Hungary Political System, Famous People, Animals and Plants

By | January 15, 2023

Hungary: political system

According to COMPUTERMINUS.COM, Hungary has been a parliamentary republic since 1989. The constitution of 1949, which was adapted to the new political circumstances in 1990, applies. There has been a multi-party system in Hungary since 1989. See AbbreviationFinder for more information about Hungary politics, and acronyms as well.

The head of state is the president, who is elected by the Council of Ministers for a period of five years. Re-election is only possible one more time. The Hungarian unicameral parliament is elected for four years and consists of 386 members. 176 MPs are elected in individual constituencies, 152 in district lists, 58 receive their parliamentary seat from the state list.

The ministers are appointed by the president on the proposal of the prime minister.

The prime minister, as a key executive instrument, is elected by parliament.

In the elections on April 11, 2010, the Socialists (MSZP) ruling until then only received 19.3% of the vote. The Association of Young Democrats (FIDESZ) achieved a sensational result with 52.8% and the right-wing radical JOBBIG party (Movement for a Better Hungary) with 16.7%. The left-wing ecological party “Politics can be different” (LMP) received 7.4% of the vote. The turnout was 64.3%.

The official name of the country is:

Magyar Köztársaság (Republic of Hungary)

National anthem

Based on flag descriptions by, the national anthem of Hungary was written by Ferenc Kölcsey for the competition in 1823 and set to music in 1844 by Ferenc Erkel (1810-1893), the founder of the Hungarian national opera. It became the country’s official anthem in 1903.

  • Check top-mba-universities for public holidays, sports events, UNESCO world heritage sites and major places to visit in Hungary.

In Hungarian language

Himnusz: Isten áldd meg a magyart (God save Hungarians)Isten, áldd meg a magyart

Jó kedvvel, bõséggel,

Nyújts feléje védõ kart,

Ha küzd ellenséggel;

Balsors akit régen tép,

Hozz reá víg esztendõt,

Megbũnhõdte már e nép

A múltat s jövendõt!

Õseinket felhozád

Kárpát szent bércére,

? Ltalad nyert szép hazát

Bendegúznak vére.

S merre zúgnak habjai

Tiszának, Dunának,

? Rpád hõs magzatjai


Értünk Kunság mezein

Ért kalászt lengettél,

Tokaj szõlõvesszein

Nektárt csepegtettél.

Zászlónk gyakran plántálád

Vad török sáncára,

S nyögte Mátyás bús hadát

Bécsnek büszke vára.

Hajh, de bũneink miatt

Gyúlt harag kebledben,

S elsújtád villámidat

Dörgõ fellegedben,

Most rabló mongol nyilát

Zúgattad felettünk,

Majd töröktõl rabigát

Vállainkra vettünk.

Hányszor zengett ajkain

Ozman vad népének

Vert hadunk csonthalmain

Gyõzedelmi ének!

Hányszor támadt tenfiad

Szép hazám, kebledre,

S lettél magzatod miatt

Magzatod hamvvedre!

Bújt az üldözött, s felé

Kard nyúlt barlangjában,

Szerte nézett s nem lelé

Honját e hazában,

Bércre hág és völgybe száll,

Bú s kétség mellette,

Vérözön lábainál,

S lángtenger fölette.

Vár állott, most kõhalom,

Kedv s öröm röpkedtek,

Halálhörgés, siralom

Zajlik már helyettek.

S ah, szabadság nem virul

A holtnak vérébõl,

Kínzó rabság Könnye hull

? Rvák hõ szemébõl!

Szánd meg Isten a magyart

Kit vészek hányának,

Nyújts feléje védõ kart

Tengerén kínjának.

Bal sors akit régen tép,

Hozz rá víg esztendõt,

Megbũnhõdte már e nép

A múltat s jövendõt!

In the German Nachdichtung (1968 by Annemarie Bostroem)

Give the people of the Hungarians, God,happiness, luck and blessings,

protect them in times of war from

the enemy’s blows.

To him who endured long disgrace, give

joy again,

For it has paid hard enough

guilt for all time.You once led it by your hand

to the Carpathians,

That a beautiful fatherland had

its grandchildren.

Where the river Tisza, the course of the Danube

rolled its waves,

? Rpád’s sons grew up,

a people was brought up.Ripe ears billowed proudly

on the lowland fields,

nectar, drops of pure gold

floss from Tokaj’s wine presses.

