About Hungary

The Geology of Hungary
A Brief History – The Birth of the Hungarian Kingdom
Kölcsey Ferenc Grammar School Zalaegerszeg
Music of Hungary
Ferenc Kölcsey: National Anthem
National Parks in Hungary
Customs and Traditions
Hungarian Cuisine


Comenius - European Cooperation on School Education


A Brief History –The Birth of the Hungarian Kingdom

Hungarian coronation jewelsThe Carpathian Basin has been populated by successive peoples for thousands of years. One such tribe was the nomadic Magyars. They reached the area in the mid-8th century. They were known for their equestrian skills. Magyars raided far and wide, until they were stopped by the Germans in 955. In 1000 A.D., the Magyar prince Stephen was crowned as 'Christian King', with a crown sent from Rome by the pope, so the Hungarian Kingdom and nation was officially born.

Important dates of Hungarian history

5th century The Hungarian tribes left the area of the Urals. They passed along the Volga and the Caspian Sea. After several hundred years of wandering, they reached the Carpathian Basin.

896 Under the leadership of Árpád, the Hungarian tribes settled in the Carpathian Basin. They drove out part of the residents and absorbed the other part.

997-1038 King Stephen of the Árpád dynasty ruled the country.

1000 Stephen was converted to Christianity. After his death, he was canonized.

1055 An abbey was set up at Tihany. The foundation charter was drawn up on the northern shore of Lake Balaton. This is the earliest written record extant in the Hungarian language.

1241 The Mongolian Tatars devastated the country. Their presence, which lasted a year, halted development for at least a century. After the warfare with the Hungarians, the Tatars did not continue towards the west.

1458-1490 The rule of King Matthias. Cultural life of a European standard flourished in his palaces at Buda and Visegrád. For a few decades, Hungary lived on a West European standard. 1526 At Mohács, the present southern frontier of the country, the Turks defeated the Hungarian army. 150 years of Turkish occupation started.

1541 The Turks occupied Buda. Hungary was split into three parts. The Habsburg governed the western part of the country, the central area was ruled by the Turks, and the south-east Transylvanian principality (today part of Roumania) for a long time was the citadel of Hungarian culture.

1686 Buda was recaptured from the Turks. (The Turks - similarly to the Tartars - could only advance in Europe to the territory of Hungary. Here they were faced by obstacles, after which no strength was left for the siege of Vienna.)

1703-1711 A freedom war under the leadership of Ferenc Rákóczi II, Prince of Transylvania, against the Habsburgs. The rebels defeated the Imperial army in several battles, but did not receive the promised French support and failed.

First half of the 19th century A national reform movement was launched for the political and economic transformation of the country, for Hungarian language and culture. This was when the National Anthem was born, and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences was set up. The building of the Chain Bridge started. The initiator of these was Count István Széchenyi, an eminent figure of the Reform Age.

1848-1849 A revolution broke out in Pest, which extendedover the entire country. The Habsburg Emperor was dethroned after the Hungarian army won several significant battles. Lajos Kossuth was elected Governor. The longest European national revolution could only be oppressed in the summer of 1849 by the Habsburgs with the help of the Russian army.

1867 The Hungarians concluded a compromise with the Habsburgs. A double-centred monarchy was set up with seats in Vienna and Pest-Buda. A spectacular industrial upswing started.

1873 Pest, Buda and Obuda were unified: Budapest became a European metropolis. The buildings of that time - the Opera House, the National Gallery and Parliament - still determine the skyline of the city. The first subsurface underground railway on continental Europe was put into operation.

1918 Germany and its allies, including the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, lost the world war. The monarchy disintegrated.

1920 The Trianon Treaty reduced Hungary's area by two thirds and the population by one third. Since then, considerable Hungarian minorities lived in the neighbouring countries.

1938-1940 Germany concluded treaties in Munich and Vienna, according to which Southern Slovakia and Northern Transylvania were returned to Hungary.

1944 The Nazis occupied Hungary, as they did not consider it a reliable ally. During the Second World War, the Hungarians suffered grave losses on the Soviet front. At the end of the war, Fascists took over the governing of the country.

1945 The Soviet Army liberated, then occupied Hungary. At the hastly held elections, the Communists gained only 17 percent of the votes.

1947 The last, relatively free election was followed by the years of Communist control: show trials, executions, forced settlement of hundreds of thousands, imprisonment, harassment, forced industrial development, a drop in living standards, and Stalinist dictatorship.

1956 A revolution against Stalinism. The uprising was defeated by Soviet troops. János Kádár, who acquired power with their assistance, promised democratic socialism; in the meantime, retaliation and executions started.

1965 The new system became consolidated, and cautious economic reforms were launched. Living standards were rising and the iron curtain became penetrable.

1988 The Hungarian transition period began.

1990 The Communist party voluntarily gave up its autocracy. A multi-party parliamentary democracy came into being in the country. The Soviet army left Hungary.

1999 Hungary became full member of NATO.

2004 Hungary became a member of the EU.

Written by Dani