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Pannonia - from the Romans to the Magyars

The ruins of Aquincum In the years 35 - 34  BC, during the first Pannonian campaign of Octavian, the later emperor Augustus, came the local population for the first time in contact with the troops of Rome. It took time up to the years 13 to 9 BC until a commander of Augustus occupied the country between the eastern Alps, the river Danube and the Save and finally founded the new Roman province Pannonia. Around 15 AD the development of the Roman military camp Aquincum began in the area of today's Budapest.

The fate of Pannonia was closely linked with that of the Roman Empire up to the fifth century. A well-developed road system connected the twenty-six cities and many rural settlements of the colony divided last into four administrative districts. Emperor Decius A many-peoples crowd of Roman citizens mixed with the native Erawiskers and later also with the in the east of the Danube living "barbarians", who used the markets, baths and theatres of the cities during the long periods of peace. The river remained the border of the Roman Empire. Sons and daughters of Sarmats, Teutons and Alans established themselves again and again in the province. By the election of the Decius, a man of Pannonian origin, to emperor in the year 249 prosperity and stability reached a high point. Setbacks took place later by the violent attacks during the peoples migrations and the high points of the Christian pursuit by Emperor Diocletian. Particularly in Aquincum already very many Christians lived. Their priests and bishops were executed. At this time also the slow purge of the country began. Although the emperors arranged to stop this process by new building activities at the border fortifications, the bloom time of Pannonia ended to finally at the beginning of the fourth century.

First pulling through Germanic trunks afflicted the country; afterwards the Huns fell over the country. After the large earthquake in the year 456 the East Goths occupied Pannonia - with them ended the Roman administration. After the East Goths followed different nomads, who sometimes already did a little agriculture apart from the cattle breeding. Of little duration only was the presence of the Avars. Charles the Great struck their federation around 800. After the death of the Emperor far parts of the country separated from the Franconian Empire. Slaves established themselves in the area and filled up the power vacuum. Its master chieftain Svatopluk became in 9th century prince of the Great Moravian Empire. He was vassal of the East Frankish king Karlman. Its illegitimate son, Arnulf of Carinthia, called the Hungarians to the assistance, in order to restore the sovereignty of east Franconian at the east borders of the empire in the form, how it had existed under Charles the Greate.

Colonisation, from the Fright of Europe to Integration

Árpád The under the name Hungarians known trunk federation, consisting of different peoples and tribes of Asian origin, dominated by a Hungarian elite, lived in the east of the Carpathian Mountains and partially on the northern Balkans at the border to Byzantium. In the area between Dnjestr and Pruth this mixed people under the master chieftain Árpád won first firm structures. The Hungarians became allies of Arnulf. In the year 895 they overran the still existing Great Moravian Empire and occupied Pannonia.

The causes for the metamorphosis of this people are various. The Hungarian upper class was about to orient itself at the Carolingian example. After their raids to Spain, to the Rhine delta, to Southern Italy and to the borders of the city Byzantium and their defeat in the year 995 on the Lechfeld in the proximity of Augsburg they decided to follow the European model. Statue of Holy King Steven The master chieftain Géza converted himself around 995 to Christianity, its son Vajk was called from now István (Steven). This one asked Pope Sylvester for a crown, in order to govern like the other catholic rulers "from God's grace". With the coronation of Steven in the year 1000 Hungary was integrated as state in Europe. The choice of the Roman Catholicism and not the Byzantine form of the Christianity was crucial for the western orientation of the new state. Steven's second woman was Gisela of Bavaria, its successor - son of his sister, who had married the duke of Venice - was called Pietro Orseolo. 1102 was the neighbouring Kingdom of Croatia without rulers. The Croatian nobility decided not to choose a new king, but joined the kingdom of their Hungarian neighbour. Until 1918 the country formed together with Hungary a unit - on behalf of the Turkish period.

Turbulent times and great kings

King Béla Kings did not have a residence town around the turn of the millennium. Also the Hungarian kings travelled around in the country. Only Szekesfehérvár played an outstanding role as coronation place of the rulers. But the Mongol invasion of the year 1241 required a new structure. The villages and cities in the countryside were ruins; Óbuda and Pest devastated by the Mongols. Scouts brought reports over a second campaign of the Mongols. The Hungarians were now in the same situation, in which three centuries had been before the Frankish Empire and Bavarians. Only firm castles, roomy enough to host the entire population of the town in an emergency, were able to defy the riding Mongol crowds and to secure the existence of the kingdom. Budapest began to play the role of a capital. King Béla IV (1235 - 70) did everything to establish castles and town walls. One of it remnants can be visited also in the Somogy. The second attack of the Mongols actually took place in the year 1285 and could be repelled.

