Hungary – Interesting Facts
Hungary is a very interesting country, with a unique language and beautiful countryside.
There is a mixture of architectural styles dating back to the early history of Turkish influences, together with European customs and cuisine.
Hungary is surrounded by other countries (meaning it’s landlocked). This has added to their different culture and society over time.
Key Cities: Debrecen, Miskolc, Szeged
Official Language: Hungarian
Major religions: Christianity, mostly Roman Catholic and Protestant
Bordering countries: Slovakia, Ukraine, Austria, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, and Slovenia.
Size: 93 030km2 (35 920sq ml)
Lowest Point: Tisza River 70m (256ft) above sea level.
Highest Point: Mt Kekes (nb.accent on the first e) 1,014m 93327ft) above sea level.
Hungary is a land locked country which means there is no immediate access to the sea. There are about ten million people living in Hungary. The country has many beautiful rivers including the River Danube, that flows right through the country, dividing it in half.
Hungary has the largest lake in the central Europe area called Lake Balaton. The lake is good for fishing and in the area, there are many varieties of birds and some special animals like the mouflon, a small species of sheep.
The earliest history of Hungary can be traced back to the Romans, but when the Roman Empire collapsed Hungary was taken over by Germanic people. In the 8th century Charlemagne, a powerful leader of the Franks, conquered central Europe including Hungry. He divided this large portion of land into three and Hungary was part of the eastern third.
The Magyars, who lived in the Russian part of Europe, started to raid the east and from that time on Hungary was often attacked and taken over by different countries and powerful nations around her borders.
Hungary was even conquered by the Mongols in 1241 and they devastated the country burning crops and towns. It took a long time for the country to recover.
Hungary became part of different Empires and forced into war as they tried to gain their independence. The Ottoman Turks were always a threat to them and they could not resist their invasion. The people wanted reform and Lajos Kossuth declared Hungary independent.
This independence did not last, and Hungary was forced to become part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. When the first World War started Hungary fought on the side of the Germans. After the war Mihaly Karolyi demanded independence for Hungary and he was made the first prime minister.
Hungary still did not find peace until after the Second World War and the communist takeover in 1948. Finally, in 1989 Hungary became a peaceful and prosperous nation and a member of NATO.
The members of NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, have their freedom and safety guarded by the organisation who will protect them politically and with military help. This security helps Hungary remain peaceful and prosperous.
Hungary has different industries and agriculture contributing to its economy. They grow wheat, corn, sunflowers for the seed, and potatoes. The farmers herd cows and produce dairy products. They also have pigs and poultry farms.
In the industrial field there are mining operations, construction industries and they produce chemicals and motor vehicles.
Hungary does not have any seaport of their own, so they have good trade relationships with Germany and Austria. They also trade with China. Hungary is a member of the EU (the European Union). Their currency is the Forint and they enjoy being part of a free market economy.
Budapest is the top destination for tourists where all the different cultures and influences on Hungary can be experienced. Restaurants, museums, and interesting architecture.
The Hungarians are very proud of their national costume and enjoy wearing it on various national festivals. The Farsang Festival and the Easter Festival are particularly happy occasions.
The crown of Hungary, dating back to their early history, has great importance in the culture of the people. It is a part of the national coat of arms and regarded as a mystical part of their heritage.
The Hungarian cuisine is very varied and a mixture of influences from the East and the cultures of the West. The Hungarians love spices and in particular paprika. One of their most well-known dishes is Hungarian Goulash.
The Hungarian national sport is water polo and as a country they have excelled at the Olympic Games. They have won 456 medals and have won a gold medal at every Olympics they have taken part in. That is quite a record!
Erno Rubik invented the Rubik’s cube and took nearly three months to try and solve the problem of getting the cube back in order. There are 43 252 003 274 489 856 000 different ways to set the cube.
Franz Liszt was a composer, conductor, pianist and teacher of music. He is known for composing the music for the coronation ceremony of the Hungarian monarch.
Monica Seles, a world top class tennis player, number one in the world, was Hungarian.
Ferenc Puskasis a world class football player comes from Hungary and is rated as one of the best football players of all time.
The Hungarian language is one of the hardest languages to learn in the world as there are no other languages that are similar to it. It is unique.
There are cowboys in Hungary. They are called Csikós, and are mounted horse herdsmen. They ride around just like the American cowboys!
The Hungarians have an approved list of children’s names and if the name you want for your child is not on that list you have to apply to have it approved before you can use that name.
Hungary is also known for some interesting inventions. The ballpoint pen, thermographic cameras, holography and the first functional helicopter, just to name a few interesting ones.
Hungary is a fascinating country to read about – it could keep you busy for hours, especially if you sit down with the Rubik’s cube!