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Association of Municipalities in the Upper-Tisza Area

Felső-Tisza Vidéki Többcélú Kistérségi Társulás 
Fehérgyarmat 
Hungary



The Upper-Tisza area (micro-region of Fehérgyarmat) is situated in Szabolcs-Szatmár county, which is in the East of Hungary, bordering Romania and Ukraine as well. The micro-region of Fehérgyarmat was part of the historic Szatmár county of the Royal Hungary and most of its territory belonged to Fehérgyarmat township. Currently this micro-region has the largest extension and contains the most settlements in Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg county. The settlements of the Fehérgyarmat micro-region have settled onto the protected sand ridge between the rivers Tisza and Szamos. Settlement aggregations with small villages were developed in this area, and did not change during the Turkish occupation (1526-1686) in contrast to the areas of the Great Plain under Turkish subjection. Thanks to the extreme geographic conditions of the region, this kind of settlement system with small villages were preserved, which is unique in the county and also in the Great Plain. The average population of the settlements is under 800. Nearly half of the settlements have population of less than 500, in 23 settlements the number of inhabitants is between 500 and 1000, in 5 settlements the population is between 1000 and 4999, and more than 5000 people live only in Fehérgyarmat.

The small villages of the micro-region have unique heritage. Really particular architectural customs developed because of poverty and isolation, which can be noticed mainly in the church architecture. Thus the region enclosed by waters kept its characteristic image, mood, medieval built values and the customs of the people living here. The micro-region can be proud of the most and also the richest religious touristic values of Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg county. The recovery works of the reformed churches in Sonkád, Szamosújlak and Gyügye village were awarded with Europe Nostra award by the international monument protection, which hallmarks the highest professional recognition of the monument protection.

The small-sized churches and the wooden bell towers placed beside, the fancy cassette ceilings, the painted galleries and the colourful craved pulpit crowns give the particularity of the churches in the micro-region. Beyond the churches, the region has numerous nationally protected monument castles, from these the most significant are the Luby castle in Nagyar and the Kölcsey-Kende mansion in Cégénydányad. An other pearl of the built heritage in the micro-region is the last active water mill of Central-Europe in Túristvándi which is a well-known industrial monument nationwide.

More settlements of the micro-region have literary and culture historic mementoes: in Szatmárcseke the Hungarian Anthem was written by Ferenc Kölcsey in 1823; the landscape of Szatmár inspired Sándor Petőfi, who spent a lot of time at his friend Zsigmond Luby's castle, at the meeting of the rivers Tisza and Tur at the edge of Nagyar in 1847, where he wrote his poem with the title of Tisza; Zsigmond Móricz, one of the most excellent writers of the 20th century, was born and grown up in Tiszacsécse.



The Association of municipalities in the Upper-Tisza area is operating since 2005, with the cooperation of the 49 settlements of the area. The activities of the Association are including issues from the fields of education, social services, public health, and territorial development.

In order to fulfill its tasks of these various fields, the Association is constantly seeking for Hungarian and EU funding options, deals with project generation, prepares feasibility studies, studies about the state of the different fields, market analysis, as well as provides help for preparation of business plans. 
 
 
Reformed Church of Fehérgyarmat. Photo: János Nagy