22 July 2016

Hungary’s lowest high water mark

…Is located in the community of Gerjen, Tolna county, on a recently renewed house at the height of an ankle. All description mention that the high water mark from the year 1893 is located on the reformed church, but there is nowhere to be found.

The lowest high-water mark (photo: Gergő Szombathelyi)

If we take a closer look at the corners of the table and the missing screws it become most likely that the table has been removed from the church and had been replaced here. Maybe this was the original place of the mark an it was taken down by force from the same place before the renovation.

The date of the mark is also interesting. In Hungary it is a tradition to mark almost every exceptional high water with tables like this (the most famous are marking the 1838 icy flood in Budapest and several other places), but this seems to be the only one marking the flood of 27th february 1893.

The Danube caused much trouble in the community of Gerjen in the 1890s. On March 13th 1891 the levee broke nearby and the icy Danube flooded the village. Two years later the Danube visited Gerjen again. On February 27th 1893 floating ice has been stuck in the Várszeg river bend  4 kilometers downstream. Frozen water cemented the ice together and it functioned as a huge ice dam across the Danube. The rising water breached the levee again, and Gerjen has been flooded once more. This flood affected only a small territory, maybe that is why the only high water mark from year 1893 can only be found in Gerjen.

A flood ankle high (photo: Gergő Szombathelyi)

Despite the flood only reached the footing of the houses the community considered this flood remarkable enough to create a high-water mark to remember. They managed to create a hydrological rarity, the lowest high-water mark in Hungary.

Exact location.

Thanks for the idea, Gergő Szombathelyi!