Dornyay Béla Portré

Dr. Dornyay Béla (Dr. Darnyay Dornyay Béla)

(Keszthely, 25 March 1887 – Budapest, 5 April 1965)

high school teacher, local historian, museologist and researcher



His mother died early, his guardian according to the registrar is Böröczi József inhabitant of Keszthely. Attended elementary school in Keszthely. In Tata he was with the guardian of Böröczi Lujza. He completed his studies (exempt from tuition fees) at the Piarist Grammar School from 1896 until 1900. Due to good academic results, as an orphan he won the 80 HUF scholarship of the Count Esterházy Győr Orphan Fund. Dressed Pious monk in Vác with two classmates (Wágner Lajos and Walter János) on 27 September 1901. He attended high school in Vác (1901-1903), in Kecskemét (1903-1905) and in Budapest (1906-1909). Studied theology. He was ordained in March 1910.

Teaching years

He graduated from Piarist teacher training institute (teology, geography faculty). He taught at Rózsehegy (Liptó county), where he founded the Liptó County Museum in 1912. Taught in Veszprém and in 1918 earned a Ph.D. degree in philosophy. Taught in Magyaróvár (1919-1921). Here he met Sándor Anna, whom in 1912, after quitting the Piarist order, he married. Worked at Budapest Vine Istitute (1921-1923). Two children (both girls) were born from the marriage. He was a high school teacher in Salgótarján (1923-1940), where he dealt with the idea of founding a museum.

He spent summer vacation most frequently in Tata (1909-1938), although he did not teach at the town’s Piarist high school. From 1912 his collection became the base of the Tata museum at the Piarist house. It opened in 1938 with the support of dr. Magyary Zoltán. During these years his writings appeared constantly in the town’s weekly newspaper (Tata-Tóváros Signal). The Englander Publishing House regularly published his smaller studies (Kazinczy Ferenc’s Stay at Tata), town history works (About Fellenthali Fellner Jakab Tata Architect). He wrote studies in The Hungarian Language Guard (Tata Vernacular Traditions, September 1914, pp. 307-312.), in Youth and Life (Tata Student Life of Rómer Ferenc Flóris, December 1827, pp. 164-165.) and in Science Bulletin (Pelican Mass Appearance in Ponds and Lakes of Tata in 1767, April 1914, pp. 353-355.).

The Tata-Tóváros Signal could not appear from 1939, so Dornyay Béla’s relationship with Tata terminated. He was reinstated to his hometown from 1 July 1940 to Keszthely as a museologist at the Balatoni Museum. In 1942 he asked for proof of his royal origin from the Royal Hungarian Ministry of Interior due to the published proof of origin laws. He changed his name to the ancient Darnay shape.

After World War II he was appointed Director General of the Museum of Lake Balaton. During the Keszthely years released and mostly written the Museum of Lake Balaton Report publication. At this time, he completed the exploration around Lake Balaton (e. g. Guide to Nagyvázsony and Surroundings, Veszprém, 1963).


Dornyay Béla túra

In 1964 (as a broken old man) he could personally receive the honorary citizen diploma for Tata research of local history. He was very happy to see again his nice town, Tata, the Old Lake, the English Garden and the Bright Bath. He traveled back to Budapest, where less than a year later, at age 78, he died on 5 April 1965.


Keszthely released:

  • Detailed Guide to Veszprém and Surrounding Areas (Bp. 1927)
  • Detailed Guide to Balaton and Surrounding Areas (Bp. 1934)
  • Bronze Age Urn Artefacts and Other Antiques in Gyenesdiás (Keszthely, 1937)
  • Nativity of Walnut in the Balaton Region (Tapolca, 1937)
  • Reminder Notes about Keszthely from the Years 1710-1831 (Keszthely, 1937)
  • The Balaton Museum Bulletin (ed. dr. Dornyay Béla) (1941 #1-2, 1942 #1 and #3, 1943 #1 and #4)
  • Balaton Uplands. Guidebook (Budapest 1955)

Salgótarján released:

  • Salgótarján History (Salgótarján, 1928)
  • Salgótarján and the Karancs-Medves Region Detailed Guide (Salgótarján, 1929)
  • Kisterenye Double Centenary (Salgótarján, 1934)

Tata released:

  • Data to the History of Literature of Tata Tóváros (Tata, 1913)
  • The Roman Stone Inscriptions of Hadnagykút (Tata, 1913)
  • Townson British Scientist’s Stay in Tata in 1793 (Tata, 1913)
  • Ethnography of Tata – Tóváros (Tata, 1914) Tata – Tóváros Egyptian Blue Waterlily (Tata, 1914)
  • Heat Sources of Tata – Tóváros and Their Economic Future (Tata, 1925)
  • Romano-Celtic Inscribed Stone of Szomód (Tata, 1928)
  • Tata Monuments in the Books of Rados and Szőnyi (Tata, 1934)
  • „Present” of Tata for Rákóczi Ferenc (Tata, 1935)
  • Süess Orbán’s Layout of Tata Castle from1572 (Tata, 1935)
  • Old Tata Castle Images (Tata, 1936)
  • Place Names of Old Tata Maps (Tata, 1937)
  • Tata and Tóváros in 1848 (Tata, 1938)
  • „Castle Hussar” of Tata Castle (Tata, 1938)
  • Commemorative Coin of the Tata Founder of Piarists from 1755 (Tata, 1938)
  • Acting in the Past of Tata (Tata, without year)
  • Traces of Prehistoric Man in Tata (Tata, 1909)
  • Révai Miklós’s Teaching in Tata (Tata, 1912)


Tata City Council in 1964 invited Dornyay Béla to the festivity on the occasion of ten year anniversary of raising Tata to the rank of a city. At the beginning of June 1964 during the ceremony held in the banquet hall of Eötvös József High School he and Öveges József could receive a honorary citizen diploma.

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