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Landlocked Hungary shares borders with Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia and Austria in the Carpathian Basin. The capital Budapest was at one time actually two cities, Buda and Pest sitting on both sides of the River Danube.

Hungary has a rich culture and history. Magyar tribes, ancestors of ethnic Hungarians settled in Carpathian Basin in 896. In the year 1000, Hungary became a Christian Kingdom under the leadership of St. Stephen.

In addition to Budapest, the cities of Debrecen, Miskolc, Szeged and Pecs are among the largest in Hungary. Due to its many parks and thermal springs, Budapest is usually singled out as the leading tourist destination. City Park is the largest in Budapest, but other parks deserving note include Károlyi Gardens, Fuveszkert   Botanical Gardens, and the Bottomless Lake.

Hungary is home to roughly one hundred castles, while a lot of them lie in ruins, many have been preserved. Since Hungary was surrounded by medieval empires, castles were built as a form of protection.

The thing Hungarians are most proud of is their wine. Hungary has fertile arable land and they use it to produce some of the best wines in the world. This is why Hungarian wineries win gold medals at the prestigious Wine Challenge in Bordeaux, France.

Fast Facts:

Area: 93,030 square Km

Form of government:  Republic (parliamentary democracy)

Climate: continental with a hint of Mediterranean influence

Language: Hungarian (very different from the languages spoken in neighboring countries)

Currency: Hungarian Forint  

Religion: Roman Catholic, Calvinist, Lutheran

Public holidays: January 1, March 15, May 1, August 20, October 23, December 25, 26

International country phone code: 36


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