After the extinct of the Árpád dynasty in the year 1301 members of the house Anjou succeeded to climb onto the Hungarian throne. However this was no durable dynasty. Under the regency of the Bohemian King and German Emperor Sigismund of Luxembourg (1387 - 1437) the region was once again united, for the first time under participation of the Hungarians. Until today architectural monuments testify particularly in the capital of the bloom of the art in the period of Sigismund. The gothic held a short, but strong introduction in the country. Unfortunately the country purged to internal struggles for power after the death of Sigismund again.  Emperor Sigismund King Matthew Corvinus With the inauguration of King Matthew I Corvinus (1458 - 90) the country experienced a clear ascent after the decades of confusions again. Matthew, grandson of a small Transsylvanian nobleman and son of commander and Regent John Hunyadi was a large renewer. Italy was his model; also his queen was of Italian origin. The Renaissance ruler was a large constructor, far parts of its residence in Buda are received, outside staircases from red marble, with relieves decorated fountain, the noble rooms for the famous Bibliotheca Corviniana, a workshop for sculptors, fine gardens an so on testify the power of a strong fantasy and ability of the king. This ruler remained until today in good memory of the people. After Matthew the luckless intermediate play of the Jagellos followed. The armies of the Ottoman Empire, repelled by John Hunyadi and Matthew successfully, stood further threateningly at the southern border. Social tensions caused tumults and in the year 1514 a farmer rebellion, leaded by Dózsa. This has been fought down very bloody and brought the rural people practically in slavery. Louis II Jagello, married with a Habsburg princess, led 1526 the small Hungarian aristocrat army against the forward moving, well organised, armed forces of the Turks and suffered a catastrophic defeat. The king died in the battle, the army was completely reamed. Although the Turks had been unable to occupy entire Hungary after the battle at Mohács, Hungarians were unable to try to stop them again, nobody was found to fight for the country again.

Divided country and foreign Lords

The time of conquest was a time of extremely persistent resistance and occurrence just as by force of the occupiers. Here a state did not only lead a conquest war against another, like it was very usual that time, here met most different cultures and - which was probably still more decisive - most different religions one on the other. Emperor Ferdinand I Although the Ottoman Empire was an extraordinarily highly organised commonwealth, Hungary could not been conquered at once, even in spite of the high-developed military apparatus. Subjecting took partially place village for village. In other cases a vassal from the subjected state was given the regency. Thus the voivode of Transsylvania János Zápolya ruled also over central Hungary for the fist time. Only after its death the Turks engaged in Budapest, although Emperor Ferdinand tried to realise the rights of the Hungarian crown he inherited. He succeeded only partially to get his hereditary rights. A strip of Hungary along the border to Austria and upper Hungary, for instance the today's Slovakia, were governed in the name of Ferdinand from Pozsony, the today's Bratislava. In the east Hungary remained independent, Transsylvania selected the partnership with the Ottomans.

Very many Hungary fled into the areas, in which the Turks did not prevail, at their place came beside many Croats, Serbs and Bosnians also immigrants from distant parts of the Ottoman Empire. Of course in the neuralgic places of the state apparatus loyal Turks were installed. Dependent on those responsible persons the country was in each case exploited or administered also for conditions of the time quite correctly. The mosk in central Pécs Mainly in the large cities the Turks built an infrastructure according to their own needs, until today witness mosques, minarets and the famous Turkish bath houses in Budapest about it. From the Turkish fortifications practically nothing is received. The mental life experienced new impulses; alive is today above all still the memory of the Turkish garden culture. Fruits and vegetables were introduced by the Turks: peach, paprika and tomato contributed to the refinement of the kitchen and are life no more to exclude today from the daily life - not to mention the coffee, without which the life would be inconceivable in Hungary.

The conquest of Vienna Why Sultan Mohammed IV tried the conquest of Vienna is not known exactly. Apart from interior political difficulties, from which it applied to divert, probably the occurrence of a partisan army under Imre Thököly, fighting against Habsburg played probably a certain role. In the year 1683 the Ottoman army stood to the second time in front of the gates of Vienna.

The Habsburgs - Liberators, Hungarian Kings or Colonists?

