Hungarian people from the Urals arrived in the Carpathian Basin in 895-896, then conquered the territory and settled down. One hundred years later our first king, Stephen I, founded the Hungarian state and integrated the country into the European Christian nations.
One of Hungary’s most glorious eras was the time of the Hunyadis, in which Matthias Corvinus the Righteous reigned as the greatest Hungarian king ever, leading Hungary to become one of the most important Central European countries.
In 1526, after the calamity of the Battle of Mohács, the Ottomans divided the country into three parts: the Habsburgs in the western and northern parts; Turks in the central area; and the Principality of Transylvania in the south-east as the stronghold of Hungarian culture and independence.
Following other rebellions in the period of the Spring of Nations in Europe, the Hungarians revolted against the Austrian emperor. The revolution was suppressed by the Habsburgs with the help of the Russian Czar and in 1867 a compromise with the Habsburgs was reached, establishing the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
As part of the Empire, Hungary lost against the Allied Powers in 1918 and the monarchy fell apart. Following the Treaty of Versailles, Hungary lost two thirds of its territory and 3.3 million Hungarians suddenly became citizens of Hungary’s neighbouring countries.
After entering the war in 1941, Hungary suffered enormous loss again, including a death toll of approximately one million citizens. The Soviets drove the Germans out of the country in 1945 and stayed here for the next four and a half decades, incorporating the country into the Soviet bloc.
Along with many others in the Eastern bloc, the revolution of ’56 is one of the symbols of resistance against the Soviets during the cold war. Although the revolution was suppressed (with approximately 3,000 casualties), it was a clear message to the Soviets that their plans were not sustainable.
The rapid changes in the Soviet bloc and other international developments led to the fall of the Berlin Wall on 9th November 1989, leading to political changes in the entire eastern part of Europe. The countries became free from Soviet rule and Hungary became a republic for the third time. The first democratic, multi-party elections were held in 1990.
After joining NATO in 1999, Hungary became a member of the European Union in 2004 along with 9 other countries. In the first half of 2011, it held the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the first time.