This article is about the country.
For other uses, see Hungary (disambiguation).
and largest city
|Ethnic groups (microcensus 2016)|
|Religion (census 2011)|
|Government||Unitary dominant-party parliamentary constitutional republic|
|Prime Minister||Viktor Orbán|
|Speaker of the National Assembly||László Kövér|
|Principality of Hungary||895|
|Christian Kingdom||25 December 1000|
|Golden Bull of 1222||24 April 1222|
|Battle of Mohács||29 August 1526|
|Liberation of Buda||2 September 1686|
|Revolution of 1848||15 March 1848|
|Austro-Hungarian Empire||30 March 1867|
|Treaty of Trianon||4 June 1920|
|Third Republic||23 October 1989|
|Joined the European Union||1 May 2004|
|Total||93,030 km (35,920 sq mi) (108th)|
|2020 estimate||9,769,526 (91st)|
|Density||105/km (271.9/sq mi) (78th)|
|GDP (PPP)||2020 estimate|
|Total||$350.000 billion (53rd)|
|Per capita||$35,941 (40th)|
|GDP (nominal)||2020 estimate|
|Total||$180.498 billion (54th)|
|Per capita||$18,535 (47th)|
low · 16th
very high · 43rd
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
|ISO 3166 code||HU|
Spanning 93,030 square kilometres (35,920 sq mi) in the Carpathian Basin, it borders Slovakia to the north, Ukraine to the northeast, Romania to the east and southeast, Serbia to the south, Croatia and Slovenia to the southwest, and Austria to the west.
By the 12th century, Hungary became a regional power, reaching its cultural and political height in the 15th century.
The Austro-Hungarian Empire collapsed after World War I, and the subsequent Treaty of Trianon established Hungary's current borders, resulting in the loss of 71% of its territory, 58% of its population, and 32% of ethnic Hungarians.
The seminal opening of the previously-restricted border with Austria in 1989 accelerated the collapse of the Eastern Bloc, and subsequently the Soviet Union.
It is the thirteenth-most popular tourist destination in Europe, drawing 15.8 million international tourists in 2017, owing to attractions such as the largest thermal water cave system in the world, second largest thermal lake, the largest lake in Central Europe and the largest natural grasslands in Europe.
Hungary's cultural, historical, and academic prominence classify it as a middle power in global affairs.
Main article: Name of Hungary
The rest of the word comes from the Latinized form of Byzantine Greek Oungroi (Οὔγγροι).
Onogur was the collective name for the tribes who later joined the Bulgar tribal confederacy that ruled the eastern parts of Hungary after the Avars.
The Hungarian endonym is Magyarország, composed of magyar ('Hungarian') and ország ('country').
The name "Magyar", which refers to the people of the country, more accurately reflects the name of the country in some other languages such as Turkish, Persian and other languages as Magyaristan or Land of Magyars or similar.
The word magyar is taken from the name of one of the seven major semi-nomadic Hungarian tribes, magyeri.
Main article: History of Hungary
Medieval Hungary (895–1526)
As a federation of united tribes, Hungary was established in 895, some 50 years after the division of the Carolingian Empire at the Treaty of Verdun in 843, before the unification of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms.
Initially, the rising Principality of Hungary ("Western Tourkia" in medieval Greek sources) was a state created by a semi-nomadic people.
It accomplished an enormous transformation into a Christian realm during the 10th century.
The Hungarians defeated no fewer than three major East Frankish imperial armies between 907 and 910.
A later defeat at the Battle of Lechfeld in 955 signaled a provisory end to most campaigns on foreign territories, at least towards the West.
Age of Árpádian kings
Main article: Árpád dynasty
Under Stephen, Hungary was recognized as a Catholic Apostolic Kingdom.
By 1006, Stephen consolidated his power, and started sweeping reforms to convert Hungary into a Western feudal state.
The country switched to using the Latin language, and until as late as 1844, Latin remained the official language of Hungary.
Around this time, Hungary began to become a powerful kingdom.
The most powerful and wealthiest king of the Árpád dynasty was Béla III, who disposed of the equivalent of 23 tonnes of pure silver a year.
This exceeded the income of the French king (estimated at 17 tonnes) and was double the receipts of the English Crown.
The lesser nobles also began to present Andrew with grievances, a practice that evolved into the institution of the parliament (parlamentum publicum).
In 1241–1242, the kingdom received a major blow with the Mongol (Tatar) invasion.
Up to half of Hungary's then population of 2,000,000 were victims of the invasion.
Over the centuries, they were fully assimilated into the Hungarian population.
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 1285, but the newly 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.
Age of elected kings
Main article: Ottoman–Hungarian Wars
The Kingdom of Hungary reached one of its greatest extents during the Árpádian kings, yet royal power was weakened at the end of their rule in 1301.
After a destructive period of interregnum (1301–1308), the first Angevin king, Charles I of Hungary – a bilineal descendant of the Árpád dynasty – successfully restored royal power, and defeated oligarch rivals, the so-called "little kings".
Sigismund was also (in several ways) a bilineal descendant of the Árpád dynasty.
The first Hungarian Bible translation was completed in 1439.
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.
He was elected governor then regent.
He was a successful crusader against the Ottoman Turks, one of his greatest victories being the Siege of Belgrade in 1456.
The last strong king of medieval Hungary was the Renaissance king Matthias Corvinus (1458–1490), son of John Hunyadi.
His election was the first time that a member of the nobility mounted to the Hungarian royal throne without dynastic background.
He was a successful military leader and an enlightened patron of the arts and learning.
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.
The serfs and common people considered him a just ruler because he protected them from excessive demands from and other abuses by the magnates.
Under his rule, in 1479, 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).
Decline of Hungary (1490–1526)
King Matthias died without lawful sons, and the Hungarian magnates procured the accession of the Pole Vladislaus II (1490–1516), supposedly because of his weak influence on Hungarian aristocracy.
Hungary's international role declined, its political stability shaken, and social progress was deadlocked.
The resulting degradation of order paved the way for Ottoman pre-eminence.
The early appearance of Protestantism further worsened internal relations in the country.
Ottoman wars (1526–1699)
After some 150 years of wars with the Hungarians and other states, the Ottomans gained a decisive victory over the Hungarian army at the Battle of Mohács in 1526, where King Louis II died while fleeing.
With the conquest of Buda by the Turks in 1541, Hungary was divided into three parts and remained so until the end of the 17th century.
The north-western part, termed as Royal Hungary, was annexed by the Habsburgs who ruled as Kings of Hungary.
The remaining central area, including the capital Buda, was known as the Pashalik of Buda.
The vast majority of the seventeen and nineteen thousand Ottoman soldiers in service in the Ottoman fortresses in the territory of Hungary were Orthodox and Muslim Balkan Slavs rather than ethnic Turkish people.
Orthodox Southern Slavs were also acting as akinjis and other light troops intended for pillaging in the territory of present-day Hungary.
After some more crushing defeats of the Ottomans in the next few years, the entire Kingdom of Hungary was removed from Ottoman rule by 1718.
