—  Town  —
Aerial photography: Balasagyarmat, County House with the Medium and High Security Prison

Coat of arms
Location of Nograd County in Hungary

Balassagyarmat is located in Hungary
Location of Balassagyarmat in Hungary

Balassagyarmat is located in Nógrád County
Location of Balassagyarmat
Coordinates: 48°4′43″N 19°17′39″E / 48.07861, 19.29417
Country  Hungary subdivision_type1=County
 • Mayor Lajos Medvácz
 • Total 29.03 km2 (11.21 sq mi)
Population (Jan 1, 2011)
 • Total 16,396
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 2660
Area code 35
Website [1]

Balassagyarmat (formerly Balassa-Gyarmath, German: Jahrmarkt) is a town in Nógrád County Northern Hungary Region. It was the seat of the Nógrád comitatus.


The town's coat-of-arms bears the Latin inscription "Civitas Fortissima" (the bravest city), because in January 1919 Czechoslovak troops crossed the demarcation line delineated in December 1918 in preparation for the Treaty of Trianon, illegally occupying towns south of the line, including Balassagyarmat. The local population managed to push back the Czechoslovak troops in a serious military encounter in which many of the civilian participants lost their lives.[1]

The heroics of the town's people against the illegal and unprovoked invasion has been immortalised in the Kárpátia(hu) song "Civitas Fortissima"[2]


The town lies on the left bank of the Ipoly river, which marks the state border with Slovakia.


In 2001 Balassagyarmat had 18,474 inhabitants. The population were homogeneous with Hungarian majority (Magyars 98%, Roma 2%),[3] 100% of the total population speak Hungarian as their mother tongue.

Famous people[]

  • Balassi (Balassa) family (means "from Balassa")
    • János Balassi
      • Bálint Balassi (aka Balassa) (1554, Zólyom - 1594), "Baron of Kékkő and (Balassa-)Gyarmat"
  • Josef Dobrovský (1753–1829), a Czech philologist and historian
  • Márk Rózsavölgyi (1789–1848)
  • Rabbi Maier Zipser (1815–1869, Rechnitz)
  • Károly Bérczy (1821–1867)
  • Iván Nagy (1824–1898), genealogist, heraldic, historian (hu)
  • Father János Zádori (1831, Kátlovce - 1887), a Hungarian Ecclesiastical writer, lived here
  • Albert Kenessey (1889–1973)
  • Lőrinc Szabó (de Gáborján) (1900, Miskolc - 1957), a poet and literary translator, lived here
  • Lajos Ligeti (1902–1987), orientalist (hu)
  • Ilona Tokay (1907–1988)
  • Ernő Zórád (1911–2004) (hu)
  • Károly Jobbágy (1921–1998) (hu)
  • Iván Markó (born 1947), dancer (hu)
  • Zoltán Szlezák (born 1967), football player
  • Orsolya Szatmári (born 1975) (hu)
  • Sigmund Streisinger (born 1880-1942) (hu) - Famous glazer; moved to the United States in the early 1900s

International relations[]

Twin towns — Sister cities[]

Balassagyarmat is twinned with:

  • Heimenkirch

External links[]

See also[]

  • Slovenské Ďarmoty
  • Salesians in Hungary
  • Balassa
  • Balassagyarmati Fegyház és Börtön (hu)
  • Balassagyarmati evangélikus templom (hu)
  • Palóc Múzeum (hu)
  • Balassagyarmat tömegközlekedése (hu)