Zsu's Blog

Living in Csíkszereda (Miercurea-Ciuc)

The city’s short history June 26, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — tzsuzsi @ 13:53

How I told, I don’t really want to write an encycopedia, but  now I think it is necessary to understand deeper what I am speaking about. So please -just if You want- let be open to a little history!

It can strats like a folk-tale -trying to be more enjoyable-: Once upon a time there were some little villages lieing near each other in the Csiki Basin at the Hargita Mountain’s bottom. We are writing 5th August 1558, when the Hungarian Isabelle  queen (mother of Janos Zsigmond, Prince of Transylvania)  called these little villages one “big” city,  “oppidum Zereda”. Because it was just a little location, it was called town.  This town’s name is coming from two words: first from the place where this extends -“Csik”, and the second is coming after that in every Wednesday it has place a fair -“szereda”.

  • The town’s old center is situated nowadays around the Mikó-castle.
The Mikó-castle in the old citycenter

The Mikó-castle in the old citycenter

“The building of the fortress was decisive in the development of the settlement. Ferenc Miko of Hidveg (1585-1635), who was Gabor Bethlen’s relative and confidant, and Chief Captain of Csik, Gyergyo, and Kaszon Chairs (traditional names for the Szekely counties), built the castle with four bastions on the corners, a regular rectangular ground plan and a sketch in the style of the most beautiful Italian Renaissance sketches from the 1620-1635 period. Its ‘Golden Bastion’ was mentioned by sources in 1654.” Its designer was the Italian Giacomo Resti.

The fortress was burnt up by the Tartars in 1661, then fortified in 1714 by the Austrian garnison troops with an external defense ring consisting mainly of ramparts. The first Szekely Infantry Regiment was stationed in it from 1764 to 1884. In 1849 as the commander-in-chief of the Székely revolutionary troops Gál Sándor had his headquarters in the Mikó Castle in Csíkszereda. In 1849 revolutionist poet Petofi Sandor paid a visit here and in the letter written to his wife, Julia, he mentioned: “The environs of Csíkszereda and Kézdivásárhely are wonderful”.

Nowadays this monument gives home to the Csíki Szekler Museum with permanent and temporary exhibitions and it is home of the City Library‘s Child-, History- and Documentary Departments.

  • Szereda has its religion history too. The town’s north-eastern exit is Csíksomlyó,  the place, which the Hungarians fuses. csiksomlyo_109
  • Csíksomlyó, which is in the outskirts of Csíkszereda, is first mentioned in a document of the pope dated 1332, when he acknowledges revenues collected from here. According to historian Losteiner, the village had its own church and monastery as early as 1208. “The Franciscan monastery of Csíksomlyó was founded in 1442 by János Hunyadi, governor of Hungary (1446-1452),  to commemorate his victory over the Turkish troops at Marosszentimre. The church and the monastery did not avoid the devastations of history. A deadliest attack came in 1661, when the Tartars set the church, monastery and the school on fire destroying them. Luckily (and heroically !) the next Tartar raid of 1694 was beaten back by well-prepared troops, even counting women within its lines.” Csíksomlyó became a pilgrimage place in 1567, when Hungarian king Zsigmond János  wanted to convert the Székely population to Protestant. The Székelys refused to abandon the Catholic faith and resisted. A battle took place on a nearby field, on the day of Pentecost Saturday 1567, from which the Székelys came out victorious. The monks saw this as a sign of the care of Virgin Mary, and since then, this event has been commemorated by a pilgrimage when the believers gather on Pentecost every year.

“The church and the Franciscan monastery of Csíksomlyó stand as a landmark in the Székely-land. This complex, and the pilgrimage here each year, have become a symbol of the brotherhood of the Székelys, their cultural and ethnic awareness of survival at any rate and, therefore, its importance for the Székely and Hungarian people in Transylvania would be difficult to over-estimate.”Csíkszereda, with a population of 50,000, today is an important industrial town and continues to be the cultural and ethnic center of the Székelys in the Székely-land. These wonderful environs were put into account along the time being settled up many spas which use the table waters, mofettes, mountain picturesque landscape from here.


One Response to “The city’s short history”

  1. Zsuzsi, mar irtam, de most szeretnem ujra felvenni a kapcsolatot. Nem tudom emlitettem-e mar, hogy dednagyanyam is Miko nevezetu volt.

    Szivelyes udvozlettel,

    Simandy Zsuzsa

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