Dunaújváros is situated on the left bank of the Danube, on the loess plateau of Pentele and in its side-valley, on the eastern border of Mezőföld. This midland belonging to the Great Hungarian Plain has transitory climate between the Transdanubian Hills and the plain on the bank of the Danube. At the end of the tertiary period, in the Pliocene era, the wind formed wind-blown sand surfaces out of the sandy deposit of the alluvial cones on the accumulation area of the rivers. Dust swayed by the wind settled thickly, it was in this way that loose and porous loess, dominant rock of the area formed.
Central Mezőföld, the surroundings of Dunaújváros, is the most characteristic region - because of its loess shapes - among the four different territories on the surface of Mezőföld. The loess plateau of Pentele, which determines the geographical image of Dunaújváros, took shape between the Valley of Seregélyes and the Danube. It rises with moderate slope and ends in high riverside formed by the river at a height of 180 m (above sea-level) between Rácalmás and Dunaújváros near the Danube.
The oldest archeological findings come from the middle neolithic age (middle of the 5th - beginning of the 4th millennium B.C.) from Rácdomb: ceramic fragments with the typical ornaments of the Zselíz-culture (clusters of lines connected with a transversal ditch; between them red and yellow stripes) referring to a settlement, some garbages and two graves.
The first golden age of Dunaújváros was in the middle of the 2nd millennium B.C., in the early and middle Bronze Ages. The present-day town lies on the middle territory of two different cultures: Nagyrév- and Vatya-cultures developped the two characteristic settlements of the area: Koszider and Rácdomb. In the early period of Nagyrév-culture, the structure of the sites moved constantly and the location of the houses forming small groups changed from time to time. In the later period of Nagyrév culture, the houses were orientated to the cardinal points, the location of the houses was fixed as well as the bounderies of the settlement. In Koszider the traces of the surrounding wall have come to light. In one of the mud-walled houses - consisting of two rooms - of the settlement, a unique cooker with funnel has been uncovered.
Vatya culture - which represents an apogee in the contemporary development of Europe - was formed by the settlement of the people of Nagyrév-culture and those of Kisapostag-culture coming from the west. Its territory consisting of several hundreds of settlements was defended by a chain of fortified earth works, in a unique way in the Carpathian Basin in the Bronze Age. Another significant element (290x185 m) of this fortified line spreading from the present-day Budapest to the island of Mohács was Dunaújváros-Koszider. According to its geographical, strategical and dimensional significance, the centre of the culture may have been here.
So far, 1600 graves have been uncovered out of the several thousand ones of the cemetery. It is Europe's largest cemetery of this age.
The site gave its name to a specific, independent craft of bronze casting as well as to the last phase of the Tell cultures. The Koszider-era is characterized by hidden bronze treasures all around the Carpathian Basin. At this time, a minor flow of peoples arrived from Western Europe and swept away the cultures being in its way chasing out the population of their homes. That's why the tells of Koszider and Rácdomb - even if they had been able to resist for some time - became uninhabited.
It was only in the late Iron Age that the area was repopulated by Celtic tribes. However, our town is not rich in Celtic findings: some characteristic Celtic blown ankleor legrings, spearheads, fibulas have come to light sporadically as well as some tombs to the south of the ironworks but tangible traces of a settlement have not been found upto now. It is also on this site that a treasure of coins - significant finding of the relics of the Celtic art: 300 silver coins of 4 drachmas - has been uncovered.
In the middle of the first century B.C. the military events reorganized the tribal quarters. The area from the Transdanubian Hills to the Danube and to the river Sió belonged to the Eraviscus. The tribes continued to exist and even survived under the Roman occupation. The survival of their characteristic pottery and tools proves the fact that their life was undisturbed in the province.
Augustus's expansional policy was characterised by Roman thoroughness and pre- caution: his aim was first of all to occupy an economically and geographically confinable territory. He chose the Danube and the Elbe (later the Rhine) as optimal frontiers of his empire as water way ensured the possibility of transport, that of the continuous provision for the army and of a safe connection.