The constrained Habsburg Counter-Reformation efforts in the 17th century reconverted the majority of the kingdom to Catholicism.
The ethnic composition of Hungary was fundamentally changed as a consequence of the prolonged warfare with the Turks.
A large part of the country became devastated, population growth was stunted, and many smaller settlements perished.
The Austrian-Habsburg government settled large groups of Serbs and other Slavs in the depopulated south, and settled Germans (called Danube Swabians) in various areas, but Hungarians were not allowed to settle or re-settle in the south of the Great Plain.
From the 18th century to World War I (1699-1918)
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 Ónod, took power provisionally as the Ruling Prince of Hungary for the wartime period, but refused the Hungarian Crown and the title "King".
The uprisings lasted for years.
Three years later, because of the growing desertion, defeatism and low morale, the Kuruc forces finally surrendered.
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, which marked the beginning of a Reform Period (1825–1848, Hungarian: reformkor).
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 and focused on providing for the peasantry.
A remarkable upswing started as the nation concentrated its forces on modernization even though the Habsburg monarchs obstructed all important liberal laws relating to civil and political rights and economic reforms.
On 15 March 1848, mass demonstrations in Pest and Buda enabled Hungarian reformists to push through a list of 12 demands.
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, though 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 the coveted 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 or Józef Bem, who was Polish and also became a national hero in Hungary.
The Hungarian forces (Honvédség) defeated Austrian armies.
This made Artúr Görgey surrender in August 1849.
The leader of the Austrian army, Julius Jacob von Haynau, became governor of Hungary for a few months, and ordered the execution of the 13 Martyrs of Arad, leaders of the Hungarian army, and Prime Minister Batthyány in October 1849.
Lajos Kossuth escaped into exile.
Following the war of 1848 – 1849, the whole country was in "passive resistance".
Because of external and internal problems, reforms seemed inevitable and major military defeats of Austria forced the Habsburgs to negotiate the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867, by which the dual Monarchy of Austria–Hungary was formed.
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 old Hungarian Constitution was restored, and Franz Joseph I was crowned as King of Hungary.
The era witnessed impressive economic development.
The formerly backward Hungarian economy became relatively modern and industrialized by the turn of the 20th century, although agriculture remained dominant until 1890.
Many of the state institutions and the modern administrative system of Hungary were established during this period.
After the Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, the Hungarian prime minister István Tisza and his cabinet tried to avoid the outbreak and escalating of a war in Europe, but their diplomatic efforts were unsuccessful.
Austria–Hungary drafted 9 million (fighting forces: 7.8 million) soldiers in World War I (over 4 million from the Kingdom of Hungary) on the side of Germany, Bulgaria and Turkey.
The troops raised in the Kingdom of Hungary spent little time defending the actual territory of Hungary, with the exceptions of the Brusilov Offensive in June 1916, and a few months later, when the Romanian army made an attack into Transylvania, both of which were repelled.
In comparison, of the total army, Hungary's loss ratio was more than any other nations of Austria-Hungary.
The Central Powers conquered Serbia.
Romania declared war.
The Central Powers conquered Southern Romania and the Romanian capital Bucharest.
In 1916 Emperor Franz Joseph died, and 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 made no progress against Italy after January 1918.
Despite great Eastern successes, Germany suffered complete defeat on the more important 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, the Austrian and Hungarian leftist liberal movements (the maverick parties) and their leaders supported the separatism of ethnic minorities.
Austria-Hungary signed a general armistice in Padua on 3 November 1918.
In October 1918, Hungary's union with Austria was dissolved.
Between the World Wars (1918–1941)
Following the First World War, Hungary underwent a period of profound political upheaval, beginning with the Aster Revolution in 1918, which brought the social-democratic Mihály Károlyi to power as Prime Minister.
The Hungarian Royal Honvéd army still had more than 1,400,000 soldiers when Mihály Károlyi was announced as prime minister of Hungary.
This happened under the direction of Béla Linder, minister of war in the Károlyi government.
Due to the full disarmament of its army, Hungary was to remain without a national defence at a time of particular vulnerability.
During the rule of Károlyi's pacifist cabinet, Hungary lost the control over approx.
75% of its former pre-WW1 territories (325 411 km²) without fight and was subject to foreign occupation.
The Little Entente, sensing an opportunity, invaded the country from three sides—Romania invaded Transylvania, Czechoslovakia annexed Upper Hungary (today's Slovakia), and a joint Serb-French coalition annexed Vojvodina and other southern regions.
Despite some successes on the Czechoslovak front, Kun's forces were ultimately unable to resist the Romanian invasion; by August 1919, Romanian troops occupied Budapest and ousted Kun.
In November 1919, rightist forces led by former Austro-Hungarian admiral Miklós Horthy entered Budapest; exhausted by the war and its aftermath, the populace accepted Horthy's leadership.
In January 1920, parliamentary elections were held and Horthy was proclaimed Regent of the reestablished Kingdom of Hungary, inaugurating the so-called "Horthy era" (Horthy-kor).
The new government worked quickly to normalize foreign relations while turning a blind eye to a White Terror that swept through the countryside; extrajudicial killings of suspected communists and Jews lasted well into 1920.
On 4 June of that year, the Treaty of Trianon established new borders for Hungary.
Though the revision of the Treaty quickly rose to the top of the national political agenda, the Horthy government was not willing to resort to military intervention to do so.
The initial years of the Horthy regime were preoccupied by putsch attempts by Charles IV, the Austro-Hungarian pretender; continued suppression of communists; and a migration crisis triggered by the Trianon territorial changes.
Though free elections continued, Horthy's personality, and those of his personally selected prime ministers, dominated the political scene.
The government's actions continued to drift right with the passage of antisemitic laws and, due to the continued isolation of the Little Entente, economic and then political gravitation toward Italy and Germany.
Horthy's nationalist agenda reached its apogee in 1938 and 1940, when the Nazis rewarded Hungary's staunchly pro-Germany foreign policy in the First and Second Vienna Awards, respectively, peacefully restoring ethnic-Hungarian-majority areas lost after Trianon.
In 1939, Hungary regained further territory from Czechoslovakia through force.
World War II (1941–1945)
Hungarian troops fought on the Eastern Front for two years.
Learning of the planned defection, German troops occupied Hungary on 19 March 1944 to guarantee Horthy's compliance.
In October, as the Soviet front approached and the Hungarian government made further efforts to disengage from the war, German troops ousted Horthy and installed a puppet government under Szálasi's fascist Arrow Cross Party.
Szálasi pledged all the country's capabilities in service of the German war machine.
During the German occupation in May–June 1944, the Arrow Cross and Hungarian police deported nearly 440,000 Jews, mainly to Auschwitz.
Nearly all of them were murdered.
The Swedish Diplomat Raoul Wallenberg managed to save a considerable number of Hungarian Jews by giving them Swedish passports.
The Horthy government's complicity in the Holocaust remains a point of controversy and contention.
The war left Hungary devastated, destroying over 60% of the economy and causing significant loss of life.
