Hungary ( hu, Magyarország ) is a in . Spanning of the , it is bordered by to the north, to the northeast, to the east and southeast, to the south, and to the southwest and to the west. Hungary has a population of 10 million, mostly and a significant . , the , is the world's most widely spoken and among the few non- widely spoken in Europe. is the country's capital and ; other major urban areas include , , , and . The territory of present-day Hungary has for centuries been a crossroads for various peoples, including , , , , and the . The foundations of the Hungarian state were established in the late ninth century AD with the by grand prince . His great-grandson ascended the throne in 1000, converting his realm to a . By the 12th century, Hungary became a regional power, reaching its . Following the in 1526, it was partially (1541–1699). Hungary came under at the turn of the 18th century, later with the to form , a into the early 20th century. Austria-Hungary collapsed after , and the subsequent established Hungary's current borders, resulting in the loss of 71% of its territory, 58% of its population, and . Following the tumultuous , Hungary joined the in , suffering significant damage and casualties.''Hungary: The Unwilling Satellite''
John F. Montgomery, ''Hungary: The Unwilling Satellite''.http://kapos.hu/hirek/kis_szines/2018-06-16/megerkezett_az_idei_balaton_sound_himnusza.html Devin-Adair Company, New York, 1947. Reprint: Simon Publications, 2002.
Thomas, ''The Royal Hungarian Army in World War II'', pg. 11 Postwar Hungary became a of the , leading to the establishment of the . Following the failed , Hungary became a , though still repressive, member of the . The accelerated the collapse of the Eastern Bloc, and . On 23 October 1989, Hungary became a . Hungary joined the in 2004 and has been part of the since 2007. Hungary is a in international affairs, owing mostly to its and economic influence. It is considered a with a and ranks "very high" in the , with citizens enjoying and tuition-free . Hungary has a long history of significant contributions to , , , , .''Hungarian literature – ”Popular poetry is the only real poetry was the opinion of Sándor Petőfi, one of the greatest Hungarian poets, whose best poems rank among the masterpieces of world literature”''.
''Encyclopædia Britannica'', 2012 edition
It is the in Europe, drawing 15.8 million international tourists in 2017. It is a member of numerous international organisations, including the , , , , , the , the , and the .


The "H" in the name of Hungary (and Latin ''Hungaria'') is most likely due to historical associations with the , who had settled Hungary prior to the . The rest of the word comes from the Latinised form of ''Oungroi'' (Οὔγγροι). The Greek name was borrowed from ''ągrinŭ'', in turn borrowed from ' ('ten ribes of thes'). ''Onogur'' was the collective name for the tribes who later joined the tribal confederacy that ruled the eastern parts of Hungary after the Avars. The Hungarian 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 , 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''. The first element ''magy'' is likely from *''mäńć-'' 'man, person', also found in the name of the (''mäńćī, mańśi, måńś''). The second element ''eri'', 'man, men, lineage', survives in Hungarian ''férj'' 'husband', and is cognate with ''erge'' 'son', archaic ''yrkä'' 'young man'.


Before 895

The Roman Empire conquered the territory between the and the area west of the from 16 to 15 BCE, the Danube River being the new frontier of the empire.Kershaw, Stephen P. (2013). ''A Brief History of The Roman Empire: Rise and Fall. London.'' Constable & Robinson Ltd. ISBN 978-1-78033-048-8. In 14 BCE, Pannonia, the western part of the Carpathian Basin, which includes today's west of Hungary, was recognised by emperor in the ' as part of the Roman Empire. The area south-east of Pannonia and south of Dacia was organised as the Roman province Moesia in 6 BCE. An area east of the river became the Roman province of in 106 CE, which included today's east Hungary. It remained under Roman rule until 271 CE.Scarre, Chris (2012). ''Chronicle of the Roman Emperors: The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers of Imperial Rome.'' London. Thames & Hudson Ltd. ISBN 978-0-500-28989-1. From 235 CE, the Roman Empire went through troubled times, caused by revolts, rivalry and rapid succession of emperors. The Western Roman Empire collapsed in the 5th century CE under the stress of the migration of and pressure. This period brought many invaders into Central Europe, beginning with the (c. 370–469). The most powerful ruler of the Hunnic Empire was (434–453), who later became a central figure in Hungarian mythology.Kelly, Christopher (2008). ''Attila The Hun: Barbarian Terror and The Fall of The Roman Empire.'' London. The Bodley Head. ISBN 978-0-224-07676-0. After the disintegration of the Hunnic Empire, the , an Eastern Germanic tribe, who had been vassalised by the Huns, established their own kingdom in the Carpathian Basin. Other groups which reached the Carpathian Basin in the Migration Period were the , , , and . In the 560s, the founded the Avar Khaganate, a state that maintained supremacy in the region for more than two centuries. The under defeated the Avars in a series of campaigns during the 790s.Lajos Gubcsi
Hungary in the Carpathian Basin
MoD Zrínyi Media Ltd, 2011
Between 804 and 829, the conquered the lands east of the Danube river and took over the rule of the local Slavic tribes and remnants of the Avars.Skutsch, Carl, ed. (2005). ''Encyclopedia of the World's Minorities.'' New York: Routledge. p. 158. ISBN 1-57958-468-3. By the mid-9th century, the , also known as Lower Pannonia, was established west of the Danube river as part of the Frankish .Luthar, Oto, ed. (2008). ''The Land Between: A History of Slovenia.'' Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang GmbH. ISBN 9783631570111.

