Zabola is one of the most populated villages of Kovasna county, it is situated at the feet of the Haromszek mountains, on the area of the former Orbiaszek. This historical village is located in a U shaped village, along the stream called by the same name, 12 km from Kezdivasarhely, 8 km from Kovaszna and 20 km from the center of the county, Sepsiszentgyorgy. The surrounding mountains are covered with extensive woods, which offer home to a huge variety of wildlife. Administratively Szekelypetofalva, Szorcse and Szekelytamasfalva also belong to Zabola.
Between Zabola and Tamasfalva we can see a 567 m high hill, the Tatarhalom. This is a mountain which has been declared reservation area. It got its name from a glorious historical event. The Tatars were devastating this region of Transylvania in 1658 is a very cruel way. The local people from Zabola and its surrounding area had gathered on this mountain and stopped the Tatar attack in a heroic manner, forcing the enemy to retreat. And saving the region from devastation. The other historical value of the mountain is that it had witnessed the thousand year of Hungarian history in this region. The researchers of the Sekler National Museum from Sepsiszentgyorgy explore the area archeologically and they found a graveyard from the period of the first Hungarian settlers. They found interesting object in those 192 opened graves, finding out detailed data not only about Zabola but also about whole Transylvania.
These finding prove that an important number of Hungarian population lived in this region back in the 11th century.
The earliest written document about Zabola is from 1466. According to tradition its name comes from “zab olaja” (the oil of rye) or from the fortress near the village which was built as a prison for robbers. The village played an important role in the life of the Sekler community, the National meeting of 1466 was held here. The history of Zabola is closely connected to the history of the Mikes family, the members of which were talented politicians and soldiers. This is also the birthplace of Duke Miko Imre, the “Szechenyi of Transylvania” and of Duke Mikes Kelemen who was a captain in Admiral Bem’s army during the Independence War of 1848/49. He died at the ambush of Nagyszeben.
Zabola has a well built infrastructure due to its fortunate positioning, the transporting roads meet in the center of the village. It can be reached by train, as the railway connecting Sepsiszentgyorgy and Bereck goes through Zabola.
The majority of the inhabitance of these villages is of Hungarian nationality.
About half of the population of Zabola, which has about 5000 residents, lives at Zabola. Since ancient times people of this region made their living from agriculture, animal breeding and wood industry, that is why many from the younger generations find work in the neighboring towns.
The life of the village is characterized by a peaceful atmosphere, no matter who is of what religion or nationality. Eight hundred people of the total of five thousand locals are of Romanian nationality, most of them live at Pava, which is part of Zabola. From the point of view of religion half of the population is member of the Reformed Church, and half is Roman Catholic, but there are some members of the Orthodox Church too.
The community of Zabola is the easternmost group with a Hungarian majority in Transylvania and the Carpathian basin. The Hungarians settled in the East-Carpathian curve as early as in the age of Arpad. Later, at the end of the XII century, our kings re-settled them east of the mountain range, in Moldavia, where a significant network of villages was created for defence purposes.
Our kings replaced the Hungarian communities with the Székelys – the Magyars of Eastern Transylvania -, who played an important defence role in the middle ages, in exchange for which they received favourable privileges, as well as economic and social self-government.
Feudalism could only take root in this area in the middle of the XV century, when more and more families became serfs also in Zabola. As the Ottoman-Turks endangered the frontiers of the country, the defence force of the Székelys was needed again, therefore king Matthias took some conscious steps to prevent the people of the village from sinking into serfdom.
After the disruption of the Hungarian Kingdom, the formation of the autonomous principality of Transylvania was started after 1542. In the second half of the XVI century, the Basa and the Mikes families took possession of a large number of serfs. During the period of the principality, both families played a significant role in the political and social life of Transylvania. The members of the Mikes family took an active part in the freedom fights led by Imre Thököly and Ferenc Rákóczi II. at the turn of the XVII and XVIII centuries.
In the XVIII century, Transylvania and the Székely land got under the control of the Hapsburg Empire. The Austrian authorities forcibly organised the border guard service on the Székely land in 1764, which fundamentally contravened the earlier feudal self-government of the Székely communities. The people of Zabola also took part in the revolt of Madéfalva to protest against this act in 1764. After this movement was defeated, many people from our village fled to Moldavia.
Several young people from the village fought in the battles of the 1948– 1949 revolution and freedom fight. After the compromise of 1867, Zabola also embarked upon the fast road of bourgeois development in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. A railway line was constructed, sawmills were created, the land area of the village was distributed, and several civil societies were formed. The Mikes family had a major role in the development of the village until the middle of the XX century. They set a social, economic and intellectual model to be followed for centuries by the local and neighbouring villages.
The peaceful construction work was interrupted by the 1st World War and the subsequent changes in the empire. The powers of the Triple Entente adjudged Transylvania to the Rumanian Kingdom. Rumanian administration was soon established also in Zabola. This power shift upset the earlier ethnic proportions.
During the 2nd World War, Transylvania with Zabola in it was re-annexed to Hungary on August 30, 1940. In spite of the ordeals of the war, the local Hungarians lived through these years with strength, faith and hope. Rumania pulled out of the war on August 23, 1944, and changed over to the Soviet-Russian side, its enemy until then. The peace treaties closing the 2nd World War once again adjudicated North-Transylvania to Rumania.
The communist dictatorship, which started to establish itself after the end of the 1940-ies, conducted an increasingly intolerant minority policy, which mainly afflicted the Hungarians. This was especially so after 1965, when Nicolae Ceauşescu became the leader of Rumania. Mistrust for
the minorities was deepening even more, and the official power applied newer and newer tools of national oppression. Severe disturbances could be witnessed in the population’s food and consumable supplies. The dissatisfied Rumanian masses succeeded in defeating the inhuman dictatorship in December 1989.
The greatest achievement of the political changes so far has been the return of the land areas to the previous owners in Rumania and in Zabola. Nonetheless, the democratic, civil transformation of the country is very slow. The unfavourable impacts of this are naturally felt in Zabola, with its Hungarian, Rumanian and Roma population.