By the middle of the first century a fortified line had been created along the limes following the Danube: the camps were built at an interval of 20 km where it was possible to keep an eye on the opposite side, on suitable places for mooring or near crossing places on the river. The name of Intercisa known from Antique sources refers to the fact that this fortress was founded after other castellums to the north and to the south. The military camp was constructed - first from soil and wood, later from stone - on the loess plateau of Öreghegy in the 90s. The stone in large quantity necessary for the construction of the castellum (175x205m) was transported from the Buda Hills. Its fortified places, its structure and its inner organization were defined by the norms of the empire. Its garrison troops always remained auxiliary military units of 500, later in the 3rd century of 1000 members. The troops are known by name from 92. From the beginning of the 180s, during almost a century, Syrian archers from the town of Hemesa in Asia Minor stationed here. This period was the golden age of Intercisa: it was in this era that the civil settlement (at the beginning a rural and modest, later in the 3rd century an urban site of Celtic aborigines, of the families of the soldiers, of veterans, of tradesmen and craftsmen) inside the camp reached its largest extension. Residential buildings once rich in ornaments, public buildings imposant even in ruins, unique gravegoods proving the richness of their late inhabitants uncovered in the camp and outside it indicate the particular rank of the castellum and that of the settlement. Its development may have been stimulated by the two visits of the emperor in 202 and in 214. According to the inscriptions, the public security of the area was ensured by a beneficiary station and we know about its several - mainly religious - collegiums. It had a custom station as well. Intercisa surpassed by far the similar military border settlements.
Around 260 the barbarian invasion sweeping away the Syrian soldiers did not depopulate the settlement but in the 4th-5th centuries its territory diminished gradually and the former residential areas became cemeteries. The walls of the fortress were strengthened and reconstructed (fan-shaped towers were put on the corners and the gate to the west was closed by a tower, too), and the whole civil settlement was demolished step by step and the inhabitants moved into the fortress itself. The late-Roman government being forced to defense could not provide more than some sections of soldiers, border units of 40-50 members, which were driven back to the tower fortresses built in one of the corners of the old fortress. The so called Restkastell of Intercisa was situated in the south-west of the camp.
In 433-434 Valeria was definitely ceded to the Huns: the soldiers were withdrawn and the population was removed. During several centuries, the uninhabited fortress was used by the leaders of the peoples of the great migration, while in our millenium, in the Hungarian middle ages and modern times, it functioned as a quarry. Although, for the Huns, who occupied this empty Roman province without any resistance, this former Roman limes fortress was not important. A minor Hun garrison settled in the donjon, which provided an excellent view far over the crossing on the Danube. The copper cauldron found there may have been broken at the death of one of their leaders during a rite. After their departure (455) the fortress of Intercisa remained empty for several years. It was not earlier than some time before 500 that a Germanic, probably Sveb, nobleman with his family moved into it. Their graves with rich goods were found outside the walls at the beginning of the 20th century. It is by chance that the archeological relics of the Germanic Langobards repopulating the area between 510 and 568 have not been uncovered on the territory of Dunaújváros as their finds are known from the abandoned Roman fortresses of this area. However, a bronze coin with Mathasvintha-initials proves the former existence of the Langobard lord of Intercisa. The rare coin minted in Ravenne could have arrived there by a journey of envoys.
Several settlements and cemeteries from the Avar Age are known in the very neighbourhood of Dunaújváros. The earliest Avar settlers' winter quarters can be found both on the plateau and near the stream Alsófoki. Their village consisting of about a hundred pit-dwellings protected by a system of fosses was uncovered to the south of the Roman cemetery on the plateau - for the first time in Hungary in such a vast expanse. The leader of the Avars lived in Intercisa, too. His presence is proved by the gilt bronze apex of a Central Asiatic Sogd or Persian helmet. After 670 people burying their dead with horses settled in Öreghegy and in the valley, near the stream Alsófoki along present-day Baracsi Road. The graves with horses and the great number of men with cast bronze girdles refer to the rank - outstanding in the area - of the people along the stream Alsópatak in the 8th century.
The troops of Charlemagne reached Intercisa or its surroundings in summer 796 when the independent political rule of the Avars was over. We possess neither reliable archeological finds nor written data about what this change meant in the life of the local, ordinary people.
The conquering Hungarians took possession of Transdanubia in 900. The isolated grave of a young girl, member of the high rank community settled in this area has been uncovered on the site of the iron works. The cemetery of 45 graves of ordinary people was situated to the west of Pincesor, 100 m from the castellum. The traces of their settlement have not been found yet. It may have been located in a part of the ruined fortress which the the archeological searches have not reached, yet.
