Reports & Contributions | The History of Hodod
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The history of Hadad


(Extrakt from a publication of the country museum of Sathmar)

Hodod was first attested in written sources in 1368, in a document which describes the border of the nearby settlements. Considering the spectacular development of Hodod, shortly after its first attestation, and comparing to the neighboring villages, it can be assumed that the settlement was established earlier. Nadisu Hododului, for instance having a similar history, is mentioned in the Register of Oradea in 1220, in a trial one a theft.

Queen Elisabeth, the widow of King Louis I of Anjou, donated the two neighboring villages, Hodod and Nadisu Hododului, to the Jakcs family at the end of the 14th century. The nobles of Jakcs family were the most powerful in the region, their residence being at Coseiu (Salaj County). Their economic power allowed them to build in this locality, the centre of the domain, not only a fortress, but also a Franciscan monastery. Like all noble families of the Middle Ages, them main concern of the Jakcs`s was to maintain and increase their ancestral heritage. Therefore, the Jakcs family remained the most important landowner of the villages Hodod and Nadisu Hododului until the 16th century. At this time parts of the two settlements were owned by the Csire and Pazmany families too. A long law-suit between the two branches of the Jakcs family, on the heritage of the female descendants, ended at 1489.
The last male member of the Jakcs family, Baltazar Jakcs, died in 1577, without heirs. According to his will, his wife, Ana, ought to be his heir, but another law-suit delayed the execution of the will, therefore the domains finally entered in the property of the prince of Transylvania.

Hodod used to be the centre of the region during the Middle Ages. Written sources attest an important economic development: in 1475 Hodod was able to pay a tax of 47 golden florins, representing a significant sum for that period. In 1482, the good economic situation was reflected also in the status of the locality, which became a fair (oppidum). It is obvious that Hodod has developed with the help of Jakcs family, who had built here a fortress at the end of the 14th century, shortly after the gained the settlement and the neighborhood. The strategic and military role of the castle became evident a century later, but as a consequence of its building, the locality below the castle, was positively influenced by the administrative and economic center.
The castle of Hodod was involved in all major conflicts affecting the Hungarian kingdom, and the principality of Transylvania, beginning with the 16th century. The castle was disputed between the parties of Ferdinand of Habsburg and John II Sigismund Zapolya in the 1560`s. General Basta conquered the fortress in 1600, because its defenders surrendered without fight. During the 17th century it became an outpost of the fight against the Turkish raids. During the rebellion of prince Rakoczi, the castle was one of the strategic points of the kuruc`s army. In 1710, it was re-conquered by Austrians and with the end of the war; it lost its military role together with the other fortifications of the area.

The Wesselenyi family became the owner of the locality, in 1584, gaining it through a princely donation. The family originated in the Nograd county, ant they arrived in Transylvania at the end of the 16th century. One branch of the family settled in Hodod, while the other in Jibou (Salaj county). After the castle lost its military role, the
Wesseleny family considered that a modern building would better serve their living demands, thus they built a new baroque castle, which is standing today in the center of the village. The Degenfeld family, of Swiss origin, settled in Hodod through matrimonial relations, during the 19th century. They become the owners of another castle situated nearby the Wesselenyi residence.

On of the most important contribution of the Wesselenyi family in the development of the region, influencing the ethnic configuration of the entire area, was the colonization of the German community at Hodod, in the 18th century. Their economic and cultural presence was a positive factor in the modernization of the region.

The community flourished of the 20th century, when, in 1944, at the end of the II World War, a part of the German population had retreated together with the German army, while among those who remained in the village, 43 persons were deported in the Soviet Union, in 1945. The number of Germans decreased considerably during the years of communist domination, especially in the 1980s, and their number in the area is insignificant today.

Georg Erdei

Last Updated on Friday, 19 March 2010 22:00