HUNGARIAN TURBULENT PAST AND PRESENCE
Founded in 896, Hungary is one of the oldest countries in Europe. Hungary was part of the Celtic world, then the Roman Empire. Following the fall of Rome, the Huns settled in the plains of Pannonia and gave their name to Hungary. Around 1000 AD, the Kingdom of Hungary was one of the largest states in Europe, bigger than France. Later, it became of the two "eagle heads" of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. During the communist regime, its lake Balaton (the largest lake in Central Europe) was the only possibility for other CE inhabitants to get to the “sea” because of the closed borders.
The country is regarded more “Eastern” not just because of its location, but also with regards to its slow economic and social development. However, Hungary has a wealth of culture and history, complemented by a language so completely different from its neighbors that almost no shared words exist which makes (once again) this region unique and diverse. What’s more, it comes as a surprise to many that Hungarians aren’t Slavic as well. The origins of Hungarians, or Magyars as they call themselves, is a topic of heated debate and fantastical theories abound.
It was one of the first communist-era countries to oppose the Soviet regime during the Cold War, notably with the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. In 1989, Hungary was the first communist-bloc country to open its borders with Western Europe. As with most Central & Eastern European economies, Hungary experienced dramatic market liberalization in the early 1990s as part of a transition from communism. While being a part of the EU and Schengen system, the official currency in Hungary is Forint.
BUDAPEST – „TWO CITIES IN ONE“
Visiting Budapest, you'll experience two cities in one because the Danube divides the city into two different parts, the hilly Buda and the more cosmopolitan Pest.
The magnificent Parliament Building, the leafy and classical Andrassy Avenue, the old Castle District, the Fisherman's Bastion, the Margaret Island, St. Stephen's Basilica or the Heroes Square are all highlights of Budapest, the "Pearl of the Danube", where 2,000 - year - old Roman ruins and 400 - year - old Turkish monuments can be found.