Medieval Hungary (895–1526)

The freshly unified led by (by tradition a descendant of Attila), settled in the Carpathian Basin starting in 895. According to the , they originated from an ancient -speaking population that formerly inhabited the forested area between the and the . As a federation of united tribes, , some 50 years after the division of the at the in 843, before the unification of the . Initially, the rising ("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. This state was well-functioning, and the nation's military power allowed the Hungarians to conduct successful , from to as far as today's Spain. The Hungarians defeated no fewer than between 907 and 910. A later defeat at the in 955 signaled a provisory end to most campaigns on foreign territories, at least towards the West.

Age of Árpádian kings

The year 972 marked the date when the ruling prince ( hu, fejedelem) of the officially started to integrate Hungary into Christian Western Europe. His first-born son, , became the first after defeating his uncle , who also claimed the throne. Under Stephen, Hungary was recognised as a Catholic . Applying to , Stephen received the insignia of royalty (including probably a part of the , currently kept in the ) from the papacy. By 1006, Stephen consolidated his power, and started sweeping reforms to convert Hungary into a Western . The country switched to using the , and until as late as 1844, Latin remained the official language of Hungary. Around this time, Hungary began to become a powerful kingdom. extended Hungary's frontier in Transylvania and invaded in 1091. The Croatian campaign culminated in the in 1097 and a in 1102, ruled by i.e. Könyves Kálmán. The most powerful and wealthiest king of the Árpád dynasty was , 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. issued the which secured the special privileges of the and is considered the first law in the world. He led the to the in 1217, setting up the largest royal army in the history of Crusades. His was the first constitution in . 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 . Up to half of Hungary's then population of 2,000,000 were victims of the invasion. King Béla IV let and into the country, who were fleeing the Mongols. 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 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

The 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 (1301–1308), the first king, – a bilineal descendant of the Árpád dynasty – successfully restored royal power, and defeated oligarch rivals, the so-called "little kings". The second Angevin Hungarian king, (1342–1382), led many successful military campaigns from Lithuania to Southern Italy (Kingdom of Naples), and was also from 1370. After King Louis died without a male heir, the country was stabilised only when (1387–1437) succeeded to the throne, who in 1433 also became . Sigismund was also (in several ways) a bilineal descendant of the Árpád dynasty. The first Hungarian was completed in 1439. For half a year in 1437, there was an antifeudal and anticlerical peasant revolt in , the , which was strongly influenced by ideas. From a small noble family in Transylvania, 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 in 1456. The last strong king of medieval Hungary was the Renaissance king (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 , was Europe's greatest collection of historical chronicles, philosophic and scientific works in the 15th century, and second only in size to the . Items from the Bibliotheca Corviniana were inscribed on 's in 2005. The serfs and common people considered him a just ruler because he protected them from excessive demands and other abuses by the magnates. Under his rule, in 1479, the Hungarian army destroyed the Ottoman and Wallachian troops at the . Abroad he defeated the Polish and German imperial armies of Frederick at Breslau (). Matthias' mercenary standing army, the , was an unusually large army for its time, and it conquered parts of Austria, Vienna (1485), and parts of .

Decline of Hungary (1490–1526)

King Matthias died without lawful sons, and the Hungarian magnates procured the accession of the Pole (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. In 1514, the weakened old King Vladislaus II faced a major peasant rebellion led by , which was ruthlessly crushed by the , led by . The resulting degradation of order paved the way for Ottoman pre-eminence. In 1521, the strongest Hungarian fortress in the South, Nándorfehérvár (today's , Serbia), . The early appearance of Protestantism further worsened internal relations in the country.

Ottoman wars (1526–1699)

After some with the Hungarians and other states, the Ottomans gained a decisive victory over the Hungarian army at the in 1526, where died while fleeing. Amid political chaos, the divided elected two kings simultaneously, and of the Habsburg dynasty. 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 , was annexed by the Habsburgs who ruled as Kings of Hungary. The eastern part of the kingdom became independent as the , under Ottoman (and later Habsburg) . The remaining central area, including the capital Buda, was known as the . 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 s and other light troops intended for pillaging in the territory of present-day Hungary. In 1686, the army, containing over 74,000 men from various nations, from the Turks. After some more crushing in the next few years, the entire Kingdom of Hungary was removed from Ottoman rule by 1718. The last raid into Hungary by the Ottoman vassals from took place in 1717. 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 (called ) in various areas, but Hungarians were not allowed to settle or re-settle in the south of the .

From the 18th century to World War I (1699–1918)