In addition to the over 600,000 Hungarian Jews killed, as many as 280,000 other Hungarians were raped, murdered and executed or deported for slave labor by Czechoslovaks, Soviet Red Army troops, and Yugoslavs.
On 13 February 1945, Budapest surrendered; by April, German troops left the country under Soviet military occupation.
200,000 Hungarians were expelled from Czechoslovakia in exchange for 70,000 Slovaks living in Hungary.
202,000 ethnic Germans were expelled to Germany, and through the 1947 Paris Peace Treaties, Hungary was again reduced to its immediate post-Trianon borders.
Following the defeat of Nazi Germany, Hungary became a satellite state of the Soviet Union.
His government's policies of militarization, industrialization, collectivization, and war compensation led to a severe decline in living standards.
In the ensuing purges approximately 350,000 officials and intellectuals were imprisoned or executed from 1948 to 1956.
Many freethinkers, democrats, and Horthy-era dignitaries were secretly arrested and extrajudicially interned in domestic and foreign Gulags.
Some 600,000 Hungarians were deported to Soviet labor camps, where at least 200,000 died.
After Stalin's death in 1953, the Soviet Union pursued a program of destalinization that was inimical to Rákosi, leading to his deposition.
The following political cooling saw the ascent of Imre Nagy to the premiership, and the growing interest of students and intellectuals in political life.
Nagy promised market liberalization and political openness, while Rákosi opposed both vigorously.
Rákosi eventually managed to discredit Nagy and replace him with the more hard-line Ernő Gerő.
Hungary joined the Warsaw Pact in May 1955, as societal dissatisfaction with the regime swelled.
Following the firing on peaceful demonstrations by Soviet soldiers and secret police, and rallies throughout the country on 23 October 1956, protesters took to the streets in Budapest, initiating the 1956 Revolution.
In an effort to quell the chaos, Nagy returned as premier, promised free elections, and took Hungary out of the Warsaw Pact.
The violence nonetheless continued as revolutionary militias sprung up against the Soviet Army and the ÁVH; the roughly 3,000-strong resistance fought Soviet tanks using Molotov cocktails and machine-pistols.
Though the preponderance of the Soviets was immense, they suffered heavy losses, and by 30 October 1956, most Soviet troops had withdrawn from Budapest to garrison the countryside.
For a time, the Soviet leadership was unsure how to respond to developments in Hungary but eventually decided to intervene to prevent a destabilization of the Soviet bloc.
On 4 November, reinforcements of more than 150,000 troops and 2,500 tanks entered the country from the Soviet Union.
Nearly 20,000 Hungarians were killed resisting the intervention, while an additional 21,600 were imprisoned afterwards for political reasons.
Some 13,000 were interned and 230 brought to trial and executed.
Nagy was secretly tried, found guilty, sentenced to death and executed by hanging in June 1958.
Because borders were briefly opened, nearly a quarter of a million people fled the country by the time the revolution was suppressed.
Kádár era (1956–1988)
See also: Goulash Communism
After a second, briefer period of Soviet military occupation, János Kádár, Nagy's former Minister of State, was chosen by the Soviet leadership to head the new government and chair the new ruling Socialist Workers' Party (MSzMP).
Kádár quickly normalized the situation.
In 1963, the government granted a general amnesty and released the majority of those imprisoned for their active participation in the uprising.
Kádár proclaimed a new policy line, according to which the people were no longer compelled to profess loyalty to the party if they tacitly accepted the Socialist regime as a fact of life.
In many speeches, he described this as, "Those who are not against us are with us."
Kádár introduced new planning priorities in the economy, such as allowing farmers significant plots of private land within the collective farm system (háztáji gazdálkodás).
The living standard rose as consumer good and food production took precedence over military production, which was reduced to one-tenth of pre-revolutionary levels.
In 1968, the New Economic Mechanism (NEM) introduced free-market elements into socialist command economy.
As a result of this relatively high standard of living, a more liberalized economy, a less censored press, and less restricted travel rights, Hungary was generally considered one of the more liberal countries in which to live in Central Europe during communism.
In the 1980s, however, living standards steeply declined again due to a worldwide recession to which communism was unable to respond.
By the time Kádár died in 1989, the Soviet Union was in steep decline and a younger generation of reformists saw liberalization as the solution to economic and social issues.
Third Republic (1989–present)
Hungary's transition from communism to democracy and capitalism (rendszerváltás, "regime change") was peaceful and prompted by economic stagnation, domestic political pressure, and changing relations with other Warsaw Pact countries.
Although the MSzMP began Round Table Talks with various opposition groups in March 1989, the reburial of Imre Nagy as a revolutionary martyr that June is widely considered the symbolic end of communism in Hungary.
Over 100,000 people attended the Budapest ceremony without any significant government interference, and many speakers openly called for Soviet troops to leave the country.
József Antall became the first democratically elected Prime Minister since World War II.
With the removal of state subsidies and rapid privatization in 1991, Hungary was affected by a severe economic recession.
As a NATO member, Hungary was involved in the Yugoslav Wars.
The legislature consequently approved a new constitution, among other sweeping governmental and legal changes.
In September 2018, the European parliament voted to act against Hungary, under the terms of Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union.
Proponents of the vote claimed that the Hungarian government posed a "systematic threat" to democracy and the rule of law.
The vote was carried with the support of 448 MEPs, narrowly clearing the two-thirds majority required.
The vote marked the first the European parliament had triggered an article 7 procedure against an EU member state.
Szijjártó alleged that the vote was fraudulent because abstentions were not counted which made it easier to reach the two-thirds majority required to pass the vote.
At the European elections in May 2019, Viktor Orbán's Fidesz Party secured another a sweeping victory, receiving more than 50 % of the votes.
In March 2020, during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Hungarian parliament passed a law granting the Government the power to rule by decree to the extent it is necessary to diminish the consequences of the pandemic, suspending by-elections and outlawing the "spreading of misinformation".
The Government's special authorization is in force until the pandemic is declared to have ended.
The law was lifted on 16 June, 2020.
Main article: Geography of Hungary
See also: List of national parks of Hungary
The common tripartite division of the country into three sections—Dunántúl ("beyond the Danube", Transdanubia), Tiszántúl ("beyond the Tisza"), and Duna-Tisza köze ("between the Danube and Tisza")—is a reflection of this.
The Danube flows north–south right through the center of contemporary Hungary, and the entire country lies within its drainage basin.
Transdanubia, which stretches westward from the center of the country toward Austria, is a primarily hilly region with a terrain varied by low mountains.
These include the very eastern stretch of the Alps, Alpokalja, in the west of the country, the Transdanubian Mountains in the central region of Transdanubia, and the Mecsek Mountains and Villány Mountains in the south.
The highest point of the area is the Írott-kő in the Alps, at 882 metres (2,894 ft).
The Little Hungarian Plain (Kisalföld) is found in northern Transdanubia.
The Duna-Tisza köze and Tiszántúl are characterized mainly by the Great Hungarian Plain (Alföld), which stretches across most of the eastern and southeastern areas of the country.