Maria Theresia The Turks had strongly underestimated on the one hand the military strength of the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation on the other hand not counted on the broad European support for the relief of Vienna. The result was not only a destroying defeat of the Ottoman army at Vienna, but the beginning of the end of the Turkish supremacy in the Southeast of Central Europe. In the remaining years of that century Hungary was back conquered completely and Habsburg stood in Belgrade. Again people crowds were struck on escape by the conquests of the Habsburgs. Beside the Turks settled here also very many to the Islam converted Hungarians fled. Again whole regions were depopulated. Here the new ruler Maria Theresia, like also her father emperor Karl before settled inhabitants from their home countries, the Habsburgs now from their Swabian possess. Until today those Swabians are a substantial minority in Hungary.

Commander Prince Eugen The majority of the Hungarians welcomed the new Lords from Vienna first. There were also no problems to confirm the Habsburgs according to the succession of 1526 as Hungarian Kings in the parliament. The Habsburgs could be content with their Hungarians. It seemed to be fact that they had conquered a country that laid between the Austrian home country and the feared Turks - although their danger was banned - and apart from a beautiful title meant a clear increase in power the in front of their own "front door". Ferenc Rákoczi In this regard Hungary secured the supremacy of Habsburg in Germany. However no development took place in the country. Where for faith reasons the Calvinist Hungarians gave the ore-catholic Habsburgs little confidence these behaved as conquerors. Where strategically fortresses were judged as less important Habsburgs concerned rebellions and destroyed them, to man all of them the army was not large enough. And this concern was not without any reason. In the years 1703 to 11 Ferenc Rákóczi tried to drive the Habsburgs out of the country and claimed the power in Transsylvania. The Habsburgs had much more problems with the independence fighters than with the Turks, but the rebellions failed.

Gróf Széchenyi It took one century until the country recovered from Turkish rule and the Habsburg conquest. The period of the French revolution affected Hungary very little only. In the 19th century was Hungary in a mental departure. Ingenious newer of this time was count István Széchenyi. He initiated not only the first bridging between Buda and Pest, the famous chain bridge, but also the academy of the sciences, he made the Iron Gate on the Danube navigable and afterwards introduced steam shipping on the Danube and much more. The trade got international dimensions and many factories were founded. A law from the year 1840 permitted the free employment of trained factory workers, thus broke the hegemony of the guilds. In the year 1831 the Pest Commercial Hall was established, the predecessor of the goods and stock exchange. Ten years later the Pest credit bank took up their work. Newly opened book publishing houses, bookshops, daily papers and magazines developed a modern oriented readership. Also the reform eagerness and the tendency looking for a national identity grasped the German, Jewish and Slavic parts of the middle class. Common was the idea of a liberally Hungarian patriotism. Not only in the coffeehouses and restaurants, in which one met, also associations were founded where organised intellectual circles and debating club established themselves.

On the way to new independence

Sándor Petöfi The time of the reforms caused fundamental changes. They developed self-dynamics being faster and stronger than the by legal meanings permanently hindered detail-work on the change of the political system. The tension unloaded itself to March 15h 1848. Without knowing by the censorship authority the program of twelve points of the Pilvax circle, a group of young intellectuals, who debated in the today still existing coffeehouse Pilvax, and Sándor Petőfi´s poem "national song" were published. On the stages straight of the just established national museum  recited Petőfi his poem and the twelve points were distributed under the population. Mihály Táncsics In a period without any liberty of opinion this has been more than just a prevail against the rulers, although compared with the excesses of force elsewhere during the March revolutions a harmless venture. The only direct effect was the release of the arrested Mihály Táncsics. However some delegates of the Hungarian federal state parliament - which still stayed in Pozsony - caught the spark and succeeded to wrest from the emperor an own Hungarian government and to call up a new federal state parliament to Pest. Prime Minister became Lajos Batthyány, originating from southern Transdanubian aristocracy.

Metternich Franz Joseph I In Vienna the Earl of Metternich ruled in the name of the mentally deranged emperor Ferdinand II. After the Viennese congress he had ensured in Austria that the absolutist monarchy suffocated all liberals or revolutionary ideas completely. With the revolution in Vienna the system Metternich fell and with it in the meantime the completely confused monarch. Fresh blood should save the "Kaisertum" Austria, was found it in the young crown prince Franz Joseph, who should printed his personal stamp onto a whole epoch. At the age of 18 he climbed onto the emperor's throne in Vienna.