Let our flags glow

on the Turks ‘towers


storm the proud castle of Vienna Mátyas’ army.But in anger you were kindled

over our sins,

And you struck with lightning

and thunderstorms.

If the Mongols still let

us hunt us with arrows, We also had to endure

the Turkish slave

yoke.Oh, how often the song of triumph rushed to us

from the wild hosts of

the Ottomans

who were defeated.

Country, how often has even your son

fought you no less,

sausage to the grave of the children

through your own children.

The persecuted man, however, found

neither hiding place nor peace.

His own fatherland

only avoided him.

He wandered through mountains and valleys,

torn by fear and pain,

a sea of flames above him,

blood stream at his feet.

Many a castle sank into ruins,

Where once luck seemed,

death rattle, mourning sound Now fills

the ruins.

Oh, and no freedom sprouts

from the blood of the dead,

Only the tears of bondage flow

to the ground with grief.

Send us your mercy, God,

help the Hungarians all,

save them from a storm

on the sea of torments. To

us, who have long been hit by misfortune, give

joy again,

For we have paid

debt hard enough for all time.

Hungary: personalities

Writer and poet

  • Ödön von Horváth(1901 – 1938)born: December 9th, 1901 in Rijeka, Croatia, died: June 1st, 1938 in ParisWriter, poet, playwright: folk plays and comedies in which, with an analytical mind, the mendacious and clichéd in the lives of ordinary people are presented becomes. In 1938 he emigrated to Paris via Budapest and Prague. Works: ‘Der Ewige Spießer’ (1930), ‘Stories from the Vienna Woods’ (1931), ‘Faith, Love, Hope’ (1936), ‘Figaro lets divorce’ (1937), ‘A child of our time’ (1938).
  • George Tabori(born 1914) born: May 24th, 1914 in BudapestWriter, director, filmmaker: emigrated to England in 1936, to the USA in 1947, theater director in Vienna since 1978. Mühlheim Dramatist Prize 1983 and 1990, Georg Büchner Prize 1992.Main works: Die Kannibalen ‘(1968),’ Sigmunds Freude ‘(1975),’ Jubiläum ‘(1983),’ Mein Kampf ‘(1987),’ Wismann und Rotgesicht ‘ (1990).
  • Imre Kertész(born 1929)Nobel laureate Kertész was born on November 9, 1929 in Budapest.He survived both Auschwitz, where he was deported in 1944, and Buchenwald and became one of Europe’s leading authors. His topic is or was primarily dealing with the Holocaust. In 2002 he received the Nobel Prize for Literature for this. Important works by him are: “Novel of a Fateless One”, “Kaddish for a Unborn Child” or “Fiasco”. He has lived with his second wife in his adopted home Berlin since 2000. On November 15, 2012, the Imre Kertész archive was inaugurated at the Academy of Arts in Berlin.
  • János Székely(1901 – 1958)born 1901 in Budapest, died 1958 in Berlin, at the age of 18 fled from the Horthy regime to Berlin, where he worked as a successful screenwriter for UFA greats such as Brigitte Helm, Willy Fritsch, Marlene Dietrich, Emil Jannings. In 1934 he followed an invitation from Ernst Lubitsch to Hollywood; In 1938 he emigrated for good. Persecuted again during the McCarthy era, he spent several years with his wife and daughter in Mexico before, already seriously ill, accepted an offer from DEFA to Berlin in 1957, where he died.His only great novel “Kisértés (Temptation)”, which first appeared in the USA in 1946 (“Temptation”) is currently experiencing a great renaissance and has been successfully reissued


  • Ignác Semmelweis (1818 – 1865)born: July 1st, 1818 in Buda, died: August 13th, 1865 in ViennaGynecologist: founder of antiseptic prophylaxis (preventive hygiene), discovered the infection as the cause of puerperal fever, from which a third of all women after the Childbirth died. After following his instruction to wash hands (with chlorinated lime) before an exam or surgery, deaths dropped dramatically. However, his findings were hardly appreciated by experts during his lifetime. He died in 1865 in a psychiatric clinic in Vienna, to which he had been admitted because of his dementia. The dementia was the result of a previous syphilis infection, which he had not contracted as a result of his work as a doctor.
  • Albert Szent-Györgyi (1893 – 1986)born: 16. 07th 1893 in Budapest, died: 22nd October 1986 in Woods HoleNobel Prize for Medicine (1937) for “the discoveries in the field of biological combustion processes, especially in relation to vitamin C and fumaric acid catalysis”. 1930 he produces from paprika Vitamin C. From 1928 to 1945 professor in Szeged, from 1947 in the United States where he headed several world-famous research institutes. He was primarily concerned with cancer research, but also made important discoveries in the areas of cellular respiration, biogenetics and bioelectronics.

