Jászberény lies 80 kilometres east of Budapest and 40 kilometres south of the Matra mountains on the banks of the Rivers Zagyva and Tarna. This region is a kind of transition from the Great Hungarian Plain to the slopes of the Matra Mountains, which wheather permitting, can clearly be seen from the town.
Jászberény, which has 28 thousand inhabitants, possesses unique geographical, ethnical and historical features.
The countryside surrounding the town has preserved its long standing characteristics, an outing, a walk along the river Zagyva in Hajta nature conservation area or along the romantic, almost untouched grovy banks of old -Zagyva, can be an unforgettable experience.
The River Zagyva
Hajta nature conservation area
Jász (or Jazygian) people of Asian origin arrived in the Carpathian basin along with the Kun people in the 13th century. The Hungarian king granted them the territory of Jászság, Kunság and Nagykunság (Triple Boroughs) to settle down. In return they were expected to provide the King with soldiers. The Hungarian sovereigns granted Jász and Kún people special privileges. They had lived freely and cultivated their own land not belonging to any of the royal boroughs for centuries. Jászberény was the administrative, cultural, and religious centre of the independent region. As the Ottoman occupation of Hungary ended, emperor Lipoth I. sold this territory to the German Order of Knighthood. This act ended the privileged position of Jászság and its people sank into serfdom.
Headquarters of the one-time Triple Boroughs, nowadays it houses the Law-courts
Monument to Jász people
However, Jász and Kun people joined their forces to raise the money necessary to redeem themselves and empress Maria Therese granted them their previous privileges. This was the so called "redemption" -redeeming themselves- a peculiar event in Hungarian history.
The rapid development after 1745 showed bourgeois characteristics. The people living here were neither rich nor poor, formed a kind of middle class and cultivated their own land independently not as serfs. Jászberény remained the centre of the Triple Boroughs till the reform of the administration in the country in 1867. At present Jászberény is the centre of the smaller region called Jászság.
A permanent exhibition in Jász Museum tells us about the events and relics of the past. This museum, which was officially founded by the town in 1873. houses one of the most beautiful and oldest collections in the country. The symbol of Jász people, our precious national relic, Lehel´s horn can be seen here. This beautifully carved ivory horn dates back to the 11th-12th centuries. The permanent exhibition displays the origin of Jász people, their migration, settlement in Hungary, how they lived, cultivated their land, the diverse products of their traditional craftsmen, the spiritual and cultural values of Jászság. Apart from the rich local historical collection the museum houses periodic exhibitions, to provide free scope for showing other aspects of the rich collection as well as to exhibit the masterpieces of local artists.
With one long walk starting from the centre of the town the visitor can admire the historic building monuments built in baroque and classicist style, the statues standing in well-kept parks, and the beautifully renovated public buildings. Wherever you go you can see the traces of the talent, diligence and localism of the people living here.
The Town Hall
Statues in Rococo style along the bank of the River Zagyva
A playground on Margaret Island
Girl carrying a pitcher
The Teacher Training college, which was founded in 1917 as a secondary teacher training institute operates nowadays as the faculty of the University of St. István. Its determining function is still teacher training but it also trains informatical librarians, social organisers, social-pedagogists and human resource managers.
University of St. István Jászberény Faculty
Botanic garden belonging to the University of St. István Jászberény Faculty
The first secondary school of Jászság was founded in Jászapáti in 1767, then, it was moved to Jászberény in 1779. At first it was a Roman Catholic Church secondary school but in 1896. it became a state secondary school. Apart from Lehel Vezér Secondary school there are 3 secondary schools providing vocational training, 2 primary schools run by the local government, and there is also a music school called Palotásy János Music school. Approximately 6000 youngsters study at the different local schools. Jászberény is the educational centre of the region, too.
Lehel Vezér Secondary School
Downtown Primary School
After Jász people had settled down here the Franciscan monks converted them to Catholic faith, and the monks were the first to build a church here in 1472 which was then followed by a monastery. The Turks devastated it and set fire on it, and then in 1586 converted the church into a plank-fence castle. The Franciscan monks returned in 1690, rebuilt their church and built an adjoining monastery in 1730. It gained its baroque character in 1802.
Jesus Christ - Church and Monastery
Main entrance to Jesus Christ Church
The first church on the main square of the town was built in 1332. in gothic style. An adjoining tower was built to it towards the river Zagyva - at that time the main entrance was facing the river. After several renovations - once it was damaged by an earthquake - it gained its present-day baroque character in 1782. The Roman Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady bears on its spire the copy of the Hungarian Holy Crown. The building of the Roman Catholic parsonage - built in 1763., extended in 1893. - can be found next to the cathedral.
The Main Church
Monument to the Victims of World War I.
The third catholic church in the town can be found on Szentkut (Holy well) square. The parishioners first built a chapel here in 1781, which gained its present day enlarged character in 1842.
A choir concert in the Szentkuti - Holly Well - Church
The Szentkuti - Holy Well Church
Reformation appeared in Jászberény in the 16th century. The small community of people belonging to the Reformed Church could only build a church in 1783. The present day church was built in 1870.