Between 1703 and 1711, there was a large-scale uprising led by , who after the dethronement of the Habsburgs in 1707 at the Diet of , 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. The Hungarian army, although taking over most of the country, lost the main (1708). Three years later, because of the growing desertion, defeatism and low morale, the Kuruc forces finally surrendered. During the and afterward, 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, hu, reformkor). Count , one of the most prominent statesmen of the country, recognised the urgent need for modernisation 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 famous journalist at that time – emerged as a leader of the lower in the Parliament. A remarkable upswing started as the nation concentrated its forces on modernisation even though the Habsburg monarchs obstructed all important liberal laws relating to and economic reforms. Many reformers (, ) were imprisoned by the authorities. On 15 March 1848, mass demonstrations in Pest and Buda enabled Hungarian reformists to push through a list of . Under governor and president and the first Prime Minister, , the was dethroned. 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 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 in the world. Many members of the nationalities gained the coveted highest positions within the Hungarian Army, like General , an ethnic Serb who became a Hungarian national hero through his command of the 3rd Hungarian Army Corps or , who was Polish and also became a national hero in Hungary. The Hungarian forces (') defeated Austrian armies. To counter the successes of the Hungarian revolutionary army, Habsburg Emperor asked for help from the "Gendarme of Europe", Tsar , whose Russian armies invaded Hungary. This made surrender in August 1849. The leader of the Austrian army, , became governor of Hungary for a few months and ordered the execution of , 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 , by which the dual Monarchy of was formed. This Empire had the second largest area in Europe (after the ), and it was the third most populous (after Russia and the ). 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 . The era witnessed impressive economic development. The formerly backward Hungarian economy became relatively modern and industrialised by the turn of the 20th century, although agriculture remained dominant until 1890. In 1873, the old capital and were officially united with , thus creating the new metropolis of . Many of the state institutions and the modern administrative system of Hungary were established during this period. After the in Sarajevo, the Hungarian prime minister and his cabinet tried to avoid the outbreak and escalating of a war in Europe, but their diplomatic efforts were unsuccessful. 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 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 nation of Austria-Hungary. The conquered Serbia. Romania declared war. The Central Powers conquered Southern Romania and the Romanian capital . In 1916 Emperor Franz Joseph died, and the new monarch sympathised with the pacifists. With great difficulty, the Central powers stopped and repelled the attacks of the Russian Empire. The Eastern front of the Allied () 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 organised 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 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 in 1918, which brought the social-democratic to power as Prime Minister. The still had more than 1,400,000 soldiers when Mihály Károlyi was announced as prime minister of Hungary. Károlyi yielded to U.S. President 's demand for by ordering the disarmament of the Hungarian army. This happened under the direction of , minister of war in the Károlyi government.Dixon J. C
''Defeat and Disarmament, Allied Diplomacy and Politics of Military Affairs in Austria, 1918–1922''
Associated University Presses 1986. p. 34.
Sharp A
''The Versailles Settlement: Peacemaking after the First World War, 1919–1923''
Palgrave Macmillan 2008. p. 156.
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 control over approx. 75% of its former pre-WW1 territories () without a fight and was subject to foreign occupation. The , sensing an opportunity, invaded the country from three sides—Romania , Czechoslovakia annexed (today's Slovakia), and a joint - coalition annexed and other southern regions. In March 1919, communists led by ousted the Károlyi government and proclaimed the (''Tanácsköztársaság''), followed by a thorough campaign. 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 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 , inaugurating the so-called "Horthy era" (''Horthy-kor''). The new government worked quickly to normalise foreign relations while turning a blind eye to a that swept through the countryside; extrajudicial killings of suspected communists and Jews lasted well into 1920. On 4 June of that year, the established new borders for Hungary. The country lost 71% of its territory and 66% of its antebellum population, as well as many sources of raw materials and its sole , . 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 with putsch attempts by , the Austro-Hungarian ; 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 towards and . The further exacerbated the situation and the popularity of fascist politicians such as and , promising economic and social recovery, rose. Horthy's nationalist agenda reached its apogee in 1938 and 1940, when the Nazis rewarded Hungary's staunchly pro-Germany foreign policy in the and s, respectively, peacefully restoring ethnic-Hungarian-majority areas lost after Trianon. In 1939, Hungary regained further territory from Czechoslovakia . Hungary the on 20 November 1940, and in 1941, participated in the , gaining some of its former territories in the south.

World War II (1941–1945)

Hungary formally entered World War II as an Axis Power on 26 June 1941, declaring war on the after unidentified planes bombed , , and . Hungarian troops fought on the for two years. Despite ,J. Lee Ready (1995), ''World War Two. Nation by Nation'', London, Cassell, page 130. the Hungarian government began seeking a secret peace pact with after the suffered catastrophic losses in January 1943. Learning of the planned defection, German troops 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 . Szálasi pledged all the country's capabilities in service of the German war machine. By October 1944, the Soviets had reached the river Tisza, and despite , succeeded in encircling and in December. After German occupation, Hungary in . During the German occupation in May–June 1944, the Arrow Cross and Hungarian police deported nearly 440,000 Jews, mainly to . Nearly all of them were murdered. The Swedish Diplomat managed to save a considerable number of Hungarian Jews by giving them Swedish passports. , one of the leaders of the Hungarian , bribed senior SS officers such as to allow some Jews to escape. 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 . 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 labour by Czechoslovaks, Soviet 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 , Hungary was again reduced to its immediate post-Trianon borders.

Communism (1945–1989)

Following the defeat of Nazi Germany, Hungary became a of the Soviet Union. The Soviet leadership selected to front the of the country, and Rákosi ''de facto'' ruled Hungary from 1949 to 1956. His government's policies of militarisation, industrialisation, collectivisation, and war compensation led to a severe decline in living standards. In imitation of Stalin's , the Rákosi government established a secret political police, the , to enforce the new regime. 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 s. Some 600,000 Hungarians were deported to Soviet labour camps, where at least 200,000 died. After Stalin's death in 1953, the Soviet Union pursued a programme of that was inimical to Rákosi, leading to his deposition. The following political cooling saw the ascent of to the premiership and the growing interest of students and intellectuals in political life. Nagy promised market liberalisation and political openness, while Rákosi opposed both vigorously. Rákosi eventually managed to discredit Nagy and replace him with the more hard-line . Hungary joined the 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 . 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 s 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 destabilisation 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 afterward 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)

After a second, briefer period of Soviet military occupation, , Nagy's former Minister of State, was chosen by the Soviet leadership to head the new government and chair the new ruling (MSzMP). Kádár quickly normalised 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 goods and food production took precedence over military production, which was reduced to one-tenth of pre-revolutionary levels. In 1968, the (NEM) introduced free-market elements into the socialist command economy. From the 1960s through the late 1980s, Hungary was often referred to as "" within the . During the latter part of the Cold War Hungary's was fourth only to , , and the Soviet Union itself.* As a result of this relatively high standard of living, a more liberalised 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 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 liberalisation as the solution to economic and social issues.

