From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
|Republic of Hungary
Historically Latin: Cum Deo pro Patria et Libertate ("With the help of God for Homeland and Freedom") or Regnum Mariae Patronae Hungariae ("Kingdom of Mary, the Patron of Hungary"
|Anthem: Himnusz ("Isten, áldd meg a magyart")
"Hymn" or "Anthem" ("God, bless the Hungarians")
(and largest city)
47°26′N 19°15′E / 47.433°N 19.25°E
||Hungarian; Hungarian Sign Language
||95% Magyar, 2% Roma, 3% other minority groups
||Speaker of the National Assembly
||Foundation of Hungary
||Recognized as Christian Kingdom - First king: Stephen I of Hungary
||Currently 3rd Republic
||October 23, 1989
||May 1, 2004
||93,030 km2 (109th)
35,919 sq mi
||2009 July estimate
||$186.054 billion (51st (2008))
||$18,548 (44th (2009))
||$124.241 billion. (52nd (2008))
||$12,386 (46th (2009))
||24.96 (low) (3rd)
||▲ 0.879 (high) (43rd)
|Drives on the
||Also .eu as part of the European Union.
|Hungary /ˈhʌŋɡəri/ (help·info)
: Magyarország [ˈmɒɟɒrorsaːɡ] ( listen)
), officially the Republic of Hungary
(Magyar Köztársaság listen (help·info)
), is a landlocked
country in the Carpathian Basin
in Central Europe
, bordered by Austria
, and Slovenia
. Its capital is Budapest
. Hungary is a member of EU
and is a Schengen
state. The official language
, which is part of the Finno-Ugric
family, thus one of the four official languages of the European Union
that are not of Indo-European
Following a Celtic
(after c. 450 BC
) and a Roman
– c. 430
) period, the foundation of Hungary was laid in the late 9th century
by the Hungarian
, whose great-grandson Stephen I of Hungary
was crowned with a crown
sent from Rome
by the pope in 1000
. The Kingdom of Hungary
lasted for 946 years,[note 2]
and at various points was regarded as one of the cultural
centers of the Western world
. The Battle of Mohács
resulted in Ottoman
occupation, followed by an integration into the Habsburg Monarchy
, and later constituting half of the Austro-Hungarian dual monarchy
. A great power
until the end of World War I
, Hungary lost over 70% of its territory, along with one third of its population of Hungarian ethnicity,
under the Treaty of Trianon
the terms of which have been considered excessively harsh by many in Hungary.
The kingdom was succeeded by a Communist
era (1947–1989) during which Hungary gained widespread international attention regarding the Revolution of 1956
and the seminal move of opening its border with Austria in 1989, thus accelerating the collapse
of the Eastern Bloc
. The present form of government is a parliamentary republic
(since 1989). Today, Hungary is a high-income economy
and a regional leader regarding certain markers.
Hungary is ranked 20th globally (out of 194 countries) on International Living'
s Quality of Life index (2010)
and 6th in an environmental protection index by GW
Until recently, it was also listed as one of the 15 most popular tourist destinations
in the world.
The country is home to the largest thermal
and the second largest thermal lake in the world (Lake Hévíz
), the largest lake in Central Europe (Lake Balaton
), and the largest natural grasslands in Europe (Hortobágy
Before 895 AD
From 9 BC
to the end of the 4th century
was part of the Roman Empire
on a part of later Hungary's area. In the final stages of the expansion of the Roman empire, the Carpathian Basin fell for a while into the sphere of the Mediterranean, yet Greco-Roman civilization, its town centers, paved roads, and written sources were all part of the advances which the Migration of Peoples ended.
Among the first to arrive were the Huns
, who built up a powerful empire under Attila the Hun
. Attila was regarded as an ancestral ruler of the Hungarians
, however, this claim is rejected today by most scholars. After Hunnish rule faded away, the Germanic Ostrogoths
and then the Lombards
came to Pannonia, and the Gepids
had a presence in the eastern part of the Carpathian Basin
for about 100 years. In the 560s the Avars
founded the Avar Khaganate
a state which maintained supremacy in the region for more than two centuries and had the military power to launch attacks against all its neighbours. The Avar Khaganate was weakened by constant wars and outside pressure and finally the Avars' 250 year rule ended when the Khaganate was conquered by the Franks
in the West and the Bulgarians
in the East. Neither of these two nor others were able to create a lasting state in the region, and in the late 9th century the land was inhabited only by a sparse population of Slavs
The freshly unified Magyars
led by Árpád
settled in the Carpathian Basin
starting in 895.
According to linguists they are thought to have originated in an ancient Finno-Ugric
population that originally inhabited the forested area between the Volga River
and the Ural Mountains
although the genetic relation of Hungarians to Finno-Ugric peoples is excluded. The force lead by Árpád contained seven Magyar, one Kabar, and other smaller tribes.
Medieval Hungary (895–1526)
Hungarian raids in the 10th century. Most European nations were praying for mercy: "Sagittis hungarorum libera nos Domine" - "Lord save us from the arrows of Hungarians"
First Hungarian coin, by Duke Géza
circa the end of 970s.
Hungary is one of the oldest countries in Europe, settled in 896, before France and Germany became separate entities, and before the unification of Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. Árpád
was the Magyar
leader whom sources name as the single leader who unified the Magyar tribes via the "Covenant of Blood" (Hungarian
) forged one nation, thereafter known as the Hungarian nation
and led the new nation to the Carpathian Basin
in the 9th century.
After an early seminomad Hungarian state, the Principality of Hungary was formed in this territory, the nation's military power allowed the Hungarians to conduct successful fierce campaigns and raids
as far as today's Spain
A later defeat at the Battle of Lechfeld
in 955 signaled an end to most campaigns on foreign territories. The ruling prince (Hungarian
of the Árpád dynasty
, who was the ruler of only some of the united territory, but the nominal overlord of all seven Magyar tribes, intended to integrate Hungary into Christian
and the first Roman Catholic bishopric
was established under his reign. Géza
chose his first-born son (Vajk the later King Stephen I of Hungary
) to be his successor. This was contrary to the then-dominant tradition of the succession of the eldest surviving member of the ruling family. (See: agnatic seniority
) By ancestral right prince Koppány
, - as the oldest member of the dynasty - should have claimed the throne, but the fight in the chief prince's family started after Géza
's death, in 997. Duke Koppány
took up arms, and many people in Transdanubia
joined him. The rebels represented the old faith and order, tribal independence and pagan belief. Stephen won a decisive victory over his uncle Koppány in a large scale battle at Veszprém, and had him executed, thus firming Christian fate and ensuring the survival and prosperity of Hungary.
The Patrimonial Kingdom
Hungary in the 11th century
Early renaissance Castle of Diósgyőr
, which was one of the favourite rural hunting castles of Angevin kings
Applying to Pope Sylvester II
, Stephen received the insignia of royalty (including the Holy Crown of Hungary
, currently kept in the Hungarian Parliament
) from the papacy. He was crowned in December 1000, in the capital
. The papacy conferred on him the right to have the cross carried before him, with full administrative authority over bishoprics and churches. By 1006, Stephen had consolidated his power, eliminating all rivals who either wanted to follow the old pagan traditions or wanted an alliance with the Eastern Christian Byzantine Empire
. Then he started sweeping reforms to convert Hungary into a western feudal state, it has been asserted that the Christianisation was forced.
Stephen established a network of 10 episcopal and 2 archiepiscopal sees, and ordered the building of monasteries, churches and cathedrals. The country switched to using the Latin language and alphabet under Stephen, and until as late as 1844, Latin remained the official language of Hungary. Previously Hungarian had been written with the Old Hungarian script
, a runic script
. Stephen followed the Frankish
administrative model: The country was divided into counties (Hungarian
), each under a royal official called an ispán
or count (Latin
) — later főispán
(lord lieutenant or prefect) (Latin
: supremus comes
). This official represented the king’s authority, administered its population, and collected the taxes that formed the national revenue. Each ispán
maintained at his fortified headquarters (castrum or vár
) an armed force of freemen.
What emerged was a strong kingdom
that withstood attacks from German kings and Emperors, and nomadic tribes following the Hungarians from the East, integrating some of the latter into the population (along with Germans
invited to Transylvania
and the northern part of the kingdom, especially after the 13th century Battle of Mohi
), and conquering Croatia
After the Great Schism (The East-West Schism
/formally in 1054/, between Western Roman Catholic
and Eastern Orthodox
Christianity.) Hungary determined itself as the Easternmost bastion of Western civilization
. The Orthodox powers regarded Hungary as the main obstacle in their desire to introduce Orthodoxy into the Western World. However every such Eastern effort has been halted at the gates of Hungary.
- King Coloman (Kálmán), the "Book-lover" (1095–1116)
One of Coloman's most famous laws was half a millennium ahead of its time: De strigis vero quae non sunt, nulla amplius quaestio fiat (As for witches, they really do not exist; no further investigations or trials are to be held).
- Béla III (1172–1192)
Béla III was the most powerful and wealthiest member of the dynasty: Béla disposed of the equivalent of 23 tonnes of pure silver per year. This exceeded the income of the French king (estimated at 17 tonnes) and was double the receipts of the English Crown.
He forced back the Byzantine domain in the Balkan region.
- Andrew II of Hungary (1205–1235)
In 1224, Andrew issued the Diploma Andreanum
which unified and secured the special privileges of the Transylvanian Saxons
. It is considered the first Autonomy
law in the world.
He led the Fifth Crusade
to the Holy Land
in 1217. He set up the largest royal army in the history of Crusades (20,000 knights and 12,000 castle-garrisons). The Golden Bull of 1222
was the first constitution
in Continental Europe
. It limited the king's power. The Golden Bull — the Hungarian equivalent of England’s Magna Carta
— to which every Hungarian king thereafter had to swear, had a twofold purpose: to reaffirm the rights of the lesser nobles of the old and new classes of royal servants (servientes regis
) against both the crown and the magnates, and to defend the rights of the whole nation against the crown by restricting certain powers of the crown and legalizing refusal to obey its unlawful/unconstitutional commands (the ius resistendi
). The lesser nobles also began to present Andrew with grievances, a practice that evolved into the institution of the parliament
, or Diet
. Hungary became the first country where the parliament had supremacy over the crown. The most important legal ideology and legislative guideline was the Doctrine of the Holy Crown
Important points of the Doctrine: The sovereignty belongs to the noble nation (the Holy Crown). The members of the Holy Crown are the citizens of the Crown's lands. None can reach full power in the kingdom. The nation shares political power with the ruler. "Politically minority opinions cannot rule over majority". (Which meant: The Doctrine was opposed to tyranny and oligarchy).
The Mongol attacks, consequences and reaction
In 1241–1242, the kingdom received a major blow with the Mongol (Tatar) Invasion
: after the defeat of the Hungarian army at the Battle of Mohi
, Béla IV of Hungary
fled, and a large part of the population died
in the ensuing destruction leading later to the invitation of settlers, largely from Germany. Historians estimate that up to half of Hungary's then population of 2,000,000 were victims of the Mongol invasion.
Only castles, strongly fortified cities and abbeys could withstand the assault.
During the Russian campaign
, the Mongols drove some 40,000 Cumans
, a nomadic tribe of pagan Kipchaks
, west of the Carpathian Mountains.
There, the Cumans appealed to King Béla IV of Hungary for protection.
The Iranian Jassic people
came to Hungary together with the Cumans after they were defeated by the Mongols. Cumans constituted perhaps up to 7-8% of the population of Hungary in the second half of the 13th century.
Over the centuries they were fully assimilated into the Hungarian population, and their language disappeared, but they preserved their identity and their regional autonomy until 1876.
As a consequence, after the Mongols retreated, King Béla ordered the construction of hundreds of stone castles and fortifications, to defend against a possible second Mongol invasion. The Mongols returned to Hungary in 1286, but the new built stone-castle systems and new tactics (using a higher proportion of heavily armed knights) stopped them. The invading Mongol force was defeated near Pest
by the royal army of Ladislaus IV of Hungary
. As with later invasions, it was repelled handily, the Mongols losing much of their invading force.
These castles proved to be very important later in the long struggle with the Ottoman Empire
. However the cost of building them indebted the Hungarian King to the major feudal landlords again, so the royal power reclaimed by Béla IV after his father Andrew II significantly weakened it. The countries of Balkan region and the territory of Russian states fell under Ottoman/Mongolian rule very rapidly, due to the lack of the network of stone/brick castles and fortresses in these countries.
Age of elected Kings
“The Hungarian Cannon
,named after the Hungarian engineer Orban
who cast the gun for the Ottoman besiegers of Constantinople.It was the world's biggest cannon until the second half of the 19th century.These types of cannons appeared in Siege of (Belgrade) too
Lands, countries kingdoms under Louis' control)
's direct descendants in the male line ruled the country until 1301
. During the reigns of the Árpád dynasty
, the Kingdom of Hungary
reached its greatest extent, yet royal power was weakened as the major landlords (the Barons) greatly increased their influence. The most powerful landlords started to use royal prerogatives
(coinage, customs, their own independent diplomacy, declaration of wars against foreign monarchs). After the destructive period of interregnum
(1301–1308), the first Angevin
king, Charles I of Hungary
(reigned 1308–1342) - a descendant of the Árpád dynasty in the female line - successfully restored royal power, and defeated oligarch rivals, the so called "little kings". His new fiscal, customs and monetary policies proved successful during his reign. One of the primary sources of his power was the wealth derived from the gold mines of eastern and northern Hungary. Eventually production reached the remarkable figure of 3,000 lb. (1350 kg) of gold annually - one third of the total production of the world as then known, and five times as much as that of any other European state.