The Kékes at 1,014 m or 3,327 ft is the tallest mountain in Hungary and is found here.
According to the WWF, the territory of Hungary belongs to the ecoregion of Pannonian mixed forests.
Hungary has 10 national parks, 145 minor nature reserves, and 35 landscape protection areas.
Hungary is a landlocked country.
Hungary has a temperate seasonal climate, with generally warm summers with low overall humidity levels but frequent rainshowers and cold snowy winters.
Average annual temperature is 9.7 °C (49.5 °F).
Temperature extremes are 41.9 °C (107.4 °F) on 20 July 2007 at Kiskunhalas in the summer and −35 °C (−31.0 °F) on 16 February 1940 Miskolc-Görömbölytapolca in the winter.
Average high temperature in the summer is 23 to 28 °C (73 to 82 °F) and average low temperature in the winter is −3 to −7 °C (27 to 19 °F).
The average yearly rainfall is approximately 600 mm (23.6 in).
Hungary is ranked sixth in an environmental protection index by GW/CAN.
Government and politics
The Hungarian political system operates under a framework reformed in 2012; this constitutional document is the Fundamental Law of Hungary.
Amendments generally require a two-thirds majority of parliament; the fundamental principles of the constitution (as expressed in the articles guaranteeing human dignity, the separation of powers, the state structure, and the rule of law) are valid in perpetuity.
199 Members of Parliament (országgyűlési képviselő) are elected to the highest organ of state authority, the unicameral Országgyűlés (National Assembly), every four years in a single-round first-past-the-post election with an election threshold of 5%.
The president is invested primarily with representative responsibilities and powers: receiving foreign heads of state, formally nominating the Prime Minister at the recommendation of the National Assembly, and serving as Commander-in-chief of the armed forces.
The third most-significant governmental position in Hungary is the Speaker of the National Assembly, who is elected by the National Assembly and responsible for overseeing the daily sessions of the body.
Traditionally, the Prime Minister is the leader of the largest party in parliament.
The Prime Minister selects Cabinet ministers and has the exclusive right to dismiss them, although cabinet nominees must appear before consultative open hearings before one or more parliamentary committees, survive a vote in the National Assembly, and be formally approved by the president.
The cabinet reports to parliament.
In 2009 Hungary, due to strong economic difficulties, had to request the help of the IMF for about €9 billion.
The debt-to-GDP ratio of Hungary had its peak in 2011 when it stood at 83% and decreased since then.
The government achieved a budget deficit 1.9% of the GDP in 2015.
On Transparency International's 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index Hungary's public sector has deteriorated from a score of 51 in 2015 to 44 in 2019 making it the 2nd most corrupt EU member at pair with Romania and behind Bulgaria.
According to the report, "the right-wing alliance... has gradually undermined the rule of law in Hungary and established tight control over the country’s independent institutions... [it] has steadily rewritten the Hungarian constitution, and eliminated democratic safeguards statutorily embodied in the Constitutional Court, Prosecutors Office, Media Authority, and State Audit Office...".
|Current Structure of the National Assembly of Hungary|
|Political groups||Government (133)
Since the fall of communism, Hungary has a multi-party system.
The last Hungarian parliamentary election took place on 8 April 2018.
This parliamentary election was the 7th since the 1990 first multi-party election.
It was the second election according to the new Constitution of Hungary which went into force on 1 January 2012.
The new electoral law also entered into force that day.
The voters elected 199 MPs instead of previous 386 lawmakers.
The current political landscape in Hungary is dominated by the conservative Fidesz, who have a near supermajority, and two medium-sized parties, the left-wing Democratic Coalition (DK) and liberal Momentum.
The democratic character of the Hungarian parliament was reestablished with the fall of the Iron Curtain and the end of communist dictatorship in 1989.
Today's parliament is still called Országgyűlés just like in royal times, but in order to differentiate between the historical royal diet is referred to as "National Assembly" now.
The Diet of Hungary was a legislative institution in the medieval kingdom of Hungary from the 1290s, and in its successor states, Royal Hungary and the Habsburg kingdom of Hungary throughout the Early Modern period.
The articles of the 1790 diet set out that the diet should meet at least once every 3 years, but, since the diet was called by the Habsburg monarchy, this promise was not kept on several occasions thereafter.
As a result of the Austro-Hungarian Compromise, it was reconstituted in 1867.
The Latin term Natio Hungarica ("Hungarian nation") was used to designate the political elite which had participation in the diet, consisting of the nobility, the Catholic clergy, and a few enfranchised burghers, regardless of language or ethnicity.
Law and judicial system
The judicial system of Hungary is a civil law system divided between courts with regular civil and criminal jurisdiction and administrative courts with jurisdiction over litigation between individuals and the public administration.
The court system for civil and criminal jurisdiction consists of local courts (járásbíróság), regional appellate courts (ítélőtábla), and the supreme court (Kúria).
Law enforcement in Hungary is split among the police and the National Tax and Customs Administration.
The Hungarian Police is the main and largest state law enforcement agency in Hungary.
It carries nearly all general police duties such as criminal investigation, patrol activity, traffic policing, border control.
It is led by the National Police Commissioner under the control of the Minister of the Interior.
The body is divided into county police departments which are also divided into regional and town police departments.
The National Police also have subordinate agencies with nationwide jurisdiction, such as the "Nemzeti Nyomozó Iroda" (National Bureau of Investigation), a civilian police force specialised in investigating serious crimes, and the gendarmerie-like, militarised "Készenléti Rendőrség" (Stand-by Police) mainly dealing with riots and often reinforcing local police forces.
Due to Hungary's accession to the Schengen Treaty, the Police and Border Guards were merged into a single national corps, with the Border Guards becoming Police Officers.
This merger took place in January 2008.
The Customs and Excise Authority remained subject to the Ministry of Finance under the National Tax and Customs Administration.
Main article: Administrative divisions of Hungary
The counties and the capital are the 20 NUTS third-level units of Hungary.
The states are further subdivided into 174 districts (járás) as of 1 January 2013.
The local authorities of these towns have extended powers, but these towns belong to the territory of the respective district instead of being independent territorial units.
County and district councils and municipalities have different roles and separate responsibilities relating to local government.
The role of the counties are basically administrative and focus on strategic development, while preschools, public water utilities, garbage disposal, elderly care and rescue services are administered by the municipalities.
Since 1996, the counties and City of Budapest have been grouped into seven regions for statistical and development purposes.
These seven regions constitute NUTS' second-level units of Hungary.
Main article: Foreign relations of Hungary
Hungary took on the presidency of the Council of the European Union for half a year in 2011 and the next will be in 2024.
Hungary's capital city, Budapest, is home to more than 100 embassies and representative bodies as an international political actor.
Hungary hosts the main and regional headquarters of many international organizations as well, including European Institute of Innovation and Technology, European Police College, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, International Centre for Democratic Transition, Institute of International Education, International Labour Organization, International Organization for Migration, International Red Cross, Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe, Danube Commission and others.
