Hungarian coronation jewels Important dates of Hungarian history

5th century
The Hungarian tribes left the area of the Urals. They passed along the Volga and the Caspian Sea. After several hundred years of wandering, they reached the Carpathian Basin.

Under the leadership of Árpád, the Hungarian tribes settled in the Carpathian Basin. They drove out part of the residents and absorbed the other part.

King Stephen of the Árpád dynasty ruled the country.

Stephen was converted to Christianity. After his death, he was canonized.

An abbey was set up at Tihany. The foundation charter was drawn up on the northern shore of Lake Balaton. This is the earliest written record extant in the Hungarian language.

The Mongolian Tatars devastated the country. Their presence, which lasted a year, halted development for at least a century. After the warfare with the Hungarians, the Tatars did not continue towards the west.

The rule of King Matthias. Cultural life of a European standard flourished in his palaces at Buda and Visegrád. For a few decades, Hungary lived on a West European standard.

At Mohács, the present southern frontier of the country, the Turks defeated the Hungarian army. 150 years of Turkish occupation started.

The Turks occupied Buda. Hungary was split into three parts. The Habsburg governed the western part of the country, the central area was ruled by the Turks, and the south-east Transylvanian principality (today part of Roumania) for a long time was the citadel of Hungarian culture.

Buda was recaptured from the Turks. (The Turks - similarly to the Tartars - could only advance in Europe to the territory of Hungary. Here they were faced by obstacles, after which no strength was left for the siege of Vienna.)

A freedom war under the leadership of Ferenc Rákóczi II, Prince of Transylvania, against the Habsburgs. The rebels defeated the Imperial army in several battles, but did not receive the promised French support and failed.

First half of the 19th century
A national reform movement was launched for the political and economic transformation of the country, for Hungarian language and culture. This was when the National Anthem was born, and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences was set up. The building of the Chain Bridge started. The initiator of these was Count István Széchenyi, an eminent figure of the Reform Age.

A revolution broke out in Pest, which extendedover the entire country. The Habsburg Emperor was dethroned after the Hungarian army won several significant battles. Lajos Kossuth was elected Governor. The longest European national revolution could only be oppressed in the summer of 1849 by the Habsburgs with the help of the Russian army.

The Hungarians concluded a compromise with the Habsburgs. A double-centred monarchy was set up with seats in Vienna and Pest-Buda. A spectacular industrial upswing started.

Pest, Buda and Obuda were unified: Budapest became a European metropolis. The buildings of that time - the Opera House, the National Gallery and Parliament - still determine the skyline of the city. The first subsurface underground railway on continental Europe was put into operation.

Germany and its allies, including the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, lost the world war. The monarchy disintegrated.

The Trianon Treaty reduced Hungary's area by two thirds and the population by one third. Since then, considerable Hungarian minorities lived in the neighbouring countries.

Germany concluded treaties in Munich and Vienna, according to which Southern Slovakia and Northern Transylvania were returned to Hungary.

The Nazis occupied Hungary, as they did not consider it a reliable ally. During the Second World War, the Hungarians suffered grave losses on the Soviet front. At the end of the war, Fascists took over the governing of the country.

The Soviet Army liberated, then occupied Hungary. At the hastly held elections, the Communists gained only 17 percent of the votes.

The last, relatively free election was followed by the years of Communist control: show trials, executions, forced settlement of hundreds of thousands, imprisonment, harassment, forced industrial development, a drop in living standards, and Stalinist dictatorship.

A revolution against Stalinism. The uprising was defeated by Soviet troops. János Kádár, who acquired power with their assistance, promised democratic socialism; in the meantime, retaliation and executions started.

The new system became consolidated, and cautious economic reforms were launched. Living standards were rising and the iron curtain became penetrable.

The Hungarian transition period began.

The Communist party voluntarily gave up its autocracy. A multi-party parliamentary democracy came into being in the country. The Soviet army left Hungary.

Hungary became full member of NATO.

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