Nyíregyháza (Hungarian: [ˈɲiːrɛɟhaːzɒ] (About this soundlisten)) is a city in northeastern Hungary and the county capital of Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg. With a population of 118,001, it is the seventh-largest city in Hungary and the largest in Northern Hungary and the northern part of the Great Hungarian Plain (Alföld). Its development has been ongoing since the 18th century, making it the economic and cultural center of the region. Nyíregyháza Zoo, with over 500 species, is recognized throughout Europe.

Nyíregyháza Megyei Jogú Város
Main square
Main square
Flag of Nyíregyháza
Coat of arms of Nyíregyháza
Coat of arms
Nyíregyháza is located in Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County
Nyíregyháza is located in Hungary
Nyíregyháza is located in Europe
Coordinates: 47°57′11″N 21°43′38″E / 47.95306°N 21.72713°E / 47.95306; 21.72713Coordinates: 47°57′11″N 21°43′38″E / 47.95306°N 21.72713°E / 47.95306; 21.72713
Country Hungary
RegionNorthern Great Plain
Established9th century AD
Market town1786
 • MayorDr Ferenc Kovács (Fidesz)
 • Deputy MayorMenyhért Jászai (Fidesz-KDNP)
Dr Attila Ulrich (Fidesz-KDNP)
 • Town NotaryDr Sándor Szemán
 • City with county rights274.46 km2 (105.97 sq mi)
116 m (381 ft)
 • City with county rights117,689[1]
 • Rank7th in Hungary
 • Density425.92/km2 (1,103.1/sq mi)
 • Urban
238,020 (3rd)[2]
Population by ethnicity
 • Hungarians86.1%
 • Roma1.8%
 • Germans0.5%
 • Ukrainians0.4%
 • Romanians0.3%
 • Slovaks0.2%
 • Rusyns0.1%
 • Bulgarians0.1%
 • Poles0.1%
Population by religion
 • Roman Catholic21.0%
 • Greek Catholic10.6%
 • Calvinists16.4%
 • Lutherans7.0%
 • Jews0.1%
 • Other1.8%
 • Non-religious14.6%
 • Unknown28.5%
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
4400 to 4433
Area code(+36) 42
MotorwaysM3 Motorway
NUTS 3 codeHU323
Distance from Budapest233 km (145 mi) East
MPTünde Szabó (Fidesz)
Győző Vinnai (Fidesz)
County Hall, Nyíregyháza by Ignác Alpár
Váci Mihály Municipal Cultural Centre, Nyíregyháza by Ferenc Bán


Nyíregyháza is located in Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County in the northern Plain region (Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg county, Hajdú-Bihar county, and Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok County). It is located in the center of Nyírség as an agricultural town. The boundaries of the city are often understood as a very broad frame, because generally the near suburbs are included in them. It is located at the intersections of routes 4, 41, 36, and 38, making the city easy to reach, lying at the crossroads to Sub-Carpathia and Transylvania.


The first written mentions of Nyíregyháza date back to 1209, although it was then called simply Nyír ('birch'), after the Nyírség, the greater region in which the city lies. A source from 1326 mentions that by then the city already had a church, hence the second part of the name, egyház (meaning 'church'). By the middle of the 15th century, the town had about 400 inhabitants. In the 16th century, during the Turkish occupation of Hungary, Nyíregyháza became deserted; it was resettled only in the 1630s-1640s.

After the War for Independence led by Prince Francis II Rákóczi, the town's population increased. Most new settlers were Slovaks from the area of Békéscsaba. In 1786, Nyíregyháza was granted the right to hold four market days a year; by this time the town was the biggest in the county, with 7,500 inhabitants. In the early 19th century, Nyíregyháza was wealthy enough to secure freedom from its feudal lords, the Dessewffy and Károlyi families. During these prosperous years, the town got a new town hall, a hospital, several schools, and a restaurant by nearby Sóstó lake ("Salty Lake").

The town's inhabitants took an active part in the revolution and war for independence in 1848-49, and after the suppression of the revolution, several were imprisoned, among them the mayor, Márton Hatzel.

In the second half of the 19th century, Nyíregyháza became more and more urbanized, and in 1876, became the seat of Szabolcs County (now part of the larger integrated county Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg). In 1858, the railroad line reached Nyíregyháza; several new buildings were built, including a telegraph office, the main post office, and the theater. In 1911, the tramway network was complete. After the grim years of World War I, Nyíregyháza remained under Romanian occupation for ten months. Between the two world wars, the city celebrated the 100th anniversary of its independence from feudal landowners.

During World War II, Jews were used as forced laborers by Hungarians. After the German invasion, more than 6,000 of the city's Jewish inhabitants were deported to Auschwitz.[5][6] After the war, 2,000 Hungarians were sent to Soviet labor camps (colloquially called malenky robot, or "little work"). Several buildings were destroyed, too, including the Status Quo Synagogue, whose front wall was preserved and is now displayed in Nyíregyháza's Jewish Cemetery.[7]

A monument in the memory of the holocaust victims was constructed in 2004.[6]

From the 1960s, the city grew and developed quickly. Today, Nyíregyháza is one of the most prosperous cities in Hungary, serving as both a center of education and a popular tourist destination.

Nyíregyháza is the birthplace of Israeli artist Zeev Kun, who was born here in 1930.


With a population of 118,000, Nyíregyháza is the seventh-largest city in Hungary.

