Facts about Hungary
Hungary, is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The capital and largest city is Budapest. Hungary is a member of the European Union, NATO, the OECD, and the Visegrád Group, and is a Schengen state. The official language is Hungarian, which is part of the Uralic family and is the most widely spoken non-Indo-European language in Europe.
Following a Celtic (after c. 450 BC) and a Roman (9 AD – c. 430 AD) period, the foundation of Hungary was laid in the late 9th century by the Hungarian ruler Árpád, whose great-grandson Saint Stephen I was crowned with a crown sent from Rome by the pope in 1000 AD. The Kingdom of Hungary lasted for 946 years, and at various points was regarded as one of the cultural centers of the Western world. After about 150 years of partial Ottoman occupation (1541–1699), Hungary was integrated into the Habsburg Monarchy, and later constituted half of the Austro-Hungarian dual monarchy (1867–1918). A great power until the end of World War I, Hungary lost over 70% of its territory, along with one third of its population of Hungarian ethnicity, and all sea ports under the Treaty of Trianon, the terms of which have been considered excessively harsh by many in Hungary. The kingdom was succeeded by a Communist era (1947–1989) during which Hungary gained widespread international attention regarding the Revolution of 1956 and the unilateral move of opening its border with Austria in 1989, thus accelerating the collapse of the Eastern Bloc. The present form of government is a parliamentary republic, which was established in 1989. Today, Hungary is a high-income economy and a regional leader in some regards.
Hungary is one of the thirty most popular tourist destinations of the world, attracting 8.6 million tourists per year (2007). The country is home to the largest thermal water cave system and the second largest thermal lake in the world (Lake Hévíz), the largest lake in Central Europe (Lake Balaton), and the largest natural grasslands in Europe (Hortobágy).