According to Cheeroutdoor, Hungary is a small and flat country that offers its visitors several beautiful and interesting sights, I could see after my 1,534 kilometer long round trip by car. It is not the nature experiences that remain in the memory of the Hungarian nature is not particularly fascinating, with a few exceptions. It is the fantastic architecture of the towns and villages, and the visits to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, that I will remember!
Many years ago I visited Budapest, the capital of Hungary, but then did not have time to visit any other places, so I now thought it was time to explore the country more in depth. This trip began, and ended, in the beautiful capital Budapest and with the help of a rented car I visited the old village Hollokö which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the baroque city of Eger and Tokaj wine district whose cultural landscape is on the UNESCO World Heritage List . Visit to Hortobagy National Park on the Great Plains Pustan, UNESCO World Heritage Site, included bird watching and a horse-drawn carriage ride that showed Pustan’s traditions and plain culture. In the city of Szeged I enjoyed the fantastic art nouveau architecture and in the city of Pecs I visited underground tombs from early Christianity, UNESCO listed world heritage . At Hungary’s largest lake Balaton I enjoyed the tranquility of 32 degree heat and in the small town of Veszprem I visited the “End of the World”!
Hungary history in brief
Hungary history, older
Finds of bone fragments in the Danube Basin, or as it is also called the Carpathian Basin, where Hungary is located, show that this area has been inhabited for more than 500,000 years. The Indo-European tribes from the Balkans who conquered the area in the 21st century BC brought with them weapons and tools made of copper. The development then continued with the transition to the more durable metal bronze, horses were domesticated, a military elite was created and construction began quickly to defend themselves.
In the 1000s BC, conquerors such as Illyrians, Trakers and shooters brought with them objects of iron, but these did not come to any major use until the Celts came to the region in the 400s BC. The Celts also introduced glass and were skilled craftsmen who made beautiful objects of gold.
About 35 BC, the Romans conquered the area west and south of the river Danube. More than twenty years later, they had advanced to the Danube Curve.
By 10 AD, the Romans had founded their new province of Pannonia which included, including present-day Hungary. Remains of the Romans can be seen in several places in Hungary, for example in Pecs called Sophianae during the Roman period.
At the beginning of the migration period, the 2nd century AD, nomads from Asia came to the area we today call Hungary but they were forced away by the Huns under the leadership of Attila. In the 430s, the Huns defeated the Roman colony of Aquincum (modern-day Obuda) and displaced the population.
Thereafter, the area was conquered by Germanic tribes, in the 5th century the Avar conquered, a Turkish ethnic group parts of Pannonia. The Avars were defeated by the Frankish king Charlemagne in 796. At this time, the Carpathian Basin was sparsely populated with the exception of the plains inhabited by Germanic tribes and the highlands in the north inhabited by slaves.
896 – 898
Seven Magyar tribes led by Árpád settle in the Carpathian Basin. Five of the seven tribes settle in what is now Budapest. the dynasty will rule until the year 1301
The advance of the Magyars in Germany, Italy and Spain is definitely stopped by the Germanic king Otto I during the Battle of Augusburg
Stefan (István) adopts Christianity and is crowned king of Esztergom. Bishop Gellért is to Christianize the pagan Hungarians but is killed by them and becomes a martyr
King Stefan is canonized
1241 – 1242
The Mongols, led by Batu khan, defeat the Hungarians during the Battle of Muhi. The following year, they withdrew from Hungary. In Pest and Obuda alone, 100,000 Hungarians are killed by the Mongols
King Béla IV had the country rebuilt and called in foreign colonizers
1301 the last of the Árpád family dies and the Anjou family takes over
Hungary will be a great power that includes Croatia, Slavonia, Dalmatia, the Banat, Galicia and for a time also Poland
János Hunyadi defeats the Turks at present-day Belgrade
1458 – 1490
Under the rule of King Matthias Corvinus and his second wife, Queen Beatrice of Naples, the country reaches a climax
During the battle of Mohács, King Louis II is killed against the Turks on August 29
Conquers the Turks Buda and the land is divided. Western Hungary becomes Austrian, Buda and central Hungary become Ottoman, while Transylvania becomes a Turkish sound province. The development stops and the wooded plain becomes puszta; wasteland
At a meeting in Torda in Transylvania, the Hungarians agree on religious freedom
Austrian and Hungarian forces conquer Buda with Polish forces and expel Turks from the city
At the peace of Karlowitz, the Turks are forced to cede their share of Hungary and Transylvania to the Habsburgs. Germans, Slovaks, Serbs and Romanians are moving into the areas abandoned by the Hungarians. Germanization in administration, culture and education
1703 – 1711
Ferenc Rákóczi for a freedom fight against the Habsburgs, but loses. He is granted asylum by Turkish Sultan Ahmed III in Thrace
Abolish slavery in Hungary
Seven monks were beheaded in Buda for resistance to the Habsburg regime
1825 – 1848
During the reform period, development was driven forward by István Széchenyi, who was strongly influenced by his contacts with England.
