reformed people in Tarpa.

Endre Bajcsy-Zsilinszky (1886-1944)

At the end of the second World War, after the Russian front moved quickly away, on November 21, 1944 all the male population between 18 and 50 of the Bereg part between the border of the country and the Tisza were carried off to the Soviet Union for "malenkij robot". Around four-hundred and fifty men were taken away from Tarpa, from whom hardly more than a hundred returned from Russia. On August 16, 1945, the Ukrainian militia occupied the village, and the national committee of the intimidated village was forced to sign their annexation by the Ukraine. The militia instructed by the Allied Control Commission to move out after weeks, almost fully plundered the village.
    The authors of the book describe the history of the village in detail until 1990 with the history of its Reformed church from 1593 until our days, as well as the foundation of the schools and their teachers. Woodworking, which may be traced back to the XVII century, has a separate chapter assigned to it, and the monuments of folk architecture, preserved in a high number are also presented."

Source: Tarpa compiled: Peter Nemet
Bereg Reborn

The region of the rivers Tisza and Szamos at the border of the Great Plain, at the foots of the Carpathian mountains was already a popular dwelling area for the first Magyar settlers of Hungary. The ownership of the territory has changed too often during the stormy history of the country. After the devastation by the Tartars and the Turks, the Treaty of Trianon, closing the First World War for Hungary, brought along another tragic turning point. The region was tom into three parts; one was annexed by the Soviet Union, another by Romania. The region, which had been rather poor and backward, came to a standstill.

Trianon peace-treaty on account of three division rained Hungary

The first act about the building of dams was issued in 1613 and in the 1 770’s the regulating of the Tisza began. But the devastating floods of the unpredictable river kept falling on Szatmár and Bereg. I myself have personal experiences in connection with the dramatic events of the flood of 1970 and the large-scale reconstruction that followed. 7,000 homes were damaged then. The constructors did not care the least about architectural traditions. The new houses with their cubic blocks, tent-shaped roofs and dismal frontals made the villages look even poorer.

On the 1970 engineered tent-top houses

The people of the villages ruined by the flood of 2001 were afraid that the same might happen again. Their fear soon vanished, as renowned Hungarian architects prepared two hundred plans reflecting the past and traditions of the region. However, only the layouts reflect the past, as the house were built from modern materials and units. The consortium responsible for the reconstruction worked hard for months.

New house

ISOBAU RT built 71 new homes for the victims of the flood in 22 villages in Szatmár and Bereg. They restored 337 private homes and 37 damaged municipal buildings. The company also renovated 13 churches and 5 historic buildings. The reconstruction of the Bereg area proved to be more than just the rebuilding of the villages: a complex area-development programme. 60 billion HUF flowed unto the villages that had been disregarded for decades. New roads, nursery and primary schools, community centres, sports fields, surgeries, social institutions, homes for the elderly and parsonages emerged. ISOBAU RT took part in these as well, building an old people’s home and a care centre in the damaged villages.

Social Nursing Center

Bereg has been reborn. And like a baby, it develops, grows bigger and richer day by day. The reconstruction was not merely a philantropic act, it was also an investment. The billions spent on rehabilitation further a noble cause, moreover, it is hoped that they can set off a long-awaited self-development. Now is the time to move our financial and intellectual assets. Because there arc great treausures in this land. The ancient scenery by the Tisza is beautiful, the brandy and the jam made from the plums of Szatmár, just like the honey, arc real Hungarian specialities, the apples arc succulent. The folkweave of Bereg is world-famous. The little churches and bell cages arc real gems. 

The people arc modest, open and friendly....

source: Tímea Tatár: I'm not spilt. The flood of the new century.

The flood of the new century

On the first Sunday of March 2001 the high-water mark of the River Tisza raised meters in a few hours. In the Sub-Carpathian watershed area an amount of precipitation equivalent to a month’ s average had fallen within two days, the snow had started to melt suddenly, which resulted in flood waves that had been without compare in the previous decades.

