On the 11-hectare area of the former Széchényi Estate – where the village administration originally planned a public park and even a church – one of the barracks of the Hungarian People’s Army in Marcali, the so-called “Inner Barracks”, later known as Hunyadi János Barracks were built between 1949 and 1951. First, foot soldiers, then artillerymen from 1952, and finally the technical battalion were stationed here for 35 years from 1953. While the Inner Barracks housed between 370 and 600 soldiers, the Outer Barracks housed 1,500 soldiers, many of whom settled here with their families. On the street front, one gate was used for personal and one for vehicle traffic. The facility housed a commander’s building, an officers’ kitchen and canteen, a crew canteen, an officers’ club (now the Civic House).
In order to carry out their duties, they also set up a parade square, a clothing and vehicle warehouse, heavy equipment depots, a repair shop, a shooting range, a repair shop for weapons and vehicle, a sick-room, baths, gas stations, a sports field and other storage facilities. Over the years, the soldiers serving in Marcali not only performed tactical duties, but also served the civilian population well.
The technical battalion in Marcali was abolished with effect from 01. June 1987 pursuant to the order of the Minister of National Defense. In the following years, in the area of János Hunyadi Barracks, which was liquidated, new streets, shops and residential areas, a huge public park, the Europa Park – including an open-air stage, music pavilion –, as well as a new market and event space, and a market hall, were created by demolishing or transforming many military buildings.
1.| The building of the so called “Red Stable” on the west side of Rákóczi Street (Ink-drawing by László Csomós, 1960)
2.| Apartment for estate employees (Colored drawing by László Csomós, 1969)
3.| Gate No. 1 of Hunyadi János Barracks (Photograph, late 1980s)
4.| The former “Inner Barracks” area, 2022 (Photograph: Tünde Vidák)
5.| The descent base (Photograph, early 1990s)