Hungary

 

History of Hungary

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The foundation was laid in the ninth century by the great Magyar chief, Arpad, who after having settled in the Carpathian Basin lead the people from paganism toward Christianity. On Christmas Day, 1000, Arpad's great grandson, Stephen ascended to the throne with a crown sent from Rome by Pope Sylvester II. The kingdom and nation of Hungary was born.

The three hundred year reign of the House of Arpad saw the country become increasingly westward-looking and the succeeding House of Anjou brought expansion into Poland, towards Dalmatia and a great flowering of art and architecture. The first Golden Age had begun. Under King Matthias, lauded for his fairness and justice, Hungary flourished, but his passing eventually led to decimation under the Ottomans for 150 years during the 16th and l7th-century. However, the Habsburgs helped oust the Turkish, heralding a more stable time of reconstruction.

As the Habsburg Empire floundered, a revolt in 1848 resulted in the dual monarchy of "Austria the empire, Hungary the kingdom". In 1867 there were two capitals, two parliaments. This "age of dualism" sparked an economic, cultural and intellectual rebirth in Hungary. The second golden age had begun.

Turn of the century Budapest was rightly considered the birthplace of the modern world. World War I proved disastrous, however. Partitioned into almost one-third its original size, millions of ethnic Hungarians found themselves living outside the country. Russian intervention followed after World War II as Stalinism lowered its iron curtain across Central Eastern Europe.

But at the turn of this new century, Hungary is now a free country for a decade and combines a smiling, dynamic image with a reputation for nostalgia. In this post-communist era of rapid change, the visitor will find constant reminders of a largely vanished Europe - old-fashioned customs and courtesies like kissing of hands and the presentation of flowers. Nowadays Modern Hungary is experiencing a new Renaissance. With its colorful people and the 21st century mix of ethnic influences this was almost eerily predicted. St. Stephen, Hungary's first king said: "Therefore I command you my son, to extend a benevolent protection and respect towards newcomers, so that they would rather stay with you instead of settling somewhere else."

Cities

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  • Budapest - with jovial leafy parks, renowned museums, an extensive Medieval Castle District and a thriving nightlife
  • Debrecen - the second largest city in the country, a cultural and ecclesiastical centre
  • Eger - a beautiful northern town with an ancient castle and camera obscura
  • Gyor - there are many cafes, restaurants, boutiques, and night clubs in its lovely Baroque city center
  • Kecskemet - a town famous for its vibrant music scene, plum brandy, and Art Nouveau architecture
  • Miskolc - with a unique cave bath in Miskolc-Tapolca, the third largest city in the country, located near the scenic Bukk Mountans
  • Nyiregyhaza - a medium-sized city with a busy water resort, museum village, and annual autumn festival
  • Pecs - a pleasant cultural centre and university town
  • Szeged - the sunniest city in Hungary with a particularly rich history
  • Szekesfehervar - former Royal seat, currently famous for its Baroque architecture and museums

People & Culture

There are a few features we can look at that are distinctive to Hungarian culture and the mannerisms of its people. It can take some time to get to know a Hungarian on an intimate level or to build strong, deep relationships.

They may appear to be very reserved - but this doesn't mean that they are cold or not passionate. They may not jump out of the way to give a compliment or to express emotions on any given subject.

Perhaps due to their history and some difficult times in the past - the typical Magyar will plan their life for the long term as opposed to carrying the attitude of 'living for the day'.
They seek stability and continuation in their life. They are very family orientated and have great respect for their elders and for women.

The Hungarians are a very intelligent race, both scientifically with inventions and mathematics, but also in creative pursuits such as music and literature.

Weather and Climate

Hungary Climate
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The Hungary climate falls into a temperate zone, which means that it has a continental climate. Weather can be predicted pretty well and the change in seasons can be noted clearly - summers are pleasantly warm, but winters can be very cold and bring a good amount of snow.

Public Holidays

Hungary Public Holidays Year 2015
New Year's Day 1 January, 2015 Thursday
Revolution Day 15 March, 2015 Sunday
Easter Sunday 5 April, 2015 Sunday
Easter Monday 6 April, 2015 Monday
Labour Day 1 May, 2015 Friday
Whit Sunday 24 May, 2015 Sunday
Whit Monday 25 May, 2015 Monday
Saint Stephen's Day 20 August, 2015 Thursday
Republic Day 23 October, 2015 Friday
All Saints' Day 1 November, 2015 Sunday
Christmas Day 25 December, 2015 Friday
2nd Day of Christmas 26 December, 2015 Saturday

Travel Advisory

There is no nationwide advisory in effect for Hungary. Exercise normal security precautions.