Barrier raining pre moments

The flood threatened 29,500 people in 29 dwellings in the Bereg region in North-East Hungary. Defence works started with great forces. The dams were reinforced with one million sandbags in one day. More than ten thousand people were fighting the water on the dikes. On 6th March the water flooded the villages near the River Túr unexpectedly. The flood swept down upon the Hungarian villages after bursting the dikes in Ukraine. The same afternoon another disaster fell on the region. The river broke through the dams at two points near the village of Tarpa, ciose to the point where the reinforcement works of the dams had had to he stopped for the winter in the previous December. The last bursting of a dam in Hungary had happened 20 years before.

Barrier raining's moment 06. March 2001.(Tuesday) 13 o'clock 30 minute

The settlements were flooded by 140 million cubic metres of water. In 24 hours nearly 20,000 inhabitants of 20 villages had to be evacuated or rescued. Seven villages were swamped in a few hours. The houses were standing in I ‚5-metres-deep water at many places. The main road crossing the Bereg hollows could not take a stand against the pressure of the water any more.

Apart washed barrier division

The flooded station (Tarpa)

On Wednesday evening the road had to be cross-cut at two points. Further villages were flooded. The water swept away the roads, too; many villages could only be approached on the top of the soggy dams. The old adobe houses collapsed one after the other. Homes of hundreds, the heritage of the Bereg region were lost. 181 houses were destroyed by the flood at once. 2870 buildings n 43 settlements were damaged, 700 of which caved in, 1,200 were damaged seriously and became perilous to live in. By the end of March 472 families, nearly 1,500 people found themselves homeless. The government immediately decided to undertake the costs of reconstruction, which was estimated to be 23 billion HUF based on the first damage surveys. In order to carry out the reconstruction works, a consortium was formed by six renowned Hungarian construction companies, three of which was from the very region. The plans of the houses to be built were prepared by reputed architects, taking good care of saving the style of the folk architecture of the Bereg region in their new works. The foundation of the first house was laid in Tákos in May and the first one was finished here as well in the middle of June. Most of the victims of the flood were waiting for their new houses to be built or the old ones to be renovated in tents, farm buildings and container-houses. At the end of August, during the most intensive phase of the reconstruction, nearly three thousand people were living in such unfavourable circumstances. Meanwhile, the number of houses to be demolished kept growing, more and more houses proved to be irrecoverable. 979 houses had to be demolished altogether. The government added an extra ten billion HUF to the funds allocated to the reconstruction of the Bereg region. The consortium built 714 houses and renovated another 1,500 homes. The reconstruction and renovation of municipal buildings, churches and other ecclesiastical properties and historic buildings meant further tasks. 5,214 victims of the flood could spend the Christmas of 2001 in their new or renewed homes.

New house series

source: Tímea Tatár: I'm not spilt. The flood of the new century.

The Coat-of-Arms of the Village of Tarpa (The County of Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg)

Shield erect. Its legend reads as follows: SIGILLUM OPPIDI PRIVILEGIATI HAJDONICALIS TARPA (The seal of the privileged Haiduk town of Tarpa). In field azure three ears of wheat are issuing from the ground, above it an eagle sable is borne, abaisé. The bird’s head is decorated with a baronial crown, in its raised dexter claw it is holding a sword, in the sinister claw another sword and a gun, borne crosswise. Around the shield, in accordance with the inscription, an oak wreath, tied with a ribbon gules at the bottom.

We welcome you in Tarpa!

It's a pleasure for us to have you browsing our brand new homepage! You probably didn't hear much about this village, therefore we've made these pages for you to get more information. We hope you'll enjoy this journey with us, and maybe you'll visit us once in the near future!

Natural values of Tarpa and its surroundings

"…Boundary of Tarpa is partly loamy, partly black soil, not demanding too much droughts or too much rain, it is applicable for farming just in temperate weather. On meadows yields good hay, nice orchards beside the Tisza. The Nagy-forest - with a rocky hill, planted with layers and cherry- is owned by the town, and the water of the Szipa is flowing just beside it, coming from the Borsava"

(FENYES ELEK: Georaphical Dictionary of Hungary, 1851)

Beside the settlement lies the Nagy-forest and the Téb-forest with the extension of alltogether roundly thousand hectares. Main stocks are the hornbeam-oak woodlands and hard­wood gallery forests. They can be visited just with permission as they are strictly protected!

