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Hungary History

Following a Celtic (after c. 450 BC) and a Roman (9 BC - c. 4th century) period, the foundation of Hungary was laid in the late Ninth Century by the Magyar chieftain Arpad, whose great grandson Istvan ascended to the throne with a crown sent from Rome in 1000. The Kingdom of Hungary existed with minor interruptions for more than 900 years, and at various points was regarded as one of the cultural centers of Europe. It was succeeded by a Communist era (1945-1989) during which Hungary gained widespread international attention regarding the Revolution of 1956 and the seminal move of opening its border with Austria in 1989, thus accelerating the collapse of the Eastern Bloc. The present form of government is Parliamentary Republic (1989-). Hungary's current goal is to become a developed country by IMF standards, already being considered "developed" by most traditional measures, including GDP and Human Development Index (world ranking 36th and rising).

Hungary is one of the 15 most popular tourist destinations in the world, with a capital regarded as one of the most beautiful in the world . Despite its relatively small size, the country is home to numerous World Heritage Sites, UNESCO Biosphere reserves, the second largest thermal lake in the world , the largest lake in Central Europe , and the largest natural grassland in Europe. In terms of buildings, Hungary is home to the largest synagogue in Europe (Great Synagogue), the largest medicinal bath in Europe (Szechenyi Medicinal Bath), the third largest church in Europe (Esztergom Basilica), the second largest territorial abbey in the world (Pannonhalma Archabbey), the second largest Baroque castle in the world (Godollo), and the largest Early Christian Necropolis outside Italy (Pecs).

You can expect to find safe food and water, good safety and generally political stability.

Hungary doesn't attract terrorists and keeps drug and crime levels moderate.

Hungary has been ethnically diverse since its inception, and while over 90% of the population are ethnically Hungarian, pockets of ethnic and cultural Slovaks, Romanians, Germans and others dot the country. Due to the frequent border shifts in Eastern European history, over 2 million ethnic and cultural Hungarians live in bordering countries, as well.

Source: Wikitravel.org