Hungary, facts and history in brief Budapest, facts and history in brief
Hortobágy is a famous tourist attraction on the Great Plains of Hungary. It refers to the famous wind-swept (Puszta) region of Hungary's first national park, Hortobágy National Park, about 72 square miles (115 km2) of almost flat, saliferous, semi-arid grasslands, criss-crossed by streams, rivers, lakes and wetlands and containing a wide variety of plant and animal life, a few km from Debrecen.
These puszta, once regularly flooded by the River Tisza, are fertile pastures for horses, cattle and flocks of sheep grazing the area today carrying on a tradition which goes way back in human history.
The Hortobágy region was settled by the early Neolithic times and has been used ever since in various ways, but mainly for grazing livestock. Towards the end of the 1st century the Jazig people of Iranian origin settled on the steppe-like territories east of the River Tisza and turned to agriculture.
The settlements founded by the conquering Hungarians in the 10th-13th centuries were demolished and abandoned during the Tartar, Mongol and Turkish invasions.
By 1460 the area was already described as a "puszta", which denoted an uninhibited place.
The inhabitants never resettled the area, but have utilized them for extensive livestock keeping ever since.
This is why the sight of ancient Hungarian domestic animals such as the Hungarian gray longhorn cattle, spiral-horned "Racka" sheep, Nonius horses, herdsmen, shepherds and horse-herds are indispensable parts of the landscape.
Today living history demonstrations help to revive the traditions of older times and provide a distinctive flavour throughout the region.
In 1973 Hortobágy National Park was created as the first national park in Hungary. Then in 1979 Hortobágy National Park was established as a biosphere-reserve by the UN. In order to protect its various natural resources and tradition.
Hortobágy village is situated in the centre of the Puszta and offers a wide range of programs for tourists.
The Hortobágy Csárda (village inn) in the village welcomes the visitors with traditional atmosphere, dishes, entertainment ("Gypsy music") and service, since 1699.
Near the Csárda we can see the neoclassical style Nine Span Bridge, 167.3 m long, built between 1827-1833, the longest stone highway bridge in Hungary.
There are also the Hortobágy Gallery and 'Shepherds' Museum showing paintings, statues and other works of art of the Puszta as well displaying implements of pastoral life.
The visitor can enjoy the horse driven carriage tour, air show, boat trip on the Hortobágy River, fishing, bird watching and many other attractions not forgetting the Goulash soup (Gulyásleves, the flavours of the Puszta) is a meal which is known virtually all over the world, between St. George's day and St. Michael's day.
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