The nicest part of the Nagy-forest is the about 10 hectares of „ancient-oaks" with some twohundred-year-old giant trees. At the end of winter flowers in the Téb-forest the Carpathian crocus, which lives just here on the Plain.

The underwood of the hornbeam-oak woodlands and the the old gallery forests contains flowering highland greenery as they like this place thanks to the cool climate. These are like Scilla kladnii, Isopyrum, wild ginger. At the edges of the forest cornflag and snakeshead lily occur.

The cone of the 156 m high Nagy-hill is the second highest point of the Bereg-Szatmár Plain and the Great Plain after the Kaszony-hill. Its surface is covered by loess coat of different width. Its original wooded vegetation - according to the growth of viniculture and former rock mining - disappeared. On the abandoned yard of the mine several typical flowers took refuge: all of them are inhabitants of the one-time hilltop's original vegetation. Windhover is nestling in the side of the rock and in the loess wall coloured european bee­eaters dig caves to nest in.

On the south slope of the hill press-houses form line among grape-parcels. Some of them are national monuments as several houses of the settlement also got this rank, like the trim building of the operable dry mill.
    We should mention the ground-beetle of the Bereg, as a native insect of the area. The presence of the common viper calls for caution!

General characterization of the Landscape Protection Area

In  1982 an interesting ,valuable, diverse world got the nature protec­tion clause on the Bereg-Szatmár Plain. The field of the landscape protection area is mosaic structured, and contains only part of the natural values.

(Picture:  Zsolt Vicze)

The most ancient witness of the history of the landscape is the Kaszony-hill beside Barabás settlement and the volcanic cone of the Nagy-hill of Tarpa. Both of them are about 10-11 million years old, their flora and fauna are very special, differs from the North-Plain substantially.
    The whole landscape is very rich in living and dead waters. Main rivers are the Tisza, the Szamos and the Tur. Beside them dozens of onetime creeks, about the same number of ox-bow lakes and myriads of more or less filled-up bed-sections, left here by the above­mentioned rivers can be found on the area. In the remainders of the ancient dead bed-sections stood out the thousands of years the peat-bogs, which are unique in Hungary: Nyires-lake, Bab-lake and Bence-lake. All of these bogs are strictly protected, can be visited just with permission! The alder bogs closed in the forests are much more young. Under their clear water black, sinking bolster can be found. This is the origin of the name of the Csaronda - means'black water'­which is an important creek on the Bereg Plain.
    At time of settlement of the Hungarians there the forests were almost closed. The remainders can be still found on the area although they were thinned radically. Near to the rivers vegetate riparian willow­poplar woodlands and on higher places oak-ash-elm woodlands. More far from waters hornbeam-oak forests can be found and in one of these there are beech trees!
    In the bigger forest blocks of the Bereg-Szatmár Plain occurance of the common viper is not a rarity. During the centuries inhabitants used the meadows - evolved through the clear-cutting of the forests - as pasture or hayfield, but these were the habitats of more grass­land-realated species. One of them is the corncrake which is nestling on wet grasslands and is a strictly protected moving bird. A substantial value of the landscape - a native bug: ground-beetle of the Bereg likes dry forest edges more. The mosaic land structure of the countryside is the result of the colours of forest spots, wooded pastures, ox-bow lakes and agricultural lands.

(Haris picture: Béla Habarics)

Wooded pastures and extended grasslands give particular land­scape experience. Very few places there are the wild-seeded so­called jungle-orchards can be seen which guard many species as natural gene-banks.
    Priceless treasures of cultural history are the 55 - contains 37 from the middle-ages - temples with painted interiors, the 16 beautiful wood bellfries, the mansions and parks of the one-time nobles, the cemetry of Szatmarcseke with idol-headstones, the operable water-mill of Turistvándi, the famous dry mill of Tarpa, the nice carved well sweeps, ethnic architecture and the slowly vanishing traditions which should be preserved in this country as there are nothing simi­lar all over the world!


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2009. évi Kulturális Programtervezet
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