HUNGARY

Date of establishment: November 16, 1918

Brief history:

  • 895-896: The Magyars, led by Arpad, migrate to Pannonia (present-day Hungary) and the Hungarian state begins.
  • 1000: Stephen I is crowned as the first king of Hungary, establishing a Christian kingdom.
  • 1241-42: Mongol invasions cause significant losses, but Hungary recovers and develops.
  • 1456: Siege of Belgrade where John Hunyadi and his forces repel the Ottoman Turks.
  • 1526: Battle of Mohács: Hungary is defeated by the Ottomans and the country is divided.
  • 1699: Treaty of Karlowitz in which the country is largely liberated from Ottoman rule and becomes part of the Habsburg monarchy.
  • 1848-49: Hungarian revolution and war of independence, in which they were defeated.
  • In 1867, Austria-Hungary is formed, a dual monarchy, and Hungary gains more self-governance.
  • 20th century: After World War I and the dissolution of Austria-Hungary, independent Hungary is established in 1920, but the country loses territories due to the Treaty of Trianon.
  • World War II: Hungary becomes an ally of Nazi Germany but later is occupied by the Soviet Union.
  • Communist era: After the war, Hungary becomes a People’s Republic under the influence of the Soviet Union.
  • 1989: Hungary undergoes political changes, the fall of the communist regime, and begins to open up to democracy and a market economy.
  • 21st century: Hungary becomes a member of the European Union (since 2004) and NATO (since 1999).

International abbreviation: H

 

Currency: Hungarian Forint (HUF)

The Forint is the legal tender in Hungary and is divided into 100 fillérs, although they are no longer used. Banknotes come in various denominations, such as 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10,000, and 20,000.  Coins are in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200 forints.

 

Internet domain: .hu

 

Dialing code: +36

 

Time zone: +1 GMT

 

Geography:

Hungary is a landlocked country in Central Europe, with most of its territory consisting of plains along the Danube and Tisza rivers.

Hungary has a rich geographical diversity, including plains, mountains, lakes, and rivers. It shares borders with Slovakia to the north, Ukraine to the northeast, Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest, and Austria to the west.

The main rivers of Hungary are the Danube, which flows through the center of the country, and the Tisza in the east.

The Hungarian landscape includes flat valleys in the northern, central, and western parts of the country, which are ideal for agriculture, and hilly and mountainous terrain in the southern and eastern regions.

 

Highest peak: Kékes 1 014 m (3 327 feet) above sea level

Kékes is the highest mountain in Hungary, located in the east of the country in the Mátra Mountains. It is about 120 km (75 miles) northeast of Budapest, the capital.

The Kékes area also offers a variety of hiking trails and paths that lead through mountain meadows, forests, and picturesque landscapes. Tourists often come here to enjoy the beautiful nature and hiking in the mountains.

In addition to hiking activities, the Kékes area is also known for its thermal springs and spas, attracting visitors who want to relax and unwind.

 

Climate:

Hungary has a temperate continental climate with hot summers and cold winters. The climate is influenced by the country being landlocked and not having access to the sea, resulting in significant temperature differences between seasons. There is moderate rainfall throughout the year.

 

Fauna and Flora:

In Hungary, various species of animals can be found. These include roe and red deer, European hares, red foxes, wild boar, and hedgehogs. In smaller numbers, you can also find brown bears, mouflons, Eurasian lynxes, fire salamanders, and wild rabbits. Birds are also abundant, including species such as the common buzzard, black woodpecker, white stork, eastern imperial eagle, peregrine falcon, and many others.

Hungary has diverse types of vegetation, including forests, meadows, and agricultural areas. The most common type of forest is beech forest, which covers a considerable part of the country. Other tree species include common and sessile oak, European ash, Linden, Scots pine, and larch.

 

Agriculture:

The main crops grown in Hungary are cereals such as wheat, corn, barley, oats, and rice. Corn is the most widespread crop and is used as animal feed, for food production, and also for bioethanol production.

Hungary also cultivates a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, including apples, pears, peaches, peppers, tomatoes, sugar beets, and more. Hungary is also known for its winemaking, and many vineyards grow grapes used for producing renowned wines.

Livestock farming is also significant. Beef, pork, and poultry are common in the local diet. Additionally, sheep and goats are raised, especially for milk production.

 

Raw materials extraction:

Hungary has significant reserves of bauxite, which is used for aluminum production. Bauxite mining used to be more prominent in the past, but currently, it is limited. Manganese is also mined.

Limestone and clay are other essential raw materials mined in Hungary. Limestone is used in various industries, while clay is utilized for ceramic production.

The country has some reserves of oil and natural gas, but it mostly relies on the import of these resources. Coal is mined and used for electricity generation.

 

Industry:

Industry is a key pillar of the Hungarian economy. It includes the automotive, electrical, food, pharmaceutical, construction, and energy sectors.

The automotive industry is significant, with international companies manufacturing parts in Hungary, including for Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Suzuki, and Opel.

The electrical industry produces appliances, electronics, and components.

The food industry is traditional and known for wine, canned goods, and confectionery.

The pharmaceutical industry is a promising sector, manufacturing medicines and pharmaceutical products.