The people of the 11th century burried the dead to the north of the vestiges of the castellum. The settlement uncovered on the bank of the Danube comes from about the same age: it can be ascribed to the 11th - 13 th centuries. The gable roofed houses were 3x3,5m, their groundfloor was lowered into the ground, their ovens were put in front of the entry. On the southern confines of Dunaújváros, on a territory called Puszta Szent Egyház, the foundations of a one-naved church ending in apse have been found. In the churchyard, 211 graves have been uncovered from the 12th - 13th centuries. According to the coin goods, some corpses were burried on this site even after the demolishing of the church, in the second half of the 13th century. The vestiges of the former village have not been found yet.
The monastery named after Saint Pantaleon, situated on an island of the Danube, was first mentioned in connection with a law suit in a charter. The date of the construction and the builder of the monastery probably inhabited by monks of Greek rite are unknown but it must have been done before the schism of 1054. The vestiges of the island were scoured during the control of the river, therefore our only source about the exterior of the monastery is scribe Lázár's map. The abbot was the member of Andornok clan whose castle was situated on the firm ground, perhaps on present-day Rácdomb.
The charter does not indicate the location of the village, either. During the Tartar invasion, in 1242, not only the clan died out but also the castle and the monastery were destroyed. They were not reconstructed later. In the 16th century, piquant stories in Boccaccio's style were told about the ruins on the island.
In the second part of the 13th century, due to royal donations, the building in ruins and the village - whose church may have received the patron saint of the monastery of the island at this time - had several owners. They finally became the possessions of Zsadány clan and its descendants, Szentkirályi and Almási clans who will have been present in the sources until the Turkish period. The church of Pentele was first mentioned in the middle of the 14th century. One century later, the neighbouring parishes of Apostag and Almás belonged to that of Pentele as its affiliated churches.
In the 16th century Hungarian and Turkish troops as well as legations often marched through Pentele. In 1514 after the occupation of Buda, the Turks placed Pentele into the sanjak of Buda of the vilajet of Buda and into the nahije of Buda. The Turkish tax surveys of the 16th century provide relatively exact data about the population of the village as well as about its economic capacities and the more and more increasing taxes paid to Turkish landlords by the serfs of Pentele. The new Hungarian landlords, the members of Paksy family, however - just üke the whole Hungarian nobility on the other occupied territories of the country - did not resign to their rights collecting taxes during the 150 years of the Turkish occupation. Pentele was not extinguished in spite of the double taxation, but it was among the major villages with its population of 180-185. It was only during the fifteen years' war, 1593-1606, that people escaped this part of the country becoming a battlefield.
After the peace treaty, not only the returning Hungarians but also Serbs from the Balkans cooperating with the Turks settled down. In the 1630s, the Turks built a plank castle in Rácdomb in order to put an end to the Hungarian soldiers' sudden attacks from the border castles. In 1661, the Christians burned it down but it was reconstructed the following year. Evlia Cselebi, the great traveller deseribed the new plank castle - which could receive 300 soldiers - with the jami. The Germán emperor's legate - and spy - Heinrich Ottendorff made a drawing about the fortress and its surroundings in 1663.
During the war of liberation, which put an end to the Turkish rule, the majority of Pentele's population fled away or died. The village was liberated in 1686. The same year and the next one, Charles of Lorraine visited the settlement. At Pentele, a pontoon- bridge ensured the connection with the left bank of the Danube for the Christian troops.
After the unsuccessful siege of Vienna, the Turks' positions weakened in Hungary. In 1686, the Christian troops reoccupied Buda and Belgrad and in 1688 Fejér county was liberated from Turkish rule as well.
In Fejér county - just like in other parts of the former Turkish Empire - the most important task was to repopulate the desert or poorly populated villages and to start the cultivation of desert lands. It was from the end of the 17th century that this territory became multinational and multicolour in its language, religion and culture. Similar processes took place in Dunapentele, too. At first, it was inhabited only by Serbs following the Greek Orthodox religion, but later Reformed Hungarians settled as well.
The repopulation process of the village finished in the middle of the 1740s when the landlord, József Rudnyánszky settled Roman Catholic Hungarian families in Pentele. The rise of the number of population proves the results of repopulation. At the end of the 17th century the settlement had 200-220 inhabitants, in the middle of the 18th century 1300, under the rule of József II already 1800.
According to the religion of the population, appropriate religious organizations were formed. In 1696, the Serbs following the Eastern rite organized their community. The Roman Catholics - with the help of the landlord - erected their church in 1748. In 1752, the bishop of Veszprém raised the settlement to the rank of independent parish.