Charles also sealed an alliance with the Polish king Casimir. After Italy, Hungary was the first European country where the renaissance
The second Hungarian king in the Angevin
line, Louis the Great
(reigned 1342–1382) extended his rule as far as the Adriatic Sea
, and occupied the Kingdom of Naples
several times. During his reign lived the most famous epic hero of Hungarian literature and warfare, the king's Champion: Nicolas Toldi
. Louis had become popular in Poland because of his campaign against the Tatars and pagan Lithuanians. Two successful wars (1357–1358, 1378–1381) against Venice annexed Dalmatia and Ragusa and more territories on the Adriatic Sea. Venice also had to raise the Angevin flag in St. Mark's Square on holy days. Some Balkan states (Vallachia, Moldova, Serbia, Bosnia) became his vassals. Louis I established a university in Pécs
in 1367 (by papal accordance). The Ottoman Turks confronted the Balkan vassal states ever more often. In 1366 and 1377, Louis led successful campaigns against the Ottomans (Battle of Nicapoli in 1366). From the death of Casimir III of Poland
in 1370, he was also king of Poland. He retained his strong influence in the political life of Italian Peninsula for the rest of his life.
King Louis died without a male heir, and after years of anarchy the country was stabilized only when Sigismund
(reigned 1387–1437), a prince of the Luxembourg
line, succeeded to the throne by marrying the daughter of Louis the Great, Queen Mary
. It was not for entirely selfless reasons that one of the leagues of barons helped him to power: Sigismund had to pay for the support of the lords by transferring a sizeable part of the royal properties. For some years, the baron's council governed the country in the name of the Holy Crown
; the king was imprisoned for a short time. The restoration of the authority of the central administration took decades. In 1404 Sigismund introduced the Placetum Regnum
. According to this decree, Papal bulls and messages could not be pronounced in Hungary without the consent of the king. Sigismund summoned the Council of Constance
(1414–1418) to abolish the Avignon Papacy
and the Papal Schism
of the Catholic Church, which was resolved by the election of a new pope
. In 1433 he even became Holy Roman Emperor
. During his long reign the Royal castle of Buda became probably the largest Gothic palace of the late Middle Ages. The first Hungarian Bible translation
was completed in 1439. For a half year in 1437, there was an antifeudal and anticlerical peasant revolt in Transylvania which was strongly influenced by Hussite
ideas. (See: Budai Nagy Antal Revolt
From a small noble family in Transylvania, John Hunyadi
grew to become one of the country's most powerful lords, thanks to his outstanding capabilities as a mercenary
commander. In 1446, the parliament elected the great general John Hunyadi
governor (1446–1453), then regent (1453–1456). He was a successful crusader against the Ottoman Turks, one of his greatest victories being the Siege of Belgrade in 1456. Hunyadi defended the city against the onslaught of the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II
. During the siege, Pope Callixtus III ordered the bells of every European church to be rung every day at noon, as a call for believers to pray for the defenders of the city. However, in many countries, (like England and Spanish kingdoms), the news of the victory arrived before the order, and the ringing of the church bells at noon was transformed into a commemoration of the victory. The Popes didn't withdraw the order, and Catholic (and the older Protestant) churches still ring the noon bell in the Christian world to this day.
Age of early absolutism
Western conquests of Matthias Corvinus
The last strong king was the Renaissance king Matthias Corvinus
(king 1458–1490). Matthias was the son of John Hunyadi. András Hess
set up a printing press in Buda
in 1472, which was very unique at that time in Europe. This was the first time in the history of the Hungarian kingdom that a member of the nobility, without dynastic ancestry and relationship, mounted the royal throne. A true Renaissance prince, a successful military leader and administrator, an outstanding linguist, a learned astrologer, and an enlightened patron of the arts and learning.
Although Matthias regularly convened the Diet and expanded the lesser nobles' powers in the counties, he exercised absolute rule over Hungary by means of a huge secular bureaucracy. He set out to build a great empire, expanding southward and northwest, while he also implemented internal reforms. The serfs and common people considered him a just ruler because he protected them from excessive demands from and other abuses by the magnates.
Like his father, Matthias desired to strengthen the Kingdom of Hungary to the point where it became the foremost regional power and overlord, strong enough to push back the Ottomans; to that end he deemed it necessary to conquer much of the Holy Roman Empire
In 1479, under the leadership of Pál Kinizsi
, the Hungarian army destroyed the Ottoman and Wallachian troops at the Battle of Breadfield
. Abroad he defeated the Polish and German imperial armies of Frederick at Breslau (Wrocław). Hungarian power was confirmed by the Treaty of Olomouc (1479). His mercenary standing army, the Black Army of Hungary
was an unusually large army for its time, and it conquered parts of Austria
(1485) and parts of Bohemia
. The king died without a legal successor. His library, the Bibliotheca Corviniana, was Europe's greatest collection of historical chronicles, philosophic and scientific works in the 15th century, and second only in size to the Vatican Library which mainly contained Bibles and religious material. His renaissance library is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Decline of Hungary (1490-1526)
By the early 16th century, the Ottoman Empire had become the second most populous state in the world; this enabled the creation of the largest armies of the era.
The Hungarian magnates, who did not want another heavy-handed king, procured the accession of Vladislaus II
(reigned 1490–1516), king of Bohemia because of his notorious weakness: he was known as King Dobže, or Dobzse in Hungarian orthography (king "okay") from his habit of accepting without question every petition and document laid before him.
Under his reign the central power began to experience severe financial difficulties, mostly because of the enlargement of feudal lands at his expense. The magnates also dismantled the national administration systems and bureaucracy throughout the country. The country's defenses sagged as border guards and castle garrisons went unpaid, fortresses fell into disrepair, and initiatives to increase taxes to reinforce defenses were stifled.
Hungary's international role declined, its political stability shaken, and social progress was deadlocked.
In 1514, the weakened old King Vladislaus II faced a major peasant rebellion led by György Dózsa
, which was ruthlessly crushed by the nobles
, led by János Szapolyai
. The resulting degradation of order paved the way for Ottoman pre-eminence. In 1521, the strongest Hungarian fortress in the South, Nándorfehérvár (modern Belgrade
) fell to the Turks. The strongest nobles were so busy oppressing the peasants and quarrelling with gentry class in the parliament, that they failed to heed the agonized calls of king Louis II against the Turks. The early appearance of protestantism
further worsened internal relations in the anarchical country. In 1526, the Hungarian army was crushed at the Battle of Mohács
by the Ottomans. The childless young king Louis II
, and the leader of the Hungarian army, Pál Tomori
died on the battlefield.
Ottoman wars 1526–1699
The largest expansion of Turks (1683)
Turkish attack on a river fortress (Szigetvár 1566)
Siege of a town (Érsekújvár, 1663)
The siege of united Christian forces in Buda
After some 150 years of wars
with the Hungarians and other states, the Ottomans conquered parts of Hungary, and continued their expansion
until 1556. The Ottomans gained a decisive victory over the Hungarian army at the Battle of Mohács
in 1526. The next decades were characterised by political chaos; the divided Hungarian nobility
elected two kings simultaneously, 'Szapolyai János'
(1526–1540) and Ferdinand Habsburg
(1527–1540), whose feud for the throne further weakened the kingdom. With the conquest of Buda in 1541 by the Turks, Hungary was divided into three parts. Even with a decisive 1552 victory over the Ottomans at the Siege of Eger
, which raised the hopes of the Hungarians
, the country remained divided until the end of the 17th century. The north-western part (see map) termed as Royal Hungary
was annexed by the Habsburgs who ruled as Kings of Hungary
. The eastern part of the kingdom (Partium
), in turn, became independent as the Principality of Transylvania
, under Ottoman (and later Habsburg) suzerainty. The remaining central area (mostly present-day Hungary), including the capital of Buda was known as the Pashalik of Buda
. A large part of the area became devastated by permanent warfare. Most smaller settlements disappeared.
Pozsony (today Bratislava
) became the new capital (1536–1784), coronation town (1563–1830) and seat of the Diet (1536–1848) of Hungary. Nagyszombat (today Trnava
) in turn, became the religious center in 1541. After the middle of the 16th century and the beginning of the Counter Reformation
of Habsburgs, the strife between the Protestant Hungarians and the Catholic Habsburgs became increasingly violent.
The Turks were indifferent to the Christian religion of their subjects and the Habsburg counter-reformation
measures could not reach this area. As a result, the majority of the population of the area became Protestant (Calvinist)
In 1558 the Transylvanian Diet
declared free practice of both the Catholic
religions, but prohibited Calvinism
. Ten years later, in 1568, the Diet extended this freedom, declaring that "It is not allowed to anybody to intimidate anybody with captivity or expelling for his religion". Four religions were declared as accepted (recepta) religions, while Orthodox Christianity
was "tolerated" (though the building of stone Orthodox churches was forbidden). Hungary entered the Thirty Years' War
, Royal (Habsburg) Hungary joined the catholic side, until Transylvania joined the Protestant side.
There were a series of other successful and unsuccessful anti-Habsburg /i.e. anti-Austrian/ (requiring equal rights and freedom for all Christian religions) uprisings between 1604 and 1711, the uprisings were usually organized from Transylvania.
In 1686, two years after the unsuccessful siege of Buda, a renewed European campaign was started to enter the Hungarian capital. This time, the Holy League's
army was twice a large, containing over 74,000 men, including German, Croat, Dutch, Hungarian, English, Spanish, Czech, Italian, French, Burgundian, Danish and Swedish soldiers, along with other Europeans as volunteers, artilleryman, and officers; with this force, the Christian forces reconquered Buda. The second Battle of Mohács
(1687) and Battle of Zenta
(1697) were crushing defeats for the Turks, in the next few years, all of the former Hungarian lands, except areas near Temesvár
(Timişoara), were taken from the Turks. In the 1699 Treaty of Karlowitz
these territorial changes were officially recognized, and in 1718 the entire Kingdom of Hungary was removed from Ottoman rule. The constrained Habsburg Counter-Reformation efforts in the seventeenth century reconverted the majority of the kingdom to Catholicism. The Hungarian aristocracy successfully preserved its former positions in the political and economic sphere.
Ethnic aftermath of Ottoman wars
As a consequence of the prolonged constant warfare between Hungarians and Ottoman Turks, population growth was stunted and the network of medieval settlements with their urbanized bourgeois inhabitants perished. The 150 years of Turkish wars fundamentally changed the ethnic composition of Hungary. As a result of demographic losses including deportations and massacres, the number of ethnic Hungarians in existence at the end of the Turkish period was substantially diminished.
The Hungarian people (the vast majority of Hungarian lowborn people hated
monarchs) were considered rebellious by Habsburg Monarchs. After the "liberation" of Hungary from the Turks, The Austrian — Habsburg government settled large groups of Serbs and other Slavs in the south, allowed mass Vlach (Romanian) immigration into Transylvania and settled Germans in various areas, but not a single Hungarian person was allowed to settle or re-settle in the south of the Great Plain
History of Hungary 1700–1919
, The oldest University of Technology in the World, founded in 1782
Széchenyi Chain Bridge
, Until 1848, the bridge was the world's biggest suspension bridge(1839–1848) in its era. It was a technological experiment too.
Between 1703 and 1711 there was a large-scale uprising led by Francis II Rákóczi
, who after the dethronement of the Habsburgs in 1707 at the Diet of Ónód, took power provisionally as the "Ruling Prince" of Hungary for the wartime period, but refused the Hungarian Crown and the title "King". After 8 years of war with the Habsburg Empire
the Hungarian Kuruc
army lost the last main battle at Battle of Trencin
(Trencsény) (1711); however, they also had successful actions, for example when Ádám Balogh
almost captured the Austrian Emperor with Kuruc troops. When Austrians defeated the uprising in 1711, Rákóczi was in Poland. He later fled to France, finally Turkey, and lived to the end of his life (1735) in nearby Rodosto
. Ladislas Ignace de Bercheny
who was the son of Miklós Bercsényi immigrated to France
and created the first French hussar
regiment. Afterwards, to make further armed resistance impossible, the Austrians blew up Hungarian castles (most of the castles on the border between the now-reclaimed territories occupied earlier by the Ottomans and Royal Hungary), and allowed peasants to use the stones from most of the others as building material. In this century lived one of the most famous Hungarian Hussars
named Michael de Kovats
who created the US cavalry in the American Revolutionary War
. He has a statue now in Charleston
The Period of Reforms (1825–1848)
During the Napoleonic Wars
and afterwards, the Hungarian Diet had not convened for decades.
In the 1820s, the Emperor was forced to convene the Diet, and thus a Reform Period (Hungarian
) began. Nevertheless, its progress was slow, because the nobles insisted on retaining their privileges (no taxation, exclusive voting rights, etc.). Therefore the achievements were mostly of national character (e.g. introduction of Hungarian as one of the official languages of the country, instead of the former Latin).
Count István Széchenyi
, one of the most prominent statesmen of the country recognized the urgent need of modernization and his message got through. The Hungarian Parliament was reconvened in 1825 to handle financial needs. A liberal party emerged in the Diet. The party focused on providing for the peasantry. Lajos Kossuth
- famous journalist at the time - emerged as leader of the lower gentry
in the Parliament. Habsburg monarchs tried to preclude
the industrialisation of the country. A remarkable upswing started as the nation concentrated its forces on modernisation even though the Habsburg monarchs obstructed all important liberal laws about the human civil and political rights
and economic reforms. Many reformers (like Lajos Kossuth
, Mihály Táncsics
) were imprisoned by the authorities.