Third Republic (1989–present)

Hungary's to democracy and capitalism (''rendszerváltás'', "regime change") was peaceful and prompted by economic stagnation, domestic political pressure, and changing relations with other countries. Although the MSzMP began 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. Free elections were held , and the , a major conservative opposition group, was elected to the head of a coalition government. became the first democratically elected Prime Minister since World War II. With the removal of state subsidies and rapid privatisation in 1991, Hungary was affected by a severe economic recession. The Antall government's austerity measures proved unpopular, and the Communist Party's legal and political heir, the , won the subsequent . This abrupt shift in the political landscape was repeated in and ; each electoral cycle, the governing party was ousted and the erstwhile opposition elected. Like most other post-communist European states, however, Hungary broadly pursued an agenda, in 1999 and the European Union . As a NATO member, Hungary was involved in the . In 2006, erupted after it was revealed that Prime Minister had claimed in that "lied" to win the . The popularity of left-wing parties plummeted in the ensuing political upheaval, and in 2010, 's was to a parliamentary . The legislature consequently approved a , among other sweeping governmental and legal changes. Although these developments were met with and still engender controversy, Fidesz secured a second parliamentary supermajority and a third . In the late 2010s, Orbán's government came under increased international scrutiny over alleged rule-of-law violations. In 2018, the voted to act against Hungary under the terms of . Hungary has and continues to dispute these allegations. Hungary was impacted by the . In March 2020, the Hungarian parliament passed a law granting the government the power to rule by decree, suspending and outlawing certain forms of medical . Parliament rescinded this law on 16 June 2020 due to the improving epidemiological situation in Hungary.


Hungary's geography has traditionally been defined by its two main waterways, the and rivers. The common tripartite division of the country into three sections—''Dunántúl'' ("beyond the Danube", ), ' ("beyond the Tisza"), and ''Duna-Tisza kőze'' ("between the Danube and Tisza")—is a reflection of this. The Danube flows north–south right through the centre of contemporary Hungary, and the entire country lies within its . , which stretches westward from the centre of the country towards Austria, is a primarily hilly region with a terrain varied by low mountains. These include the very eastern stretch of the , ', in the west of the country, the in the central region of Transdanubia, and the Mountains and in the south. The highest point of the area is the Írott-kő in the Alps, at . The (''Kisalfőld'') is found in northern Transdanubia. and , the largest lake in Central Europe and the largest thermal lake in the world, respectively, are in Transdanubia as well. The ''Duna-Tisza kőze'' and ''Tiszántúl'' are characterised mainly by the (''Alfőld''), which stretches across most of the eastern and southeastern areas of the country. To the north of the Plain are the foothills of the in a wide band near the n border. The at is the tallest mountain in Hungary and is found here. , Hungary belongs to the Central European province of the within the . According to the , the territory of Hungary belongs to the terrestrial ecoregion of . It had a 2019 mean score of 2.25/10, ranking it 156th globally out of 172 countries. Hungary has 10 national parks, 145 minor nature reserves, and 35 landscape protection areas. Hungary is a .


Hungary has a , with generally warm summers with low overall humidity levels but frequent rainshowers and cold snowy winters. Average annual temperature is . Temperature extremes are on 20 July 2007 at Kiskunhalas in the summer and on 16 February 1940 Miskolc-Gőrőmbőlytapolca in the winter. Average high temperature in the summer is and average low temperature in the winter is . The average yearly rainfall is approximately . Hungary is ranked sixth in an environmental protection index by ''GW''/'.

Government and politics

Hungary is a , , . The Hungarian political system operates under a framework reformed in 2012; this constitutional document is the . 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 ) are valid in perpetuity. 199 Members of Parliament (''országgyűlési képviselő'') are elected to the highest organ of state authority, the ' (National Assembly), every four years in a single-round election with an of 5%. The (''köztársasági elnök'') serves as the and is elected by the National Assembly every five years. 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 of the . Importantly, the president is also invested with and may send legislation to the 15-member for review. The third most significant governmental position in Hungary is the , who is elected by the National Assembly and responsible for overseeing the daily sessions of the body. The (''miniszterelnök'') is elected by the National Assembly, serving as the and exercising . Traditionally, the Prime Minister is the leader of the largest party in parliament. The Prime Minister selects ministers and has the exclusive right to dismiss them, although cabinet nominees must appear before consultative open hearings before one or more parliamentary s, survive a vote in the National Assembly, and be formally approved by the president. The cabinet reports to . In 2009 Hungary, due to strong economic difficulties, had to request the help of the IMF for about €9 billion (10.4 billion US Dollars). The of Hungary had its peak in 2011 when it stood at 83% and decreased since then. According to , the of Hungary amounts to 25.119 billion HUF or 74.1% of its in 2016. The government achieved a budget deficit 1.9% of the GDP in 2015. Hungary's by , and stands at Investment Grade ''BBB'' with a stable outlook in 2016. On 's 2019 Hungary's 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. Following a decade of - rule lead by , 's ''Nations in Transit 2020'' report reclassified Hungary from a to a transitional or . 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... has steadily rewritten the Hungarian constitution, and eliminated democratic safeguards statutorily embodied in the Constitutional Court, Prosecutors Office, Media Authority, and State Audit Office...". It also limited parliamentary oversight, independent , s and s, while consolidating power around the central government.

Political parties

Since the fall of communism, Hungary has a . The took place on 8 April 2018. This parliamentary election was the 7th since the . The result was a victory for – alliance, preserving its two-thirds majority with remaining Prime Minister. It was the second election according to the new 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 , who have a near supermajority, and two medium-sized parties, the left-wing (DK) and liberal . The democratic character of the Hungarian parliament was reestablished with 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 the "National Assembly" now. The was a legislative institution in the from the 1290s, and in its successor states, and the throughout the . 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 , this promise was not kept on several occasions thereafter. As a result of the , 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 , the Catholic clergy, and a few enfranchised burghers, regardless of language or ethnicity.