Under the conditions of feudal society, the economic development reached its summit at the beginning of the 19th century. The sovereign elevated the settlement to the rank of market town. The right of markets contributed to the strengthening of the craftsmen's and commerciants' layers and gave a lift to the business of the Danube's millers preparing cereals. In the first part of the 19th century, 34 craftsmen and 15 tradesmen lived in Dunapentele. The majority of the tradesmen were of Israelitic religion.
From the end of the 17th century to the spring of 1848, until the outbreak of the bourgeois revolution, movements of serfs took place for the land, for the agricultural territories used by them and for the protection of pastures making it possible to keep livestock. After 1688 the Serbs living here required the reduction of military charges, the Serb and Hungarian inhabitants asked for that of the seigniorial burdens. In 1836, under the leadership of Márton Szórád master bootmaker, a local rising broke out.
The Revolution and War of Independence of 1848-49 had significant effects on the market town, too. The serfs with land became the free owners - exempt from feudal obligations - of the lands in their use. They got free of the landlord's ninth and the church tithes. A part of the population of the market town received the right of voting and could join the National Guard protecting public security. However, the contradictions of bourgeois changes having begun in spring 1848 appeared, too; the cotters entered the bourgeois capitalist era with empty hands and no lands of their own. The landlords' usufruct (mills, inns, butcher's...) was not abolished either. The conflicts reached their climax in summer 1849.
The protection of bourgeois changes and national idependence united the population from autumn 1848. In September and October 1848, the crossing place on the Danube was guarded by territorials and during the first months of 1849, under the temporary Austrian occupation, a large majority of the population and the aldermen opposed to the imperial will by several methods.
Following the suppression of the Revolution and War of Independence certain achievements of the bourgeois change survived (liberation of serfs, abolition of landlords' ninth and church tithes) but national independence was replaced by tyranny for ten-fifteen years.
It was during this period, that free peasant estates were registered and that the layer of middle peasants formed and remained - until World War II - dominating economic and political factor in the market town, from 1872 in the village. The self-organization of the local society developed: economic and cultural associations were established. Pál Rosty was a characteristic figure of the 1860s and 1870s: he turned out to be an adherent of national independence and bourgeois changes. He completed his work by scientific activity and by the popularization of photography.
Bourgeois changes becoming more and more significant after the Compromise of 1867 were broken by an anabaptist movement - with important social content - in 1875, and later, from the turn of the century by agrarian socialist movements. The left- wing political purposes reached their climax during the period of the Hungarian Soviet Republic (1919). From March to August 1919, Soviet-Russian type political and economic system was introduced in Dunapentele, too.
The population of the market town, later that of the village changed during the almost one hundred years of the bourgeois era in the following way: in 1850 2678, in 1870 3083, in 1920 4197, in 1930 3905, in 1941 3981 people were registered. The property of agricultural land did not change basically: big landlords possessed 40% of the cultivated land, while small- and middle holders possessed its 60%.
The years of World War II meant hard times: from 1941, conscriptions became more and more frequent while civil population was afflicted by rationing. The Jewish were deported in summer 1944. 145 men were killed in action, and the number of civil casualties was 69. 56 Jews were executed in the concentration camps of Germany.
The chapter analyzing the education of Dunapentele from the expulsion of the Turks to the middle of the 20th century focuses on the beginning of the education in public elementary schools. The Greek Orthodox population of Serb nationality had a school from the beginning of the 1740s. The Roman Catholic Hungarians opened their school in the middle of the 18th century. The schoolchildren of both religions attended regularly the educational institutions only during the winter period. In the middle of the 19th century, 24 Serb children and 313 Hungarian ones were of school age. In the 1850s the Israelitic community opened its school, too. At the beginning of the 20th century, church schools and municipality schools wrestling with serious financial difficulties were replaced by State schools. The "Daily" State Elementary School of Dunapentele was opened in autumn 1907. Between the two world wars (1920-1939) youth associations and organizations were created and from September 1940 the obligatory public education of 8 grades substituted for the public elementary school of six grades. The school building was seriously damaged from December 1944. In spring 1945 it had no whole windows, no whole doors. There were no tables, no cupboards; the library and the archives were destroyed, no school registers remained. Following World War II the reconstruction of the school building and the establishment of the material and personal conditions of education turned out to be the primordial tasks.