Revolution and War of Independence
On March 15, 1848
, mass demonstrations in Pest and Buda enabled Hungarian reformists to push through a list of 12 demands
. Faced with revolution both at home and in Vienna
, Austria first had to accept Hungarian demands. Later, under governor and president Lajos Kossuth
and the first Prime Minister, Lajos Batthyány
, the House of Habsburg
was dethroned and the form of government was changed to create the first Republic of Hungary. After the Austrian revolution was suppressed, emperor Franz Joseph
replaced his epileptic
uncle Ferdinand I
as Emperor. The Habsburg Ruler and his advisors skillfully manipulated the Croatian, Serbian and Romanian peasantry, led by priests and officers firmly loyal to the Habsburgs, and induced them to rebel against the Hungarian government. The Hungarians were supported by the vast majority of the Slovak, German and Rusyn nationalities and by all the Jews of the kingdom, as well as by a large number of Polish, Austrian and Italian volunteers.
In July 1849 the Hungarian Parliament proclaimed and enacted the first laws of ethnic and minority rights
in the world. Many members of the nationalities gained coveted the highest positions within the Hungarian Army, like General János Damjanich
, an ethnic Serb who became a Hungarian national hero through his command of the 3rd Hungarian Army Corps. Initially, the Hungarian forces (Honvédség
) defeated Austrian armies. To counter the successes of the Hungarian revolutionary army, Franz Joseph asked for help from the "Gendarme of Europe," Czar Nicholas I
, whose Russian armies invaded Hungary. The huge army of the Russian Empire and the Austrian forces proved too powerful for the Hungarian army, and General Artúr Görgey
surrendered in August 1849. Julius Jacob von Haynau
, the leader of the Austrian army, then became governor of Hungary for a few months, ordered the execution of the 13 Martyrs of Arad
, leaders of the Hungarian army, as well as Prime Minister Batthyány in October 1849. Lajos Kossuth escaped into exile. Following the war of 1848 – 1849, the whole country was in "passive resistance". Archduke Albrecht, Duke of Teschen
was appointed governor of the Kingdom of Hungary
, and this time was remembered for Germanization
pursued with the help of Czech officers.
Automobile from 1904 (produced in Hungary) Between 1900 and 1918, there were 10 automotive factories in Hungary
Because of external and internal problems, reforms seemed inevitable to secure the integrity of the Habsburg Empire. Major military defeats of Austria, like the Battle of Königgrätz
(1866), forced the Emperor to concede internal reforms. To appease Hungarian separatism, the Emperor made a deal with Hungary, negotiated by Ferenc Deák
, called the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867
, by which the dual Monarchy of Austria–Hungary came into existence. The two realms were governed separately by two parliaments from two capital cities, with a common monarch and common external and military policies. Economically, the empire was a customs union. The first prime minister of Hungary after the Compromise was Count Gyula Andrássy
. The old Hungarian Constitution was restored, and Franz Joseph was crowned as King of Hungary
The era witnessed an impressive economic development. The formerly backward Hungarian economy became relatively modern and industrialized by the turn of the century, although agriculture remained dominant until 1890. In 1873, the old capital Buda
(Ancient Buda) were officially merged with the third city, Pest
, thus creating the new metropolis of Budapest
. The dynamic Pest grew into the country's administrative, political, economic, trade and cultural hub. Technological change accelerated industrialization and urbanization. The GNP per capita grew roughly 1.45% per year from 1870 to 1913. That level of growth compared very favorably to that of other European nations such as Britain (1.00%), France (1.06%), and Germany (1.51%). Many of the state institutions and the modern administrative system of Hungary were established during this period.
Because of various reasons including migration of millions
, the census in 1910 (excluding Croatia) recorded the following distribution of population: Hungarian 54.5%, Romanian 16.1%, Slovak 10.7%, and German 10.4%. The largest religious denomination was the Roman Catholic (49.3%), followed by the Calvinist (14.3%), Greek Orthodox (12.8%) /Romanians Serbians Ruthenians), Greek Catholic (11.0%), Lutheran (7.1%), and Jewish (5.0%) religions. In 1910, 6.37% of the population were eligible to vote in elections through census
World War I
A submarine from the U-27 series.
After the Assassination in Sarajevo
the Hungarian prime minister, István Tisza
and his cabinet (sole in Europe) tried to avoid the breaking out and escalating of a war in Europe, but his diplomatic attempts remained unsuccessful.
drafted 9 million (fighting forces: 7,8 million) soldiers in World War I (4 million from the Kingdom of Hungary). In World War I Austria–Hungary was fighting on the side of Germany
. The Central Powers
conquered Serbia. Romania proclaimed war. The Central Powers conquered Southern Romania and the Romanian capital Bucharest
. On November 1916 Emperor Franz Joseph died, the new monarch Charles IV sympathized with the pacifists. With great difficulty, the Central powers stopped and repelled the attacks of the Russian Empire. The Eastern front of the Allied (Entente
) Powers completely collapsed. The Austro-Hungarian Empire then withdrew from all defeated countries. On the Italian front, the Austro-Hungarian army could not make more successful progress against Italy after January 1918. Despite great Eastern successes, Germany suffered complete defeat in the more determinant Western front. By 1918, the economic situation had deteriorated (strikes in factories were organized by leftist and pacifist movements), and uprisings in the army had become commonplace. In the capital cities (Vienna and Budapest), the Austrian and the Hungarian leftist liberal movements (the maverick parties) and their leader politicians supported and strengthened the separatism of ethnic minorities. Austria-Hungary signed general armistice in Padua
on 3 November 1918. In October 1918, the personal union with Austria was dissolved.
Between the two world wars (1918–1941)
World War I Memorial in Solt, Hungary
The first Republic of Hungary
In 1918, as a political result of German defeat on the Western front in World War I, the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy collapsed. French troops landed in Greece to rearm the defeated Romania, Serbia and the newly formed Czech state. Despite the general armistice agreement, the Balkanian French army organized new campaigns against Hungary with the help of Czech, Romanian, and Serbian governments.
On October 31, 1918, the success of the Aster Revolution
brought the left liberal count Mihály Károlyi
to power as Prime-Minister. Roving soldiers assassinated István Tisza
Károlyi was a devotee of Entente
from the beginning of the World War. By a notion of Woodrow Wilson's
pacifism, Károlyi ordered the full disarmament of Hungarian Army. Hungary remained without national defense in the darkest hour of its history. On 5 November 1918 Serbian Army with French involvement attacked Southern parts of the country, on 8 November Czech Army invaded Northern part of Hungary (present-day Slovakia
), on 12 November Romanian Army started to attack the Eastern (Transylvanian) parts of Hungary. The First Republic was proclaimed on 16 November 1918 with Károlyi being named as president. The Károlyi government pronounced illegal all armed associations and proposals which wanted to defend the integrity of the country. The Károlyi government also dissolved the gendarme and police, the lack of police force caused big problems in the country. By February 1919 the government had lost all popular support, having failed on domestic and military fronts. On March 21, after the Entente military representative demanded more and more territorial concessions from Hungary, Károlyi resigned. Károlyi (with a new Czechoslovakian passport and Czechoslovak diplomatic help) moved to Paris
The Hungarian Soviet Republic
The multiethnic nature of Budapest in 1919: The Heroes Square of Budapest
in red. The Communists wanted to destroy all Hungarian historical monuments, statues and national symbols.
The Communist Party of Hungary, led by Béla Kun
, came to power and proclaimed the Hungarian Soviet Republic
. The Communists also promised equality and social justice. The Communists – "The Reds" – came to power largely thanks to being the only group with an organized fighting force, and they promised that Hungary would defend its territory without conscription. (possibly with the help of the Soviet Red Army
). Hence: the Red Army of Hungary was a little voluntary army (53,000 men). Most soldiers of the Red Army were armed factory workers from Budapest. In terms of domestic policy, the Communist government nationalized industrial and commercial enterprises, socialized housing, transport, banking, medicine, cultural institutions, and all landholdings of more than 400,000 square metres. The support of the Communists proved to be short lived in Budapest. The Soviet Red Army was never able to aid the new Hungarian republic. Despite the great military successes against Czechoslovakian army, the communist leaders gave back all recaptured lands. That attitude demoralized the voluntary army. The Hungarian Red Army was dissolved before it could successfully complete its campaigns. The Communists had never been popular in country towns and countryside. In the aftermath of a coup attempt, the government took a series of actions called the Red Terror
, murdering several hundred people (mostly intellectuals), which alienated much of the population. In the face of domestic backlash and an advancing Romanian force, Béla Kun and most of his comrades fled to Austria, while Budapest was occupied on August 6. Kun and his followers illegally took along numerous art treasures and the gold stocks of the National Bank.
All these events, and in particular the final military defeat, led to a deep feeling of dislike among the general population against the Soviet Union (which had not kept its promise to offer military assistance) and the Jews
(since most members of Kun's government were Jewish).
The restored Kingdom of Hungary
The new fighting force in Hungary were the Conservative Royalists counter-revolutionaries
– the "Whites". These, who had been organizing in Vienna
and established a counter-government in Szeged
, assumed power, led by István Bethlen
, a Transylvanian aristocrat, and rear-admiral Miklós Horthy
, the former commander in chief of the Austro-Hungarian Navy. Starting in Western Hungary and spreading throughout the country, a White Terror
began by other half-regular and half-militarist detachments (as the police power crashed, there were no serious national regular forces and authorities), and many Communists and other leftists were tortured and executed without trial. The leaving Romanian army pillaged the country: livestock, machinery and agricultural products were carried to Romania in hundreds of freight cars.
The estimated property damage of their activity was so much that the international peace conference in 1919 did not require Hungary to pay war redemption to Romania.
On November 16, with the consent of Romanian forces, Horthy's army marched into Budapest. His government gradually restored security police and gendarmee, stopped terror, and set up authorities, but thousands of supporters of the leftist-liberal Károlyi and communist Kun regimes were imprisoned (for "High treason
" and "anti-Hungarian actions"). But radical rightist political movements were suppressed too. In March, the parliament restored the Hungarian monarchy but postponed electing a king until civil disorder had subsided. Instead, Miklos Horthy was elected Regent
and was empowered, among other things, to appoint Hungary's Prime Minister, veto legislation, convene or dissolve the parliament, and command the armed forces.
The Treaty of Trianon
: Hungary lost 72% of its territory, and lost its sea ports in Croatia, 3,425,000 ethnic Hungarians found themselves separated from their motherland. Hungary lost 8 of its 10 biggest Hungarian cities.
Hungary's signing of the Treaty of Trianon
on June 4, 1920, ratified the country's dismemberment. The territorial provisions of the treaty, which ensured continued discord between Hungary and its neighbors, required Hungary to surrender more than two-thirds of its pre-war lands. However, nearly one-third of the 10 million ethnic Hungarians found themselves outside the diminished homeland. The country's ethnic composition was left almost homogeneous, Hungarians constituting about 90% of the population, Germans made up about 6%, and Slovaks, Croats, Romanians, Jews and Gypsies accounted for the remainder.
New international borders separated Hungary's industrial base from its sources of raw materials and its former markets for agricultural and industrial products. Hungary lost 84% of its timber resources, 43% of its arable land, and 83% of its iron ore. Furthermore, post-Trianon Hungary possessed 90% of the engineering and printing industry of the Kingdom, while only 11% of timber
and 16% iron
was retained. In addition, 61% of arable land
, 74% of public road, 65% of canals, 62% of railroads
, 64% of hard surface roads, 83% of pig iron
output, 55% of industrial plants, 100% of gold, silver, copper, mercury and salt mines, and 67% of credit and banking institutions of the former Kingdom of Hungary lay within the territory of Hungary's neighbors.
Because most of the country's pre-war industry was concentrated near Budapest, Hungary retained about 51% of its industrial population, 56% of its industry. Horthy appointed Count Pál Teleki
as Prime Minister in July 1920. His government issued a numerus clausus
law, limiting admission of "political insecure elements" (these were often Jews) to universities and, in order to quiet rural discontent, took initial steps toward fulfilling a promise of major land reform by dividing about 3,850 km2
from the largest estates into smallholdings. Teleki's government resigned, however, after, Charles IV
, unsuccessfully attempted to retake Hungary's throne in March 1921. King Charles's return produced split parties between conservatives who favored a Habsburg restoration and nationalist right-wing radicals who supported election of a Hungarian king. Count István Bethlen, a non-affiliated right-wing member of the parliament, took advantage of this rift forming a new Party of Unity under his leadership. Horthy then appointed Bethlen prime minister. Charles IV died soon after he failed a second time to reclaim the throne in October 1921. (For more detail on Charles's attempts to retake the throne, see Charles IV of Hungary's conflict with Miklós Horthy
As prime minister, Bethlen dominated Hungarian politics between 1921 and 1931. He fashioned a political machine by amending the electoral law, providing jobs in the expanding bureaucracy to his supporters, and manipulating elections in rural areas. Bethlen restored order to the country by giving the radical counterrevolutionaries payoffs and government jobs in exchange for ceasing their campaign of terror against Jews and leftists. In 1921, he made a deal with the Social Democrats and trade unions (called Bethlen-Peyer Pact), agreeing, among other things, to legalize their activities and free political prisoners in return for their pledge to refrain from spreading anti-Hungarian
propaganda, calling political strikes, and organizing the peasantry. Bethlen brought Hungary into the League of Nations
in 1922 and out of international isolation by signing a treaty of friendship with Italy
in 1927. The revision of the Treaty of Trianon rose to the top of Hungary's political agenda and the strategy employed by Bethlen consisted by strengthening the economy and building relations with stronger nations. Revision of the treaty had such a broad backing in Hungary that Bethlen used it, at least in part, to deflect criticism of his economic, social, and political policies. The Great Depression
induced a drop in the standard of living and the political mood of the country shifted further toward the right. In 1932 Horthy appointed a new prime-minister, Gyula Gömbös
, that changed the course of Hungarian policy towards closer cooperation with Germany. Gömbös signed a trade agreement with Germany that drew Hungary's economy out of depression but made Hungary dependent on the German economy for both raw materials and markets. Adolf Hitler
appealed to Hungarian desires for territorial revisionism, while extreme right wing organizations, like the Arrow Cross party, increasingly embraced Nazi
policies, including those related to Jews
. The government passed the First Jewish Law in 1938. The law established a quote system to limit Jewish involvement in the Hungarian economy.
