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Snapshots: Hövej, Home of Lace

Memorial statue, Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church, Pieta, Lourdes Chapel, Blessed Mother statue, Village House, Lace Museum.

Snapshots: Hövej, Home of Lace

Karolina Tima Szabo 

Hövej is a small village in Győr-Moson-Sopron County in western Hungary, near Kapuvár, on a flat land west of the Répce and Rába Rivers. 

The village was first mentioned in 1257 as “Chalad” in one of King Béla IV’s documents; then in a Csorna Latin archive as “Kétcsalád”; in 1429, as “Hövejcsalád” (Heweychalad).  One thing is sure, that people have lived in the area from early times.  Polished stones from the Stone Age and graves from the Bronze Age have been found there. 

After the fall of Győr during the Turkish invasion, the Turks broke into the Rábaköz area, and destroyed the region, with the exception of Kapuvár.   Just a few years later, 10 out of every 20 properties were in ruins.

The current population is about 330. 

Before you get to the village, you’ll see a monument by the Répce River. The statue was erected after a major flood that devastated the village, from rocks that the river left behind.

Further on is the Roman Catholic Church of the Holy Trinity (Szentháromság templom), built in the 1760’s in the Baroque style.  The church accommodates 300 people. The tower was added in 1794. It had three bells at one time, 300, 200, and later a 100-pound bell.  During the Second World War, in 1944, the German army requisitioned the 200-pound bell for war purposes.  Over the years, the church went through many changes: an organ (19th century), stained glass windows were installed, wall frescoes and outside paintings and renovations took place. The high Baroque altar is the same age as the church.  The candlesticks and gilded cup argent on it were made in 1765; the Empire style pulpit is from around 1800. 

Near the church is the Sorrowful Mother (“Fájdalmas Szűzanya”) Chapel. Inside is a life-size Pieta.  Originally, the statue had been outdoors under a wooden cross.  In time the cross eroded and, in the 18th century, a Baroque style chapel was built over it.  

Not too far from the church is a Lourdes chapel, which was built in the Romantic style in 1886, with a statue of the Blessed Mother.

Hövej became famous in 1962, when at the Brussels Expo, the Hövej lace was awarded a gold medal.  The lace of Hövej is so famous, the town has immortalized it in their shield-shaped crest.  On the bottom half in the green field are the two rivers, the round shaped lace is in the middle.  On each side is an ear of wheat. Above the lace is a crown, which represents nobility. The moon on the left represents change, the star on the left hope.  

In 2007, the village celebrated its 750th anniversary, and an “Emlékpark” (memorial park) was built for the enjoyment of the townspeople and of visitors.

Read about the Lace of Hövej in the January 2014 issue of www.magyarnews.org


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