Architects and builders

  • Marcel (Lajkó) Breuer (1902-1989)born: May 21, 1902 in Pécs, died: 1. July 1981 in New YorkArchitect and Designer.Only student at the Bauhaus from 1920, he took over the wood workshop in 1925 and was the innovator of furniture design (first tubular steel chair). In 1928 Breuer went to Berlin, 1935 to London, 1937 at the invitation of Walter Gropius to Harvard; they worked together there. Breuer was also his partner in Cambridge, Massachusetts (1937-41). In 1941 he founded his own office. In 1952 he was commissioned to build the UNESCO building in Paris.Breuer is considered to be a protagonist of a not strictly rationalistic direction of the international style.
  • Jószef Hildbuilder of St. Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest. It was started in 1851 and ended in 1905 after several changes to plans. In 1868, shortly after his death, the huge dome collapsed due to construction defects.
  • Miklós Yblbuilder of the Castle Garden Bazaar and the Opera House in Budapest. The latter in a Renaissance-like form of historicism.

Visual artist

  • Lászlo Moholy-Nagy(1895 – 1946)born: July 20th, 1895 in Bácsborsód, died: November 24th, 1946 in Chicagopainter, graphic artist, photographer: 1923-28 professor and co-founder of the Bauhaus in Weimar, after the Bauhaus was ostracized, he emigrated to 1934 Chicago, representative of constructivist modernism.
  • Victor Vasarely(1919-1997) born: April 9th, 1919 in Pécs, died: March 15th, 1997 in ParisPainter, graphic artist: after studying medicine, he studied painting and modern art from 1927-1929. Went to Paris in 1930, where he worked as an artist. Vasarely is a representative of the so-called Op art, which deals with phenomena of perception and dynamic lighting effects. Grid-like figures create the impression of spatiality through the colored and linear design, the interaction of colored surfaces creates ‘flicker effects’.
  • Robert Capa(1913 – 1954)born: November 22nd, 1913 (Budapest as Endre Ernó Friedmann, died: May 25th, 1954 (Thai-Binh/Indochina)Photographer: emigrates to Paris in 1933. From 1939 he works as a photo correspondent for “Life” the wars in Europe, Israel and Indochina He was killed by a land mine.
  • Imre Varga(born 1923)Varga is considered one of the most important Hungarian sculptors, painters, designers and graphic artists. A museum with his works was built in his honor in Budapest while he was still alive.An important work of art in Germany are the two statues of Konrad Adenauer and Charles de Gaulle, which have been in the garden of the Adenauerhaus in Rhöndorf am Rhein since 2001.

Musicians, composers

  • Zoltán Kodály (1882 – 1967)born: December 16, 1882 in Kecskemét, died: March 6, 1967 in Budapest.Composer: An important representative of moderate modernism, which turns to traditional Hungarian folk music. Close collaboration with his friend Bela Bartok. His music pedagogical work influenced and promoted the musical development of Hungary significantly. From 1907-1940 at the Music Academy in Budapest, from 1946-1949 President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, from 1961 editor-in-chief of the scientific journal “Studia musicologica”. Works: ‘Psalmus hungaricus’ (1923), ‘Háry János’ (1928), ‘Missa brevis’ (1944).
  • Franz (Ferenc) Lehár (1870 – 1948)born: April 30th, 1870 in Komárom, died: October 24th, 1948 in Bad IschlOperetta composer, military bandmaster: together with Emmerich Kálmán founder of the reformed Viennese operetta: ‘The Merry Widow’ (1905), ‘ The Tsarevich ‘(1927),’ The Land of Smiles’ (1929).
  • Franz (Ferenc) List (1811 – 1886)born: October 22, 1811 in Raiding, died: July 31, 1886 in Bayreuthcomposer, piano virtuoso: symphonic poems, church music, oratorios. Richard Wagner’s father-in-law
  • Béla Bartók (1881-1945)born: March 25th, 1881 in Nagyszentmiklós, died: September 26th, 1945 in New YorkComposer, pianist: Considered a leading exponent of modernism, he incorporated elements of Hungarian folk music that he explored in his compositions. Works: “Music for string instruments, percussion and celesta”; “Microcosm”.
  • Ernst von Dohnányi (1877 – 1960)born: 07/27/1877 in Preßburg (Bratislava), died: 02/09/1960 in New YorkPianist, conductor, composer: head of the Budapest Conservatory, conductor of the Philharmonic Society in Budapest, chief conductor of the Hungarian Radio (from 1931). Opera “The Tower of Voivod” (1922).
  • Emmerich Kálmán (1882 – 1953)born: October 24th, 1882 in Siófok as Imre Kálmán, died: October 30th, 1953 in ParisComposer, music critic: one of the most important operetta composers of his time, created the folkloric type of Hungarian operetta: ‘Die Csárdásfürstin’ (1915), ‘Countess Mariza’ (1924), ‘Die Zirkusprinzessin’ (1926). Kálmán lived in Vienna from 1908 and emigrated to New York in 1938.
  • Sir Georg (György) Solti (1912 – 1997)born: October 21, 1912 in Budapest, died: September 5, 1997 in AntibesConductor: General Music Director in Frankfurt am Main, Opera conductor in London 1961-1971, Chief Conductor of the ‘Chicago Symphony Orchestra’ 1969- 1991 and the ‘Paris Opéra’ 1973-1979, chief conductor of the ‘London Philharmonic Orchestra’ 1979-1983, artistic director of the Salzburg Easter Festival 1992-1994