(a Jewish descendant) attempts to improve Hungary's diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom
initially made him very unpopular with Germany
. In light of Germany's Anschluss
with Austria in March, he realized that he could not afford to alienate Germany and Italy for long; in the autumn of 1938 his foreign policy became very much pro-German and pro-Italian.
Intent on amassing a base of power in Hungarian right wing politics, Imrédy began to suppress political rivals, so the increasingly influential Arrow Cross Party was harassed, and eventually banned by Imrédy's administration. As Imrédy drifted further to the right, he proposed that the government be reorganized along totalitarian
lines and drafted a harsher Second Jewish Law. The Parliament under the new government of Pál Teleki
approved the Second Jewish Law in 1939, which greatly restricted Jewish involvement in the economy, culture, and society and, significantly, defined Jews by race instead of religion. This definition altered the status of those who had formerly converted from Judaism to Christianity.
Hungary in World War II (1941–1945)
In 1941 Hungary participated in its first military manoeuvres as part of the Axis
. Thus the Hungarian army was part of the invasion of Yugoslavia
, gaining some more territory. On June 22, 1941, Germany invaded the Soviet Union
under Operation Barbarossa
; Hungary joined the German effort and declared war on the Soviet Union on June 26, and formally entered World War II
on the side of the Axis. In late 1941, the Hungarian troops on the Eastern Front
experienced success at the Battle of Uman
. By 1943, after the Hungarian Second Army
suffered extremely heavy losses at the River Don
, the Hungarian government sought to negotiate a surrender with the Allies
. On March 19, 1944, as a result of this duplicity, German troops occupied Hungary in what was known as Operation Margarethe
. By then it was clear that Hungarian politics was suppressed by Hitler's intent to hold the country in war on the side of the Nazi Third Reich
because of its strategic location. On October 15, 1944, Miklós Horthy
made a token effort to disengage Hungary from the war. This time the Germans launched Operation Panzerfaust
and Horthy was replaced by a puppet government under the pro-German Prime Minister Ferenc Szálasi
. Szálasi and his pro-Nazi Arrow Cross Party
remained loyal to the Germans until the end of the war. In late 1944, Hungarian troops on the Eastern Front again experienced success at the Battle of Debrecen
, but this was followed immediately by the Soviet invasion of Hungary and the Battle of Budapest
. During the German occupation in May-June 1944, the Arrow Cross Party and Hungarian police deported nearly 440,000 Jews
, mostly to Auschwitz
The Swedish Diplomat Raoul Wallenberg managed to save a considerable number of Hungarian Jews by giving them Swedish passports, but when the soviets arrived he was arrested as a spy and disappeared.
Hundreds of Hungarian people were also executed by the Arrow Cross Party for sheltering Jews.
The war left Hungary devastated destroying over 60% of the economy and causing huge loss of life
. Many Hungarians, including women and children, were brutally raped, murdered and executed or deported for slave labour by Czechslovaks, Russian Red Army
troops, Yugoslavs (mostly Serbian partisans and regular units), and the Romanian
so-called "Munteanu Guard" paramilitary units — by the end of the war approximately 500,000-650,000 people.
On February 13, 1945, the Hungarian capital city surrendered unconditionally. On May 8, 1945, World War II in Europe officially ended. By the agreement between the Czechoslovakian president Edvard Beneš
and Joseph Stalin the wild expulsions of Slovaks from Hungary and Magyars from Czechoslovakia started. 250,000 ethnic Germans were also transferred to Germany pursuant to article XIII of the Potsdam Protocol of 2 August 1945.
Communist era (1947–1989)
Vandalised fallen head of a statue of Joseph Stalin
during the revolution
Following the fall of Nazi Germany, Soviet troops occupied all of the country and through their influence Hungary gradually became a communist satellite state of the Soviet Union. Many of the communist leaders of 1919 returned from Moscow. After 1948, Communist leader Mátyás Rákosi
established Stalinist rule in the country complete with forced collectivization and planned economy
. Mátyás Rákosi now attempted to impose authoritarian rule on Hungary. An estimated 2,000 people were executed and over 100,000 were imprisoned. Approximately 350,000 officials and intellectuals were purged from 1948 to 1956
Many people (freethinkers democrats) were secretly arrested and taken to inland or foreign concentration camps
without any judicial sentence. (the deportation of some 600,000 Hungarians to Soviet labour camps after the Second World War and the death of at least 200,000 in captivity).
Hungary experienced one of the harshest dictatorships in Europe.
Rákosi had difficulty managing the economy and the people of Hungary saw living standards fall. His government became increasingly unpopular, and when Joseph Stalin died in 1953, Mátyás Rákosi was replaced as prime minister by Imre Nagy
. However, he retained his position as general secretary of the Hungarian Workers Party and over the next three years the two men became involved in a bitter struggle for power.
As Hungary's new leader, Imre Nagy
removed state control of the mass media and encouraged public discussion on political and economic reform. This included a promise to increase the production and distribution of consumer goods. Nagy also released anti-communists from prison and talked about holding free elections and withdrawing Hungary from the Warsaw Pact. Nagy was removed by Soviets. Rákosi did manage to secure the appointment of his puppet and close friend, Ernő Gerő, as his successor.
The rule of the Rákosi government was nearly unbearable for Hungary's war-torn citizens. This led to the 1956 Hungarian Revolution
and Hungary's temporary withdrawal from the Warsaw Pact
. The multi-party system was restored by Nagy. Soviets and Hungarian political police(AVH) shot at peaceful demonstrators, many demonstrators died throughout the country, which made the events irreversible. Spontaneous revolutionary militias arose and heavy street fights started against the Soviet Army and the fearful communist secret police (AVH
) in Budapest. The roughly 3,000-strong Hungarian resistance fought Soviet tanks using Molotov cocktails (in the narrow streets of Budapest) and machine-pistols. The immense Soviet preponderance suffered heavy losses, by 30 October most Soviet troops had withdrawn from Budapest to garrisons in the Hungarian countryside. The Soviet Union sent new armies to Hungary. On 4 November 1956, the Soviets retaliated massively with military force, sending in over 150,000 troops and 2,500 tanks.
During the Hungarian Uprising an estimated 20,000 people were killed, nearly all during the Soviet intervention. Nearly a quarter of a million people left the country during the brief time that the borders were open in 1956.
Kádár Era (1956-1988)
(who was the appointed leader by the Soviets) reorganized the communist party as the puppet of the Soviets. Once he was in power, Kádár led an attack against revolutionaries. 21,600 mavericks (democrats, liberals, reformist communists alike) were imprisoned, 13,000 interned, and 400 killed. Imre Nagy
, the legal Prime Minister of the country was condemned to death. From the 1960s through the late 1980s, Hungary was often satirically referred to as "the happiest barrack
" within the Eastern bloc
. As a result of the relatively high standard of living, and less restricted travel rights than those in force elsewhere in the Eastern Bloc, Hungary was generally considered one of the better countries in which to live in Eastern Europe during the Cold War. (See also Goulash Communism
for a discussion of the Hungarian variety of socialism.) This was under the autocratic rule of its controversial communist leader, János Kádár
. It was the so called Kádár era (1956–1988). The last Soviet soldier left the country in 1991 thus ending Soviet military presence in Hungary. With the Soviet Union gone the transition to a market economy
The Third Hungarian Republic (1989–present)
- A 1990 political poster by Fidesz
, depicting Leonid Brezhnev
and Erich Honecker
performing a traditional and widely known communist-style kiss-greeting (archive photo, above) and a kissing contemporary young couple (below).
Former U.S. president George W. Bush
speaks from Gellért Hill
during the commemoration of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956
, Hungary, Thursday, June 22, 2006)
"From this spot you could see tens of thousands of students and workers and other Hungarians marching through the streets. They called for an end to dictatorship, to censorship, and to the secret police. They called for free elections, a free press, and the release of political prisoners. These Hungarian patriots tore down the statue of Josef Stalin, and defied an empire to proclaim their liberty."
In June 1987 Károly Grósz
took over as premier. In January 1988 all restrictions were lifted on foreign travel. In March demonstrations for democracy and civil rights brought 15,000 onto the streets. In May, after Kádár
's forced retirement, Grósz was named party secretary general. Under Grósz, Hungary began moving towards full democracy
, change accelerated under the impetus of other party reformers such as Imre Pozsgay
and Rezső Nyers. Also in June 1988, 30,000 demonstrated against Romania's communist Regime plans to demolish Transylvanian villages.
In February, 1989 the Communist Party's Central Committee, responding to 'public dissatisfaction', announced it would permit a multi-party system in Hungary and hold free elections. In March, for the first time in decades, the government declared the anniversary of the 1848 Revolution a national holiday. Opposition demonstrations filled the streets of Budapest with more than 75,000 marchers. Grósz met Mikhail Gorbachev
in Moscow, who condoned Hungary's moves toward a multi-party system and promised that the USSR
would not interfere in Hungary's internal affairs. In May, Hungary began taking down its barbed wire fence along the Austrian border – the first tear in the Iron Curtain
. June brought the reburial of Prime Minister Nagy, executed after the 1956 Revolution, drawing a crowd of 250,000 at the Heroes' Square
. The last speaker, 26-year-old Viktor Orbán
publicly called for Soviet troops to leave Hungary. In July U.S. President George Bush
visited Hungary. In September Foreign Minister Gyula Horn announced that East German refugees
in Hungary would not be repatriated but would instead be allowed to go to the West. The resulting exodus
shook East Germany and hastened the fall of the Berlin Wall
. On October 23, Mátyás Szűrös
declared Hungary a republic.
At a party congress in October 1989 the Communists agreed to give up their monopoly on power, paving the way for free elections in March 1990
. The party's name was changed from the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party to simply the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP
) and a new programme advocating social democracy and a free-market economy was adopted. This was not enough to shake off the stigma of four decades of autocratic rule, however, and the 1990 election was won by the centre-right Hungarian Democratic Forum
(MDF), which advocated a gradual transition towards capitalism. The liberal Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ
), which had called for much faster change, came second and the Socialist Party trailed far behind. As Gorbachev looked on, Hungary changed political systems with scarcely a murmur and the last Soviet troops left Hungary in June 1991.
In coalition with two smaller parties, the MDF provided Hungary with sound government during its hard transition to a full market economy. József Antall, the first democratically elected prime minister of Hungary, died in December 1993 and was replaced by the Interior Minister Péter Boross
The economic changes of the early 1990s resulted in declining living standards for most people in Hungary. In 1991 most state subsidies were removed, leading to a severe recession exacerbated by the fiscal austerity necessary to reduce inflation and stimulate investment. This made life difficult for many Hungarians, and in the May 1994 elections
the Hungarian Socialist Party led by former Communists won an absolute majority in parliament. This in no way implied a return to the past, and party leader Gyula Horn
was quick to point out that it was his party that had initiated the whole reform process in the first place (as foreign minister in 1989 Horn played a key role in opening Hungary's border with Austria). All three main political parties advocate economic liberalisation and closer ties with the West. In March 1996, Horn was re-elected as Socialist Party leader and confirmed that he would push ahead with the party's economic stabilisation programme.
In 1997 in a national referendum
85% voted in favour of Hungary joining the NATO
. A year later the European Union
began negotiations with Hungary on full membership. In 1999 Hungary joined NATO. Hungary voted in favour of joining the EU, and joined in 2004.
As of 2009, 13 Hungarians (who were born in Hungary) had received a Nobel prize
, more than China
Further eight Nobel prize laureates of Hungarian origin on both sides were born outside of Hungary.
The world's first institution of technology was founded in Selmecbánya
, Hungarian Kingdom (today Slovakia) in 1735. Budapest University of Technology and Economics
(BME) is considered the oldest institution of technology in the world, which has university rank and structure. The legal predecessor of the university was founded in 1782 by Emperor Joseph II.
Hungary is famous for its excellent mathematics education
which has trained numerous outstanding scientists. Famous Hungarian mathematicians include János Bolyai
, designer of modern geometry (non-Euclidean geometry
) in 1831. Paul Erdős
, famed for publishing in over forty languages and whose Erdős numbers
are still tracked;
and John von Neumann
, Quantum Theory, Game theory
a pioneer of digital computing
and a key mathematician in the Manhattan Project
. Many Hungarian scientists, including Erdős, von Neumann, Leo Szilard
, and Edward Teller immigrated
to the United States
. The other cause of scientist emigration was the Treaty of Trianon
, that "little Hungary" amputated by the Trianon treaty was unable to support the large-scale costly scientific researches, therefore some Hungarian scientists made their most famous contributions in the United States.
