The commune of Bögöz (Mugeni, Begesen) wants to commission a coat of arms that would be widely accepted by the community, thus strengthening local identity, the Székelyhon.ro news portal wrote. The mayor’s office thus calls upon the people living in the villages belonging to the commune of Bögöz to draw and send in ornamental motifs for their settlement. A Transylvanian heraldry specialist will then choose which works will be included in the future coat of arms of Bögöz.
“The commune of Bögöz wants to commission a coat of arms, which would be unique and which the members of the community would be proud of. The more local organizations would use it, the better, but we will not oblige anyone to do so,” Mayor Zoltán Ülkei told Székelyhon. As the municipality believes it is important to involve all the eight settlements of Bögöz, in the call for the tender, they announced that everyone living in these villages – without any age limitation – is invited to draw a coat of arms using the decorative elements characteristic to their own settlement. The works will be analyzed by a professional jury, and the best creations will be awarded. The Bögöz mayor’s office will also canvas through the historic coats of arms of the villages and the ecclesiastic institutions, thus the municipality invites all of its villages and parishes to send in replicas of their blazons to firstname.lastname@example.org by June 7.
Ülkei emphasized that only some elements and motifs of the winning works might be used by a heraldry expert to design the final, official coat of arms for Bögöz.
In any case, a public forum will be organized before the municipality representatives accept the coat of arms designed by the expert, the mayor said. At this meeting, the expert will explain the meaning of each symbol and also hear out the insights of the locals. Mayor Ülkei hopes that they will be able to present the new coat of arms to the community later this year. He added that the blazon must be accepted at both the county and central level as well to become official.
Bögöz is one of the oldest settlements of Szeklerland’s Udvarhelyszék region.
The village of Bögöz is located in the floodplain of the central valley section of the Nagy-Küküllő river, in the Bögöz basin. The commune is the administrative center of seven other villages. Archaeological finds prove that the area had been inhabited by various groups even in the Neolithic period, 6,500 years ago. Romans lived in the area too, leaving the territory at the end of the 3rd century. For almost the next eight centuries, the area was uninhabited, and then at the end of the 11th century, a new ethnic group settled there, the Pechenegs (Besenyők in Hungarian). It is believed that the name of the locality originates from the Pecheneg language, and it was first documented in written form – Bugus – in the 1333 papal tithe registration. In the Cuman language, the word “bögüz” means strait, which is an appropriately descriptive name for the village, as it lies near the Bonta strait.
Archaeologists have found several elements of pottery and houses built partly underground (so-called sunken featured buildings) of the early medieval settlement as well, which was built during the Árpád dynasty of the Hungarian Kingdom.
The Reformed Church of Bögöz is one of the most beautiful and representative ecclesiastic buildings of the region. In the middle ages, it was a Catholic church with a valuable mural ensemble depicting details from the legend of the great medieval Hungarian King, Saint Ladislaus, commonly referred to as the “Knight King.” Art historians also mention that the late-Gothic sanctuary, the pointed-arch windows, and the late-Gothic consoles are particularly beautifully carved.
The first construction phase of the Bögöz church dates back to the 13th century.
The early medieval sanctuary can still be found in today’s church. Later, in the early 14th century, the earlier church building was expanded with a more massive nave, a semicircular sanctuary and a tower; a sacristy was added at the beginning of the 15th century. By the turn of the 15th–16th centuries, the congregation grew, and the sanctuary was expanded again, reshaped into a polygonal form and supported with Gothic buttresses. On the north side, a second sacristy was constructed as well.
The first burials inside the church date back to the 15th century, namely the family members of the church’s patron, János Bögözi, were put to their final resting places there. After the extinction of the Bögözi family, at the beginning of the 17th century, the Farkas family built a stone crypt in the church, where nine members of the family are buried.
The church’s nave is covered with a painted coffered ceiling, which was completed in 1724. The pulpit was made in 1748, while the painted, carved door of the south entrance dates back to 1761. The church was built of stone and brick. The beautiful medieval murals of the church date back to the 14th century. The precious artwork was discovered under the plaster layer during a late 19th century church reparation.
The medieval murals were painted in at least two periods and are displayed on the western and northern walls of the nave. The two upper stripes may have been made in the first half of the 14th century, with fragments of the legend of Saint Ladislaus (1040–1095) at the top and the legend of Saint Margaret (1242–1270), the daughter of King Béla IV of Hungary, below. The mural stripe depicting the battle at Kerlés of Saint Ladislaus was significantly damaged during the construction of the 15th century vault and during the opening of the 19th century window, but the two stripes below it are relatively intact. The lowest mural stripe, depicting a Last Judgment scene, is in the best condition, which is also considered to be very interesting from an iconographic point of view.
This monumental mural ensemble was discovered by József Huszka in 1898, but its professional restoration was not fully completed until 2012. In the course of these refurbishing works, the fragments of the legend of Saint Ladislaus also became more interpretable.
Title image: The village of Bögöz is one of the oldest settlements of Udvarhelyszék, with a medieval church and valuable murals depicting details from the legend of the “Knight King.”