Nagy-Varad - Encyclopedia




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NAGY-VARAD (Ger. Grosswardein), a town of Hungary, capital of the county of Bihar, 153 m. E.S.E. of Budapest by rail. Pop. (1900) 47,018. It is situated in a plain on both banks of the river Sebeskoros, and is the seat of a Roman Catholic and of a Greek (Old-United) bishopric. Among its principal buildings are the St Ladislaus parish church, built in 1723, which contains the remains of the king St Ladislaus (d. 1095), the Roman Catholic cathedral, built in 1752-1779, the Greek cathedral, the large palace of the Roman Catholic bishop, built in 1778 in the rococo style, the archaeological and historical museum, with an interesting collection of ecclesiastical art, and the county and town hall. Among the educational establishments are a law academy, a seminary for priests, a modern school, a Roman Catholic and a Calvinistic gymnasium, a commercial academy, a training school for teachers and a secondary school for girls. Nagy-Varad is an important railway junction; it possesses extensive manufactures of pottery and large distilleries, and carries on a brisk trade in agricultural produce, cattle, horses, fruit and wine. About 6 m. S. of the town is the village of Hajo, which contains the PiispOk Fiirdo or Bishop's Baths, with warm saline and sulphurous waters (92° to 103° F.), used both for drinking and bathing in cases of anaemia and scrofula.

Nagy-Várad is one of the oldest towns in Hungary. Its bishopric was founded by St Ladislaus in 1080. The town was destroyed by the Tatars in 1241. Peace was concluded here on the 24th of February 1538 between Ferdinand I. of Austria and his rival John Zapolya, voivode of Transylvania. In 1556 it passed into the possession of Transylvania, but afterwards reverted to Austria. In 1598 the fortress was unsuccessfully besieged by the Turks, but it fell into their hands in 1660 and was recovered by the Austrians in 1692. The Greek Old-United or Catholic bishopric was founded in 1776.

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