Most famous Hungarian inventions
First electric motor
(1827) and first electrical generator
). David Schwarz
invented and designed the first flyable rigid airship (aluminium-made), later he sold his patent for German Graf Zeppelin
. Ottó Bláthy
, Miksa Déri
and Károly Zipernowsky
invented the transformer
) invented the Turbogenerator
, Telephone exchange
), Ford Model T
and assembly line
(therefore he is the inventor of industrial mass production) József Galamb
, Tungsten electric bulb (1904) (Sándor Just
) and the krypton electric bulb
), Electronic Television and camera-tube
(1926) and Plasma TV
(1936) (Kálmán Tihanyi
), Vitamin C
and the first artificial vitamin Albert Szent-Györgyi
, mathematical tools to study fluid flow
and mathematical background of supersonic flight and inventor of swept-back wings
"father of Supersonic Flight" (Theodore Kármán
), ramjet propulsion Albert Fonó
propulsion by (György Jendrassik
), (Leó Szilárd
): (nuclear chain reaction
(therefore he was the first who realized the feasibility of an "atomic bomb". In August 1939, Szilard approached his old friend and collaborator Albert Einstein
and convinced him to sign the Einstein–Szilárd letter
, lending the weight of Einstein's fame to the proposal. The letter led directly to the establishment of research into nuclear fission by the U.S. government and ultimately to the creation of the Manhattan Project
. Szilárd, with Enrico Fermi
, patented the nuclear reactor
). Other notable Hungarian inventions include holography
), the ballpoint pen
), thermonuclear fusion and the theory of the hydrogen bomb
), and the BASIC programming language
, with Thomas E. Kurtz
), Low level laser therapy
or "light therapy" (Endre Mester
), artificial blood
(István Horváth), Rubik's cube
The President of the Republic
, elected by the members of the National Assembly
every five years, has a largely ceremonial role, but he is nominally the Commander-in-Chief
of the armed forces and his powers include the nomination of the Prime Minister
who is to be elected by a majority of the votes of the Members of Parliament, based on the recommendation made by the President of the Republic.
By the Hungarian Constitution
, based on the post-WWII Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany
, the Prime Minister has a leading role in the executive branch as he selects Cabinet
ministers and has the exclusive right to dismiss them (similarly to the competences of the German federal chancellor). Each cabinet nominee appears before one or more parliamentary committees
in consultative open hearings, survive a vote by the Parliament and must be formally approved by the president.
, 386-member National Assembly
(Országgyűlés) is the highest organ of state authority and initiates and approves legislation sponsored by the Prime Minister. Its members are elected for a four year term. 176 members are elected in single-seat constituencies
, 152 by proportional representation
in multi-seat constituencies
, and 58 so-called compensation seats are distributed based on the number of votes "lost" (i.e., the votes that did not produce a seat) in either the single-seat or the multi-seat constituencies. The election threshold
is 5%, but it only applies to the multi-seat constituencies and the compensation seats, not the single-seat constituencies.
An 11-member Constitutional Court
has power to challenge legislation on grounds of unconstitutionality.
Regions, counties, subregions and cities
- See also List of historic counties of Hungary
Regions of Hungary with their regional centres
Administratively, Hungary is divided into 19 counties
. In addition, the capital city
, is independent of any county government. The counties and the capital are the 20 NUTS
third-level units of Hungary.
The counties are further subdivided into 173 subregions
), and Budapest is its own subregion. Since 1996, the counties and City of Budapest have been grouped into 7 regions
for statistical and development purposes. These seven regions constitute NUTS' second-level units of Hungary.
There are also 23 towns with county rights (singular megyei jogú város), sometimes known as "urban counties" in English (although there is no such term in Hungarian). The local authorities of these towns have extended powers, but these towns belong to the territory of the respective county instead of being independent territorial units.
Counties (County Capital)
Hungary has continued to demonstrate economic growth
as one of the newest member countries of the European Union (since 2004). The private sector accounts for over 80% of GDP
. Hungary gets nearly one third of all foreign direct investment
flowing into Central Europe, with cumulative foreign direct investment totaling more than US$185 billion since 1989. It enjoys strong trade, fiscal, monetary, investment, business, and labor freedoms. The top income tax
rate is fairly high, but corporate taxes
are low. Inflation
is low, it was on the rise in the past few years, but it is now starting to regulate. Investment in Hungary is easy, although it is subject to government licensing in security-sensitive areas. Foreign capital
enjoys virtually the same protections and privileges as domestic capital. The rule of law
is strong, a professional judiciary protects property rights, and the level of corruption
Planned general government net lending 2005-2010.
The Hungarian economy
is a medium-sized, structurally, politically, and institutionally open economy in Central Europe
and is part of the EU single market
. Like most Eastern European economies, it experienced market liberalisation
in the early 1990s as part of a transition away from communism
. Today, Hungary is a full member of OECD
and the World Trade Organization
. OECD was the first international organization to accept Hungary as a full member in 1996, after six years of successful cooperation.
History of the Hungarian Economy
Hungarian economy prior to the transition
The Hungarian economy prior to World War II
was primarily oriented toward agriculture and small-scale manufacturing. Hungary's strategic position in Europe
and its relative high lack of natural resources also have dictated a traditional reliance on foreign trade. For instance, its largest car manufacturer, Magomobil
(maker of the Magosix
), produced a total of a few thousand units.
In the early 1950s, the communist government forced rapid industrialization after the standard Stalinist
pattern in an effort to encourage a more self-sufficient economy. Most economic activity was conducted by state-owned enterprises or cooperatives and state farms. In 1968, Stalinist self-sufficiency was replaced by the "New Economic Mechanism
," which reopened Hungary to foreign trade, gave limited freedom to the workings of the market, and allowed a limited number of small businesses to operate in the services sector.
Although Hungary enjoyed one of the most liberal and economically advanced economies of the former Eastern bloc, both agriculture and industry began to suffer from a lack of investment in the 1970s, and Hungary's net foreign debt rose significantly—from $1 billion in 1973 to $15 billion in 1993—due largely to consumer subsidies and unprofitable state enterprises. In the face of economic stagnation, Hungary opted to try further liberalization by passing a joint venture law, instating an income tax, and joining the International Monetary Fund
(IMF) and the World Bank
. By 1988, Hungary had developed a two-tier banking system and had enacted significant corporate legislation which paved the way for the ambitious market-oriented reforms of the post-communist years.
Transition to a market economy
After the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, the former Soviet satellites had to transition from a one-party, centrally planned economy
to a market economy with a multi-party political system. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Eastern Bloc countries suffered a significant loss in both markets for goods, and subsidizing from the Soviet Union. Hungary, for example, "lost nearly 70% of its export markets in Eastern and Central Europe." The loss of external markets in Hungary coupled with the loss of Soviet subsidizing left "800,000 unemployed people because all the unprofitable and unsalvageable factories had been closed."
Another form of Soviet subsidizing that greatly affected Hungary after the fall of communism was the loss of social welfare programs. Because of the lack of subsidizing and a need to reduce expenditures, many social programs in Hungary had to be cut in an attempt to lower spending. As a result, many people in Hungary suffered incredible hardships during the transition to a market economy. Following privatization
and tax reductions on Hungarian businesses, unemployment suddenly rose to 12% in 1991 (it was 1,7% in 1990 ), gradually decreasing till 2001. Economic growth, after a fall in 1991 to -11,9%, gradually grew until the end of the 1990s at an average annual rate of 4,2%. With the stabilization of the new market economy, Hungary has experienced growth in foreign investment
with a "cumulative foreign direct investment totaling more than $60 billion since 1989."
government of 1990–94 began market reforms with price and trade liberation measures, a revamped tax system, and a nascent market-based banking system. By 1994, however, the costs of government overspending and hesitant privatization had become clearly visible. Cuts in consumer subsidies led to increases in the price of food, medicine, transportation services, and energy. Reduced exports to the former Soviet bloc and shrinking industrial output contributed to a sharp decline in GDP
. Unemployment rose rapidly to about 12% in 1993. The external debt burden, one of the highest in Europe, reached 250% of annual export earnings, while the budget and current account deficits approached 10% of GDP. The devaluation
of the currency (in order to support exports), without effective stabilization measures, such as indexation
of wages, provoked an extremely high inflation rate, that in 1991 reached 35% and slightly decreased till 1994, growing again in 1995. In March 1995, the government of Prime Minister Gyula Horn
implemented an austerity program, coupled with aggressive privatization of state-owned enterprises and an export-promoting exchange raw regime, to reduce indebtedness, cut the current account deficit, and shrink public spending. By the end of 1997 the consolidated public sector deficit decreased to 4.6% of GDP—with public sector spending falling from 62% of GDP to below 50%—the current account deficit was reduced to 2% of GDP, and government debt was paid down to 94% of annual export earnings.
The Government of Hungary no longer requires IMF financial assistance and has repaid all of its debt to the fund. Consequently, Hungary enjoys favorable borrowing terms. Hungary's sovereign foreign currency debt issuance carries investment-grade ratings from all major credit-rating agencies, although recently the country was downgraded by Moody's, S&P and remains on negative outlook at Fitch. In 1995 Hungary's currency, the Forint (HUF), became convertible for all current account transactions, and subsequent to OECD
membership in 1996, for almost all capital account transactions as well. Since 1995, Hungary has pegged the forint against a basket of currencies (in which the U.S. dollar is 30%), and the central rate against the basket is devalued at a preannounced rate, originally set at 0.8% per month, the Forint is now an entirely free-floating currency. The government privatization program ended on schedule in 1998: 80% of GDP is now produced by the private sector, and foreign owners control 70% of financial institutions, 66% of industry, 90% of telecommunications, and 50% of the trading sector.
After Hungary's GDP declined about 18% from 1990 to 1993 and grew only 1%–1.5% up to 1996, strong export performance
has propelled GDP growth to 4.4% in 1997, with other macroeconomic indicators similarly improving. These successes allowed the government to concentrate in 1996 and 1997 on major structural reforms such as the implementation of a fully funded pension system (partly modelled after Chile's pension system
but enclosing major modifications), reform of higher education, and the creation of a national treasury. Remaining economic challenges include reducing fiscal deficits and inflation, maintaining stable external balances, and completing structural reforms of the tax system, health care, and local government financing. Recently, the overriding goal of Hungarian economic policy has been to prepare the country for entry into the European Union, which it joined in late 2004.
Hungarian Police HQ (Police Palace)
Prior to the change of regime in 1989, 65% of Hungary's trade was with Comecon
countries. By the end of 1997, Hungary had shifted much of its trade to the West. Trade with EU
countries and the OECD now comprises over 70% and 80% of the total, respectively. Germany
is Hungary's single most important trading partner. The U.S.
has become Hungary's sixth-largest export market, while Hungary is ranked as the 72d largest export market for the U.S. Bilateral trade between the two countries increased 46% in 1997 to more than $1 billion. The U.S. has extended to Hungary most-favored-nation status, the Generalized System of Preferences, Overseas Private Investment Corporation insurance, and access to the Export-Import Bank
With about $18 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) since 1989, Hungary has attracted over one-third of all FDI in central and eastern Europe, including the former Soviet Union. Of this, about $6 billion came from American companies. Foreign capital is attracted by skilled and relatively inexpensive labor, tax incentives, modern infrastructure, and a good telecommunications system.
By 2006 Hungary’s economic outlook had deteriorated. Wage growth had kept up with other nations in the region; however, this growth has largely been driven by increased government spending. This has resulted in the budget deficit ballooning to over 10% of GDP and inflation rates predicted to exceed 6%. This prompted Nouriel Roubini
, a White House economist in the Clinton administration, to state that "Hungary is an accident waiting to happen."
Hungarian economy today
In 2006 Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány
was reelected on a platform promising economic “reform without austerity.” However, after the elections in April 2006, the Socialist coalition under Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany unveiled a package of austerity measures which were designed to reduce the budget deficit to 3% of GDP by 2008.
In foreign investments, Hungary has seen a shift from lower-value textile and food industry to investment in luxury vehicle production, renewable energy systems, high-end tourism, and information technology.
The fulfillment of the Maastricht criteria
1 Current EU member states that have not yet adopted the Euro, candidates and official potential candidates.
² No more than 1.5% higher than the 3 best-performing EU member states.
³ No more than 2% higher than the 3 best-performing EU member states.
4 Formal obligation for Euro adoption in the country EU Treaty of Accession or the Framework for membership negotiations.
5 Values from May 2008 report. To be updated each year.
The austerity measures introduced by the government are in part an attempt to fulfill the Maastricht-criteria.
The austerity measures include a 2% rise in social security contributions, half of which is paid by employees, and a large increase in the minimum rate of sales tax (levied on food and basic services) from 15 to 20%. While it was widely recognised that something needed to be done, investors have levelled criticism at the program for emphasizing tax increases as opposed to spending cuts.
The Hungarian Central Statistical Office
reported a decrease in real wages in the first five months of 2007. Gross average income rose by 7%, while net average income increased by 1%. When adjusted for inflation, this corresponded to a 7% decline compared with real wages a year before. The drop was due mainly to the 2006 austerity package; however, state measures to combat the black economy
may also have had an impact on pay developments.