Construction focuses on infrastructure and housing.

Energy comprises energy imports and electricity generation.

 

Services and other areas of the economy: IT and Software development, services, tourism, spas, transportation, and banking.

 

Natural and Historical Landmarks:

The country offers diverse attractions that attract tourists from all over the world. The main one is Budapest, the Hungarian capital, which is one of the most beautiful and visited cities in Central Europe.

Another tourist attraction is Hungary’s Lake Balaton, the largest freshwater lake in Central Europe. This lake attracts water sports enthusiasts, beach tourists, and provides a peaceful environment for relaxation and rest.

For nature lovers, there is the Hortobágy National Park, the largest steppe area in Central Europe. The park is home to many rare bird species and other animals, offering visitors a unique experience of well-preserved landscapes.

In addition, you can visit historical towns and villages such as Eger, Szentendre, Debrecen, and Pécs, which have beautiful architectural landmarks, monuments, and art collections.

 

 

Form of government: Parliamentary Republic

The country has a democratic political system and a presidential republic. Hungary is a unitary state, meaning it has a single governmental system for the whole country and is not divided into federal units.

The main legislative body is the unicameral parliament, called the National Assembly (Országgyűlés). It consists of 199 deputies elected for a four-year term. Parliament is responsible for creating and adopting laws and overseeing the government.

Executive power is held by the government, led by the prime minister. The prime minister is appointed by the president based on the results of parliamentary elections, where a political party or coalition gains the majority of seats in the parliament. The government is responsible for running the country and implementing policies.

The president is the head of state, and their role is mostly ceremonial. The president is elected by the National Assembly for a five-year term, but in practice, the election is usually a formality, as the result is often a result of political agreements and arrangements among parties.

The judiciary is independent and there is a judicial system, which includes the constitutional court, the supreme court, and other district and appellate courts.

The Hungarian constitution is the fundamental legal document of the country and serves as a framework for the functioning of the state system.

 

Capital city: Budapest

Budapest, Hungary’s capital, lies on the banks of the Danube. It has an estimated population of 1 780 000. The city is known for its rich history and beautiful landmarks. Among the most famous are Buda Castle, Fisherman’s Bastion, the Hungarian Parliament Building, St. Stephen’s Basilica, and the Chain Bridge.

Budapest is also renowned for its thermal baths, offering relaxation and therapeutic effects. The city has a vibrant artistic and cultural scene, cafes, restaurants, shops, and a diverse nightlife.

 

Area: 93 032 km² (35 920 square miles)

 

Population: 9 604 000 (2022 census)

The population may slightly change over time due to natural growth (the difference between births and deaths) and migration movements (immigration and emigration).

Hungary has a relatively homogenous ethnic composition, with the majority being Hungarians. Besides Hungarians, there are minorities such as Roma, Germans, Slovaks, Romanians, and others.

Population density is highest in larger cities and areas around the Danube. Budapest is the most populous city in Hungary and also the largest urban center with a diverse and cosmopolitan population.

 

UNESCO World Heritage Sites: 8

 

  1. The Tokaj Wine Region (2002) – The Tokaj Wine Region is located in north eastern Hungary. It was formally established in 1737 by Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor, though the documented wine production dates to 1561.
  2. Hollókő (1987) – Hollókő is a traditional village of the Palóc, a subgroup of Hungarians. It developed mainly during the 17th and 18th centuries and has been deliberately preserved as an example of rural life before the agricultural revolution.
  3. The Millenary Benedictine Abbey of Pannonhalma (1996) – The abbey was founded by Benedictine monks in 996. It played a major part in the spread of Christianity in Hungary and Central Europe.
  4. Hortobágy National Park (1999) – This park is a vast area of plains and wetlands in the Great Hungarian Plain. It has been used by nomadic pastoralists for millennia, with the oldest burial mounds (kurgans) dating to 2000 BCE.
  5. Fertő / Neusiedlersee Cultural Landscape (2001) – This area has been occupied by various peoples for eight millennia. The original network of towns and villages dates to the 12th and 13th centuries CE. Several palaces were constructed in the 18th and 19th centuries. The site is shared with Austria
  6. The Early Christian Necropolis of Pécs (2000) – The early Christian necropolis of the Roman town of Sopianae, in what is now Pécs, was built in the 4th century CE. The tombs were built underground and were richly decorated with Christian-themed murals.
  7. The Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst (1995) – The site is made up of 712 caves in Hungary and Slovakia. They represent a typical temperate-zone karstic system.
  8. Budapest, including the Banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter, and Andrássy Avenue (1987) – Budapest was created by the unification of three cities in the 19th century – Buda, Pest, and Óbuda. Buda Castle was built in the 13th century by king Béla IV of Hungary. The Castle Quarter features buildings in Gothic and Baroque styles. Buildings in Pest are in Historicism and Art Nouveau styles.

 

National parks: 10

 

  1. Hortobágy National Park
  2. Kiskunság National Park
  3. Bükk National Park
  4. Aggtelek National Park
  5. Fertö-Hanság National Park
  6. Danube-Drava National Park
  7. Körös-Maros National Park
  8. Balaton Uplands National Park
  9. Danube-Ipeľ National Park
  10. Örség National Park