Galanta (Galánta, Gallandau) is a small town (about 16,000 inhabitants) in Slovakia. It is situated 50 km due East from the Slovak capital Bratislava.
Galanta lies in the Danubian Lowland
), the warm southern part of Slovakia. There are many agricultural fields around Galanta, where wheat, corn, and other vegetables and fruits are grown.
The land around Galanta has almost continuously been inhabited since the neolithic
. The first written record of Galanta was made in 1237 in a Royal Decree by Béla IV of Hungary
. Through the years, the settlement was under the lordship of various noble families. Beginning in 1421, the Esterhazy family ruled the town and the surrounding area for over six centuries. In 1613 or 1614, Galanta was promoted to a free market town.
Galanta is an old town where most historical buildings have unfortunately been damaged or destroyed in World War II
. During the Communist
era of Czechoslovakia
(1948-1989) the architecture of the town has further deteriorated as historic buildings were razed and replaced by prefabricated concrete apartment complexes and buildings. There are two important historical buildings left. The first one is the Esterházys
' Castle and the second one a Renaissance
castle. The Esterházys' Castle is in a state of disrepair and has been closed to the public since the late 1980s. The Renaissance castle was renovated in the 1990s and is being used as a museum, exhibition space and cultural center.
According to the 2001 census
, the town had 16,365 inhabitants. 60.35% of inhabitants were Slovaks
, 36.80% Hungarians
, 1.07% Roma
and 0.70% Czechs
. The religious makeup was 67.05% Roman Catholics
, 20.07% people with no religious affiliation and 6.34% Lutherans
The Hungarian composer Zoltán Kodály
spent most of his childhood in this town and composed the Dances of Galanta
(1933, for orchestra) based on the folk music of this region.