Natural scientist

  • Edward Teller (1909 – 2003)Theoretical physicist, atomic physicist, he developed the atomic bomb together with Bohr, Fermi and Oppenheimer as part of the Manhattan Project in the USA under the direction of General Leslie Richard Groves (1896-1970). He was later also involved in the development of the hydrogen bomb, which was detonated for the first time worldwide for test purposes in November 1952 near Bikini Atoll.Teller studied chemical engineering at the Technical University in Karlsruhe because of the restrictions on access for Jews in Hungary at the time. From there, however, due to his increasing interest in the new field of quantum theory, he switched to studying physics at the University of Munich in 1928. He obtained his doctorate in 1930 with Werner Heisenberg at the University of Leipzig. Because of the increasing persecution of Jews in Germany, he emigrated to the USA in 1935.This highly talented physicist unfortunately played a role that was not very strong in character during the anti-communist chases under Senator Mac Carthy in the 1954s, when he was the only well-known scientist to testify against his physicist colleague Oppenheimer and declare him a security risk for the USA.
  • Richard Adolf Zsigmondy (1865 – 1929)born: April 1st, 1865, died: September 23rd, 1929Chemist: Richard Adolf Zsigmondy received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1925 for elucidating the heterogeneous nature of colloidal solutions and for the methods used, which are fundamental for modern Are colloid chemistry.
  • Dennis Gábor (1900 – 1979)born: June 5th, 1900 in Budapest, died: February 8th, 1979 in LondonPhysicist: inventor of holography (1948). The invention of the laser in the 1960s finally made possible the practical use of holography for medical diagnostics and electronic data processing. 1971 Nobel Prize in Physics.

Politicians and rulers

  • ? Rpád (approx. 845 – 907)son of Prince ? Lmos and Grand Duke of the united Hungarian tribes (886-907), was able to assert himself as a leading figure after the Hungarian conquest and became the founder of the ? Rpád dynasty. After the defeat against the Pechenegs (893), he was elected by the princes of the seven sub-tribes as the successor to his father lmos in the office of army prince.
  • Vajik (Stefan I. 969 – 1038)born: 969 near Gran, died: August 15, 1038ruler from the ? Rpáden family, who completed the Christianization of the Magyars and ended the migration of peoples in Europe by consolidating the territory of Hungary. Was named King Stefan I of Hungary in 1000 and canonized in 1083 for his services to Christianity.
  • Lajos Kossuth (1802-1894)born: September 19, 1802 in Monok, died: March 20, 1894 in TurinAs editor-in-chief of the newspaper “Pesti Hirlap”, he becomes the spokesman for all nationalist Hungarians who break away from the peak of the nationalist revolutions in 1848 Demand Austria. He organized the honved army of the rebels and had the parliament, which had fled to Debrecen, proclaim himself imperial administrator. After the defeat by the Austrians, he fled to England and the USA, where he was celebrated as a national hero in exile. After his death, the corpse was transferred to Budepest by Emperor Franz Josef I. and celebrated triumphantly.
  • Imre Nagy (1896 – 1958)born: June 7, 1896 in Kaposva, died: hanged on June 16, 1958 in the courtyard of the central prison in Budapest.Prime Minister who propagated the idea of “national and human socialism” in the context of de-Stalinization. After his removal from office in 1955, he became the leading figure of the 1956 revolution and promoted the democratization of the country. After the proclamation of withdrawal from the Warsaw Pact, the uprising was brutally suppressed by the Russian army. After being convicted of “counter-revolutionary behavior”, he was executed on June 16, 1958.

