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The history of Zalakaros and its neighborhood

Karos was first mentioned in a written charter in 1254. From etymological prospects, the name of Karos probably has Slavic origins: it is Karusic in the Serb-Croatian, Karynu in the Bulgarian and Karus in the Czech language.

In 1254 Karos was the land of the castle of Zala, it was royal property and it was under the control of the resident lieutenant of Zalavár. After the tartar times Béla the IV. and his wife, Mária were planting hospices in Karos and Komán the king sent out a letters patent for those folks who were registered into the property of Kontár.

The parsons of Karos witnessed to the Zalavár abbot on a synod kept by the archbishop of Esztergom in 1256: based on a certificate, Karos is among the tenth payer's places owed by the abbey of Zalavár, and the abbot exercised pope powers over the parsonage of Karos.
In 1276 the king named IV. (Kun) László gave Karos village to the church of Veszprém, together with its fair keeping and its customs picking privileges, however in 1355 we find Karos, Komár and Galambok on the Icing's hand again. I. (Nagy) Lajos donated Karos to the chapter of Óbuda in 1355, together with Komár, Galambok and Szentpéter, from this, Karos can be dated as a church possession until 1566.

With that royal gifting started up that process in the course of which the region of Karos is transferred to neighboring Somogy county. The provost of Óbuda and a social chapter became the new owners of Karos. In 1376 and Í111393 documents stayed up from the border lawsuits between Karos and Merenye. The church of Karos is mentioned in 1430, than a parochial church devoted to the respect of Szent László. In the forties of the 15. century the country was significantly affected by the way of domestic warfare: a fortification was built up in Komár, consolidating their authority above the neighborhood The deficiency of the certified reference may render the village's firm possession probable on an indirect manner in the second part of the 15. century. The economy booming in the 15. century brought positive changes in the area of Karos. The medieval booming was made an end by the appearance of the Turkish, the first Turkish attack affecting the area of Karos was II. Suleiman's campaign Í111532.

We may gain a picture of the plot numbers of Karos, and of its possessive relations from dical censuses: the 1536. yearly census says that the village lying in Somogy county is the property of Török Bálint where 26 homes were drafted.

According to the dical censuses dated in 1544, we can count with the booming of the plot numbers and the number of the population probably because of the temporary settling down of the population who were running away from the Turkish people. In the middle of the 16. century the village that became bigger, gained the privilege of a market town, which provided the rights of fair keeping and the rights of other services for the serf- positioned population who were in the property of the provost of Óbuda.

In the shadow of the Turkish empire from the declining of Szigetvár in 1566 until 1664 Karos got under the protection of the castle of Kiskornál’.

The foreign occupation taxation essentially imposed the burden of double taxation on the population of the borderlands: on one hand they paid to the border fortress soldiery, on the other hand the Turkish people also imposed a tax on it. According to the 1565/66 register, Karos paid taxes with 5 houses, but five years later this amount already increased to 12 houses. By 1580 Karos became almost totally depopulated: the village was found as a totally destroyed one. According to the 1597. yearly possession census of the market town called Kiskomárom, Karos started reviving again: the number of the plots were 16.

In the autumn of 1600 the castle of Kanizsa got onto the Turkishs' hand, and Karos got onto the edge of the new defensive line. In the first third of the 17. century the village became depopulated many times, it turned into a sheer, according to the 1640. yearly document they paid a 50 Ft tax, so it was repopulated. In 1651 the Turkish people from Kanizsa attacked the border fortress of Kiskornál’, the city and the grange, the surrounding villages were burned. Our newer data is made of 1653 about Karos: the village's tenth incomes were the property of the abbey of Zalavár.
During the time of the border fortress fights Karos was suffered on one hand because of the Turkish burglaries, and on the other hand because of the damages made by the unpaid Hungarian soldiery.

The Hungarian spreading of the reformation can be dated for this period: Komár became the strongest bastion of the Protestantism on the West Transduction borderland, and due to this thing, the people of Karos changed over to this new religion. In January of 1664 Zrínyi Miklós’ winter campaign began, the siege of Kanizsa was started in April, which was interrupted in June and the court of Vienna ordered a withdrawal. The Turkish armies took Új-Zrínyivár and the castle of Kiskomár in from strategic defensive reasons and those were blown up The surrounding castles got onto Turkish hand in the course of the fights, the defensive line was practically destroyed, so the places in the shelter of the former castle of Kiskomár - among them Karos - got under Turkish authority.

In 1686 with the efforts making over getting back Buda the liberation under Turkish rule began. Kanizsa got opened in 1690 for the Hungarian teams exchange of free passing. Karos stood the largest destruction of times just during the blockade period of Kanizsa: the marching military strengths decided the destruction of the inhabited settlements of the neighborhood in the interest of the efficient starving of the castle.

According to the 1690. yearly copyholder census, Karos is a sheer village, which was burned up by the blockade of Kanizsa. Following the siege of the castle, the lord, the chapter of Esztergom immediately set about the systematic replanting: the market town contract ordered to Karos 51 building sites. The census from 1696 mentions Karos in Zala again, and mentions the village among the Buda provost's possessions. On the turning of the 17-18. centuries the planting slowed down, the market town status of Karos came to an end.