Since 1989, Hungary's top foreign policy goal has been achieving integration into Western economic and security organizations.
These renounce all outstanding territorial claims and lay the foundation for constructive relations.
However, the issue of ethnic Hungarian minority rights in Romania, Slovakia and Serbia periodically causes bilateral tensions to flare up.
Hungary since 1989 has signed all of the OSCE documents, and served as the OSCE's Chairman-in-Office in 1997.
Main article: Hungarian Defence Force
The 2016 Global Peace Index ranked Hungary 19th out of 163 countries.
Since 2007, the Hungarian Armed Forces has been under a unified command structure.
The Ministry of Defence maintains the political and civil control over the army.
A subordinate Joint Forces Command coordinates and commands the HDF.
In 2016, the armed forces had 31,080 personnel on active duty, the operative reserve brought the total number of troops to fifty thousand.
In 2016, it was planned that military spending the following year would be $1.21 billion, about 0.94% of the country's GDP, well below the NATO target of 2%.
In 2012, the government adopted a resolution in which it pledged to increase defence spending to 1.4% of GDP by 2022.
In a significant move for modernization, Hungary decided in 2001 to buy 14 JAS 39 Gripen fighter aircraft for about 800 million EUR.
Hungarian National Cyber Security Center was re-organized in 2016 in order to become more efficient through cyber security.
In 2016, the Hungarian military had about 700 troops stationed in foreign countries as part of international peacekeeping forces, including 100 HDF troops in the NATO-led ISAF force in Afghanistan, 210 Hungarian soldiers in Kosovo under command of KFOR, and 160 troops in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Hungary sent a 300-strong logistics unit to Iraq in order to help the US occupation with armed transport convoys, though public opinion opposed the country's participation in the war.
One soldier was killed in action by a roadside bomb while serving in Iraq.
During the 18th and 19th century, Hungarian Hussars rose to international fame and served as a model for light cavalry in many European countries.
In 1848–49, Hungarian forces achieved successes against better-trained and equipped Austrian forces, despite the Austrian advantage in numbers.
In 1872, the Ludovica Military Academy officially began training cadets.
By 1873, the Hungarian military consisted of over 2,800 officers and 158,000 men organized into eighty-six infantry battalions and fifty-eight mounted squadrons.
During World War I, out of the eight million men mobilized by Austro Hungarian Empire, over one million died.
During the 1930s and early 1940s, Hungary was preoccupied with regaining the territories and population lost as a result of the Trianon peace treaty at Versailles in 1920.
Conscription was introduced on a national basis in 1939.
The peacetime strength of the Royal Hungarian Army grew to 80,000 men organized into seven corps commands.
During the Socialist and the Warsaw Pact era (1947–1989), the entire 200,000 strong Southern Group of Forces was garrisoned in Hungary, complete with artillery, tank regiments, air force and missile troops with nuclear weapons.
Main article: Economy of Hungary
Furthermore, it is the 9th most complex economy according to the Economic Complexity Index.
The Hungarian is the 57th-largest economy in the world (out of 188 countries measured by IMF) with $265.037 billion output, and ranks 49th in the world in terms of GDP per capita measured by purchasing power parity.
The country has more than $100 billion export in 2015 with high, $9.003 billion trade surplus, of which 79% went to the EU and 21% was extra-EU trade.
On the expenditure side, household consumption is the main component of GDP and accounts for 50 percent of its total use, followed by gross fixed capital formation with 22 percent and government expenditure with 20 percent.
Hungary continues to be one of the leading nations for attracting foreign direct investment in Central and Eastern Europe, the inward FDI in the country was $119.8 billion in 2015, while Hungary invests more than $50 billion abroad.
As of 2015, the key trading partners of Hungary were Germany, Austria, Romania, Slovakia, France, Italy, Poland and Czech Republic.
Major industries include food processing, pharmaceuticals, motor vehicles, information technology, chemicals, metallurgy, machinery, electrical goods, and tourism (in 2014 Hungary welcomed 12.1 million international tourists).
Hungary is the largest electronics producer in Central and Eastern Europe.
The employment rate in the economy was 68.3% in 2017, the employment structure shows the characteristics of post-industrial economies, 63.2% of employed workforce work in service sector, the industry contributed by 29.7%, while agriculture with 7.1%.
Unemployment rate was 4.1% in 2017 September, down from 11% during the financial crisis of 2007–08.
Hungary is part of the European single market which represents more than 508 million consumers.
Several domestic commercial policies are determined by agreements among European Union members and by EU legislation.
Budapest is the financial and business capital of Hungary.
The capital is a significant economic hub, classified as an Alpha – world city in the study by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network and it is the second fastest-developing urban economy in Europe as GDP per capita in the city increased by 2.4 per cent and employment by 4.7 per cent compared to the previous year in 2014.
On the national level, Budapest is the primate city of Hungary regarding business and economy, accounting for 39% of the national income, the city has a gross metropolitan product more than $100 billion in 2015, making it one of the largest regional economies in the European Union.
Budapest is also among the Top 100 GDP performing cities in the world, measured by PricewaterhouseCoopers and in a global city competitiveness ranking by EIU, Budapest stands before Tel Aviv, Lisbon, Moscow and Johannesburg among others.
Furthermore, Hungary's corporate tax rate is only 9%, which is relatively low for EU states.
Hungary maintains its own currency, the Hungarian forint (HUF), although the economy fulfills the Maastricht criteria with the exception of public debt, but it is also significantly below the EU average with the level of 75.3% in 2015.
Science and technology
The Global Innovation Index places Hungary 33rd among the countries of the world in 2016.
In 2014, Hungary counted 2,651 full-time equivalent researchers per million inhabitants, steadily increasing from 2,131 in 2010 and compares with 3,984 in the US or 4,380 in Germany.
Hungary also has one of the highest rates of filed patents, the sixth highest ratio of high-tech and medium high-tech output in the total industrial output, the 12th highest research FDI inflow, placed 14th in research talent in business enterprise and has the 17th best overall innovation efficiency ratio in the world.
The key actor of research and development in Hungary is the National Research, Development and Innovation Office (NRDI Office), which is a national strategic and funding agency for scientific research, development and innovation, the primary source of advice on RDI policy for the Hungarian Government, and the primary RDI funding agency.
Its role is to develop RDI policy and ensure that Hungary adequately invest in RDI by funding excellent research and supporting innovation to increase competitiveness and to prepare the RDI strategy of the Hungarian Government, to handle the National Research, Development and Innovation Fund, and represents the Hungarian Government and a Hungarian RDI community in international organizations.
Scientific research in the country is supported partly by industry and partly by the state, through the network of Hungarian universities and by scientific state-institutions such as Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
Until 2012 three individuals: Csoma, János Bolyai and Tihanyi were included in the UNESCO Memory of the world register as well as the collective contributions: Tabula Hungariae and Bibliotheca Corviniana.
Hungary is famous for its excellent mathematics education which has trained numerous outstanding scientists.