Actors, directors

  • Michael Curtiz (1888 – 1962)born: December 24th, 1888 as Mihály Kertész in Budapest, died: April 11th, 1962one of the most successful and Hollywood’s; made more than 100 films there from 1926, including numerous classics such as: ‘Unter Piratenflagge’ (1935), ‘Robin Hood, the King of the Vagabonds’ (1938), ‘Favorite of a Queen’ (1939), ‘Lord of the Wild West’ (1939), ‘The Lord of the Seven Seas’ (1940), ‘Yankee Doodle Dandy’ (1942), ‘As long as a heart beats’ (1945) and of course ‘Casablanca’ (1942), for which he received the Oscar (film and Director)
  • Géza von Cziffra (1900 – 1989)born: December 19, 1900 in Arad, died: April 28, 1989 in Dießen am AmmerseeDirector, film journalist: known for his revue, dance and operetta films (The White Dream, 1943; love for notes, 1945; Believe in me, 1947; Lambert feels threatened, 1949)
  • Peter Lorre (1904 – 1964)born: 26.06.1904 in Rozsahegy (Rosenberg) as Ladislav Loewenstein, died: 23.03.1964 in Hollywoodoutstanding actor in famous films like: “Casablanca” (USA 1942), “M” (D 1931), “The track of the falcon” (USA1941), “Arsenic and lace cap” (USA 1942).
  • Zsa Zsa Gabor (born 1918)born: February 6th, 1918 in Budapest as Sari Gabor, ascandal- ridden actress: “Moulin Rouge” (USA 1952).
  • Marika Rökk (1913 – 2004)born: November 3rd, 1913 in Cairo as the daughter of a Hungarian architect, died: May 16th, 2004 in Baden near Vienna,actress, dancer, singer.Successful star of the Ufa era from 1934. Was able to continue her career even after World War II. Until 1987 she also played on stage in musicals and operettas.

    Films (selection): The begging student (1936), Gasparone (1937), One night in May (1938), It was a glittering ball night (1939), Hello Janine (1939), Kora Terry (1940), women are better diplomats (1941), The woman of my dreams (1943), The Csardasfürstin (1951)

  • István Szabó (1938)born: February 18, 1938 in BudapestDirector, screenwriter: Successful with ‘Mephisto’ (H 1981), among others; ‘Colonel Redl (D/A/H 1985)


  • Joseph Pulitzer (1847 – 1911)born: April 10, 1847 in Makó, died: October 29, 1911 in Charleston.Journalist, publisher,founder of the Pulitzer Prize, which has been awarded annually since 1917 for special literary a. journalistic merit is awarded.


  • András Balczó(born 1938)The most successful pentathlon of all time. He was Olympic champion twice and once on his own. He has also won ten world championships, five of them in quick succession as a lone fighter.
  • Aladár Gerevich(1910-1991)The most successful fencer in Hungary. Earned seven Olympic gold medals, plus one silver and two bronze medals. Even at the age of fifty, he won gold at the 1960 Olympics in Rome.
  • István Kovács(born 1970)The first professional boxing world champion in Hungary, he is world champion and Olympic champion in amateur boxing. Although he was world champion, he could only win the bronze medal at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. In Atlanta he won the gold medal.
  • László Papp “Papp Laci”(1925 – 2003)The most successful Hungarian in boxing history, then coach and until 1992 head of the boxing team. During his 20-year active boxer career both in amateur and professional fields, he had fought more than 340 fights and during this career three times the Olympic gold medal (London – 1948, Helsinki – 1952 and Melbourne 1956) and twice the amateur European title and also the European title won at the professional boxers.
  • Ferenc Puskás(1927 in Budapest – 2006)Hungarian football player. Puskas was one of the best football players of the 1950s and was the captain of the Hungarian national team from 1950 to 1954. However, he was unable to prevent the 1954 World Cup defeat of the Hungarian against the German national team in Bern with 2: 3.After the crackdown on the Hungarian uprising in 1956, he emigrated to Spain and played for Real Madrid from 1958, taking on Spanish nationality. Therefore, he was able to play for the national team of Spain at the 1962 World Cup. At the age of 39, he ended his career as a player and became a football coach. In this capacity, he led the club “Panathinaikos Athens” in 1971 to the final of the European Cup and was also the Greek champion several times.However, he returned to Hungary and became the coach of the Hungarian national team in 1993, but fell so ill in 2000 that he could hardly leave the hospital.