Historical population
1870 13,015—    
1890 18,996+46.0%
1900 28,073+47.8%
1910 33,444+19.1%
1920 38,751+15.9%
1930 46,522+20.1%
1941 53,917+15.9%
1949 48,382−10.3%
1960 56,834+17.5%
1970 75,245+32.4%
1980 108,235+43.8%
1990 114,152+5.5%
2001 118,795+4.1%
2011 119,746+0.8%
2020 116,814−2.4%
Significant minority groups
Nationality Population (2011)
  Germany 613
  Ukraine 465
  Russia 337
  Romania 305
  Slovakia 214


After the fall of Communism, several foreign-owned companies appeared in the city. In the early 2000s, the largest employers were Hübner Flextronics Ltd. and Hirsch's, but during the period of economic recession, many companies eliminated several thousand jobs. Today, the largest public companies are the Lego Manufacturing Kft. and the Michelin Hungaria Abroncsgyártó Kft., providing employment for about 3,000 people.

A part of downtown



National road traffic to Budapest goes through the M3 motorway and four national highways (4, 36, 38, 41) and the lower state roads, other cities of the country and the settlements of Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg county. Szabolcs Volán Zrt. Launches long-haul flights to major cities in the region and to larger towns in the country.

Due to the nature of the city junction, Nyíregyháza's road network is heavily loaded. The city center is surrounded by a 2X2-lane "highway". And the narrow city center is bordered by the "small boulevard", the northern, eastern and southern parts of which have already been completed. The M3 motorway, which recently reached the city, will hopefully reduce traffic and congestion on roads passing through the city center. At the same time the motorway reached the city, the east bypass (main road 403) was opened, allowing those traveling between Budapest and Záhony to avoid the city. Those coming to Debrecen no longer have to cross the city. The Nyíregyháza ring road includes the already completed 403 road and the M3 motorway south of the city. The missing parts of the ring road are Highway 338 (already authorized, but with an unknown construction date) in the west and the northern sector.

The most important of its railway connections is the 100 electric tram line between Szolnok and Záhony, from where the number 80 line to Tokaj, 113 line to Mátészalka and 116 line to Vásárosnamény branch out. Nyíregyháza is the final stop of the Ohat-Pusztakócs-Nyíregyháza railway line, which provides passenger traffic to Tiszalök. Next to the station are the Nyírvidék small railway to Dombrád and Balsa, which closed in December 2009. Nyíregyháza is one of the busiest railway stations in the country. There are InterCity flights to Budapest every hour to Debrecen and Miskolc. Nyíregyháza welcomes visitors to the city in a new and modern station building.

Tourist sightsEdit

Nyiregyháza's Roman Catholic church with the newly built fountain in the foreground
County Hall

Nyíregyháza also has several museums and exhibitions, showing the city's rich cultural heritage.

  • Collection of the International Medallion Art and Small Sculpture Creative Community of Nyíregyháza-Sóstó – periodic exhibitions of works of contemporary artists


The current mayor of Nyíregyháza is Ferenc Kovács (Fidesz-KDNP).

The local Municipal Assembly, elected in the 2019 local government elections, is made up of 22 members (1 mayor, 15 individual constituency MEPs and 6 compensation List MEPs) divided into the following political parties and alliances:[8]

Party Seats Current Municipal Assembly
  Fidesz-KDNP 13 M                        
  Opposition coalition[a] 9                          

List of mayors since 1990Edit

Member Party Term of office
Zoltán Mádi Fidesz 1990–1994
Lászlóné Csabai MSZP 1994–2010
Ferenc Kovács Fidesz 2010–

Twin towns – sister citiesEdit

Nyíregyháza is twinned with:[9][10][11]

Notable residentsEdit


Near Nyíregyháza, at 47°56′12.17″N 21°45′28.35″E / 47.9367139°N 21.7578750°E / 47.9367139; 21.7578750 (Nyíregyháza Radio Mast), stands the oldest radio mast in Hungary. Built in 1925, it is a 115-metre (377 ft) tall guyed mast radiator, used for broadcasting on 1251 kHz (AM).

References and notesEdit

  1. ^ KSH - Nyíregyháza, 2017
  2. ^ Eurostat, 2016
  3. ^ KSH - Nyíregyháza, 2011
  4. ^ KSH - Nyíregyháza, 2011
  5. ^ "Pinkas Hakehillot Hungary: Nyiregyhaza". www.jewishgen.org.
  6. ^ a b Seemann, Uwe. "Information Portal to European Sites of Remembrance". www.memorialmuseums.org.
  7. ^ Chief Rabbi Joseph Leifer of Nyíregyháza is buried in the cemetery. He was the son of the world-renowned Rabbi Mordachai of Nadvorna, and settled in Nyíregyháza after World War I, attracting a large following there. His grave is visited annually by thousands of Hasidim.
  8. ^ "Városi közgyűlés tagjai 2019-2024 - Nyíregyháza (Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg megye)". valasztas.hu. Retrieved 2019-10-29.
  9. ^ "Testvérvárosok". nyiregyhaza.hu (in Hungarian). Nyíregyháza. Retrieved 2020-11-09.
  10. ^ "Nyíregyháza, Węgry". bielsko-biala.pl (in Polish). Bielsko-Biała. Retrieved 2020-11-09.
  11. ^ "Nyíregyháza – Ungaria". baiamare.ro (in Romanian). Baia Mare. Retrieved 2020-11-09.
  1. ^ Coalition of Mindenki Magyarországa-LMP-Association of Independents-Jobbik-MSZP-Dialogue-Momentum-DK.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit