Hungary is a popular destination for those who are looking forward to getting to know more about Europe’s history. One of the oldest countries on the continent, Hungary is the birthplace of one of the most famous vampires of all times and it is also the country where you’ll find most thermal springs!
On top of that, this country has a very rich history that is filled with amazing stories and, most importantly, epic battles — all of which have left a little something behind, as we’ll explain below.
Hungary surely has lots of interesting facts to talk about. In this article, we’ll show you 7 interesting facts about this European country!
1. Hungary is a landlocked country.
You may be wondering, “what is a landlocked country?” Landlocked places are countries, or cities, or states, that are completely surrounded by other territories and are not connected to any ocean in the world. Hence the name ‘landlocked’; these countries are locked between lands.
Hungary is an example of a landlocked location, as well as the European country Austria and the U.S. state of Missouri. Because of that, you’ll find no beaches if you ever find yourself in Hungary.
However, the fact that you won’t find a beach in Hungary doesn’t mean you can’t swim in the sea. Lake Balaton — the largest lake in Central Europe — is also known as the Hungarian Sea due to its really long extent. With a shoreline of 236 kilometers long, this huge lake is the perfect spot to enjoy a nice holiday with the family!
2. They have a magic statue that can turn you into a writer!
Back in the good old Hungarian days, there was a man called Master P. who wrote chronicles for the King of Hungary. Not much is known about his life, but he is quite famous in Hungary for his epic work ‘The Deeds of the Hungarians’, which explains how Hungarians first got to the Carpathian Basin — this is where Hungary is located.
Because of the repercussion of his work, the sculptor Miklós Ligeti made a statue of Master P. in 1902. The statue is often called ‘Anonymous’ and it displays a sitting hooded figure that is holding a pen. Anonymous’ pen is shinier than the rest of the sculpture and, because of that, visitors started a tradition of rubbing the shiny pen in order to gain enlightenment and knowledge to become a better writer, an interesting fact about Hungary.
We’re not sure how effective this method is in improving one’s writing skills, but if you ever travel to Hungary and come across the statue, there’s no harm in trying, right?
3. Houdini was a Hungarian!
Harry Houdini is a name that most people recognize even to this day. The widely popular magician became known for his defying escapism acts in which he’d do things that left his audience with their jaws on the floor.
Although Houdini became famous by the end of the 19th century in the United States, the illusionist was not American: he was born in Budapest, Hungary as Erik Weisz. When he was 4 years old, Houdini moved to the U.S. state of Wisconsin, where his father worked as a rabbi, and he never came back to Hungary.
4. And so was the infamous Count Dracula!
Perhaps the most famous vampire in the history of literature, Dracula is a character who has certainly established the basic prototype of how a vampire should be like. Although the book ‘Dracula’ was written by an Irish author, the main character introduces himself as a Szekler.
Don’t know what a Szekler is? We’ll break it down to you! Szekler are Hungarian people from the region known as Szeklerland, in Romania — though the area is located in another country, it is mainly inhabited by Hungarians and their official language is Hungarian as well.
An interesting fact about Hungary is htat it is generally recognized that Szekler people are true Hungarians, thus Dracula was Hungarian, too!
5. Hungary is one of the oldest countries in Europe.
It is estimated that Hungary was founded back in 894 or 895, which makes it one of the oldest countries in all of Europe. This country existed even before the creation of the powerful Anglo-Saxon Kingdom, a fun Hungary fact.
Although at the time Hungary wasn’t a country yet, this period was when the first Magyars (the first Hungarians) occupied the region that is now known as Hungary. Because of its age, this country has lots of medieval buildings such as castles and churches that date as far as 972.
6. It is the home of the second-largest synagogue in the world.
There was a time when Jews lived predominantly in Europe, thus there are many synagogues in the continent. Synagogues are the place of worship in Judaism — Jewish people also refer to a synagogue as a ‘temple’.
The largest synagogue in the world is located in Israel, and the second-largest — Dohány Street Synagogue — is located in Budapest, Hungary. Not only is it the second-largest in the world, but it is also the largest in all of Europe with capacity for 3,000 people.
7. Hungary had the first subway line in Continental Europe.
Even though the London Underground was the first steam-run underground railway, Budapest’s famous Metro 1 was the first electric underground railway system to ever operate in Continental Europe.
The iconic yellow cars that rattle beneath Budapest’s streets have been working since 1896, an interesting fact about Hungary. On top of that, the M1 has earned a ‘Millenium Underground’ title due to its inauguration date in 1896, which then marked 1,000 years since the arrival of the Magyars (the first Hungarians).
Hungary is not the perfect destination for people who are looking forward to swimming in the ocean, but it certainly is the perfect place for those who want to know more about the important events that helped shape today’s world.
This country is one of the oldest countries in the whole world, which means that Hungary is filled with amazing stories and historical sights. It’s definitely worth it getting to know more about this country!
I hope that this article on Hungary facts was helpful! If you are interested, visit the Country Facts Page!