Theologians and philosophers

  • Georg (György) Lukács (1885 – 1971)born: April 13, 1885 in Budapest, died: June 4, 1971 there,philosopher and literary critic, themost important innovator of Marxist theory and philosophy in the first half of the 20th century. Member of the Communist Party since 1918, from whose Stalinist manifestations he later distanced himself. In 1946 he became a member of the Hungarian parliament and one of the intellectual leaders of the Budapest uprising of 1956. After his arrest (Minister of Education under Imre Nagy) he was ostracized. His works were only published in the western world, where they had a significant influence on the intellectual left.

Hungary: animals


Foxes and martens can be seen more often in the northern Hungarian low mountain ranges.

In contrast, wolves, bears, lynxes and wild cats have become very rare.

Golden jackals, steppe iltis and raccoon dogs are also very rare.

Roe deer, wild boar and deer live in the forests.

Golden jackals are a type of dog that is closely related to the wolf. Not counting the tail, they reach a length of 80 cm and a size of 50 cm. Most of the time they have a golden yellow coat color, but this can change depending on the region. In addition to carrion, golden jackals also feed on rodents, hares and grasshoppers. Vegetable food is also part of the menu. In addition to Hungary, it is also found in Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia and Italy. Its main distribution area is in North and East Africa.

You can even see mouflons in the Mátra and Bükk Mountains. The latter are also known as European wild sheep. They reach a size of 65 to 90 cm and live on average 8 to 10 years. Typical are the gray to yellowish colored saddle spots on the brown fur and the horns of the males, which grow throughout life and can reach a length of 0.45 m. The horns of the females are much shorter or nonexistent. The mouflons have a well-developed sense of hearing and smell, but the sense of sight is best developed. Their diet includes grasses, herbs and woody plants, but also mushrooms and fruits.

There are still otters in Hungary, but these are threatened with extinction, as their habitat (untouched river meadows) are becoming increasingly rare.

Hamsters, steppe birch mice, ear mice and ground squirrels live in the open area. The latter are diurnal rodents and live on the ground in steppe areas or grasslands. Their diet mainly includes seeds, roots, tubers, and onions. Insects, bird eggs, small frogs and lizards are rarely on the menu. Numerous bats live in caves and attics, such as the water bat and the Mediterranean horseshoe bat. The latter has a head body length of about 5 cm and a wingspan of 30 cm. Their distinguishing feature is a membranous nasal attachment that surrounds the nostrils and extends to the forehead. Like all bats, it sees with its ears and uses the echo alignment to orient itself by emitting ultrasonic signals through its nose. She spends most of the night in flight


Many different species of lizards live in Hungary. These include the sand lizard, the Pannonian forest lizard, the most common wall lizard and the green lizard. With a body length of around 50 cm, the emerald lizard is one of the four largest lizards in the world, even if 2/3 of them are on the tail. Their diet consists of insects, spiders, worms and snails. A special feature that it has in common with some other lizard species is that it can actively detach its tail from its body in a dangerous situation. This wriggles for around 20 minutes and thus distracts the robber from the fleeing lizard.

The European pond turtle lives in the south of Hungary. It has a shell length of less than 25 cm, rarely 30 cm. Her belly armor has a transverse joint, which enables her to fold this armor in front and behind in case of danger and thus protect herself from predators. Their habitat is limited to standing or flowing water with dense bank vegetation. Their diet consists mainly of animal food such as tadpoles, small frogs, newts, water snails, crabs, dead or dying fish. In addition to Hungary, it is also represented in Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, the Iberian Peninsula, Corsica, Sardinia, Italy, Sicily, Israel, Romania, Turkey, northern Iran, Cyprus and northern Lebanon.

But despite this widespread distribution, the European pond turtle is in decline.

In addition to various types of snakes, there is also the slow worm. However, this is not a snake, as one might assume at first glance, but belongs to the lizards, and there to the sneak family.