The Church belonging to the Reformed Church
The Inner of the Church belonging to the Reformed Church
Jászberény celebrated the 250th year anniversary of the Redemption proudly and magnificently in 1995. The inhabitants' enthusiasm and positive responds encouraged the Local Government and the organisers to decide to organise a summer festival annually. The Programs of the Jászberény Summer festival held annually since 1996 foster the historic and cultural heritage of the region. The local folk dance ensemble - Jászsági folk ensemble - organises an International Folkdance and Music Camp, which together with Csángó Festival , where csángó people and other Hungarian minorities form places like Moldva and Gyimes along with minorities from European countries perform their traditional folk dances, has become a central part of the chain of summer events. The International Honey Fair and Bee-keeper re-union attracts bee-keepers from home and abroad to Jászberény every August. Several thousand visitors arrive in Jaszberény from Hungary and abroad, as well, to visit these three main events. Promenade, pop and classical music concerts, periodic exhibitions, visiting choirs, fireworks and street balls are especially popular. Programs for children, sport competitions, children's programs, quizzes for families attract thousands of families.
An exhibition of embroideries characteristic of the region
Electing a Honey-queen at the International Honey Fair
Choir Concert in the Main Church
A Snapshot featuring Csángó festival
Déryné Cultural Centre and its institutions play a leading part in orienting the cultural life in our town. The Tourinform - Tourist Informational - Office, which operates within the Cultural Centre, always offers the visitors a wide supply of trips to the surroundings of the town.
Déryné Cultural Centre
The Town Library and Informational Centre with its considerable book and periodical collection, and its wide range of services awaits the inhabitants in its newly (2005.) renovated building.
Town Library and Informatical centre
Town Library and Informatical centre
The inhabitants of Jászberény are proud of the famous people who were born here. Mention most be made of Mihály Székely, the world famous opera singer, and of the actress, Mrs. Déryné Széppataky Róza, who fought for the rise of our national culture in the first half of the 19th century. The songwriter, János Palotásy, who founded the first, but still operating choral society in the town in 1862., was also born in Jászberény. The two festival choirs, Palotásy János mixed chorus and Székely Mihály Chorus belonging to the Consumers' Society of the Jászság, and Vasas chorus having won several golden classifications, preserve the popularity of music in Jászberény They have all performed successfully at several concerts and festivals both in Hungary and abroad. The kindergarten teachers' choir called "Harmony" and the school choirs all enrich the music life in town.
Déryné Széppataki Róza
Palotásy János mixed Choir
Székely Mihály Choir
The members of Jászsági Folkdance Ensemble have investigated, preserved and fostered the folk dances, the music and the national costumes of the people living in the region. With their folk dances they gained recognition in many European, Asian and American festivals.
Lehel-Harmony ballroom-dance club was founded in 1970 and ever since several thousand young people have mastered modern ballroom dances and have taken part in national and international dance performances and competitions, too.
Jászsági Folk Dance Ensemble
Lehel-Melody Ballroom Dance Club
The inhabitants lead a very active sport-life. The women's volleyball and handball teams gained national recognition, we can also boast with the successes of the men's handball team, and our roller bladers are well-known not only all over the country, but in Europe, too. The youngsters can try themselves in other branches of sport like football, tennis, karate, and chess. The Sports Club in Jászberény has fostered many outstanding sportsmen even Olympic athletes.
Memorial tablet to fencing champion Aladár Gerevich
Sándor Kurta Sports hall
Gyula Rétsági junior football match
The cultural institutions, civil organizations, arts groups do not only preserve the traditions carefully, but they also cultivate modern trends, establish new relationships abroad and organise scientific and cultural programmes.
Apart from the intimate parks in the centre, open air swimming pools, a thermal bath, sports grounds a Zoo and a botanic garden ensures recreation for the inhabitants. Visitors can find accommodation in cosy hotels, guest-houses, with families or even in a modern youth hostel.
Open air swimming pool
Zoo and Botanic Garden
The town which used to be a typical market town for centuries is nowadays a significant industrial, agricultural and commercial centre, too. In agriculture beside the converted agricultural co-operatives and joint ventures entrepreneurs cultivating their own land are starting to play an important role. Grain crops are significant, but mention must be made of the cultivation of onion and watermelon.
The Heavy Machine Factory - Aprítógépgyár -founded in 1951. and the Refrigerator Factory, founded in 1952. established the industrial development in Jászberény. Through Lehel refrigerators Jászberény became known abroad, too.
After the privatization Electrolux made a huge expansion, which needs a wide range of entrepreneurs as sub-contractors. They supply the wild world not only with fridges and freezers but with hoovers as well. Electrolux Ltd. Provides approximately 6-7,000 people with secure jobs in the region.
Electrolux office block
Heavy Machine Factory
The ground for private entrepreneurs has broadened especially in services, entertaining guests and commerce. Multinational chain stores such as Penny Market and Tesco have appeared in the town. The Jászberény based Co-op Star PLC operates its supermarkets and department stores in many other counties.
The first Tesco hypermarket in the county
Co-op Star Department store
Those who visit Jászberény are sure to find hospitality here and will leave the town with long-lasting good memories.