a small town in the heart of Europe
Where is it located?
Körmend is situated in a convenient area at the junction of 4 countries – Austria, Slovenia,
Croatia and Hungary. As a regional and economical center, it not only supports the population
of the city (12,800) but the population of the surrounding area (60,000).
The earliest facts we have of Villa Curmend terra regis – with means Körmend village, a royal
estate, are from 1238. After the Mongol invasion of Béla IV, town privileges were awarded to
the settlement – which already had a castle and a church. The landscape of the medieval town was dominated by buildings belonging to the church. The St. Martin church must have been built by the indigenous population, however the St. Elizabeth church was stood in the part of town where the hospes, German settlers, had settled. In the Middle Ages a parochial school was operated in Körmend.
In 1605, the city became the possession of Ferenc Batthyány, who was the royal horse
master. Since then, the history of the city and the castle has been linked to the Batthyány
family. The Batthyánys made Körmend the center of their farm and managed their dominions
– Körmend, Németújvár, Kanizsa, Dobra, Trautmansdorf – from here. At this time, Lajos
Batthyány started to have the castle expanded and transformed into a baronial castle. The
last owner of the castle, the beatified Lászlo Batthyány-Strattmann, operated an eye-hospital in one of the wings of the castle. After the First World War, Körmend’s natural surrounding narrowed and being a border-town was a hindering factor for development. Dynamic development of the town began in the 70s and it received its current urban landscape over the last two decades. In 1979 it was re-ranked as a city.
The main buildings of the castle are located in the centre of the city. Here you can find the
Lászlo Batthyány-Strattmann Museum as well as the Legacy of Generations exhibition for
the 750th anniversary of the city’s establishment. You can also view the only Shoe-history
collection in the country.
The garden around the castle is a protected park that has more than seventy different trees and shrubs with a 15-meter high obelisk in the center. The most famous tree is the 200-year-old maple-leaf plane tree.
Next to the Rába bridge, a baroque sculpture of St. John of Nepomuk protects water travelers.
Also part of the attractions are the neo-Gothic style Lutheran church as well as the reform
church that was built in 1788, its interior walls being decorated with wall-paintings by Jenő
Haranghy. On the Heroes’s Square stands a sculpture by Zsigmond Kisfaludi Stobl called
the Heroic Monument. The Maria Immaculata sculputre is found in the Freedom Square. In
Kölcsey Street, where a brewery used to be, an elementary school was built in 1902, and then in 1944 the Ludovica Academy took over the location.
Körmend’s other ’celebrity’ is the NB I.basketball team whose history goes back several
decades. They have won the cup six times and were champions three times.