Hungary's low employment rate remains a key structural handicap to achieving higher living standards. The government introduced useful measures in the key areas, namely early retirement, disability and old pensions.
2008–2009 Financial Crisis
On 10 October 2008, the Forint dropped by 10%.
Many loans are made in Euro or Swiss Francs in Hungary.
On 27 October 2008, Hungary reached an agreement with the IMF
for a rescue package worth about US$20 billion.
Total government spending
is high. Many state-owned
enterprises have not been privatized. Business licensing is a problem, as regulations are not applied consistently.
According to the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation
, Hungary's economy was 67.2 percent "free" in 2008,
which makes it the world's 43rd-freest economy. Its overall score is 1 percent lower than last year, partially reflecting new methodological detail. Hungary is ranked 25th out of 41 countries in the European region, and its overall score is slightly lower than the regional average.
The Hungarian sovereign debt's credit rating
is BBB+ as of October 2008. However Standard & Poor's may downgrade Hungary's BBB+ sovereign credit rating because of mounting financial-sector funding pressures and their potential to raise general government debt materially from its current level of 67% of GDP (October 2008). Foreign investors' trust in the Hungarian economy has declined, as they deem that the stringency measures planned in the second half of 2006 are not satisfactory; their focus being mainly on increasing the income side rather than curbing government spendings.
Economic reform measures such as health care reform
, tax reform
, and local government
financing are being addressed by the present government.
General government net lending was 9.2% in 2006, instead of estimated 10.1% (but still the largest in Europe) because of the austerity program of the government, and was 5.5% in 2007, and recent estimates of the government says 4% in 2008.
Because of the large austerity program, the real growth of the incomes was negative in 2007 at -5.5%, and the estimates say 1% increase in 2008. The GDP growth was only 1.4% in 2007, much lower than in 2006 because of the decreased government spending; in first quarter of 2008 the GDP growth was 1.7%, slightly stronger than last quarter of 2007 (0.9%). During the second quarter in 2008, the GDP growth was 2.0% annual, and because of the effects of the 2008 financial crisis on the Hungarian forint and on the bank system, the 3rd quarter growth was slowed to 0.8% annual.
The estimates for 2009 are 1-1.5% decline.
The 2008 financial crisis hit Hungary mainly in October 2008. When the Forint declined quickly against the euro, the Hungarian National Bank raised interest rates from 3.0% to 11.5% on 22 October. As the Hungarian Government asked financial rescue package worth $25.1 billion from the International Monetary Fund, the European Union, and the World Bank, promising to IMF that recalculate the 2009 budget, as Hungary's GDP declines 1.0%, and slow down government spending, for example, stop the wage increase for state workers.
This way, the budget gap decline to 2.6% down from 5.5% of GDP in 2007 and will meet Maastricht criteria. In this circumstances, more and more economists estimate, that Hungary can join the ERM II
, which gives the possibility that Hungary can adopt the euro
2 years after joining the ERM-II monetary system.
Topographic map of Hungary
Valley of Zagyva River, Western Mátra Mounts
Hungary has a Continental climate
with hot summers with low overall humidity levels but frequent rainshowers and frigid to cold snowy winters. Average annual temperature is 9.7 °C
). Temperature extremes are about 42 °C (107.6 °F) in the summer and −29 °C (−20.2 °F) in the winter. Average temperature in the summer is 27 °C (80.6 °F) to 35 °C (95 °F) and in the winter it is 0 °C (32 °F) to −15 °C (5.0 °F). The average yearly rainfall is approximately 600 mm (23.6 in). A small, southern region of the country near Pécs
enjoys a reputation for a Mediterranean climate
, but in reality it is only slightly warmer than the rest of the country and still receives snow during the winter.
The Military of Hungary, or "Hungarian Armed Forces" currently has two branches, the "Hungarian Ground Force
" and the "Hungarian Air Force
." The Hungarian Ground Force (or Army) is known as the "Corps of Homeland Defenders" (Honvédség
). This term was originally used to refer to the revolutionary army established by Lajos Kossuth
and the National Defence Committee of the Revolutionary Hungarian Diet in September 1848 during the Hungarian Revolution
. The term Honvédség
is the name of the military of Hungary since 1848 referring to its purpose (véd
) of defending the country. The Hungarian Army is called Magyar Honvédség
. The rank equal to a Private is a Honvéd
. The Hungarian Air Force is the air force
branch of the Hungarian Army.
Hungary is a contributor of military troops to Eufor
Black Army of Hungary
: The Black Army
(Black Legion or Host
) - named after their black armor panoply - is in historigraphy the common name given to the excellent quality of diverse and polyglot military forces serving under the reign of King Matthias Corvinus
of Hungary. It is recognized as the first standing continental European fighting force not under conscription and with regular pay since the Roman Empire
. Hungary's Black Army
traditionally encompasses the years from 1458 to 1490.
: A type of irregular light horsemen was already well established by the 15th century in medieval Hungary
. Hussar refers to a number of types of light cavalry
created in Hungary
in the 15th century and used throughout Europe and even in America
since the 18th century. Some modern military units retain the title 'hussar' for reasons of tradition.
|Ethnic composition of Hungary
Ethnographic map of Hungary, 1910. (Hungarians in red)
The largest wave of German
-speaking immigrants into Hungary occurred after the Treaty of Karlowitz
. Between 1700 and 1750, German-speaking settlers immigrated to the regions of Pannonia
, and Bačka
, which had been depopulated by the Ottoman wars
. Prior to World War II, approximately 1.5 million Danube Swabians
lived in Hungary, Romania and Yugoslavia.
In 2001, 62,105 people declared to be German in Hungary.
Religion in Hungary
Religious affiliation in Hungary (2001)
|| % of total
|Did not wish to answer
The majority of Hungarian people became Christian in the 10th century. Hungary's first king
, Saint Stephen I
, took up Western Christianity
, although his mother, Sarolt
, was baptized in the eastern rite
. Hungary remained predominantly Catholic until the 16th century, when the Reformation
took place and, as a result, first Lutheranism
, then soon afterwards Calvinism
became the religion of almost the entire population. In the second half of the 16th century, however, Jesuits
led a successful campaign of counterreformation
among the Hungarians. The Jesuits founded educational institutions, including Péter Pázmány Catholic University
, the oldest university that still exists in Hungary, but organized so-called missions
too in order to promote popular piety. By the 17th century, Hungary had once again become predominantly Catholic. Some of the eastern parts of the country, however, especially around Debrecen
("the Calvinist Rome"), still have significant Protestant
communities. Orthodox Christianity
in Hungary has been the religion mainly of some national minorities in the country, notably, Romanians
, and Serbs
, one of Europe's largest pentecostal
churches is also located in Hungary. Faith Church accepts the results and spiritual, moral values of both early Christianity
and the Reformation
, as well as other revival movements serving the progress of the Christian faith. Based on the 1% tax designation to churches, Faith Church is the fourth most supported church in Hungary. The weekly Sunday service of the Church is regularly broadcast in live television.
Hungary has historically been home to a significant Jewish
community, especially since the 19th century when many Jews, persecuted in Russia, found refuge in the Kingdom of Hungary. Most Jewish people live in the downtown of Budapest, especially in district VI. The largest synagogue
in Europe is located in Budapest
. The census of January 1941 found that 6.2% of the population, i.e. 846,000 people, were considered Jewish according to the racial laws of that time. From this number, 725,000 were Jewish by religion.
Some Hungarian Jews
were able to escape the Holocaust
during World War II
, although many were either deported to concentration camps or murdered by the Hungarian Arrow Cross fascists
Hungarian Art Nouveau
The buildings display two noticeable styles, those of Historicism
and Art Nouveau
, or rather several variants of Art Nouveau. In contrast to Historicism, Hungarian Art Nouveau is based on the national architectural characteristics. Taking the eastern origins of the Hungarians
into account, Ödön Lechner
(1845–1914), the most important figure in Hungarian Art Nouveau, was initially inspired by Indian
architecture, and later by traditional Hungarian decorative designs. In this way, he created an original synthesis of architectural styles. By applying them to three-dimensional architectural elements, he produced a version of Art Nouveau that was specific to Hungary. Turning away from the style of Lechner, yet taking inspiration from his approach, the group of 'Young People' (Fiatalok), which included Károly Kós
and Dezsö Zrumeczky, were to use the characteristic structures and forms of traditional Hungarian architecture to achieve the same end. Besides the two principal styles, the town also displays local versions of trends originating from other European countries
. The Sezession from Vienna
, the German Jugendstil
, Art Nouveau from Belgium
and France, and the influence of English and Finnish
architecture are all reflected in the buildings constructed at the turn of the century. Béla Lajta
initially adopted Lechner's style, subsequently drawing his inspiration from English and Finnish trends; after developing an interest in the Egyptian
style, he finally arrived at modern architecture. Aladár Árkay took almost the same route. István Medgyaszay developed his own style, which differed from Lechner's, using stylised traditional motifs to create decorative designs in concrete. In the sphere of applied arts, those chiefly responsible for promoting the spread of Art Nouveau were the School and Museum of Decorative Arts, which opened in 1896.
The music of Hungary
consists mainly of traditional Hungarian folk music
and music by prominent composers such as Liszt
, and Rózsa
. Hungarian traditional music tends to have a strong dactylic rhythm
, as the language is invariably stressed on the first syllable of each word. Hungary also has a number of internationally renowned composers of contemporary classical music, György Ligeti
, György Kurtág
, Péter Eötvös
and Zoltán Jeney
among them. One of the greatest Hungarian composers, Béla Bartók
was also among the most significant musicians of the 20th century. His music was invigorated by the themes, modes, and rhythmic patterns of the Hungarian and neighboring folk music traditions he studied, which he synthesized with influences from his contemporaries into his own distinctive style.
Hungary has made many contributions to the fields of folk
and classical music
. Hungarian folk music is a prominent part of the national identity and continues to play a major part in Hungarian music. Hungarian folk music has been significant in former country parts that belong - since the 1920 Treaty of Trianon
- to neighboring countries such as Romania
, southern Poland
and especially in southern Slovakia and the Transylvania
: both regions have significant numbers of Hungarians.
Broughton claims that Hungary's "infectious sound has been surprisingly influential on neighboring countries (thanks perhaps to the common Austro-Hungarian history) and it's not uncommon to hear Hungarian-sounding tunes in Romania, Slovakia and southern Poland".
It is also strong in the Szabolcs-Szatmár
area and in the southwest part of Transdanubia
, near the border with Croatia
. The Busójárás
carnival in Mohács
is a major Hungarian folk music event, formerly featuring the long-established and well-regarded Bogyiszló orchestra
Hungarian classical music
has long been an "experiment, made from Hungarian antedecents and on Hungarian soil, to create a conscious musical culture [using the] musical world of the folk song".
Although the Hungarian upper class has long had cultural and political connections with the rest of Europe, leading to an influx of European musical ideas, the rural peasants maintained their own traditions such that by the end of the 19th century Hungarian composers could draw on rural peasant music to (re)create a Hungarian classical style.
For example, Béla Bartók
and Zoltán Kodály
, two of Hungary's most famous composers, are known for using folk themes in their music. Bartók collected folk songs from across Eastern Europe, including Romania and Slovakia, whilst Kodály was more interested in creating a distinctively Hungarian musical style.
During the era of Communist rule in Hungary (1944–1989) a Song Committee scoured and censored popular music for traces of subversion and ideological impurity. Since then, however, the Hungarian music industry has begun to recover, producing successful performers in the fields of jazz
such as trumpeter Rudolf Tomsits
, pianist-composer Károly Binder
and, in a modernized form of Hungarian folk, Ferenc Sebő
and Márta Sebestyén
. The three giants of Hungarian rock
, remain very popular, especially Omega, which has followings in Germany and beyond as well as in Hungary. Older veteran underground bands such as Beatrice
from the 1980s also remain popular.
Main article: Hungarian art
Present-day regions in Europe where the Hungarian language is spoken.
In the earliest times Hungarian language
was written in a runic-like script
(although it was not used for literature purposes in the modern interpretation). The country switched to the Latin alphabet
after being Christianized under the reign of Stephen I of Hungary
The oldest remained written record in Hungarian language is a fragment in the founding document of the Abbey of Tihany
(1055) which contains several Hungarian terms, among them the words feheruuaru rea meneh hodu utu rea
, "up the military road to Fehérvár
" The rest of the document was written in Latin.