Lajos Batthyány Lajos Kossuth Franz Joseph I tried to turn back the innovations, which his uncle had agreed with under the pressure of the people. The Hungarians had a clear answer to it, they pronounced on April 14th 1849 the Hungarian republic. To the president they chose Lajos Kossuth. Franz Joseph did not think about to allow the Hungary's independence. He was unable to defeat Hungary militarily, so he called his Russian ally for assistance, who prepared an early end to the young republic. Sándor Petőfi died in a battle, the Prime Minister ended on the scaffold and president Kossuth fled into Turkish exile, he died 1894 at the age of 93 years, without being ever able to return to Hungary. The next decades Hungary was governed centrally from Vienna, so the national gaps in the many-peoples state grew.

The Parliament in Budapest Coronation of Franz Joseph I as Hungarian king It took time until 1867 a moderate reform of the state was introduced, the Austria-Hungarian reconciliation. Hungary received its own regional administration and emperor Franz Joseph I accepted to be crowned king of Hungary. The K&K monarchy was created, the chance to create a modern many-peoples state was gone, now two peoples had a primacy - two of sixteen. Economically Hungary experienced already since beginning of the century a steep ascends; the depressed revolution could only shift it a little. Just reasoned in the dependence on Austria Hungary didn't want to stand back in the competition. Since those days argues Hungary with the British about who has largest parliament building of the world.

Hungary up to 1918 and since 1919 As part of the double monarchy Hungary participated naturally at the side of Austria in the First World War. Everyone might know the results. Only days before its end Hungary proclaimed the republic for a second time. They stood thereby in the row of states splitting off Austria. Seen the role that Hungary in the K&K monarchy fulfilled Hungary was seen as loser of the war by its winners, differently than for example the Czechs and the Slovaks. With this argumentation Hungary was back-cut onto a small main area. All regions with mixed population were given directly to the (new) neighbour states. The once so important Transsylvania belonged to Romania, Upperhungary is today known as Slovakia and since the divorce from the Czechs an independent state, the more than 800 years before voluntarily in Hungary integrated Croatia came under the rule of Serbia, that as Kingdom of Yugoslavia continued to exist and so on. A third of the landmass of the K&K Hungary with approximately half of the population became actually independent.

A new, old state looks for its way

Mihály Gróf Károlyi The just proclaimed republic under the government of Mihály Gróf Károlyi survived only a few months. Communists actually took power in the spring 1919 and wanted to create a state after model of the soviet republics in Russia and Bavaria. Both Czechoslovakia and Romania saw a danger for their own countries in the red regime in Budapest and sent their armies against the new state - just as the Western powers did in Russia. What did not succeed in Russia reached the allies from Prague and Bucharest, the communists were driven out of Hungary. Royal Romanian troops occupied Budapest and large parts of Hungary and a half-year after the beginning of the soviet republic the country became again monarchy.

Did Hungary become monarchy again? Karl of Habsburg, the last K&K monarch tried to get back the Hungarian throne two times. Some would gladly have seen him as king, others among them the new rulers of Hungary, and the war winning powers absolutely not. King Karl during the second restitution Under those were the British the most powerful ones who did not want the restitution. King Karl selected not to risk new fights and abdicated. But Hungary remained monarchy - on the paper. The throne was kept vacant. This was not inconvenient to Miklós Horthy. He was former admiral of the K&K navy and adjutant of Franz Joseph I. He was after the invasion of the Romanians the powerful man in the capital. He was declared to be regent of the Empire and was thereby in fact the head of state. He was the central person of an authoritarian regime, which governed with the help of an elected parliament. However this wasn't the only contradiction of the new state. The government supported the industrialisation of the country, but did not create the conditions of an industrial society. One looked for the proximity and acceptance of the strengthened democracies, chose however the new dictatorial regimes of Europe as allies.

New dependence, new departure

Horthy and Hitler Hungary had not resigned itself to the fact that large parts of the country had been given to other states after the First World War. One tried to receive Transsylvania back from Romania. The German government under Hitler became the mediator of the controversy. Transsylvania became again Hungarian, only at which price! Hungary went actually into a new dependence. Logically the country participated also on the side of the Axis Powers in the Second World War. As long as Horthy remained a faithful partner he was allowed to govern Hungary on own ideas. But when doubts about its alliance loyalty came up Hungary was occupied 1944 by German troops. As the old Horthy undertook some months later, at the Hungarian border stood Soviet troops and American bombs devastated the cities, a dilettante attempt for a separate peace, he was directly arrested by SS troops. The Arrowcruisers, a paramilitary organisation of the urban mop, created after the model other National Socialist racquet troops, took over the power in Budapest. Terror prevailed in the roads of the city, which was taken by the Soviets in the fight house for house.

