Hungary & Visegrád


Hungary is a landlocked country of 93,030 km2 area in Central Europe, in the middle of the Carpathian Basin. It is bounded on the north by Slovakia; on the northeast by Ukraine; on the east by Romania; on the south by Serbia, Croatia, and Slovenia; and on the west by Austria. Plains and gentle hills of the Pannonian Basin dominate its surface. Some inselbergs form 600-900 m high mountain ranges. Temperate grasslands, agricultural land, meadows and non-coniferous forests characterise the landscape. Two major rivers: the Danube and the Tisza flow across the country from north to south. Lake Balaton, the biggest lake in Central Europe is a favourite target of tourists because of its warm water and nice landscape.

During its more than 1000 years of existence Hungary has experienced every possible historical ups and downs. It was several times invaded by different empires, occupied neighbouring areas, suffered several subdivisions, won battles and campaigns, lost world wars, survived civil wars and fallen revolutions. Since 2004 Hungary has been a member of the European Union.

Hungary has a slowly diminishing population of 10 million. The capital: Budapest is the most densely populated area with its 1.7 million inhabitants. Major cities of over 100,000 inhabitants are Debrecen, Miskolc, Szeged, Pécs, Győr, Nyíregyháza, Kecskemét and Székesfehérvár.

The dominant Hungarian (Magyar) population arrived from the east, from the Ural region. Its Finno-Ugric language and its traditional folklore is different from those of the surrounding Slavic, German and Romanian populations.

From the wide range of travel and tourism information sites on Hungary see e.g. the official Hungary tourism site or the site of the Lonely Planet.


Visegrád is about 25 miles north of Budapest, located on the west bank of the Danube.It is famous for the remains of the Renaissance summer residence of King Matthias. The town became internationally important in the 15th century during the reign of the Anjou Dynasty. Charles Robert started the construction of the Royal Palace on the main street of the town close to the Danube Bank around 1320. Within couple of years this centre became the royal headquarters and the favourite residing place of the King.
Matthias’s renaissance court was often visited by the prominent figures of the era, who were philosophising in science, philosophy and literature and they were supporting the arts and they were leading the innovations. Visitors arriving from faraway countries described Visegrád as the “paradise on Earth”.
This prosperous period lasted until the Turkish times, when similarly to other parts of the country immense regression and destruction started. During the fights for the fortress and for the town Visegrád nearly got completely devastated. The survivors went into hiding and left the uninhabitable town.
Today Visegrád is the popular target of national and international tourism, which is located in one of the most visited recreation area, in the Danube Bend. Though the size of the population is less than 1700 people and this is the smallest town in Hungary, the area hosts 300.000 visitors a year.