Hungary Culture

by | August 17, 2021

In Hungary, western and eastern cultures mix. Traces of the Roman Empire can be found in Budapest in the remains of the ancient Roman city of Aquincum. The former mosque of Jakowalj Hassan in Pécs bears witness to the 150-year rule of the Turks. The Esterházy Palace in Fertőd, built in the middle of the 18th century, is reminiscent of the splendor of the Hungarian Rococo. It is closely linked to the work of J. Haydn , who served the Esterházys for almost three decades. The “Golden Age” began in 1867, and the state, administration and society were modernized. Huge magnificent buildings were built, such as the parliament building in Budapest according to the plans of the architect I. Steindl.

With symphonic poetry, F. Liszt created a new genre within program music. The composers B. Bartók and Z. Kodály were leaders in the field of folk song research. They incorporated melodies they had collected while traveling in their works. E. Kálmán delighted with his operettas (»Csárdásfürstin«, 1915). With the orchestral work “Atmosphères”, G. Ligeti created a classic of new music in 1961. The director S. Kubrick used the groundbreaking orchestral work in his space epic »2001: A Space Odyssey« (Hungarian music).

Szinyei Merse is one of the first Hungarian Impressionists with works such as »Breakfast in the Open«. In 1896, K. Ferenczy was one of the initiators of the first Hungarian artists’ colony in Nagybánya. Until the First World War, the small town became an important center for open-air painting. B. Czóbel had contact with the Fauves in Paris and is one of the representatives of the École de Paris (Hungarian art).

Due to the Iron Curtain, Hungarian literature fell out of international focus for around 40 years. At the latest with the Nobel Prize for Literature for I. Kertész in 2002, she has returned impressively. With Kertész and G. Konrád , the trauma of the Holocaust runs like a red thread through the work. Internationally known are the national poet S. Petőfi and J. Arany , whose style is characterized as “poetic realism”. I. Madách wrote “The Tragedy of Man” (1861) as the history of mankind in verse – the epic is referred to as the “Hungarian Faust”.

Classics of Hungarian film were created by I. Szabó and M. Mészáros . Authors’ films since the 2000s have had a permanent place in the culture and history of European film. L. Nemes’ “Son of Saul” about camp life in Auschwitz won the Oscar for best foreign language film in 2016, the love film “Body and Soul” by director I. Enyedi was awarded the Golden Bear in Berlin in 2017.

As one of the countries beginning with letter H listed on Countryaah, Hungary has a wide variety of folk traditions, for example in handicrafts, folk music and dance (csardas). Culture and music festivals, such as the annual Sziget Festival in Budapest, are firmly anchored in the annual cultural calendar. In communist Hungary, competitive sport was a figurehead for political reasons and was particularly encouraged. The most popular sports include soccer, water polo and chess. In the east of Budapest there is a Formula 1 racing track (Hungaroring).

Hungary Culture

World Heritage Sites in Hungary

World Heritage Sites (K) and World Natural Heritage (N)

  • Buda Castle District and the banks of the Danube in Budapest (K; 1987)
  • Hollókő (traditional village of the Palozen) (K; 1987)
  • Caves in the Aggtelek Mountains (N; 1995)
  • Benedictine Abbey of Pannonhalma (K; 1996)
  • Hortobágy National Park (K; 1999)
  • Early Christian burial chambers from Pécs (K; 2000)
  • Cultural landscape Neusiedler See (Hungarian Fertő-tó) (K; 2001)
  • Cultural landscape of the Tokaj wine region (K; 2002)

Tokaj Wine Region Cultural Landscape (World Heritage)

The Tokaj-Hegyalja wine-growing region in northeast Hungary in the vicinity of the city of Tokaj documents the viticulture that has been practiced there since the 13th century with its wineries and cellars. Louis XIV. cherished the Tokaj, Hungary’s most famous white and sweet wine to this day.

Tokaj Wine Region Cultural Landscape: Facts

Official title: Cultural landscape of the Tokaj wine region
Cultural monument: Wine towns of Tarcal, Bodrogkeresztúr, Mád, Tállya and the Tokaj center as representatives of a long tradition of viticulture in this region; Area with around 60 km² of vineyards; Wineries Ungvári in Sátoraljaújhely, Rákóczi in Sárospatak, Köporosi and Gomboshegyi in Hercegkút and Oremus in Tolcsva with centuries-old, kilometer-long wine cellars and the wine museum in Tolcsva as a testimony to the production and storage of the famous Tokaj wines
Continent: Europe
Country: Hungary
Location: Tokaj and the surrounding area, Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplen County in northeastern Hungary
Appointment: 2002
Meaning: Unique connection between landscape, viticulture, human culture and traditions and their preservation over centuries up to the present day

Tokaj Wine Region Cultural Landscape: History

around 1000 First written mention of the city of Tokaj
13./14. Century Large-scale viticulture in Tokaj and the surrounding area
1641 First delimitation of the Tokaj growing area
1650 According to a legend, the Tokaj wine in its present form was produced by the preacher Szepsi
17./18. Century The heyday of Tokaj viticulture
1700 Adoption of detailed viticulture regulations by Prince Franz Rákóczi II.
1737 Royal decree limiting the growing area
1949 Nationalization of the wineries
1990 Reprivatisation of the vineyards and wine cellars

Tokaj wine region

The Tokaj is the designation of origin for the most famous white and sweet wine in Hungary. The Tokaj-Hegyalja cultivation area, which extends over 27 municipalities in the vicinity of the city of Tokaj, comprises around 60 km² of vineyards and extends to neighboring Slovakia.

Wine barrels from the Tokaj vineyards

The higher quality Tokaj wines are stored in wooden barrels for up to three years, often in rock cellars, the walls of which are covered with thick, black cellar mold.

Tokaj Church. The Hungarian city, 200 kilometers east of Budapest, is the center of the Tokaj Mountains wine region. The term “Tokaj” comes from Armenian and means “grape”.

Cultural landscape of the Tokaj wine region

The Tokaj-Hegyalja wine-growing region in northeast Hungary in the vicinity of the city of Tokaj documents the viticulture that has been practiced there since the 13th century with its wineries and cellars. Louis XIV. cherished the Tokaj, Hungary’s most famous white and sweet wine to this day.