Famous Hungarian mathematicians include father Farkas Bolyai and son János Bolyai, who was one of the founders of non-Euclidean geometry; Paul Erdős, famed for publishing in over forty languages and whose Erdős numbers are still tracked, and John von Neumann, a key contributor in the fields of quantum mechanics and game theory, a pioneer of digital computing, and the chief mathematician in the Manhattan Project.
Notable Hungarian inventions include the lead dioxide match (János Irinyi), a type of carburetor (Donát Bánki, János Csonka), the electric (AC) train engine and generator (Kálmán Kandó), holography (Dennis Gabor), the Kalman filter (Rudolf E. Kálmán), and Rubik's Cube (Ernő Rubik).
Main article: Transport in Hungary
Hungary has a highly developed road, railway, air and water transport system.
Budapest, the capital, serves as an important hub for the Hungarian railway system (MÁV).
The system consists of four lines.
Hungary has a total length of approximately 1,314 km (816.48 mi) motorways (Hungarian: autópálya).
Motorway sections are being added to the existing network, which already connects many major economically important cities to the capital.
The most important port is Budapest.
There are five international airports in Hungary: Budapest Liszt Ferenc (informally called "Ferihegy" after its previous name), Debrecen, Sármellék (also called Hévíz-Balaton Airport), Győr-Pér, and Pécs-Pogány.
The national carrier, MALÉV, operated flights to over 60, mostly European cities, but ceased operations in 2012.
Low-budget airline WizzAir is based in Hungary, at Ferihegy.
Like most other European countries, Hungary is experiencing sub-replacement fertility; its estimated total fertility rate of 1.43 children per woman is well below the replacement rate of 2.1, albeit higher than its nadir of 1.28 in 1999, and remains considerably below the high of 5.59 children born per woman in 1884.
As a result, its population has been gradually declining and rapidly aging.
In 2011, the conservative government began a program to increase the birth rate with a focus on ethnic Magyars by reinstating 3 year maternity leave as well as boosting part-time jobs.
The fertility rate has gradually increased from 1.27 children born/woman in 2011.
The natural decrease in the first 10 months of 2016 was only 25,828 which was 8,162 less than the corresponding period in 2015.
In 2015, 47.9% of births were to unmarried women.
Hungary has one of the oldest populations in the world, with the average age of 42.7 years.
Hungary recognizes two sizable minority groups, designated as "national minorities" because their ancestors have lived in their respective regions for centuries in Hungary: a German community of about 130,000 that lives throughout the country, and a Romani minority numerous around 300,000 that mainly resides in the northern part of the country.
Some studies indicate a considerably larger number of Romani in Hungary (876,000 people – c. 9% of the population.).
According to the 2011 census, there were 8,314,029 (83.7%) ethnic Hungarians, 308,957 (3.1%) Romani, 131,951 (1.3%) Germans, 29,647 (0.3%) Slovaks, 26,345 (0.3%) Romanians, and 23,561 (0.2%) Croats in Hungary; 1,455,883 people (14.7% of the total population) did not declare their ethnicity.
Thus, Hungarians made up more than 90% of people who declared their ethnicity.
In Hungary, people can declare more than one ethnicity, so the sum of ethnicities is higher than the total population.
Today approximately 5 million Hungarians live outside Hungary.
Main article: List of cities and towns of Hungary
Hungary has 3,152 localities as of July 15, 2013.
346 towns (Hungarian term: város, plural: városok; the terminology doesn't distinguish between cities and towns – the term town is used in official translations) and 2,806 villages (Hungarian: község, plural: községek).
The number of towns can change, since villages can be elevated to town status by act of the President.
The capital Budapest has a special status and is not included in any county while 23 of the towns are so-called urban counties (megyei jogú város – town with county rights).
All county seats except Budapest are urban counties.
The largest city is the capital, Budapest, the smallest town is Pálháza with 1038 inhabitants (2010).
The largest village is Solymár (population: 10,123 as of 2010) There are more than 100 villages with fewer than 100 inhabitants while the smallest villages have fewer than 20 inhabitants.
Hungarian is the 13th most widely spoken first language in Europe with around 13 million native speakers and it is one of 24 official and working languages of the European Union.
Outside Hungary it is also spoken by communities of Hungarian people in neighbouring countries and by Hungarian diaspora communities worldwide.
According to the 2011 census, 9,896,333 people (99.6%) speak Hungarian in Hungary, of whom 9,827,875 people (99%) speak it as a first language, while 68,458 people (0.7%) speak it as a second language.
English (1,589,180 speakers, 16.0%), and German (1,111,997 speakers, 11.2%) are the most widely spoken foreign languages, while there are several recognized minority languages in Hungary (Armenian, Bulgarian, Croatian, German, Greek, Romanian, Romani, Rusyn, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, and Ukrainian).
It is the largest of the Uralic languages in terms of the number of speakers and the only one spoken in Central Europe.
There are sizable populations of Hungarian speakers in Romania, the Czech and Slovak Republics, the former Yugoslavia, Ukraine, Israel, and the U.S.
Smaller groups of Hungarian speakers live in Canada, Slovenia, and Austria, but also in Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Venezuela and Chile.
Main article: Religion in Hungary
Hungary is a historically Christian country.
Although contemporary Hungary has no official religion and recognizes freedom of religion as a fundamental right, the Hungarian constitution "recognizes Christianity's nation-building role" in its preamble and in Article VII affirms that "the state may cooperate with the churches for community goals."
The 2011 census showed that the majority of Hungarians were Christians (54.2%), with Roman Catholics (Katolikusok) (37.1%) and Hungarian Reformed Calvinists (Reformátusok) (11.1%) making up the bulk of these alongside Lutherans (Evangélikusok) (2.2%), Greek Catholics (1.8%), and other Christians (1.3%).
This campaign was only partially successful, however, and the (mainly Reformed) Hungarian nobility were able to secure freedom of worship for Christians.
In practice this meant cuius regio, eius religio; thus, most individual localities in Hungary are still identifiable as historically Catholic, Lutheran, or Reformed.
The country's eastern regions, especially around Debrecen (the "Calvinist Rome"), remain almost completely Reformed, a trait they share with historically contiguous ethnically Hungarian regions across the Romanian border.
Historically, Hungary was home to a significant Jewish community with a pre-World War II population of more than 800,000, but it is estimated that just over 564,000 Hungarian Jews were killed between 1941 and 1945 during the Holocaust in Hungary.
Between 15 May and 9 July 1944 alone, over 434,000 Jews were deported on 147 trains, most of them to Auschwitz, where about 80 percent were gassed on arrival.
Some Jews were able to escape, but most were either deported to concentration camps, where they were killed, or murdered in Hungary by Arrow Cross members.
From over 800,000 Jews living within Hungary's borders in 1941–1944, about 255,500 are thought to have survived.
There are about 120,000 Jews in Hungary today.
Main article: Education in Hungary
Education in Hungary is predominantly public, run by the Ministry of Education.
Primary education usually lasts for eight years.
Secondary education includes three traditional types of schools focused on different academic levels: the Gymnasium enrolls the most gifted children and prepares students for university studies; the secondary vocational schools for intermediate students lasts four years and the technical school prepares pupils for vocational education and the world of work.