In 1697, the copyholder census says Karos to be only for a village: 17 serfs and 5 houseless serfs lived on the settlement. The chapter of Esztergom is the village's owner of this time. Karos gave the tenth for the abbey of Zalavár, and supplied nineth to the chapter, the population had Calvinist and Catholic religion. The 1700. yearly copyholder register signaled the little village's economic strengthening: there was a mill in the village and it was fully copyholder by this time, the inhabitants were all with a Catholic religion.

One and a half months after the liberation of Kanizsa there was an agreement between the lord and his serfs which regulated in its details the eveiyday life of its residents. From among the four settlements belonging to the church lordship, Zalakaros, Galambok, Kiskomarom and Komarvaros all the time Kiskomarom was the largest one by providing the rank of a market town, Galambok came next, and Zalakaros was only the third one in the row of the settlements.

Because of the lord allowances the village started settling slowly, 11 inhabited serf sites and a working mill is already mentioned in the sources of 1700. The settlement developed slowly, the first Hungary census (1784 and 1787) already mentions 98 families living in 78 houses and the village's population was 564 people. The village had the first bigger tragedy in 1794 when under short time the fourth of the village was burnt out, but the inhabitants got back on their feet soon. After three years there was no sign of the consequences of the conflagration, the economy of all the residents of Karos was complete again.

From the 18. century the viniculture and the wine production was determining in the neighborhood of Zalakaros.

The wine village, which regulated in details the farming and all of the areas of the life, especially keeping an eye on the property security, came into existence.

Between 1785 and 1900 the village's population almost doubled itself, and then remained as a village of about one thousand residents. In the second part of the 19. century it lost more from its significance, it remained also as a small village even in the period between the two world wars, the inhabitants significantly made a living from agriculture.

Although it tried to get a town clerk in order for the administrative office to be locally, but his efforts remained unsuccessfully. The sparkling of the political life began on Zalakaros too after the World War II.: parties grew up, the parties tried to shake up the village's population, they organized a voting base for themselves. The land distribution occurred on Zalakaros, too, and the new farmers worked with enormous enthusiasm on their own lands. The results of the choices brought the right side's success.

Zalakaros became a village with an independent council by the configuration of the council-system and its development began rapidly and spectacularly in the 1960s. Searching for oil in 1962, 96 spontaneously, mineral saturated thermal water was found. From the 2307 meters blistering water modified the stagnant life of the small village in Zala. The building of the spa was started in in 1964 and was opened in September of the next year.

The bath was gradually developed because of the increase of the popularity. It soon became popular inland and outland equally: until now its record was in 1988 when 89150 guests were welcomed. From its existence more than 23 million people have visited it until now.

In 1968, a sport pool and a dressing room, in 1975 a roofed bath, in 1991 a wet block and in 1994 a healing-center was conveyed, in 1995 the sport pool was renewed and in 1998 the theme bath was built. Today, the Gránit Zrt. is the 6. largest spa of Hungary. Currently there are 12 hotels,760 private lodgments on the settlement which serve the tourism with seven thousand capacities, Zalakaros is included in the ten most popular Hungarian cities.

The village growing began in parallel with the development of the spa. The increasing tourism included the compulsion of the development and as the years went by the picture of Zalakaros has changed. The old village disappeared, an infrastructural well supplied settlement came into its place as the result of the conscious and professional city planning, the coronation of which was the manifestation of being becoming a city in 1997. The function of foundations, associations and artistic groups mean the civil life of the settlement, like for example the Karos és Zöld Ág Néptáncegyüttes, the Dalárda, the female choir and the wind instrument band. Four sports clubs condense the sportsmen.

The local government makes a primary school, a music school, a library, a kindergarten, an open-air cinema, a sport centre, a Tourinform office, a community centre and a city operation organization run. From 2008, the tourism of the settlement is organized by the local tourism association, together with the tourinform office maintained by it. The general medical supply, the dentist's consultation, the function of the ambulance station, the constant medical duty and the pharmacy serve the medical care of the population and the guests.

The local police station, with the civil police, and the joining foundation which was created for this purpose together with the local government created security that is important for eveiyone. They pay emphasized attention to the embellishment of plazas, to planting them with flowers, to the landscaping, to the formation of plaza creations, which is attested by the results of the Flowered Hungary movement, so in 1995 the settlement got the prize for the Flowered Hungary, while in 2002 it won the title of Hungary's floweriest cities.

The settlement made a cooperation agreement with the German Puchheim (Germany) in 1991, Asperhofen (Austria) in 1995, with Budapest in 2004, and with Olesnoval (Poland) in 2008. In 2009, the number of the constant population of the settlement is 2100 people.

Zalakaros takes a leading role in solving the area problems according to his urban rank. These things, up on the magisterial tasks expand on the hygienic, social, educational and sport activities, too.

(Complited by Novák Ferenc based on a monograph titled Zalakaros)