The oldest remained complete text in Hungarian language is the Funeral Sermon and Prayer (Halotti beszéd és könyörgés)
(1192–1195), a translation of a Latin sermon
The oldest remained poem in Hungarian is the Old Hungarian Laments of Mary (Ómagyar Mária-siralom)
, also a (not very strict) translation from Latin, from the 13th century. It is also the oldest surviving Finno-Ugric
Among the first chronicles about Hungarian history were Gesta Hungarorum
("Deeds of the Hungarians") by the unknown author usually called Anonymus
, and Gesta Hunnorum et Hungarorum
("Deeds of the Huns and the Hungarians") by Simon Kézai. Both are in Latin. These chronicles mix history with legends, so historically they are not always authentic. Another chronicle is the Képes krónika
(Illustrated Chronicle), which was written for Louis the Great
literature flourished under the reign of King Matthias
(1458–1490). Janus Pannonius
, although he wrote in Latin, counts as one of the most important persons in Hungarian literature, being the only significant Hungarian Humanist poet of the period. The first printing house was also founded during Matthias' reign, by András Hess
, in Buda. The first book printed in Hungary was the Chronica Hungarorum
. The most important poets of the period was Bálint Balassi
(1554–1594) and Miklós Zrínyi
(1620–1664). Balassi's poetry shows Mediaeval influences, his poems can be divided into three sections: love poems, war poems and religious poems. Zrínyi's most significant work, the epic Szigeti veszedelem
("Peril of Sziget
", written in 1648/49) is written in a fashion similar to the Iliad
, and recounts the heroic Battle of Szigetvár
, where his great-grandfather died while defending the castle of Szigetvár. Among the religious literary works the most important is the Bible
translation by Gáspár Károli
(The second Hungarian Bible translation in the history), the Protestant
pastor of Gönc
, in 1590. The translation is called the Bible of Vizsoly
, after the town where it was first published. (See Hungarian Bible translations
for more details.)
has recently gained some renown outside the borders of Hungary (mostly through translations into German, French and English). Some modern Hungarian authors have become increasingly popular in Germany and Italy especially Sándor Márai
, Péter Esterházy
, Péter Nádas
and Imre Kertész
. The latter is a contemporary Jewish writer who survived the Holocaust and won the Nobel Prize
for literature in 2002. The older classics of Hungarian literature and Hungarian poetry have remained almost totally unknown outside Hungary. János Arany
, a famous nineteenth century Hungarian poet is still much loved in Hungary (especially his collection of Ballads
), among several other "true classics" like Sándor Petőfi
, the poet of the Revolution of 1848, Endre Ady
, Mihály Babits
, Dezső Kosztolányi
, Attila József
and János Pilinszky
. Other well-known Hungarian authors are Ferenc Móra
, Géza Gárdonyi
, Zsigmond Móricz
, Gyula Illyés
, Albert Wass
and Magda Szabó
A nicely prepared Hortobágyi palacsinta
served in Sopron
The Hungarian cuisine is a prominent feature of the Hungarian culture, just as much like the art of hospitality. Traditional dishes such as the world famous Goulash
stew or gulyás
soup). Dishes are often flavoured with paprika
(ground red peppers), a Hungarian innovation.
Thick, heavy Hungarian sour cream called tejföl
is often used to soften the dishes flavour. The famous Hungarian hot river fish soup called Fisherman's soup or halászlé
is usually a rich mixture of several kinds of poached fish. Other dishes are Chicken Paprikash
, Foie gras
made of goose liver, pörkölt
stew with vegetable gravy and dumplings
with almonds and salty and sweet dumplings
, like túrós csusza
with fresh quark
cheese and thick sour cream
). Desserts include the iconic Dobos Cake
), filled with apple, cherry, poppy seed or cheese, Gundel pancake
, plum dumplings (szilvás gombóc
), somlói dumplings
, dessert soups like chilled Sour cherry soup
and sweet chestnut puree, gesztenyepüré
mashed with sugar and rum and split into crumbs, topped with whipped cream). Perec
are widely popular pastries.
is the most distinctive type of Hungarian inn, an old-style tavern offering traditional cuisine and beverages. Borozó
usually denotes a cozy old-fashioned wine tavern, pince
is a beer or wine cellar and a söröző
is a pub
offering draught beer and sometimes meals. The bisztró
is an inexpensive restaurant often with self-service. The büfé
is the cheapest place, although one may have to eat standing at a counter. Pastries, cakes and coffee are served at the confectionery called cukrászda
, while an eszpresszó
is a cafeteria.
: is a fruit brandy, distilled from fruit grown in the orchards situated on the Great Hungarian Plain
. It is a spirit native to Hungary and comes in a variety of flavours including apricot (barack
) and cherry (cseresznye
). However, plum (szilva
) is the most popular flavour.
: Beer goes well with many traditional Hungarian dishes. The five main Hungarian brands are: Borsodi
, Soproni, Arany Ászok, Kõbányai, and Dreher.
: As Hugh Johnson
says in The History of Wine
, the territory of Hungary is ideal for wine-making. Since the fall of communism there has been a renaissance of Hungarian wine-making. The choice of good wine is widening from year to year. The country can be divided to six wine regions: North-Transdanubia, Lake Balaton
, South-Pannónia, Duna-region or Alföld, Upper-Hungary and Tokaj-Hegyalja
. Hungarian wine regions offer a great variety of style: the main products of the country are elegant and full-bodied dry whites with good acidity, although complex sweet whites (Tokaj), elegant (Eger
) and full-bodied robust reds (Villány
). The main varieties are: Olaszrizling
, Pinot gris
or Szürkebarát, Chardonnay
(or Blaufrankisch in German), Kadarka
, Cabernet sauvignon
, Cabernet franc
. The most famous wines from Hungary are Tokaji Aszú
and Egri Bikavér
: Tokaji, meaning "of Tokaj", or "from Tokaj" in Hungarian, is used to label wines from the wine region of Tokaj-Hegyalja
in Hungary. Tokaji wine has received accolades from numerous great writers and composers including Beethoven
; Joseph Haydn
's favorite wine was a Tokaji. Louis XV
and Frederick the Great
tried to outdo one another in the excellence of the vintages they stocked when they treated guests like Voltaire
to some Tokaji. Napoleon III
, the last Emperor of the French, ordered 30–40 barrels of Tokaji for the Court every year. Gustav III
, King of Sweden, never had any other wine to drink. In Russia, customers included Peter the Great
and Empress Elizabeth of Russia
: For over 150 years, a blend of 40 Hungarian herbs has been used to create the liqueur Unicum. Unicum is a bitter, dark-coloured liqueur that can be drunk as an apéritif or after a meal, thus helping the digestion. The recipe is held secret by the Zwack family.
is a thermal and medicinal bath that was first built in 1550
Hungary is a land of thermal
water. A passion for spa culture and Hungarian history
have been connected from the very beginning. It has been shown that Hungarian spa culture is multicultural. The basis of this claim is architecture: Hungarian spas feature Roman
, and northern country architectural elements.
Because of an advantageous geographical location thermal water can be found with good quality and in great quantities on over 80% of Hungary's territory. The Romans
heralded the first age of spa in Hungary, the remains of their bath complexes are still to be seen in Óbuda
, to this day. The spa culture was revived during the Turkish Invasion
who used the thermal springs of Buda
for the construction of a number of bathhouses, some of which are still functioning (Király Baths
, Rudas Baths
). In the 19th century the advancement in deep drilling and medical science provided the springboard for a further leap in bathing culture. Grand spas such as Gellért Baths
, Lukács Baths, Margaret Island
, and Széchenyi Medicinal Bath
are a reflection of this resurgence in popularity. Approximately 1,500 thermal springs can be found in Hungary. About half of these are used for bathing. The spa culture has a nearly 2,000 year history in Budapest
. Budapest has the richest supply of thermal water among the capitals of the world. The amount of thermal water used in Budapest is roughly equal to two million bath tubs per day.
There are approximately 450 public baths in Hungary. Nowadays the trend shows that bath operators are modernizing their facilities and expanding the services offered. A total of 50 of the 160 public baths are qualified as spas throughout the country. Services are offered for healing purposes. These spas provide every type of balneal and physical therapy. Throughout history bathing and spa tourism has always played an important role in Hungary.
- The thermal lake of Hévíz
The thermal lake of Hévíz is the largest biologically active, natural thermal lake of the world.
The oldest and most well-known bath of Hungary, in accordance with records from the Roman era
, has a history of 2000 years. The Hévíz treatment, in its present sense, also dates back more than 200 years. The 4.4 ha lake is fed by its spring rushing up at a depth of 38 m (124.67 ft
), containing sulphur, radium
. Because of the high water output of the spring, the water of the lake is completely changed within 48 hours. The water of the Hévíz Lake is equally rich in dissolved substances and gases, combining the favourable effects of naturally carbonated medicinal waters and those containing sulphur, calcium
, hydrogen-carbonate, as well as those with a slightly radioactive content. The medicinal mud, which covers the bed of the lake in a thick layer, deserves special attention. The Hévíz mud, which is unique of its kind, contains both organic and inorganic substances and the radium-salts and reduced sulphuric solutions in it represent special medicinal factors. The medicinal water and mud originating from the several then thousand year-old Pannonian Sea, together with the complex physiotherapeutic treatments, are suitable for treating all kinds of rheumatic and locomotory diseases.
The temperature of the water is 23-25 C in winter and 33-36 C in summer.
Romanesque Church in village Ócsa
Ugrós (Jumping dances): Old style dances dating back to the Middle Ages
. Solo or couple dances accompanied by old style music, shepherd and other solo man's dances from Transylvania
, and marching dances along with remnants of medieval weapon dances belong in this group.
Karikázó: a circle dance performed by women only accompanied by singing of folksongs.
: New style dances developed in the 18-19th centuries is the Hungarian name for the national dances, with Hungarian embroidered costumes and energetic music. From the men's intricate bootslapping dances to the ancient women's circle dances, Csárdás demonstrates the infectious exuberance of the Hungarian folk dancing still celebrated in the villages.
: is a men's solo dance done by the ethnic Hungarian people living in the Kalotaszeg
region of Transylvania
. Although usually danced by young men, it can be also danced by older men. The dance is performed freestyle usually by one dancer at a time in front of the band. Women participate in the dance by standing in lines to the side and sing/shout verses while the men dance. Each lad does a number of points (dance phrases) typically 4 to 8 without repetition. Each point consists of 4 parts, each lasting 4 counts. The first part is usually the same for everyone (there are only a few variations).
It was in the beginning of the eighteenth century that the present style of Hungarian folk art took shape, incorporating both Renaissance
elements, depending on the area, as well as Persian Sassanide influences. Flowers and leaves, sometimes a bird or a spiral
ornament, are the principal decorative themes. The most frequent ornament is a flower with a centerpiece resembling the eye of a peacock's feather. Nearly all the manifestations of folk art practiced elsewhere in Europe
also flourished among the Magyar
peasantry at one time or another, their ceramics and textile being the most highly developed of all. The finest achievements in their textile arts are the embroideries which vary from region to region. Those of Kalotaszeg
are charming products of Oriental design, sewn chiefly in a single color - red, blue, or black. Soft in line, the embroideries are applied on altar cloths, pillow cases and sheets. In Hungary proper Sárköz in Transdanubia
and the Matyóföld
in the Great Hungarian Plain
produce the finest embroideries. In the Sárköz
region the women's caps show black and white designs as delicate as lace and give evidence of the people's wonderfully subtle artistic feeling. The embroidery motifs applied to women's wear have also been transposed to tablecloths and runners suitable for modern use as wall decorations.
These vessels, made of black clay, reflect more than three hundred years of traditional Transdanubian
folk patterns and shapes. No two are precisely alike, since all work is done by hand, including both the shaping and the decorating. The imprints are made by the thumb or a finger of the ceramist who makes the piece.
Herend Porcelain's "kinai" pattern
Founded in 1826, Herend Porcelain
is one of the world's largest ceramic factories, specializing in luxury hand painted and gilded porcelain
. In the mid-19th century it was purveyor to the Habsburg Dynasty
and aristocratic customers throughout Europe. Many of its classic patterns are still in production. After the fall of communism in Hungary the factory was privatised and is now 75% owned by its management and workers, exporting to over 60 countries of the world.
Hungarian public holidays and special events
Fixed public holidays
||New Year's Day
||Márciusi ifjak ("March youths"), memorial day of the 1848 Revolution. There are usually speeches and music pieces performed; several people wear a cockade with the national colours (red, white and green).
||Good Friday work-free for Protestants
||Men visit women and ask for permission for sprinkling by reciting a little Easter poem, they sprinkle them with some perfume (or sometimes a bucket of cold water in the countryside), and they get eggs (mostly of chocolate) in exchange. Children get chocolate bunnies and eggs (from the Bunny), and sometimes fruits, nuts etc. as well. They sometimes have to look for these presents in the garden or in their room. (Living bunnies are not infrequent, either.) Mothers often prepare ham, eggs, and sweetbreads for dinner.
anniversary of the accession to the EU
|A munka ünnepe
||The countries of the EU are represented with special programmes, bridges are decorated and exhibitions are arranged.
||Sunday, 50 days after Easter
||Monday after Pentecost
||Saint Stephen Day
||Szent István ünnepe
||St. Stephen's Day, Foundation of State, "the day of the new bread" as well. St. Stephen of Hungary (Szent István király in Hungarian) (ca. 975 – August 15, 1038), was the first king of Hungary.
Celebrated with a half-hour fireworks
on the bank of the Danube
in the evening, attended by several hundreds of thousands of people.
||The day of the Republic (since 1989), 1956 Revolution memorial day. Celebrated with speeches and exhibitions.
||All Saints Day, Day of the Dead
||Mindenszentek, Halottak napja
||It is a day to remember the lost ones. On this day people generally visit all their lost relatives' graves which they decorate with flowers.
|December 24 evening,
||People buy (or make) presents for their relatives and friends in the preceding couple of weeks (so this period is the absolute boom of the year for most stores). Public transport stops operating at about 4 p.m. Families reunite and people prepare their (labelled) presents under the Christmas tree. It is made of a fir which is decorated by one or two people in the family so nobody else can see it before they signal with a little bell for the rest to come in. The family sings Christmas songs together and everyone unwraps their presents.