The system is partly flexible and bridges exist, graduates from a vocational school can achieve a two years program to have access to vocational higher education for instance.
The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) rated 13–14-year-old pupils in Hungary among the bests in the world for maths and science.
The general requirement for university is the Matura.
The Hungarian public higher education system includes universities and other higher education institutes, that provide both education curricula and related degrees up to doctoral degree and also contribute to research activities.
Health insurance for students is free until the end of their studies.
English and German language is important in Hungarian higher education, there are a number of degree programs that are taught in these languages, which attracts thousands of exchange students every year.
Hungary's higher education and training has been ranked 44 out of 148 countries in the Global Competitiveness Report 2014.
Hungary has a long tradition of higher education reflecting the existence of established knowledge economy.
The established universities in Hungary include some of the oldest in the world, the first was the University of Pécs founded in 1367 which is still functioning, although, in the year 1276, the university of Veszprém was destroyed by the troops of Peter Csák, but it was never rebuilt.
The Budapest University of Technology and Economics is considered the oldest institute of technology in the world with university rank and structure, its legal predecessor the Institutum Geometrico-Hydrotechnicum was founded in 1782 by Emperor Joseph II.
Hungary ranks fourth (above neighbour Romania, and after China, the United States and Russia) in the all-time medal count at the International Mathematical Olympiad with 336 total medals, dating back to 1959.
Main article: Healthcare in Hungary
According to the OECD, 100% of the population is covered by universal health insurance, which is absolutely free for children, students, pensioners, people with low income, handicapped people, and church employees.
Hungary spends 7.2% of GDP on healthcare, spending $2,045 per capita, of which $1,365 is provided by the government.
Plastic surgery is also a key sector, with 30% of the clients coming from abroad.
Hungary is well known for its spa culture and is home to numerous medicinal spas, which attract "spa tourism".
In common with other developed countries, cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of mortality, accounting for 49.4% (62,979) of all deaths in 2013.
However, this number peaked in 1985 with 79,355 deaths, and has been declining continuously since the fall of Communism.
The second leading cause of death is cancer with 33,274 (26.2%), which has been stagnant since the 1990s.
Deaths from accidents dropped from 8,760 in 1990 to 3,654 in 2013; the number of suicides has declined precipitously from 4,911 in 1983 to 2,093 in 2013 (21.1 per 100,000 people), the lowest since 1956.
There are considerable health disparities between the western and eastern parts of Hungary; heart disease, hypertension, stroke, and suicide is prevalent in the mostly agricultural and low-income Great Plain region in the east, but infrequent in the high-income, middle class areas of Western Transdanubia and Central Hungary.
Smoking is a leading cause of death in the country, although it is in steep decline: The proportion of adult smokers declined to 19% in 2013 from 28% in 2012, owing to strict regulations such as a nationwide smoking ban in every indoor public place and the limiting of tobacco sales to state-controlled "National Tobacco Shops".
Hungary ranks as the 17th safest country in the world, with a homicide rate of 1.3 per 100,000 people.
Main article: Culture of Hungary
Main article: Architecture of Hungary
Hungary is home to the largest synagogue in Europe (Great Synagogue), built in 1859 in Moorish Revival style with a capacity of 3,000 people, the largest medicinal bath in Europe (Széchenyi Medicinal Bath), completed in 1913 in Modern Renaissance Style and located in the Budapest city park, the biggest building in Hungary with its 268 metres (879 feet) length (the Parliament building), one of the largest basilicas in Europe (Esztergom Basilica), the second largest territorial abbey in the world (Pannonhalma Archabbey), and the largest early Christian necropolis outside Italy (Pécs).
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 and Syrian 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, Budapest 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 20th 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.
Foreigners have unexpectedly "discovered" that a significantly large portion of the citizens live in old and architecturally valuable buildings.
In the Budapest downtown area almost all the buildings are about one hundred years old, with thick walls, high ceilings, and motifs on the front wall.
Main article: Music of Hungary
Hungarian traditional music tends to have a strong dactylic rhythm, as the language is invariably stressed on the first syllable of each word.
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.
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 neighbouring countries such as Romania, Slovakia, Poland and especially in southern Slovakia and Transylvania; both regions have significant numbers of Hungarians.
- Pianists: Ernő von Dohnányi, Ervin Nyiregyházi, Andor Földes, Tamás Vásáry, György Sándor, Géza Anda, Annie Fischer, György Cziffra, Edward Kilényi, Bálint Vázsonyi, András Schiff, Zoltán Kocsis, Dezső Ránki, Jenő Jandó and others.
- Violists: Joseph Joachim, Leopold Auer, Jenő Hubay, Jelly d'Arányi, Joseph Szigeti, Sándor Végh, Emil Telmanyi, Ede Zathurecky, Zsigmondy, Franz von Vecsey, Zoltán Székely, Tibor Varga and newcomers Antal Szalai, Vilmos Szabadi, Kristóf Baráti (b. 79) and others.
- Opera singers: Astrid Varnay, József Simándy, Júlia Várady, Júlia Hamari, Kolos Kováts (Bluebeard in Bartók's Bluebeard)
- Conductors: Eugene Ormandy, George Szell, Antal Doráti, János Ferencsik, Fritz Reiner, sir Georg Solti, István Kertész, Ferenc Fricsay, Zoltán Rozsnyai, Sándor Végh, Árpád Joó, Ádám Fischer, Iván Fischer, Péter Eötvös, Zoltán Kocsis, Tamás Vásáry, Gilbert Varga and others
- String Quartets: Budapest Quartet, Hungarian Quartet, Végh Quartet, Takács Quartet, Kodály Quartet, Éder Quartet, Festetics Quartet,
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 Poland".
Hungarian classical music has long been an "experiment, made from Hungarian antecedents 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, Bartók collected folk songs from across Central and Eastern Europe, including Romania and Slovakia, while 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.
Older veteran underground bands such as Beatrice, from the 1980s, also remain popular.
Main article: Hungarian literature
The oldest remained written record in Hungarian language is a fragment in the Establishing charter 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 remaining 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 remaining 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 Uralic poem.
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.
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.
Balassi's poetry shows medieval 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.
The translation is called the Bible of Vizsoly, after the town where it was first published.
(See Bible translations into Hungarian for more details.)
The Hungarian enlightenment took place about fifty years after the French Enlightenment.
The greatest figure of the language reform was Ferenc Kazinczy.
The Hungarian language became feasible for all type of scientific explanations from this time, and furthermore many new words were coined for describing new inventions.
Hungarian literature has recently gained some renown outside the borders of Hungary (mostly through translations into German, French and English).
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 19th-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, Miklós Radnóti and János Pilinszky.
Main article: Hungarian cuisine
Traditional dishes such as the world-famous Goulash (gulyás stew or gulyás soup) feature prominently in Hungarian cuisine.
Dishes are often flavoured with paprika (ground red peppers), a Hungarian innovation.