Law and judicial system

The judicial system of Hungary is a system divided between s with regular civil and criminal jurisdiction and s with jurisdiction over litigation between individuals and the public administration. Hungarian law is codified and based on and in a wider sense, civil law or . The court system for civil and criminal jurisdiction consists of local courts (''járásbíróság''), regional appellate courts (''ítélőtábla''), and the supreme court (''Kúria''). Hungary's highest s are located in . Law enforcement in Hungary is split among the and the National Tax and Customs Administration. The Hungarian Police is the main and largest state 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 . 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 , 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.

Administrative divisions

Hungary is a divided into 19 (''megye''). In addition, the (''főváros''), , is an independent entity. The counties and the capital are the 20 third-level units of Hungary. The states are further subdivided into 174 (''járás'') . The districts are further divided into , of which 23 are designated (''megyei jogú város''), sometimes known as "urban counties" in English. 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 for statistical and development purposes. These seven regions constitute ' second-level units of Hungary. They are , , , , , , and .

Foreign relations

The of Hungary is based on four basic commitments: to , to , to and to . The is fairly open and relies strongly on . Hungary has been a member of the since December 1955 and a member of the , , the , the , the , the , the and the . Hungary took on the presidency of the for half a year in 2011 and the next will be in 2024. In 2015, Hungary was the fifth largest Non-DAC donor of in the world, which represents . 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 organisations as well, including , , , , , , , , , , and others. Since 1989, Hungary's top foreign policy goal has been achieving integration into Western economic and security organisations. Hungary joined the programme in 1994 and has actively supported the and missions in Bosnia. Hungary since 1989 has also improved its often frosty neighbourly relations by signing basic treaties with , , and . These renounce all outstanding territorial claims and lay the foundation for constructive relations. However, the issue of rights in Romania, Slovakia, and Serbia periodically cause bilateral tensions to flare up. Since 2017, the rapidly deteriorated over the issue of the . Since 1989, Hungary has signed all of the documents, and served as the OSCE's Chairman-in-Office in 1997. Historically, Hungary has had particularly friendly with ; this special relationship was recognised by the parliaments of both countries in 2007 with the joint declaration of March 23 as "The Day of Polish-Hungarian Friendship".


The holds the title of of the nation's armed forces. The jointly with administers the armed forces, including the and the . Since 2007, the Hungarian Armed Forces has been under a unified command structure. The Ministry of Defence maintains 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. is voluntary, though may occur in wartime. In a significant move for modernisation, Hungary decided in 2001 to buy 14 fighter aircraft for about 800 million EUR. Hungarian National Cyber Security Center was re-organised in 2016 in order to become more efficient through . 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 -led force in , 210 Hungarian soldiers in under command of , and 160 troops in . 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.


Hungary is an with and skilled with the in the world. Furthermore, it is the according to the Economic Complexity Index. The Hungarian is the (out of 188 countries measured by ) with $265.037 billion output, and ranks measured by . Hungary is an export-oriented with a heavy emphasis on , thus the country is the in the world. The country has more than $100 billion export in 2015 with high, $9.003 billion , of which 79% went to the EU and 21% was extra-EU trade. Hungary has a more than 80% economy with , which provides the basis for the country's . On the expenditure side, is the main component of and accounts for 50 percent of its total use, followed by gross fixed with 22 percent and with 20 percent. Hungary continues to be one of the leading nations for attracting in , the inward FDI in the country was $119.8 billion in 2015, while Hungary invests more than $50 billion abroad. , 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 . manufacturing and research are among the main drivers of and economic growth in the country. In the past 20 years Hungary has also grown into a major centre for , , and related hardware research. The in the economy was 68.3% in 2017, the employment structure shows the characteristics of , 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 . Hungary is part of the which represents more than 508 million consumers. Several domestic commercial policies are determined by agreements among European Union members and by EU legislation. Large are included in the , the Hungarian stock market index listed on . Well-known companies include the firm , the , , , , , and more. Besides this Hungary has a large portion of specialised , for example a significant number of automotive suppliers and technology among others. is the financial and business capital of Hungary. The capital is a significant economic hub, classified as an Alpha – in the study by the and it is the second fastest-developing in 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 of Hungary regarding business and economy, accounting for 39% of the national income, the city has a more than $100 billion in 2015, making it one of the largest regional economies in the . Budapest is also among the Top 100 GDP performing cities in the world, measured by and in a global city competitiveness ranking by , Budapest stands before , , and among others. Furthermore, Hungary's corporate tax rate is only 9%, which is relatively low for EU states. Hungary maintains its own currency, the (HUF), although the economy fulfills the with the exception of public debt, with the level of 75.3% in 2015. The —founded in 1924, after the dissolution of —is currently focusing on price stability with an inflation target of 3%.

Science and technology

Hungary's achievements in and have been significant, and efforts form an integral part of the . Hungary spent 1.4% of its gross domestic product (GDP) on civil in 2015, which is the . Hungary ranks 32nd among the most innovative countries in the , standing before , or . Hungary was ranked 35th in the in 2020, down from 33rd in 2019. 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's nology industry has benefited from both the country's skilled workforce and the strong presence of foreign high-tech firms and . Hungary also has one of the highest rates of filed s, the sixth highest ratio of high-tech and medium high-tech output in the total industrial output, the 12th highest research 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 , the primary source of advice on RDI policy for the , 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 organisations. Scientific research in the country is supported partly by industry and partly by the state, through the and by scientific state-institutions such as . Hungary has been the home of some of the most prominent researchers in various scientific disciplines, notably , , and . As of 2018, have been recipients of a . Until 2012 three individuals: Csoma, and Tihanyi were included in the UNESCO Memory of the world register as well as the collective contributions: and . Contemporary, internationally well-known Hungarian scientists include mathematician , physicist , physicist , and biochemist . Hungary is famous for its excellent which has trained numerous outstanding scientists. Famous Hungarian mathematicians include father and son , who was one of the founders of ; , famed for publishing in over forty languages and whose s are still tracked, and , a key contributor in the fields of and , a pioneer of , and the chief mathematician in the . Notable Hungarian inventions include the (), a type of (, ), the electric (AC) train engine and generator (), (), the (), and ().


