Hungary – State foundation
The ancestors of the current Hungarians arrived first to the geographical area of the Carpathian-basin around the 7th and 9th century. Settling in the basin and the lands around it, the Hungarians founded their state around year 1000, with the coronation of King Stephen, later known as Saint Stephen. To commemorate the founding of the state, Hungarians celebrate every year with fireworks and processions on the 20th of August. The current shape and size of the country was decided by the peace treaties ending the First World War.
Our neighboring countries are: Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia and Austria. The area of the country today is: 92.963 square kilometers, with a population around ten million. Hungary’s official language is Hungarian, which belongs to the most populous Uralic language family, it’s official currency is the Hungarian Forint (HUF).
After joining the European Union, the number of people visiting our country increased. Hungary is the 11th most popular tourist destination in Europe, only in 2016 more than 15 million foreigners visited Hungary, which was a 9,4% increase compared to the previous year. The capital of Hungary is the most populated city as well. Budapest, which is considered a metropolis, after London, Istanbul, Paris, Rome and Barcelona takes the 6th place on the list of most visited European cities, and is one of the 10 safest cities of the World.
Numerous possibilities for entertainment can be found in the city, famous and modern night clubs close to each other, ruin pubs and regularly organized festivals are amongst the best memories of the participants (for example: SZIGET Festival, Balaton Sound, Volt Festival, etc.).
The closest sea-coast is Adriatic, about 300 kilometers from Hungary. That is why many people in Hungary visit the bigger lakes, mainly Balaton (also called as “The Hungarian Sea”) and Lake Velence.
You can find any kind of sport activity in Budapest, as a hobby or competitively. Hungary constantly performs outstandingly on the Olympics and other world competitions. Hungarian athletes have been participating in almost every Olympic game, since the starting of the first one. Our athletes won competitions in every summer Olympic games, and regarding medals and points, Hungary is the 8th most successful nation. Our greatest achievements were in water-polo, swimming, and fencing.
Hungarian culture outstandingly contributed/contributes to the World’s culture, for example in arts, music, literature, sport and scientific areas. The most known form of Hungarian music is Hungarian folk music, furthermore the works of Franz Liszt, Béla Bartók, Zoltán Kodály.
The special tourist attraction of the country lies with having the greatest thermal water resources and having the second biggest thermal lake in the world after Iceland.
Thermal springs can be found in all regions of the country, many supporting numerous thermal spas. Budapest is the only city in the world having thermal spas.
In Hungarian higher education the Bolognese system is being used since 2005, which means the introduction of bachelor’s and master’s degree. Bachelor’s takes 3 years, while master’s takes 2. As a result of the Bolognese process after finishing bachelor’s degree the student may continue their studies in a different university if they wish so, or may finish multiple master’s degrees with one bachelor’s. Our most famous and most populated universities are: Semmelweis University of Medicine, ELTE, Corvinus, Metropolitan, BGF.
Throughout the history of Hungary, many internationally recognized buildings have been created. Such as Széchenyi Spa, Europe’s biggest bath complex found in Városliget, as well as the biggest building in the country, the Parliament, which is 268 meters long and 96 meters high.
The sights of Budapest are acknowledged as World Heritage sites, such as the Danube shore view and the Castle District of Buda, as well as Andrássy street and its historical surroundings. A multitude of sights of the capital (special in international scale) are the churches (Basilica of Saint Stephen), palaces (Buda Palace) ancient, medieval, classicist monuments, (The tomb of Gül Baba), as well as Baroque (Temple of Saint Anna), classicist (National Museum), romantic concert hall (Pesti Vigadó), neo-renaissance (Hungarian National Opera) eclectic (Ethnographic Museum) and Art Nouveau (Museum of Applied Arts) styled public buildings and houses, as well as 223 museums and galleries (some of which having collections of national rank), historical bridges (Széchenyi Chain Bridge), monuments (Heroes’ square), as well as public space sculptures (the Hungarian Statue of Liberty) are found.
Hungarian cuisine is a significant specialty of the local culture, even if it is not considered to be one of the healthiest ones. The basic ingredients of most Hungarian dishes are paprika, onion, oil (previously fat). Most times dishes are flavored with paprika either as a whole or powdered – what is a Hungarian invention. Nationally goulash, paprika potatoes and ratatouille are the most known Hungarian dishes. The special Hungarian fish soup is a rich mixture of different types of fish, onion, and powdered paprika. Other typical especially Hungarian dishes: paprika chicken, goose liver. Sour cream is often used to take away the strong flavor of the dishes. Desserts include Dobos cake, Gundel pancake, plum dumplings, Hungarian trifle and mashed chestnut.
*(Interesting pastry is „kifli” which got its name from the German Kipferl and is a rare pastry in the world. It is worth it to mention „kenyérlángos” the Hungarian pizza, which is once again back in fashion these days.)
The product of the diversity of Hungarian wine regions are the world-famous Hungarian products, Tokaji Aszú, Egri Bikavér and Badacsonyi Szürkebarát.
The grape and wine production in Hungary after the end of the 19th century phylloxera which hit the whole of Europe, including Hungary (almost completely prevented Hungarian wine production) Based on Viktor Kosinsky Sr.’s groundbreaking professional and economic organization after replanting the vineyards, after the foundation of his son, Dr. Kosinsky Viktor’s department, as a result of vine reconstruction, it is living it’s renaissance once again. (The year 2009 Chateau Bereszla Tokaji “5 puttonyos” was chosen into the 100 best wines of the world in 2017 taking the 20th place).- Hungarian Törley champagnes are also exceptional.
Of all alcoholic beverages a wide range of fruit-pálinka and Unicum are hungarian specialties.
With regards to non-alcoholic beverages prominent are our mineral waters, one of which is the carbonic acid free Szentkirályi mineral water, which was given the the Eauscar award for best foreign country carbonic acid free mineral water on the Aqua expo in Paris in 2004. It is important to mention the popular Theodora kékkuti water and many kinds of curative waters, highlighting Mira water.