The paprika powder, obtained from a special type of pepper, is one of the most common spices used in typical Hungarian cuisine.
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, vadas, (game stew with vegetable gravy and dumplings), trout with almonds and salty and sweet dumplings, like túrós csusza, (dumplings with fresh quark cheese and thick sour cream).
Desserts include the iconic Dobos Cake, strudels (rétes), 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 (cooked chestnuts mashed with sugar and rum and split into crumbs, topped with whipped cream).
The csárda 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 café.
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.
In Hungary, people traditionally do not clink their glasses or mugs when drinking beer.
There is an urban legend in Hungarian culture that Austrian generals clinked their beer glasses to celebrate the execution of the 13 Martyrs of Arad in 1849.
Many people still follow the tradition, although younger people often disavow it, citing that the vow was only meant to last 150 years.
Wine: As Hugh Johnson says in The History of Wine, the territory of Hungary is ideal for wine-making and the country can be divided to six wine regions: North-Transdanubia, Lake Balaton, South-Pannónia, Duna-region or Alföld, Upper-Hungary and Tokaj-Hegyalja.
The Romans brought vines to Pannonia, and by the 5th century AD, there are records of extensive vineyards in what is now Hungary.
The Hungarians brought their wine-making knowledge from the East.
Hungarian wine regions offer a great variety of styles: 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 and Szekszárd).
The main varieties are: Olaszrizling, Hárslevelű, Furmint, Pinot gris or Szürkebarát, Chardonnay (whites), Kékfrankos (or Blaufrankisch in German), Kadarka, Portugieser, Zweigelt, Cabernet sauvignon, Cabernet franc and Merlot.
Napoleon III, the last Emperor of France, ordered 30–40 barrels of Tokaji at the French Royal Court every year.
Gustav III, King of Sweden, loved Tokaji.
In Russia, customers included Peter the Great and Empress Elizabeth, while Catherine the Great actually established a Russian garrison in the town of Tokaj with the aim of assuring regular wine deliveries to St. Petersburg.
For over 150 years, a blend of forty 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.
Hungary is a land of thermal water.
A passion for spa culture and Hungarian history have been connected from the very beginning.
Because of an advantageous geographical location, good quality thermal water can be found in great quantities on over 80% of Hungary's territory.
Approximately 1,500 thermal springs can be found in Hungary (more than 100 just in the Capital area).
There are approximately 450 public baths in Hungary.
The Romans heralded the first age of spas in Hungary.
The remains of their bath complexes are still to be seen in Óbuda.
Spa culture was revived during the Turkish Invasion and the thermal springs of Buda were used for the construction of a number of bathhouses, some of which such as (Király Baths, Rudas Baths) are still functioning.
In the 19th century, the advancement in deep drilling and medical science provided the springboard for a further leap in bathing culture.
The Széchenyi Thermal Bath is the largest spa complex in Europe and it was the first thermal bath built in the Pest side of Budapest.
This building is a noted example of modern Renaissance style.
Located on the Buda side of Budapest, the Gellért spa is the most famous and luxurious thermal complex of the capital city.
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 is a circle dance performed by women only accompanied by singing of folk songs.
Csárdás are new style dances developed in the 18–19th centuries.
Csárdás 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.
Although usually danced by young men, it can be also danced by older men.
The dance is generally performed freestyle by one dancer at a time in front of a band.
Women participate in the dance by standing in lines to the side, and singing or shouting verses while the men dance.
Each man performs a number of points (dance phrases), typically four to eight without repetition.
Each point consists of four parts, each lasting four counts.
The first part is usually the same for everyone (there are only a few variations).
It was in the beginning of the 18th-century that the present style of Hungarian folk art took shape, incorporating both Renaissance and Baroque 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 in Transylvania 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 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.
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.
Zsolnay Porcelain Manufacture is a Hungarian manufacturer of porcelain, pottery, ceramics, tiles and stoneware.
The company introduced the eosin glazing process and pyrogranite ceramics.
The Zsolnay factory was established by Miklós Zsolnay in Pécs, Hungary, to produce stoneware and ceramics in 1853.
In 1863, his son, Vilmos Zsolnay (1828–1900) joined the company and became its manager and director after several years.
He led the factory to worldwide recognition by demonstrating its innovative products at world fairs and international exhibitions, including the 1873 World Fair in Vienna, then at the 1878 World Fair in Paris, where Zsolnay received a Grand Prix.
See also: Hungary at the Olympics
Hungarian athletes have been successful contenders in the Olympic Games, only ten countries have won more Olympic medals than Hungary, with a total of 498 medals ranking eighth in an all-time Olympic Games medal count.
Hungary has the third-highest number of Olympic medals per capita and second-highest number of gold medals per capita in the world.
Hungary has historically excelled in Olympic water sports.
In water polo the Hungarian team is the leading medal winner by a significant margin and in swimming Hungarian men are fourth most successful overall, while the women are eighth most successful overall.
They have also seen success in canoeing and kayaking they are the third most successful overall.
Hungary won its first gold medal in Winter Olympics in 2018 in mens short track speed skating with a team of four: , , , .
Hungary hosted many global sport event in the past, among others the 1997 World Amateur Boxing Championships, 2000 World Fencing Championships, 2001 World Allround Speed Skating Championships, 2008 World Interuniversity Games, 2008 World Modern Pentathlon Championships, 2010 ITU World Championship Series, 2011 IIHF World Championship, 2013 World Fencing Championships, 2013 World Wrestling Championships, 2014 World Masters Athletics Championships, 2017 World Aquatics Championships and 2017 World Judo Championships, only in the last two decade.
Besides these, Hungary was the home of many European-level tournaments, like 2006 European Aquatics Championships, 2010 European Aquatics Championships, 2013 European Judo Championships, 2013 European Karate Championships, 2017 European Rhythmic Gymnastics Championship and will be the host of 4 matches in the UEFA Euro 2020, which will be held in the 67,889-seat new multi-purpose Puskás Ferenc Stadium.
At the 2013 Hungarian Grand Prix, it was confirmed that Hungary will continue to host a Formula 1 race until 2021.
The track was completely resurfaced for the first time in early 2016, and it was announced the Grand Prix's deal was extended for a further five years, until 2026.
Some of the world's best sabre athletes have historically also hailed from Hungary, and in 2009, the Hungary men's national ice hockey team qualified for their first IIHF World Championship, in 2015, they qualified for their second World Championship in the top division.
See also: Football in Hungary
Hungary revolutionized the sport in the 1950s, laying the tactical fundamentals of total football and dominating international football with the Aranycsapat ("Golden Team"), which included Ferenc Puskás, top goalscorer of the 20th century, to whom FIFA dedicated its newest award, the Puskás Award.
The side of that era has the second all-time highest Football Elo Ranking in the world, with 2166, and one of the longest undefeated runs in football history, remaining unbeaten in 31 games spanning more than four years.
The post-golden age decades saw a gradually weakening Hungary, though recently there is renewal in all aspects.
The Hungarian Children's Football Federation was founded in 2008, as youth development thrives.
Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hungary.