Hungary has a highly developed road, railway, air, and water transport system. Budapest, the capital, serves as an important hub for the (''MÁV''). The capital is served by three large train stations called ' (Eastern), ' (Western), and ' (Southern) ''pályaudvar''s (). is the most important railway hub outside Budapest, while in and the main stations of , , , and are also key to the network. Budapest, , , and have tram networks. The is the second-oldest underground system in the world; its dates from 1896. The system consists of four lines. A system, ', operates in the Budapest metropolitan area. Hungary has a total length of approximately motorways ( hu, 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. Other important ones include and . There are five international airports in Hungary: (informally called "Ferihegy"), , (also called Sármellék Airport), , and , but only two of these (Budapest and Debrecen) receive scheduled flights. The national carrier, , operated flights to over 60, mostly European cities, but ceased operations in 2012. Low-budget airline is based in Hungary, at Ferihegy.


Hungary's population was 9,937,628 according to the 2011 , making it the fifth most populous country in and . stands at 107 inhabitants per square kilometre, which is about two times higher than the . More than one quarter of the population lived in the , 6,903,858 people (69.5%) in overall. Like most other European countries, Hungary is experiencing ; its estimated 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 ageing. In 2011, the conservative government began a programme 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. was 71.96 years for men and 79.62 years for women in 2015, growing continuously since the . Hungary recognises two sizeable minority groups, designated as "national minorities" because their ancestors have lived in their respective regions for centuries in Hungary: a of about 130,000 that lives throughout the country, and a numerous around 300,000 that mainly resides in . 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 , 308,957 (3.1%) , 131,951 (1.3%) , 29,647 (0.3%) , 26,345 (0.3%) , and 23,561 (0.2%) 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 .


Hungary has 3,152 localities as of 15 July 2013. 346 towns (Hungarian term: ''város'', plural: ''városok''; the terminology doesn't distinguish between and s – 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. Four of the cities (, , , and ) have agglomerations, and the Hungarian Statistical Office distinguishes seventeen other areas in earlier stages of agglomeration development. The largest city is the capital, Budapest, the smallest town is with 1,038 inhabitants (2010). The largest village is (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.


is the and predominant spoken language in Hungary. Hungarian is the 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 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 , while 68,458 people (0.7%) speak it as a . English (1,589,180 speakers, 16.0%), and German (1,111,997 speakers, 11.2%) are the most widely spoken s, while there are several recognised minority languages in Hungary (, , , , , , , , , , , and ). Hungarian (Magyar) is a member of the , unrelated to any neighbouring language and distantly related to and . It is the largest of the Uralic languages in terms of the number of speakers and the only one spoken in . There are sizeable populations of Hungarian speakers in Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, 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. Standard Hungarian is based on the variety spoken in the capital of , although the use of the standard dialect is enforced, Hungarian has a number of urban and rural s.


Hungary is a historically country. Hungarian historiography identifies the foundation of the Hungarian state with and coronation with the in A.D. 1000. Stephen promulgated as the state religion, and his successors were traditionally known as the s. The remained strong through the centuries, and the was granted extraordinary temporal privileges as (''hercegprímás'') of Hungary. Although contemporary Hungary has no and recognises as a fundamental right, the Hungarian constitution "recognises 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 (''Római Katolikusok'') (37.1%) and s (''Reformátusok'') (11.1%) making up the bulk of these alongside s (''Evangélikusok'') (2.2%), s (1.8%), and other Christians (1.3%). (0.1%), (0.1%) and (0.06%) communities are in the minority. 27.2% of the population did not declare a religious affiliation while 16.7% declared themselves explicitly , another 1.5% . During the initial stages of the , most Hungarians adopted first and then in the form of the . In the second half of the 16th century, the led a campaign and the population once again became predominantly Catholic. This campaign was only partially successful, however, and the (mainly Reformed) Hungarian nobility were able to secure freedom of worship for Protestants. In practice, this meant '; thus, most individual localities in Hungary are still identifiable as historically Catholic, Lutheran, or Reformed. The country's eastern regions, especially around (the "Calvinist Rome"), remain almost completely , a trait they share with historically contiguous across the Romanian border. in Hungary is associated with the country's ethnic minorities: , , , , , , and . Historically, Hungary was home to a with a pre- population of more than 800,000, but it is estimated that just over 564,000 Hungarian Jews were killed between 1941 and 1945 during . Between 15 May and 9 July 1944 alone, over 434,000 Jews were deported on 147 trains, most of them to , 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 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.


Education in Hungary is predominantly public, run by the . - education is and provided for all children between three and six years old, after which school attendance is also until the age of sixteen. usually lasts for eight years. includes three traditional types of schools focused on different academic levels: the 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 and the world of work. The system is partly flexible and bridges exist, graduates from a vocational school can achieve a two years programme to have access to vocational higher education for instance. The (TIMSS) rated 13–14-year-old pupils in Hungary among the bests in the world for maths and science. Most of the are , and students traditionally study without fee payment. The general requirement for university is the . The Hungarian public 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 are important in Hungarian higher education, there are a number of degree programmes that are taught in these languages, which attracts thousands of 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 . The established include some of the , the first was the founded in 1367 which is still functioning, although, in the year 1276, the university of was destroyed by the troops of , but it was never rebuilt. established in 1395. Another, , was established 1465 in by . University was founded in 1635 and moved to Buda in 1777 and it is called today. The world's first was founded in , the Kingdom of Hungary in 1735, its legal successor is the . The 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 . Hungary ranks fourth (above neighbour Romania, and after China, the United States and Russia) in the all-time medal count at the with 336 total medals, dating back to 1959.