Mátyas Rákosi After the war - the foreign occupation had changed - Hungarians started the reconstruction of their country. 1946 democratic elections took place. The party of the small farmers,  agricultural workers and citizens achieved the absolute majority, followed by the Social Democrats, the Communist Party and the National Farmer Party. The country made itself on the way into a new epoch and the country became again the republic with a Calvinistic priest as president and a conservative Prime Minister. However this time lasted not for a long while. Seen foreign policy circumstances the situation escalated, Moscow tried to tighten its sphere of influence. Interior politically ensured this accordingly to tensions. As in other countries Communists and Social Democrats were also obligation-combined. The new party dominated by Mátyás Rákosi succeeded in relatively short time to split up the remaining political groups of the country.

Against prominent politicians of the not-communist majority, and in addition even Social Democrats show processes were led.  Imre Nagy Even the Communist Ministers László Rajk and János Kádár became victims of the Stalinist cleanings. Rajk was hung; Kádár condemned to life imprisonment. By force the entire economy was expropriated, each still so small farm was collectivised. The reconstruction of the country stagnated, the country operated in a general mental, political, economic and human crisis. After death of Stalin and the changed policy of Khrushchev also in Hungary those not yet in such a way crust structures broke up. Imre Nagy became Prime Minister. He originated from the communist party machinery, was not however not member of the Stalinist clique around Rákosi. This one knew however how to use the power-politics fluctuations in the Kremlin for its own purposes. Soon Imre Nagy was taken out of duty of his office and the bankrupt dictatorship was continued.

Sovjet tanks against demonstrating Hungarians The little freedom people received was not given up. Against demonstrants the new stalinist government wanted the Soviet Army for help. Here against October 23rd 1956 the people rebellion begun. With Imre Nagy as Prime Minister the government wanted to change Hungary into a pluralistic society with multiple party system. Enterprises should administer themselves by worker's administrations. From Warsaw Pact withdrew Hungary. One of the most glowing fellow combatants was from the detention-dismissed former Secretary of the Interior János Kádár. János Kádár The Soviet Union did not accept this loss of a vassal state. With tanks the peaceful revolution was down-rolled, Imre Nagy was kidnapped to Moscow and condemned to death. It has been János Kádár had called the Soviets for the justification of the invasion "for assistance" to give it some kind of legal facade. Almost logically he was set to the top of party and state. Democracy dreams were over for long time, but also the Stalinism was finally past. After some years Kádár loosened the regime. The command economy was moderated; private initiatives were permitted to smaller extent. Also with the slogan "who isn't against us is with us" socially somewhat more liberty was granted than in the other countries behind the iron curtain. The Goulash Communism moderated the situation, but could not even cover the central problems.

József Antall, Prime Minister 1990 - 1993 With the situation in the Soviet Union of the outgoing 80's of the last century, which has given up the universal claim of power in favour of social reforms and the world economic crisis all countries of the Eastern Bloc stood before difficult solvable problems. In some states one tried to solve the problems by force, as in Romania, in others at the negotiating table. Hungary belonged to the second group. Reform communists and opposition agreed on democratic elections. At this time the experiment democracy succeeded, József Antall has been elected to the first democratic Prime Minister. With regularity every four years changed majority conditions and governments up to 2006. The economy is mostly denationalised, Hungary and is by right popular among foreign investors. Hungary, since some years member of NATO and joined the European Union in May 2004. Even if still a lot must be caught up, Hungary is today after many detours there where it went to one millennium before under king Steven: integrated in the west of Europe.
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Magyar Kúria Real Estate Limited with office in Várong, nearby the thermal bath of Igal in Hungary, looks at herself not as real estate agent only, but mostly as service enterprise around the subject real estate, it doesn't matter whether used or for construction of your house or vacation-home, on your own or a by us purchased property, as a vacation-house, or for living there. On behalf a house in the tourist centres, as for example Siófok at Lake Balaton we can offer you your own farmhouse in a for village tourism interesting settlements, or just a townhouse in Kaposvár, Pécs or other towns. We will help you with your cure or vacation and also if you plan to invest between Balaton and Drava, we work for you in the komitats Somogy, Tolna and Baranya. For all questions you can contact our customers service.