About Bikacs






About Bikács

Present Day Bikacs ....

Bikacs is a small village in the northern-most section of the county of Tolna.  It is located about 130 kilometers (80 miles) southwest of Budapest and just west the Danube River.  According to one resource on the net, the population of Bikacs was 509 in the year 2000.

See the following maps if you're not familiar with where either Bikacs or Tolna are located in Hungary:

                    Map showing the location of Tolna*

                    Map showing the location of Bikacs in Tolna

                    Mapquest map of Bikacs

*Map and boundary data are copyrighted by FOTW Flags of the World


Paul Stiener of Germany was kind enough to send me numerous photos of Bikacs.  

                    Bikacs Photos

Some Historical Facts...

The following historical facts are from a book about Bikacs as translated by Paul.

  • First written about in 1147
  • Named for a very old family "Bikach" that was at the court of the Hungarian kings.
  • In 1813, 691 inhabitants lived in Bikacs and 120 pupils went to school, 65 girls and 55 boys. About 20 handicraft-masters worked in the village.
  • In 1828/29 the Bikacsians enlarged the church and built a 32 meter high tower.  Before this they had  a little wooden tower. (Many Evangelic or Calvinist parishes got permission to build a church, but not a regular tower.)
  • In the 1830s a cholera epidemic hit Bikacs and the surrounding area and many people died.
  • In 1848 the Hungarian war for independence against the Habsburgs began. Everybody in the new Hungarian National Army was a volunteer.  From Bikacs, 11 men fought in the army of   county of Tolna against the Austrians in the battles of Újverbász, near the river Dráva, and later in the battles of Pákozd and Ozora. After the Russian emperor's army came to help the Austrians, they defeated the Hungarians in 1849. 
  • The population of Bikacs in 1850 was 1035.  In that decade, three new bells were purchased for the church, and the school was enlarged.
  • On August 5, 1871, 35 houses burned down, as well as the school and the school teacher's house.
  • In the year 1881, 1203 people lived in Bikacs area: 1064 Evangelics, 111 Catholics, 20 Calvinists and 8 Jews.  All Cathollics and Calvinists worked on the lord's big farm.
  • In the 1880s, the railway between Rétszilas and Szekszárd was built. It was planned to be built next to the village where the gardens were, but the villagers didn't want to lose their field, so the railway was built through the field of the feudal lord about three kilometers west of the village.
  • In 1889 there was a big fire in Bikacs.  It started in the so-called "New-Street" and as there was a big storm, it spread quickly as it was a very dry time, and there was hardly any water in the wells.  Most of the houses had thatched roofs, and 64 houses burned down and about 84 families lost their homes.  The town hall burned down too, so most of the old documents about Bikac's history were destroyed.   Everybody in the village helped to build new homes for the unfortunate people who lost theirs.
  • As it's written in documents of the evangelic community, in March of 1893, the first Bikacsians went to the USA.  Seventeen people left the vilalge.  Some stayed in the USA and some came back to Bikacs later.
  • In 1894 eight families moved to Elöszállás as tobacco-farmers. Five families moved in 1897 to Rácegres to find a better life, and later five families went to  Kisvenyim near Herczegfalva in Fejer County.
  • In 1900, a new parsonage was built. 
  • 1905 the big farm of the Bernrieders was sold by auction.  The more than 540 hectars were bought by Bikacsians.  As they did not have much money, many people from Bikacas went to the states again or went to the capital Budapest to earn money.
  • A new organ was bought in 1906 for 2200 koronas.
  • In the years before World War I, 136 married couples moved from Bikács, and the older people said that most of them went to Akron, Ohio.  Many of the young people stayed in the states, but most of the elder ones came back to their home village.
  • At this time the road to Székesfehérvár and Szekszárd was built passing Bikács, and life became a bit easier.
  • In July 1914 World War I began, and so did sad and hard times. By the end of the war, 28 men from Bikacs died on the frontlin. At Kistápé, near Bikács, five Bikacs soldiers dieds.
  • In September 1916 two bells were taken from the church to be made into ammunition.
  • Before World War II about 1200 people lived in Bikacs.  More than 1000 of them were German and Evangelic.  The Hungarians lived in the very small village near Bikacs, Kistápé , which belonged to Bikacs.  After World War II, about 600 of the Bikacs villagers were forced to leave their village and go to Germany in cattle-wagon trains.

The World War I Monument in Bikacs...

One of the photos Paul Stiener sent me was of the monument in the village erected to honor the men who lost their lives in World War I.   I've translated the names on the monument to the best of my ability with some help from Paul.  The following page contains a photo of the monument as well as the transcription.

                    World War I Monument