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Hungary: a vast plain crossed by the Danube

Hungary (Magyar Köztársaság) occupies the vast plain crossed by the Danube, which stretches between the Alps and the Carpathians. The country has no access to the sea, but possesses in Lake Balaton a large lake, located in the western part of Hungary. The Hungarian state was formed after the dissolution of the great Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918. Hungary is now a parliamentary republic. It is a member state of the European Union.

The Hungarian territory is largely formed by the huge Pannonian Plain, which occupies almost three quarters of Hungary. In these vast plains many rivers flow. The Danube and its main tributary Tisza cross the plains of Pannonia. Here is one of Europe’s biggest granaries.

The main Hungarian river is the Danube, which for a distance marks the northern border with Slovakia. Almost in the center, dividing Hungary in a western and eastern part, the river Danube is running from north to south, passing Budapest. The Danube leaves the Hungarian territory on the border with Croatia and Serbia.

Areas of low hills are located to the west of the Danube. In this area is Lake Balaton to be found. The most important hilly area north of Lake Balaton is Bakony, which extends in the direction of Budapest, thus forming the Transdanubian Mountains. Close to Budapest is the highest mountain of this chain, called Mount Pilis-tető with 757 meters in the Pilis mountains.

The only relatively high area of Hungary is located north-east of Budapest, where the Matra mountains are located. Here the country reaches the maximum height through Mount Kékes with 1,015 meters. To the east of these mountains are the Bükk mountains being rich of caves and karst phenomena and having its highest peak by the mountain Istállóskő with 959 meters.

English text correction by Dietrich Köster. 

  • Area: 93,030 sq km
  • Population: 10,120,000: Hungarians 95%. Several ethnic minorities exist: Roma 2.1%, Germans 1.2%, Slovaks 0.4%, Croats 0.2%, Romanians 0.1%, Ukrainians 0.1% and Serbs 0.1%.
  • State Capital: Budapest
  • Official Language: Hungarian. German is widely spoken. English is spoken in tourist areas and in most hotels.
  • Religion: Catholics 55% and Protestants 20%.
  • Currency: Forint (HUF)
  • Time: Central European Time (GMT+1). Seasonal adjustment to Daylight Saving Time between the end of March and the end of October: Central European Time +1 (GMT+2)

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