Four-year research project on Historic Towns Atlases being housed by the Department: The Hungarian Atlas of Historic Towns (Magyar Várostörténeti Atlasz)

April 5, 2010



Town plans, reflecting the spatial structure of urban settlements, form a decisive but often neglected part of mankind’s cultural heritage. Compiling the historical atlases of European towns is a major research project of the International Commission for the History of Towns ( With already more than 460 town atlases published, this European project makes available comparative material on a uniform scale and following set standards from eighteen European countries. A full list of atlases published so far is available at:

The first phase of the work in Hungary, accomplished with the support of the Hungarian National Research Board (OTKA) between 2004 and 2008, resulted in preparing materials for the atlases of Buda (up to 1686), Kecskemét, Sátoraljaújhely, and Sopron. The aim of the Hungarian project funded by OTKA Grant No. K 81568, lead by Katalin Szende and hosted by the Department of Medieval Studies at CEU between March 2010 and December 2013 is to assemble the historic atlases of six further Hungarian towns:

  • Buda (1686–1848) (Katalin Simon, Budapest City Archives and Eleonóra Géra, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest)
  • Kőszeg (István Bariska, Kőszeg Town Archives)
  • Miskolc (Éva Gyulai, University of Miskolc)
  • Pécs (Tamás Fedeles, University of Pécs)
  • Szeged (László Blazovich, University of Szeged)
  • Vác (Orsolya Mészáros, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest)

The set of maps of each town will be compiled from the following elements, according to the guidelines of the International Commission for the History of Towns:

  • A/1 Town plan reconstructing the built-up area of the town as it appeared in the mid-nineteenth century, showing the pattern of house-plots before industrialization. Scale: 1:2500.
  • A/2 A map of the surrounding region, from the same period as the previous one. Scale: 1:50.000.
  • A/3 A series of town plans showing the main development phases of the town, based on Map 1, on a separate sheet. Scale 1:5000.
  • A/4 Modern town plan. Scale: 1:5000.

The maps – similarly to the four already compiled atlases, which are being prepared for publication – will be complemented, depending on the availability of relevant source material, with thematic socio-topographical maps (B) and with reproductions of original surveys and town prospects (C). The atlases also contain detailed historical-topographical essays, explaining the development of the town plan and its main structural units from their emergence up to the present (or within the time frame indicated in the proposal). The textual part of the atlases is augmented by a detailed gazetteer which contains thematically structured sets of information on the main topographic features and public buildings of the given settlements, providing a useful tool for further research.