Hungary maintains a system largely financed by government . According to the , 100% of the population is , which is absolutely free for , s, s, , , 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. Hungary is one of the main destinations of medical tourism in , particularly in , in which its share is 42% in Europe and 21% worldwide. 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 , which attract "spa tourism". In common with developed countries, 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 with 33,274 (26.2%), which has been stagnant since the 1990s. Deaths from s dropped from 8,760 in 1990 to 3,654 in 2013; the number of s 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; , , , and is prevalent in the mostly and low-income region in the east, but infrequent in the high-income, areas of and . 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 in the world, with a homicide rate of 1.3 per 100,000 people.



Hungary is home to the largest synagogue in Europe (), built in 1859 in Moorish Revival style with a capacity of 3,000 people, the largest medicinal bath in Europe (), completed in 1913 in Modern Renaissance Style and located in the Budapest city park, the biggest building in Hungary with its length (the Parliament building), one of the largest basilicas in Europe (), the second-largest territorial abbey in the world (), and the largest early Christian necropolis outside Italy (). Notable architectural styles in Hungary include and , or rather several variants of Art Nouveau. In contrast to Historicism, Hungarian Art Nouveau is based on national architectural characteristics. Taking the eastern origins of the Hungarians into account, (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 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 , the German , 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. initially adopted Lechner's style, subsequently drawing his inspiration from English and Finnish trends; after developing an interest in the style, he finally arrived at modern architecture. took almost the same route. 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 lives in old and architecturally valuable buildings. In the downtown area almost all the buildings are about one hundred years old, with thick walls, high ceilings, and motifs on the front wall.


Hungarian music consists mainly of traditional and music by prominent composers such as and , considered to be among the greatest Hungarian composers. Other renowned composers are , , , , , , , , and . Hungarian traditional music tends to have a strong rhythm, as the language is invariably stressed on the first syllable of each word. Hungary has renowned composers of contemporary classical music, , , , and among them. One of the greatest Hungarian composers, , 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 neighbouring folk music traditions he studied, which he synthesised with influences from his contemporaries into his own distinctive style. Hungary has made many contributions to the fields of , and . 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  – to neighbouring countries such as Romania, Slovakia, Poland and especially in southern Slovakia and ; both regions have significant numbers of Hungarians. After the establishment of a music academy led by and Hungary produced an important number of art musicians: * Pianists: , , , , , , , , , , , , , and others. * Violists: , , , , , , , , , , , and newcomers , , (b. 79) and others. * Opera singers: , , , , (Bluebeard in Bartók's Bluebeard) * Conductors: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and others * String Quartets: , , , , , , , 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". It is also strong in the area and in the southwest part of , near the border with Croatia. The carnival in is a major Hungarian folk music event, formerly featuring the long-established and well-regarded .Broughton, pp. 159–167 Hungarian has long been an "experiment, made from Hungarian antecedents and on Hungarian soil, to create a conscious musical culture sing themusical 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 such as trumpeter , pianist-composer and, in a modernised form of Hungarian folk, and . The three giants of Hungarian rock, , and , remain very popular, especially Omega, which has followings in Germany and beyond as well as in Hungary. Older veteran underground bands such as , from the 1980s, also remain popular.


In the earliest times, was written in a (although it was not used for literature purposes in the modern interpretation). The country switched to the after being Christianised under the reign of (1000–1038).
The oldest remained written record in Hungarian language is a fragment in the (1055) which contains several Hungarian terms, among them the words ''feheruuaru rea meneh hodu utu rea'', "up the military road to " The rest of the document was written in Latin.
The oldest remaining complete text in Hungarian language is the ''(Halotti beszéd és könyörgés)'' (1192–1195), a translation of a Latin sermon.
The oldest remaining poem in Hungarian is the ''(Ómagyar Mária-siralom)'', also a (not very strict) translation from Latin, from the 13th century. It is also the oldest surviving poem.
Among the first chronicles about Hungarian history were ("Deeds of the Hungarians") by the unknown author usually called ''Anonymus'', and ("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 . literature flourished under the reign of (1458–1490). , 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 , in Buda. The first book printed in Hungary was the . The most important poets of the period was (1554–1594) and (1620–1664). 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 ' ("Peril of Sziget", written in 1648/49) is written in a fashion similar to the ', and recounts the heroic , where his great-grandfather died while defending the castle of Szigetvár. Among the religious literary works the most important is the Bible translation by (The second Hungarian Bible translation in the history), the Protestant pastor of , in 1590. The translation is called the ''Bible of Vizsoly'', after the town where it was first published. (See for more details.) The Hungarian enlightenment took place about fifty years after the French . The first enlightened writers were 's bodyguards (, and others). The greatest poets of the time were and . The greatest figure of the language reform was . The became feasible for all type of scientific explanations from this time, and furthermore, many new words were coined for describing new inventions. has recently gained some renown outside the borders of Hungary (mostly through translations into German, French and English). Some modern Hungarian authors have become increasingly popular in Germany and Italy especially , , and . 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. , a famous 19th-century Hungarian poet, is still much loved in Hungary (especially his collection of ), among several other "true classics" like , the poet of the Revolution of 1848, , , , , and . Other well-known Hungarian authors are . , , , , , , , , , , , , , and .


