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1000 Years of History

Hungary celebrated the 1000th anniversary of the Hungarian State at the end of the last century. During the tumultuous history of Hungary, rulers came and went, empires rose and fell, but Hungary's distinctive charms have never waned, nor its inhabitants’ hospitality.

The foundation in the ninth century was carried out by the great Magyar chief, Árpád. His great grandson, Stephen was crowned first king in 1000 with a crown from Rome, sent by Pope Sylvester II. King Stephen led the people from paganism toward Christianity, and offered the country to the holy Virgin Maria.

The kingdom and nation of Hungary was born. The three-hundred-year reign of the House of Árpád saw the country become increasingly west-oriented, while 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, known 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, which was followed by 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.

At the turn of the 20th century, Budapest was rightly considered the birthplace of the modern world. However, World War I led to a national catastrophe, and partitioned the Hungarian state into almost one-third of its original size. Millions of ethnic Hungarians found themselves living outside the country. World War II was followed by Russian intervention and Stalinism lowered its iron curtain across Central and Eastern Europe.

But the new century sees Hungary already as a free democracy and market economy, joining the European Union on the 1st May of 2004.

Though we have had plenty of unwelcome visitors in these 1000 years, now Hungary welcomes you with open arms!

Last modified: 2016.07.28.