On 25th and the 26th, people usually visit their relatives (e.g. aunts, uncles and grandparents) and exchange presents.
||Second Day of Christmas
Holidays not endorsed by the state
||Santa Claus, Saint Nicholas Day
||Children get various chocolate pieces from the Santa Claus by morning. If they were bad, they might get (birch) rods exclusively or beside their presents.
||New Year's Eve
||Young people go partying until morning. Streets are noisy with paper trumpets, hoots and champagne cracks; people often wear masks and throw petards. Those who stay home usually watch the comedies made for this occasion; at midnight they drink champagne and wish each other good luck for the new year. National television channels broadcast the orchestral and choral national anthem at midnight, and then the speech of the current President. After midnight they often use fireworks. With these finished, further comedies and various movies follow. The next day streets are as empty as ever, and people sleep long (or sleep themselves sober).
||A six day regional carnival, originally celebrated by the Šokci (ethnic-Croatians) living in the town of Mohács. Traditions include folk music, masquerading, parades and dancing.
Hungarian domestic animals
There are special Hungarian breeds of domestic animals which are seen as national symbols in Hungary, and there are "gene banks" to ensure their survival, especially in national parks.
- Long-horn Hungarian Grey Cattle- Hungarian breed, traditionally kept in the open full year. Nowadays they are raised for infant food because of the natural, healthy meat.
- Magyar Vizsla - one of the oldest hunting dogs of the world. The ancestors of this dog came into the Carpathian Basin with the nomadic Hungarian tribes.
- Hungarian Puli - small shepherd dog
- Hungarian Komondor - large shepherd dog, was brought to Hungary a thousand years ago by nomadic Magyars.
- Hungarian Kuvasz - large shepherd dog.
- Hungarian Pumi - small shepherd dog.
- Magyar Agár (Hungarian Greyhound) is already known in the 8th century, it is as old as the Vizsla.
- Transylvanian Bloodhound - Hungarian hound.
- Hungarian Mudi shepherd dog.
- Hungarian thoroughbred horses - a mid-19th century mixture of the best Arab and English race horse characteristics.
- Mangalica, a breed of pigs, characterised by their long curly hair and relatively fatty meat which makes them ideal for making sausages and salami.
Hungary's most outstanding annual events include the Budapest Spring Festival (mid-March to mid-April), Hortobágy Equestrian Days (late June), Sopron Early Music Days (late June), Festival in Budapest (late June), Miskolc Opera Festival
(late June), Miskolc Kalálka International Folk Festival (July), Győr Summer Festival (late June), Győr Summer Cultural Festival (late June to late July), Pannon Festival in Pécs (July and August), Szentendre Summer Festival (July), Kőszeg Street Theatre Festival (late July), Savaria International Dance Competition in Szombathely (July), Debrecen Jazz Days (July), Szeged Open Air Festival (mid-July to August), Diáksziget
or "Sziget Festival", Student Island or Pepsi Island) north of Budapest (August), Eger Wine Harvest Festival (September), and Budapest Autumn Arts Festival (mid-September to mid-October).
St Stephen's Day (August 20) is celebrated with sporting events, parades and fireworks nationwide. On the same day there is a Floral Festival in Debrecen and a Bridge Fair in nearby Hortobágy. Formula 1 car races are held in early August at the Hungaroring
, 18 km northeast of Budapest.
Budapest Spring Festival
Designed to fit the needs of Budapest's cultural heritage and its requirements as a modern Central European
centre, this metropolitan festival was instituted in 1981. By presenting and disseminating cultural assets it boosts the city's image and encourages dynamic development of its cultural tourism. This "festival of festivals", traditionally covering a range of artistic fields, presents a series of homogeneous artistic activities to which international professional symposia are linked. The Budapest Spring Festival takes place in the last two weeks of March. Its main emphasis is on those symphony orchestra concerts, opera and ballet performances which will appeal to the widest audience, but the program also includes open-air events and an Operetta
Festival. The performances take place in the capital's most important concert halls and theatres, and often near historic monuments. Over the years a number of regional towns have been included in the Budapest Spring Festival - Debrecen
- and thus it has more or less expanded into a national festival. The list of events always includes renowned foreign guests as well as distinguished artists and groups from the Hungarian musical life. Highlights include classical concerts, productions at the Opera House
, open air events, the Operetta Festival, the Dance House Convention, the Dance Panorama, and what are considered to be the real treat, the exhibitions.
Haydn Festival in Eszterháza
Haydn at Eszterháza
: During its first quarter century, the palace was the primary home of the celebrated composer Joseph Haydn
, who wrote the majority of his symphonies for the Prince's orchestra. Starting in 1768, the theater was a major venue for opera, often with more than a hundred performances per year. The palace was geographically isolated, a factor which led to loneliness and tedium among the musicians. This is seen in some of Haydn's letters, as well as in the famous tale of the Farewell Symphony
The basic aim of the festival is to evoke the musical paradise that Eszterháza
was in Haydn
's time, within the original walls, with the help of period instruments and performing practice. The programmes focus mainly on the works composed during the Eszterháza period of Haydn's creative life, and among these, on compositions belonging to the most important genres (symphonies, string quartets, keyboard sonatas and trios). In addition, however, the concert programmes regularly include works by the "unknown Haydn" (baryton pieces, rarely heard church compositions, wind divertimenti, etc.). The festival aims to provide opportunities for the world's most outstanding Haydn performers to meet here, to gain inspiration from the atmosphere and acoustics of the place, and to inspire one another through shared music-making. The majority of the performers play only compositions by Joseph Haydn, but also in exceptional cases other works closely connected, either directly or through their composers, with Haydn, Eszterháza or the family
of the Esterházy princes
- such as, for example, the string quartets dedicated to Haydn
, and certain pieces by Michael Haydn (the composer's younger brother), Luigi Tomasini (leader of the Eszterháza orchestra) and others. The venue for most of the concerts is the enchantingly beautiful ceremonial hall of the palace, which has superb acoustics. Some of the more intimate, solistic performances are given in the sala terrena, the central hall of the original, smaller, Renaissance
hunting palace. Some concerts of church music take place in one or other of the churches in the nearby villages.
Győr Summer Festival
This festival is held annually, from the second week in June to the second week in July. The Győr
Summer International Cultural Festival, which displays Győr's cultural heritage, has a history of over three decades. The list of events, which covers a wide range of genres, is based on a series of separate activities. Every year, for a month in June and July, the Baroque
decorations of the city centre, its atmospheric courtyards and the banks of the Rába
river are home to the International Ballet Festival, the International Puppet and Street Theatre Convention, the International Folk Dancing and Folk Music Festival, and the International Handcraft Fair and Exhibition. In addition to the performances of the hosts - the Győr Ballet, the Győr National Theatre, and the Győr Philharmonic Orchestra - visitors can also see those of the visiting theatre companies and musical groups.
Only seven countries (USA, USSR, UK, France, Italy, China
and Germany) have won more Summer Olympic gold medals than Hungary. Hungary has the most Olympic gold medals per capita. At the all time total medal count for Olympic Games, Hungary reaches the 9th rank out of 211 participating nations, with a total of 465 medals. See All-time Olympic Games medal table
Hungarians are also known for their prowess at water sports
, mainly swimming
, water polo
(See: Water polo at the Summer Olympics
) (in which they have defeated the Soviet team in 1956) and canoeing
(they have won multiple medals); this can be said to be surprising at first, since Hungary is landlocked
. On the other hand, the presence of two major rivers (the Duna
and the Tisza
) and a major lake (Balaton
) give excellent opportunities to practice these sports. Some of the world's best sabre fencing
athletes have historically hailed from Hungary. The Hungarian national ice hockey team have also qualified for their first IIHF World Championship
in more than seventy years.
The Hungarian national football team represents Hungary in international football
and is controlled by the Hungarian Football Federation
. It has a rich and proud pedigree in the game and a rightful place in football annals as one of the first original footballing nations in continental Europe and an innovator in the sport in the 1950s. In recent times the team's strength has diminished greatly, failing to qualify for any major tournament since 1986. However they hold the record for going the most number of consecutive games unbeaten, 32.
Hungarian football is best known for one of the most formidable and influential sides in football history, which revolutionized the play of the game. Centered around the dynamic and potent quartet of strikers Ferenc Puskás
, Sándor Kocsis
, attacking half-back József Bozsik
and withdrawn striker Nándor Hidegkuti
, the "Aranycsapat
" (Hung. lit Golden Team
) of the "Magnificent Magyars", captivated the football world with an exciting brand of play drawn from new tactical nuances and amassed, barring the 1954 World Cup Final, a remarkable record of 43 victories, 7 ties, and no defeats from the 15th of June 1952 to the end of its historic unbeaten run on February 18, 1956. Hungary has the unique distinction of posting the highest ever Elo football rating
of 2173 points in June (1954) along with the second highest with 2153 (1956); surpassing that of Brazil
in all-time competition.
The Hungarians were runners-up twice in the World Cup
, losing to Italy
4–2 in 1938
and 3–2 to West Germany
, despite beating them 8–3 earlier in the competition. The team, built around the legendary Ferenc Puskás
, led early 2–0 in that match, but ended up 3–2 losers in a game the Germans
subsequently christened "The Miracle of Bern
". Two highly controversial calls surround this final game: firstly when Puskas apparently equalized the match in the 89th minute only to have the goal disallowed for offside, the second being a blatant foul on Kocsis in the penalty area which would have given Hungary a penalty in the final minute.
Hungary has won gold at the Olympic
three times, in 1952
, and 1968
. The under-23 team, which was the age limit for Olympic teams, won the UEFA
U-23 Championship in 1974. Since the 1976 reshuffle by UEFA, the under-23s are now classified with the under-21s
The match between Austria
and Hungary in Vienna
in 1902 was the first international match played between two non-British European
Hungary was the first team from outside the United Kingdom
to beat England
at home, famously winning 6–3
on November 25, 1953. This victory had worldwide significance as it effectively ended England's 90 year old mythical reign since the creation of association football in 1863 against all sides outside the United Kingdom
. They beat England 7–1, this time in Budapest
a year later, in 1954. This still ranks as England's record defeat.
Hungary holds the longest consecutive run of matches unbeaten with 33 international games between 14 May 1950 and 4 July 1954, when they lost the World Cup final to Germany. Argentina
jointly hold the second longest string of 31 unbeaten matches (Argentina from 1991 to 1993 and Spain from 1994 to 1998).
Returning to the World Cup in 1978 and 1982, Hungary did not reach the same heights but nonetheless performed respectably—indeed, the talents of László Fazekas
, Tibor Nyilasi
and László Kiss
inspired Hungary to a 10–1 win over El Salvador in 1982, which remains a World Cup record. The 1986 World Cup is seen by many fans as the final confirmation of Hungary's decline. Expectations were very high, but poor performances in defeats to the Soviet Union and France were a bitter blow, despite the presence of talent like Lajos Détári
. Since then, Hungary has continued to produce fine individual talent- notably Béla Illés
and Krisztián Lisztes
– but further success as a team has eluded them.
Most recently, in Euro 2004
qualifiers, Hungary found themselves within sight of qualification with two games remaining, but was scuppered by defeats to Latvia and Poland.
Hungarian folk art, including dances, music, cross stitchings, embroideries, costumes, potteries, wood carvings, basket wavings, porcelains etc. has a long and rich history which play a significant role in local folk traditions and customs.
Republic of Hungary is located in the central part of the Pannonian Vale, and is a landlocked country, which is conducive to the development of all forms of traffic.
Hungary has developed road, railway, air and water traffic. Budapest, the capital of the state, to the measures is an important node in the public transport network, to say that "all roads lead to Budapest".
- Total: 7,606 km
- Broad gauge: 36 km 1,524 mm (5 ft) gauge
- Standard gauge: 7,394 km 1,435 mm (4 ft 81⁄2 in) gauge (2,270 km electrified; 1,236 km double track)
- narrow gauge: 176 km 760 mm (2 ft 57⁄8 in) gauge (1998)
Hungary and Austria
jointly manage the cross-border standard-gauge railway between Győr
(GySEV/ROeEE), a distance of about 101 km in Hungary and 65 km in Austria.
In Budapest, the three main railway stations are the Eastern
(Nyugati) and Southern
(Déli), with other outlying stations like Kelenföld
. Of the three, the Southern is the most modern but the Eastern and the Western are more decorative and architecturally interesting.
In Budapest there is also a suburban rail
service in and around the city, operated under the name HÉV
- Total: 188,490 km
- Paved: 81,950 km (including 1013 km of motorways, 2007)
- Unpaved: 106,523 km (1998 est.)
New motorway sections are being added to the existing network, that already connects many major economically important cities to the Capital City
Ports and Harbours
Main article: Budapest Metro
It consists of three lines, each designated by a number and a colour. Metro Line 4 is currently under construction; the first section is to begin operation in 2011. A fifth line has also been included in medium to long-term plans. The Budapest Metro trains start running at 4:30 in the morning, and the last train leaves at 11:10 p.m. from the terminus. The rush hours
are between 6 and 8 a.m. and between 2 and 5 p.m. on workdays, when trains run every two or three minutes. Early morning and night trains run every 10 or 15 minutes. On Christmas Eve (December 24) trains usually run only until about 3:00 in the afternoon, and may also stop running early on other holidays, as advertised beforehand. Service time may be extended on New Year's Eve.
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Refers to the country as "widely considered" to be a "home of music".
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"Every experiment, made from Hungarian antedecents and on Hungarian soil, to create a conscious musical culture (music written by composers, as different from folk music), had instinctively or consciously striven to develop widely and universally the musical world of the folk song. Folk poetry and folk music were deeply embedded in the collective Hungarian people’s culture, and this unity did not cease to be effective even when it was given from and expression by individual creative artists, performers and poets."
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