The tail can also be thrown off in case of danger and distracts the enemy from the actual prey by independent movements. However, the slow worm only grows back a short piece, not the entire tail. Overall, it reaches a length of up to 50 cm, which can vary greatly due to the growing tail stub.

The color is sand-gray to brown-black. The slow worm lives inconspicuously in cool stream valleys, forest clearings, hedges, meadows, embankments and the edge of the vineyards. The slow worm is widespread throughout Europe, and is also found in North Africa. The amphibians found in Hungary include water newts, red-bellied toads, common and green toads, tree and agile frogs, as well as small water frogs and pond frogs.

Of the 30 occurring in Europe non-toxic snakes are found in Hungary Äskulapnatter, the Caspian arrow snake, the grass snake and the dice snake.

The meadow viper and the adder live from the venomous snakes


Some of the few great egrets can be seen in the reeds of the Kleiner Plattensee and Neusiedler See. Other species of heron in the wetlands are the purple, little and black egrets. Cormorants, stilts and avocets are more common in the lowlands. Wild ducks and geese are just as common. Cranes, bitterns, pheasants and Turkish pigeons. There are storks all over the country.

Great bustards are much less common and are now threatened with extinction in Hungary. They belong to the order of the crane birds and are very shy and sensitive to disturbance birds. In Hungary they are mainly found in national parks. You rarely get to see them, not least because of the inconspicuous coloring outside of the courtship. Both males and females have brown-black patterned plumage and a light gray head and neck. The main difference between the two is in size. The males weigh 8-16 kg, while the females weigh just 3 – 5 kg. However, during courtship the male changes significantly. Its underside is colored white, and this is turned upside down, so that it finally turns into a white pile of feathers. The food of the great bustard includes buds, shoots, leaves, seeds, but also mice, lizards, grasshoppers and other small animals. Despite its relatively wide distribution, the Great Bustard is on the red list.

Sucker falcons, eagles and owls are also at risk. Birds of prey, such as the sea, lesser and imperial eagles, can be seen in eastern Hungary. The black kite, various types of woodpecker, the white stork and the triel are also common here. The latter is a plover-like bird that is found throughout Europe, except in the north, as well as in North Africa and South Asia.

Rare birds such as the honey buzzard and the corn corn can be seen in the Õrség National Park.

Numerous songbirds, crows and pigeons also live here.

Hungary: plants


In the low mountain ranges, deciduous forests grow with predominantly linden trees. Pine and yew trees are only found here in places. In the higher elevations of the low mountain ranges and in regions of western Hungary with high levels of precipitation there are beech forests, in the lower regions oak and ash. The Zerr oak is particularly common. In the hill countries of Transdanubia, other tree species of the Mediterranean area are represented in addition to sweet chestnuts. Green alder thrive in the Günser Bergland and the Ödenburg Mountains. In the lowlands, in addition to oaks and ash trees, elms and some types of poplar grow on the sandy and salt soils. Hornbeams and ash trees grow in the limestone and dolomite areas. The sessile oak is typical of the Zémplen Mountains.

The black locust, also known as false acacia, is a widespread tree in Hungary. It is often planted on roads because it is very resilient. However, it is also poisonous.


There are numerous grain fields in Hungary. Sunflowers, rapeseed, maize, potatoes and sugar beets are also crops. There are wine-growing regions in the Tokaj region that are world-famous. The blackthorn fruits of the sloe, also known as blackthorn, can be used to prepare jams, jellies, syrups and liqueurs.

However, they have a slight pulling effect. The flowers can be prepared as a tea. This 3 m high shrub grows on roadsides, bushes and in sparse deciduous forests. It is widespread throughout Europe and Western Asia.

Medicinal plants

One of the best-known medicinal plants is chamomile, which unfortunately only rarely grows in the wild. In Hungary it thrives on soda floors as part of a still natural vegetation. The characteristic flower of the 10 – 50 cm tall plant, from which teas and tinctures are made, consists of yellow tubular flowers and white ray flowers and has a very strong scent. Chamomile has anti-inflammatory, calming, wound-healing, anticonvulsant, dehydrating and flatulence effects. It continues to be used for menstrual cramps. However, you should never get close to the eyes with the chamomile, as the fine hairs of the flower can be very irritating to the eyes.

The poisonous peony was previously used as an antispasmodic and against epilepsy. However, this effect has not been proven. It can allegedly also be used for skin and mucous membrane inflammations, fissures, gout, rheumatism and diseases of the respiratory tract. In homeopathy, it is used for hemorrhoids.

