first written source to the village dates back to 1341 and refers to it under
the name of Barla.
Allegedly Barla is an allusion to ‘barlang’ (i.e. cave), where inhabitants used
to retreat from waves of Tatar invasions. Excavations however revealed that the
area was populated already in the Bronze Era, and some artifacts are even dated
back to the Neolithic Era. The Szilágy-prefix
was assigned when the train station was built in 1913, referring to the
1450 the village was property of the Várad
(Oradea) bishop, who participated on the side of Hunyadi in the battle of
Belgrade, and fell hostage to the Turks. Afterwards the village was owned
mostly by the Bánffy
family until the early 20th century.
population started to grow beyond the low hundreds in the 19th
century when paved road and the railway arrived. Presently there are some 1600
souls in the village, with:
~ 200 Gypsy (Roma)
~ 20 Romanian ethnicity,
~1250 Reformat (protestant), 290 Baptized and ~ 100 Greek Orthodox (mainly from
the Gypsy community). The reformation wave must have hit the village in 1556,
due to the influential work of Szegedi Lajos, a reformant priest from Kraszna
(Crasna). The baptized church has been formed in 1904. Few Jews did live in the
village (as in most villages in the area), which were deported during the Nazi
occupation in WWII. Those surviving did not return to live in the village.
Trianon treaty, the communal center has been moved to the - population-wise
smaller – Bocsa.
education has its roots in church-owned educational institutions, with written
records as of 1852. The present school has been built in 1970, mainly by local
effort. The old school building is used as nursery school. Classes are held
mainly in Hungarian, except for the Roma community, for which one aggregate
class of the first elementary grades is maintained. Afterwards pupils travel to
the neighboring Bocsa to study in Romanian.
is considered an important vine-region for the Szilágy-area. While wine
cellars next to the vineyards do not have a tradition (as in other
vine-cultivating locations, like Sarmaság and
Szilágysámson), yet the soil is allegedly more acidic, which produces a
more mature and full tasting vine vs. its local competition. The local vine
production is exercised by individuals on small scale, and has observed both a
small renaissance - due to the
organization of a vine contest, and prizes won by local producers on domestic
competitions - as well as a setback due to recent falsification scandals by
producers who capitalized on the recent recognition of the local wine.
the local population has seen a steady growth during the communist era,
presently we experience an exodus of the youth towards mainly Hungary. A
significant part of the working population earns a living in Hungary and
abroad. Excepting the Gipsy community, the population recently is in decline.
recently the village has met some notable developments, when after many years
of lobbying and tireless work of enthusiast volunteers, and IMF grant, and not
least the contributions of the inhabitants made it possible to pave the streets
with a thin layer of asphalt, and consecutively the fixed-line phone coverage
has arrived. A water-duct network has also been deployed, but this one is not
yet commissioned, pending the deployment of a sewage system.
is lackluster in Balla, with most the youth gone to Hungary. Recent signs are
shoving some revitalization of the entrepreneurial spirit.
leaders of the community are:
DEMJÉN Katalin, vice-mayor
Vilmos, school director
Árpád, Reformat priest
Tibor, Baptized priest