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Snapshots: Gyergyóalfalu
Snapshots: Gyergyóalfalu

Top: Statue of István pap; inside of church; grave marker of a man (left) and his wife; middle: bust of Domokos Pál Péter; millecentenary memorial; sweep well; bottom: plaque in memory of István pap; plaque marking 400 yrs. of schooling in town.

Located 6 km (c. 4 miles) west of Gyergyószentmiklós, the village was made famous by Pastor István pap in 1567,  who organized the men of Csík, Gyergyó and Kászon to fight Prince János Zsigmond when he wanted to impose Unitarianism by force on the Catholic population.  The decisive battle was fought at Tolvajostető, where the vastly outnumbered Catholic force defeated the Prince’s troops.

Consequently, the Gyergyóalfalu contingent has pride of place in the annual Csíksomlyó pilgrimage, leading the procession up to the outdoor chapel and had been assigned a permanent place right in front of the altar.

The statue of István pap may be see on the green next to Gyergyóalfalu’s church. 

The history of the settlement presumably dates back to before 1213, the year the church was built.  Between 1675 and 1678, it was the temporary seat of the diocese.   The church itself has a Romanesque gate, was rebuilt in Gothic style in the 15th century, then in the Baroque style in 1766. In 1804, fire destroyed the church roof. Further major fires ravaged the village in 1855, 1858 and 1902.

A plaque in one of the streets commemorates 400 years since the start of public education in the village in 1597, with the activity of the first school master Mihály deák.  Gyergyóalfalu was also the birthplace of Domokos Pál Péter (1901 - 1992), a famed researcher of folk music.

 


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