The Land Where Hungarian Hearts Belong : Hortobágy, The Puszta

Hortobágy National Park is in the great plains of eastern Hungary. This vast grassland area is inscribed as World Heritage it is considered central to be the origin and identity of the Hungarian people. Nomadic Magyars originating from Central Asia founded the country we know today as Hungary.

These statues of Magyar warriors are in Heroes Square in Budapest. This one – Arpád – led the Magyar advance onto the Hungarian plains at the end of the 9th century. Among the many statues in the Square is one of King István I, Hungarys first King. The Magyar nation was founded in 1,000 A.D. This is the Houses of Parliament in Budapest. And this is István the Firsts crown it was presented to the King by the Pope of the day. It is a symbol of Magyar acceptance within western Christendom.

When the Magyar arrived, they led a pastoral existence. This well provided water for a large number of livestock. It is a necessity on the grassland where there is no shelter from the summer sun. The Magyar people travelled with domesticated animals from Central Asia. Some of them are regarded today as endemic species in Hungary and kept on the plains. This is the Racka sheep. These are Mangalica pigs. They have curly hair and their meat is fatty. These are Hungarian Grey Cattle known for their long horns.

This Magyar horse rider is demonstrating the traditional technique of riding 5 horses at once. They also train their horses to do amazing things such as this sitting pose . Cooking on the plains, takes place in an open hut. Today they use firewood for fuel but in the old days dried cattle dung was standard. This is Gulyash or Goulash – the Hungarian national dish. The prairie is a homeland to the Hungarian people.

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