Traditional dishes such as the world-famous (''gulyás'' stew or ''gulyás'' soup) feature prominently in Hungarian cuisine. Dishes are often flavoured with (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 ' is often used to soften the dishes' flavour. The famous Hungarian hot river fish soup called Fisherman's soup or ' is usually a rich mixture of several kinds of poached fish. Other dishes are , made of goose liver, ' stew, ''vadas'', (game stew with vegetable gravy and ), with almonds and salty and sweet dumplings, like ', (dumplings with fresh cheese and thick sour cream). Desserts include the iconic , s (''rétes''), filled with apple, cherry, poppy seed or cheese, , plum dumplings ('), ''somlói'' dumplings, dessert soups like chilled and sweet chestnut puree, ''gesztenyepüré'' (cooked mashed with sugar and rum and split into crumbs, topped with whipped cream). ' and ' are widely popular pastries. The ''csárda'' is the most distinctive type of Hungarian inn, an old-style tavern offering traditional cuisine and beverages. ''Borozó'' usually denotes a cosy old-fashioned wine tavern, ''pince'' is a beer or wine cellar and a ''söröző'' is a 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. is a fruit brandy, distilled from fruit grown in the orchards situated on the . 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. The five main Hungarian beer brands are: , , , , and . 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 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 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: , , , or Alföld, and . The Romans brought vines to , and by the 5th century AD, there are records of extensive vineyards in what is now Hungary. The brought their wine-making knowledge from the East. According to , the Hungarian tribes were familiar with wine-making long time before the . 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 () and full-bodied robust reds ( and ). The main varieties are: , , , or Szürkebarát, (whites), (or Blaufrankisch in German), , , , , and . The most famous wines from Hungary are and . , meaning "of Tokaj", or "from Tokaj" in Hungarian, is used to label wines from the wine region of . Tokaji wine has received accolades from numerous great writers and composers including , , and ; 's favourite wine was a Tokaji. and tried to outdo one another when they entertained guests with Tokaji. 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 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 water. A passion for spa culture and have been connected from the very beginning. Hungarian spas feature , , , and northern country architectural elements. 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 heralded the first age of spas in Hungary. The remains of their bath complexes are still to be seen in . Spa culture was revived during the and the thermal springs of were used for the construction of a number of bathhouses, some of which such as (, ) 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. Grand spas such as , Lukács Baths, , and are a reflection of this resurgence in popularity. 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.

Folk art

(Jumping dances) are old-style dances dating back to the . Solo or couple dances accompanied by old-style music, shepherd and other solo man's dances from , and marching dances along with remnants of medieval weapon dances belong in this group. is a circle dance performed by women only accompanied by the singing of folk songs. 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 boot slapping dances to the ancient women's circle dances, Csárdás demonstrates the infectious exuberance of the Hungarian folk dancing still celebrated in the villages. is a solo man's dance evolved from the recruiting performances of the army. The is a men's solo dance done by the ethnic Hungarian people living in the region of Transylvania. 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 and elements, depending on the area, as well as Persian 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 centrepiece resembling the eye of a peacock's feather. Nearly all the manifestations of folk art practiced elsewhere in Europe also flourished among the 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 in Transylvania are charming products of Oriental design, sewn chiefly in a single colour – red, blue, or black. Soft in line, the embroideries are applied on altar cloths, pillowcases, and sheets. In Hungary proper, Sárköz in and the in the produce the finest embroideries. In the 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.


Founded in 1826, is one of the world's largest ceramic factories, specialising in luxury hand painted and gilded . In the mid-19th century, it was purveyor to the 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 , Hungary, to produce stoneware and ceramics in 1853. In 1863, his son, (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.


have been successful contenders in the , only ten countries have won more Olympic medals than Hungary, with a total of 498 medals ranking eighth in an . Hungary has the third-highest number of s per capita and second-highest number of gold medals per capita in the world. Hungary has historically excelled in Olympic water sports. In the Hungarian team is the and in are fourth most successful overall, while are eighth-most successful overall. They have also seen success in canoeing and kayaking . Hungary won its first gold medal in Winter Olympics in 2018 in mens short track speed skating with a team of four
Csaba BurjánSándor LiuShaoang LiuViktor Knoch
In 2015, the Assembly of the and the decided to bid for the but eventually awarded to . Budapest has also lost several bids to host the games, in , , , , and to , , , and , respectively. Hungary hosted many global event in the past, among others the , , , , , , 2011 , , , 2014 , and , only in the last two decade. Besides these, Hungary was the home of many European-level tournaments, like , , , , and will be the host of 4 matches in the , which will be held in the 67,889-seat new . The in has been held at the just outside , which circuit has Grade 1 license. Since 1986, the race has been a round of the World Championship. At the , 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. is also a popular and successful sport in Hungary, the Hungarian players are the 10th most powerful overall on the ranking of . There are about 54 and 118 in Hungary, which is more than in or . World top junior player is the Hungarian currently on the , while generally considered the female chess player of all time. Some of the world's best athletes have historically also hailed from Hungary, and in 2009, the qualified for their first , in 2015, they qualified for their second World Championship in the top division.


Hungary has won three Olympic football titles, finished runners-up in the and s, and third in . Hungary revolutionised the sport in the 1950s, laying the tactical fundamentals of and dominating international football with the ("Golden Team"), which included , top goalscorer of the 20th century, to whom FIFA dedicated its newest award, the . The side of that era has the second , 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. For the first time in Hungarian football's history, they hosted the in and , the first time the staged a finals tournament. Also, the national teams have produced some surprise successes such as beating winner 3–2 and winner 3–1. During Hungary won and were eventually defeated in the round of 16.

See also

* *



Further reading

* Kontler, László: ''Millennium in Central Europe: A History of Hungary'', Atlantisz Könyvkiadó, Budapest, 1999 (East-European Non-Fiction),

External links

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Statistical Profile of Hungary at the Association of Religion Data Archives
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