In spring 1945 the Germán occupation was replaced by the occupation of the Soviet Red Army. The period between 1945 and the summer of 1948 resulted in the headway of the Soviet-type political system in Dunapentele, too. Democratic parties were formed and parliement elections took place. In spite of this, with the assistance of the Soviets, the Hungarian Workers' Party seized the power and the one-party system and the organization of the dictatorship of the proletariat were established.
In Dunapentele the land reform was carried out after the end of World War II. Large and middle size estates were parcelled out (the estates larger than 100 cadastral acres were parcelled out, too) and as a result small properties became dominant. By this land reform 2600 cadastral acres were distributed to the claimants.
In spring 1945 war damages were started to be eliminated. 470 residential buildings had to be reconstructed as well as the Roman Catholic and the Greek Orthodox churches, the Village Hall and the school building. The road and railway network, the electricity services, the commercial system and the factories satisfying mainly local demands needed reconstruction. The cooperation of the population during the period of reconstruction serves as a historical example.
This process alimented by local resources was broken by the dictatorship of the proletar iat from 1848. At the beginning of the rapid industrialization in Hungary, at the period of the first five years' plan (1950-1955) a party and govemment decision ordained to build integrated metallurgy works and a new town in Dunapentele. The preparing works commenced in spring 1950 and on 2nd May the construction of the ironworks and of the town began. The natural surroundings were modified: on the area where people were concerned with the cultivation of the land during several centuries, now the foundation works of plants, factories and residential buildings were started. The living and working conditions of the population of Dunapentele changed decisively. The constructions attracted labour force from all parts of the country: workers came from very different social classes. At the end of 1950 the population of the village reached 4200, while the number of people working on the building sites was 7100. In spring 1953 - in the period of the temporary restrictions on investments - already 25000 people lived in the settlement declared to be a town in 1953. The spirit of the age can be easily characterized by the fact that the new town was named after Stalin. Sztálinváros integrated Dunapentele and the ironworks received the name of Stalin, too. The dimensions of the constructions can be expressed by the investments: in 1950 400 million, in 1951 600 million, in 1952 1,2 thousand millions and in 1953 1,4 thousand millions HUF were invested in the first socialist town of Hungary and the ironworks.
From summer 1953 the future of the town and of the ironworks became temporarily uncertain. The future of the ironworks based on Soviet iron ore was judged pessimistically.
The critiques on the political methods and economic conceptions of the communist dictatorship were more and more voiced. The social dissatisfaction was expressed by both intellectuals and workers. The Revolution and War of Independence broken out on 23rd October 1956 evoke the glorious days of the history of the town. A struggle for the liberty against the occupant Soviet troops commenced. On 7th November 1956 the Soviet numerical superiority made the freedom fighters yield. 24 people sacrified their lives to national independence in the period of the Revolution and War of Independence.
Fear and terror ruled: in 1957 retorsions started and more than 30 people were brought to justice. Sztálinváros became again the first social town of Hungary and the investments restricted in 1953 ran up again. The population of the town grew dynamically: in 1960 it exceeded 30 000, in 1970 44 000 and in 1980 60 000.
The rapid rise of the population made the establishment of educational and cultural institutions inevitable. Kindergartens, elementary and secondary schools were built and a metallurgical technical school and an industrial vocational school were opened in order to satisfy the ironworks' demand for skilled workers. In 1951 an elementary school with 20 classrooms (Vasvári Pál Elementary School) was inaugurated and the first grammar school and technical school of the town were established in 1953. The college - the Metallurgical College Faculty of the Heavy Industries Polytechnic University of Miskolc
Among the cultural and public collection institutions the Intercisa Museum founded in 1951 and the Béla Bartók Culture House opened in 1953 play a great part. The museum can be proud of its international achievements while the Béla Bartók Culture House has supported several artistic, musical and theatrical initiations and performances. Since the middle of the 1970s the Workers' Cultural Center has proved to be an important factor of cultural life.
The chapter concerned with the architecture of the town reveals the fact that Dunaújváros is quite appropriate to present and evaluate the Hungarian architecture, its trends, results and deficiencies at the period from 1950 up to now.
A brief evaluation deals with the events conceming the development and the history of sport in the town. It focuses on sportsmen doing well at Olympic Games, World and European Championships. A historical chronology surveys the economic, politic and cultural events following the change of system.