Hungarian becomes the official language
1848 – 1849
The poet Sandor Petöfi is killed in the freedom struggle against the Habsburgs. Lajos Batthyány is executed along with thirteen generals who have actively taken part in the freedom struggle. Leader Lajos Kossuth goes into exile
Established dual monarchy between Austria and Hungary
History of Hungary 1914 – 1999
1914 – 1918
During World War I, the Austro-Hungarian dual monarchy sided with Germany and thus belonged to the losers
Between March and August, Hungary was proclaimed a communist republic by Béla Kun. After this, the army chief Miklós Horthy gathered the counter-revolutionary troops, mainly from southeastern Hungary, and marched with them into Budapest in November, after the Romanian occupation troops left the city- Horthy then took over the highest army command
On March 1, Miklós Horty was elected head of state
As head of state, Horty was forced to accept the peace in Trianon, which formally ended the First World War for Hungary and thus dissolved the dual monarchy. Under the Trianon Treaty, Hungary lost two thirds of its territory and more than three million Hungarians ended up in other countries. Transylvania was incorporated into Romania and the highlands to the north with Czechoslovakia. Current Croatia and the Vojvodina area of Serbia belonged to Yugoslavia
Hungary approached fascist Italy and Nazi Germany in hopes of regaining territories lost after World War I
1939 – 1945
In World War II, Hungary sided with Germany and took part in the attack on Yugoslavia. When the setbacks came, the Hungarians tried to withdraw from the war, after which Germany occupied Hungary in March 1944. Horthy was imprisoned after secretly negotiating a ceasefire with the Allies. He was succeeded by the Hungarian Nazi leader Ferenc Szálasi
In the autumn of 1944, Soviet troops invaded Hungary
After very hard fighting, the Soviet army occupied Budapest in January 1945. At the same time, Raoul Wallenberg disappeared. In April, the last German soldiers were driven out of Hungary
The People’s Republic of Hungary is proclaimed. Free elections were held on November 4, which was won by the Smallholders’ Party. They received 55% of the vote while the Communists received 17%. Despite this, the real power came into the hands of the Communists, who had the support of the Soviet occupying power.
Moscow-loyal communist Mátyás Rákosi became deputy prime minister, but soon clears or maneuvers the other politicians.
After the election, the constitution is also changed so that the country became a people’s republic
The Social Democrats are forced together with the Communists and Hungary now embarked on the same Stalinist path as the rest of Eastern Europe with a planned economy, collectivization of agriculture, social realism, purges within the party with sham trials and Moscow’s total control over Hungarian politics
On December 28, all companies were nationalized and the Communists now had full control over the country. The security police ÁVO / ÁVH initiate mass arrests and torture
In the June election, the Communist Party took full control of Parliament. Two months later, a new constitution was adopted that transformed Hungary into a communist one-party state with a nationalized, centrally controlled economy.