The green hellebore is not only poisonous, but is also used homeopathically for meningitis, poor circulation, kidney inflammation and epilepsy.

The distribution strategy of Feldmann litter is interesting. The fruit-bearing stems detach from the roots and are carried on by the wind. The 20 – 50 cm tall plant has an appetizing and diuretic effect and is also used as a food and spice.

Horehound originally comes from southern Europe and was already known, valued, and cultivated as a medicinal plant in ancient Greece. The plant usually grows on limestone soils, is perennial and branched. The flowering herb, which is collected between June and August, is used. Horehound is used in many ways, including for chronic bronchitis, gastrointestinal inflammation, for poorly healing wounds and is used to increase the immune system. It is also used for nervous heart disorders and as a pulmonary medicine. You can make it as a tea or as a tincture.

The black nettle, also known as the horehound, is a medicinal plant. The plant, which can grow up to 90 cm tall, contains diterpenes, which have a calming and antispasmodic effect. Therefore, it is used for depression, vomiting and nausea. It is also used in manners, arthritis and gout.

In homeopathy, an essence from the bark of black locust is used in cases of gastric acidosis and migraines.

Sage reduces perspiration, relieves coughs, has antiseptic and wound healing properties and is also used for abdominal diseases.

It also alleviates diarrhea and indigestion and reduces milk production (e.g. when weaning).

Poisonous plants

The peony from the buttercup family is between 50 and 100 cm tall and blooms from June to May. The large red flowers with a diameter of 12 cm and petals with a length of 5 – 8 cm are striking. Most types of peony are common in Europe, Asia, and North America. It prefers light and rocky mountain slopes to grow. Due to the alkaloid paenonin, this plant is poisonous and causes gastrointestinal complaints and vomiting and colic in excessive doses. In the correct dosage, it can also be used as a medicinal plant.

The rare and protected fire rose is also known under the name Adonis rose and also under the name “devil’s eye”. The perennial herb, which is up to 30 cm in size, has a strong, dark rhizome and a single yellow flower that appears in early spring. They can be found on calcareous soils, on sunny slopes, on dry meadows and in pine forests. The distribution area includes not only Europe but also Asia and America. Although all parts of the plant are poisonous, the leaves are collected and dried during the strongest flowering period (April – May), as they also contain cardiac glycosides. Therefore, the Adonisröschen is used as a cardiac tonic, but also as a sedative for dry coughs, asthmatic and epileptic seizures, Cramps and rheumatic pain use. However, teas and infusions should only be consumed according to a doctor’s prescription, otherwise there is a risk of poisoning.

All parts of the plant of the Robinia imported from North America are poisonous, but especially the bark and the fruits. The tree belongs to the group of butterflies, grows very quickly and can be 20-30 m tall.

The whitish flowers grow in clusters on the tree. The symptoms of poisoning are vomiting, convulsions, visual disturbances and insomnia.

Poisoning with the green hellebore leads to irritation of the mucous membranes and thus to scratching in the mouth and throat. Vomiting, diarrhea, irregular heartbeat, restlessness and cramps can also occur. Paralysis occurs much less often, which can lead to respiratory failure.

The wormwood is used to produce the well-known absinthe. It contains thujone, a powerful neurotoxin, which can lead to hallucinations, epileptic seizures and ultimately to psychological damage.

More plants

Rose hip bushes, hawthorn and sloes can be found in the limestone and dolomite regions of Hungary.

At Bugae in Kinskunság National Park you can even come across juniper.

Natural vegetation with panicle sweet grasses and wormwood leaves has been preserved on the soda floors. A large field of poppies can be admired in the Balaton Oberland. The rare and protected flowers include the poisonous green hellebore, the sage, as well as the peony, Hungarian wildflower and the poisonous fire rose.

The mountain gamander is rare and can only be found in Hungary in the Õrseg National Park.

In the Puszta the soil is too salty, so that only salt-resistant plants such as salt aster, sea aster, sea lavender, sea lavender, steppe sage, alant and hour flower can thrive here.

Other plants in Hungary are field litter, tuberous meadowsweet, pannoic carnations, horehound and black nettle.

A plant introduced from America is the Robinia, also known as false acacia, which has already been mentioned several times. It is a widespread tree in Hungary and is often planted at the roadside because it is very hardy. However, it is poisonous.

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