History of Hungary
The state of Hungary was formed in the late 9th century by Hungarian grand prince Arpad. His great grandson, Stephen I, converted the region into a Christian kingdom in 1000 AD.
In 1241, the Mongols attacked the region, ending with the deaths or slavery of about half of the nation's population. King Bela IV ordered the building of massive stone castles to stop the attacks. When the Mongols finally did attack for the second time in 1286, they weren't able to take hold of the region due to hundreds of stone castles and fortifications, as well as Hungary's new tactics.
In 1526, the Ottoman Empire invaded Hungary, which led to the nation's division in 1541. The region was divided into three parts: the Hungarian Kingdom, the Turkish dominion, and the Habsburg dominion. It took Hungary 150 years to reunite and regain the region from the Turks in 1699.
After the Ottoman Empire was ousted, the region came under the influence of the Habsburg rule. In 1711, the Treaty of Peace at Szatmar gave Hungary partial independence. It was in 1848 that revolutions for independence began in Europe, including Hungary. By 1867, Hungary joined the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which lasted until the end of World War I.
In 1920, Hungary became an independent nation, where today's current borders were ratified through the Treaty of Trianon. During World War II, Hungary joined the Axis Powers. The country came under the influence of the Soviet Union from 1947 to 1989 and was ruled by a communist dictatorship.
On October 23, 1989, Hungary became a democratic parliamentary republic.
Hungary is a landlocked region located in Central Europe. It shares its borders with Slovakia in the north, Romania and Ukraine in the east, Austria to the west, Serbia and Croatia to the south, and Slovenia to its southwest.
There are two major rivers that run through the country: Danube and Tisza.
Hungary comprises three geographical regions, namely: the Great Alfold in the eastern portion of the Danube; the Transdanubia in the hilly regions in the western section of the Danube; and the mountainous and hilly region of the North Hungarian Mountains.
Hungary is a unicameral parliamentary representative democratic republic. It has two leaders: The President as Head of State, and the Prime Minister as Head of Government.
The President is elected by the National Assembly, which comprise the members of the parliament. The President's duties are highly ceremonial, such as receiving foreign heads of states in Hungary. He is also Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces.
The Prime Minister is also elected by the National Assembly and duties include selecting the cabinet ministers.
Hungary is one of the world's most visited countries. In 2013, the total number of tourists was 10.6 million. The peak months are July and August.
Budapest is the most visited city in Hungary, which is also the country's capital. Among the most famous tourist attractions are the Buda Castle, which is home to several museums; the Medieval Castle District; and a wide number of monuments and recreational offerings such as three opera houses and thermal baths.
Gyor is the country's 6th largest city and is the most important in the northwestern region. It is home to plenty of charming cafes, shops, night clubs and restaurants, as well as its impressive historic buildings such as the Baroque city center.
Kecskemet is famous for its thriving music scene, as well as its well-preserved Art Nouveau architecture.
Lake Balaton is the second most important tourist destination in Hungary. It is the largest thermal water lake in Europe, and home to several hotels and spa retreats. Tourists can hike and trek the National Park, sail across the lake, swim in shallow waters, or take a cruise. About 2.5 million visitors spend their vacation at Lake Balaton every year.
Adult literacy rate in Hungary is 99%. Education is free and compulsory from age 5 to 18 years. The country's higher education has a dual system, where colleges offer undergraduate programs while the universities offer graduate degrees.
Higher education and training in Hungary is among the best in the world. It is ranked 44th out of 148 countries in the 2013/ 2014 Global Competitiveness Report.
Hungary is famous for its mathematics education. The Hungarian education system has produced numerous outstanding scientists. A total of 13 Hungarian scientists have won the Nobel Prize.
- The Rubik's cube, the ballpoint pen, and the first-ever artificial Vitamin were all invented in Hungary.
- Hungary is home to the largest natural grassland in Europe, which is the Hortobagy National Park; the largest thermal lake in Central Europe; and the largest thermal water cave system in the continent.
Last Updated on: February 22, 2020