After Stalin’s death, Imre Nagy is appointed Prime Minister of the Kremlin. Nagy tries to reform the Communist Party and stop the persecution of dissidents but is opposed by Rákosi
The country was brought under Moscow’s control of the newly formed Soviet bloc and became a member of the Warsaw Pact. Matyás Rákosi returns to power
As part of de-Stalinization, Matyás Rákosi is forced to resign as Prime Minister
On October 23, demonstrations of sympathy with the Polish reform communism break out in Budapest. The unrest is spreading across the country. Demands are being raised to reinstate Imre Nagy as prime minister
Imre Nagy becomes Prime Minister again. He abolished the one-party system and promised free elections. When he also announced a neutral foreign policy and withdrawal from the Warsaw Pact, Soviet forces occupied Budapest on November 4 and deposed Nagy.
After several days of hard fighting, the Hungarians’ resistance was crushed. Of the 20,000 arrested rebels, 2,000 were later executed, both men and women
János Kádár, who was part of Nagy’s coalition government and just took over as Communist Party leader, formed a new, Moscow – loyal government.
In connection with the uprising, 200,000 Hungarians fled abroad
Imre Nagy, who was hired by Janos Kádár in connection with the October 1956 uprising, was arrested by Soviet troops, put on trial and hanged with his closest men.
A liberalization process was initiated and many dissidents were granted amnesty. With hopes that a higher standard of living would reduce the Hungarians’ political dissatisfaction, Kádár tried, with easing of the centralized planned economy, as cautious reforms in the market economy direction.
The economy began to stagnate and opposition to the regime increased
The economic crisis of the decade and the upheavals in the Soviet Union contributed to more and more Hungarians beginning to demand democratic reforms
In September, the Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF) was formed and in the spring of 1988, the student movement the Young Democrats (Fidesz) and a network of independent groups. This was the beginning of a free party system in Hungary, even within the Communist Party demands were made for political pluralism
In May, Janos Kádár was deposed as party leader and succeeded by Prime Minister Károly Grósz
Censorship was abolished. Strikes and demonstrations were allowed
At the beginning of the year, the Communist Party advocated a transition to a multi-party system, while a party inquiry established that the 1956 revolt had been a genuine uprising and not a counter-revolutionary uprising. Imre Nagy was re-established and honored in June with a new funeral ceremony that gathered over a quarter of a million people
In the summer, Hungary opened its borders to East Germans heading west, thus contributing to the fall of the Iron Curtain. Shortly afterwards, the Communist Party began negotiations with the opposition
In the autumn, Parliament adopted a series of bills on Hungary’s transformation into a multi-party democracy
From October 23, Hungary was no longer a socialist people’s republic. The red star was removed from all public buildings
In the spring, Hungary’s first free parliamentary elections since 1945 were held. In it, the bourgeois MDF became the largest party with nearly 43% of the vote. A coalition government was formed by the MDF, the Smallholders’ Party and a smaller, Christian Democratic party. MDF leader József Antall became Prime Minister
The Socialist Party’s popularity increased, partly due to the internal divisions of the governing parties
In the parliamentary elections, MDF received only about 12% of the vote. The winner was the Socialist Party, which, despite gaining its own majority in parliament, chose to form a government together with the Liberal Free Democratic Alliance (SZDSZ).
In June, the new government took office and Socialist Party leader Gyula Horn became prime minister
On March 12, which later came to be known as “Black Sunday”, the government presented a proposal for major cuts in welfare, redundancies in the public sector, tax increases and the devaluation of the currency. The savings met with harsh domestic criticism and mass demonstrations
In the run-up to the election, the government believed that the drastic economic cuts in 1995 would be forgotten “and give them the victory in the upcoming election
In the election, the Socialist Party lost more than a quarter of its seats and the Peace Democrats lost more than half. The winner of the election was instead the right-wing party Fidesz, which despite fewer votes than the Socialists got more seats. The leader of Fidesz, Viktor Orbán, formed a government with MDF and the Smallholders’ Party
Hungary joined the NATO defense alliance