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Tuesday 25th June
Hungary Facts
Budapest, the capital of Hungary, consists of the districts of Buda and Pest, separated by the River Danube. Nine bridges connect the two halves of the city.

The Danube is the second longest river in Europe flowing through Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova and Ukraine.

The highest point in Hungary is Mount Kekes (1,014 m) in the Matra Mountains.

Lake Balaton is Hungary's largest lake as well as the largest lake in Central Europe.

Hungary's longest cave is Baradla in the Aggtelek Karst.

The Golden Bull, a proclamation similar to Britain's Magna Carta, established a constitutional monarchy in Hungary in the early thirteenth century.

The first Hungarian university was founded in Pecs in 1367.

Ferenc Rakoczi is remembered for fighting against the Habsburgs from 1703 to 1711. He did not succeed in removing the Habsburgs from Hungary and went into exile.

Count Istvan Szechenyi (1791-1860) was a writer, statesman, and reformer who is considered to be one of the greatest Hungarians.

Hungary joined the Austrian Empire in the Austrian-Hungarian dual monarchy in 1867.

In 1887 Count Teleki, the Hungarian explorer, reached Lake Turkana in Kenya which he named Lake Rudolf.

Joseph Pulitzer, born in Hungary in 1847, became a famous publisher and newspaper owner in the USA founding the Pulitzer Prizes with awards in journalism, literature, drama, education, and travelling scholarships.

At the end of the First World War, Hungary lost much of its territory under the Treaty of Trianon, 1920.

Many Hungarians who have moved abroad are well known in the film industry. These include Adolph Zukor, the founder of Paramount Pictures and Sir Alexander Korda who worked in the early Hungarian film industry before moving to the UK.

Sir Georg Solti was born in Budapest. He worked as the music director of London's Royal Opera, Covent Garden between 1961 and 1971 and went on to become the director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

George de Hevesy (1885-1966), born in Budapest, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1943.

Edward Teller was a famous Hungarian physicist who worked on atomic bomb research in the USA.

Marcel Breuer (1902-1981) was born in Hungary. Breuer migrated to the USA and worked as an architect from his New York office. Among his designs was the Whitney Museum in New York.

Hungarians who have contributed to the world of technology are Jozsef Galamb (the designer of the model T, the world's first mass produced car), David Gestetner (inventor of the office copier), Ladislao Jose Biro (inventor of the ballpoint pen), Janos Neumann (inventor of the first computer) and Charles Simonyi (research at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center and Microsoft developing microcomputer applications).

George Soros was born in Budapest in 1930. Soros studied at the London School of Economics in London moving to the USA where he made his fortune through an investment fund (Quantum). George Soros set up a network of foundations to help former Communist countries. He also established the Central European University in Budapest, Prague, and Warsaw.

Hungary was a member of COMECON, the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (1949-91) and the Warsaw Treaty Organization.

The Warsaw Treaty Organization (1955-1991) allowed Red Army bases in member states. (Warsaw Pact member countries were Albania (until 1968), Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic), East Germany (DDR), Hungary, Poland, Romania and the Soviet Union).

The 1956 "Hungarian Revolution" was suppressed by the Soviet military. Imre Nagy, the prime minister of Hungary, was held prisoner for two years and then executed.

On October 23 1989 Hungary was renamed the Republic of Hungary. Free elections were held in 1990.

Hungary became a full member of the EU on 1 May 2004.

In October 2006, the fiftieth anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution, demands were made for the resignation of the Prime Minister after it was revealed that members of the government had lied during the election campaign.

In the spring of 2024 tens of thousands of people took to the streets opposing Viktor Orban's government. Orban became Prime Minister of Hungary in 2010 (previously he held the office from 1998 to 2002).

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