The New York Times, September 21, 1884, p.6:|
MAGYARS AND THE DANUBE.
SZOLNOK, Western Hungary, Aug. 27.--We have descended the Danube to Vienna, and have come on here by rail via Pressburg [Bratislava] and Pesth. And here we are fairly in Hungary at last, "the land of the Magyar," as it is persistently called by many people who, when questioned on the subject, turn out to be quite in the dark as to what or who a Magyar is.
The native element is indeed quite in the ascendant now, Hungarian nationality having arisen full-blown from the ashes of the great conflagration of 1848. Few countries and few races are better worth seeing than that which one sees on the great mountain plateau between the Danube and the Carpathian Mountains, even without the aid of the romantic legend, supported by Moritz, Jokai and other native writers, which makes the Magyars of Hungary spring from the same ancient stock as the Circassians of the Caucasus.
I, for one, can well believe the tradition, for many of the faces which I see around me here are perfect photographs of those I used to meet in the streets of Kasafiourt and Vladikavkaz, or beneath the shadow of the great white cone of Mount Kasbek [Mount Kazbek].
But before saying anything further about our Hungarian travels I must turn back to finish our voyage down the Danube, of which we took leave at Ofen [German for Buda, the western side of Budapest], to see him no more till we catch a passing glimpse of him creeping feebly in the last days of his dotage through the dreary swamps of Roumania.
The afternoon train from Munich reaches Passau at midnight, and thence you start down the river toward Linz and Vienna at 3 on the following afternoon...
As the night train glides onward through the darkness from Vienna to Pesth, you are roused from your first sleep by a shrill call of "Wagram." It is strange to think that this quiet little place should have become a household word throughout the civilized world--a symbol of pride and glory to one great nation and of undying shame and bitterness to another. But once past it you may resume your slumbers with a clear conscience, for even the splendor of the full moon can do little to relieve the flatness of the country.
A sudden halt and a shout of "Buda-Pesth" finally tell you that you have reached the capital of Hungary.
Pesth is undoubtedly pretty on a fine Summer morning, with its broad white pavements and smart houses of hewn stone, its leafy boulevards and brightly painted signs and jingling tram cars, (which have first class and second class compartments like their railway brethren,) and the grand old Danube sweeping through the midst of it in all the fullness of his might. But it loses much, like St. Petersburg, by its utter flatness and intensely modern aspect, and is, in fact, merely an abridged copy of Vienna.
But the older town of Buda, on the opposite bank, built along the crest of a steep, rocky height, (up the side of which a charming little shady path winds through a bright green maze of tress and shrubs to the pretty public garden on the top) is undoubtedly, as the tramp said of the model prison, "as nice a place to spend a quiet day as any gentleman could wish."
Little remains, it is true, of the stern fortress from whose ramparts the Keretsenyis and Karolyis of the sixteenth century watched, with kindling eyes, the flash of Turkish steel and the flutter of Turkish banners breaking through rolling dust clouds along the surrounding hills. But memories of war and bloodshed still gather around the gloomy pillar of bronze that stands on the highest point of the ridge inscribed with the names of the Austrian soldiers who fell here in the fatal struggle of 1849.
Modern though it is, however, the Hungarian capital is a pleasant sight, if only for the universal prevalence of that grand old Magyar tongue which is now triumphant where it was lately outlawed. I could wish, however, that a German translation were occasionally appended for the benefit of the outer barbarians who know not Petöti and Jokai.
When Mr. Llewellyn mistook a man named Bull for one named Scraggs, he was assured that he must have been "misled by the remarkable similarity between the names." But even he could scarcely have discovered much similarity between Nagy-Szeben and Hermanstadt, or have guessed that Nagy-Varad is another name for Gross Wardein, that Kronstadt is the same place as Brasso, and Klausenburg as Kolozsvar.
Many of the names are startling enough even in their normal state. My landlord is called Daniel Fishbone, and one of his neighbors John Serpent, a pretty fair parallel to the English frigate Sepulchre, whose Captain was Henry Death, her first officer William Devil, and her surgeon John Ghost.
To get from Pesth to Szolnok--the scene of Damjanic's [János Damjanich] wonderful victory in 1849--is no easy matter, the local railway company having apparently done its best to prevent any one from getting there at all. Not till 10 at night do we finally reach Szolnok, and after being attacked by two rival hotel runners, who seem inclined to repeat Solomon's judgement by halving us between them, we find ourselves rumbling along a dark road between two shadowy files of trees, lurching and pitching to and fro as if we were at sea.
On, on, on we go, catching at times a passing glimpse of white houses glimmering spectrally through the surrounding gloom. At length we swoop around a corner room into a wide, desolate market place, and pull up suddenly in front of a long, low, straggling building.
At sunrise next morning we are awakened by a clamor of voices outside our opened and uncurtained window, and I jump out of bed to find myself face to face with about a hundred marketwomen who have ample leisure to take stock of my appearance while I struggle with the Gordian knot into which the cord of our primitive blind has unhappily twisted itself.
The "desolate" market place is now buzzing like a hive, and contains not a few groups which would be invaluable to a painter. Here go two or three peasants with the genuine rusty tan of the puszta (prarie) upon their weatherbeaten faces, and wearing the traditional sheepskin bunda, (jacket,) although their fair skin, broad heavy features, and thick, straight mass of light hair are more suggestive of Wallachian Slavs from Transylvania than of true Magyars.
There a strapping young farmer, in a felt wide-awake and a brand-new vest glittering with bullet-shaped metal buttons, is making open love to a pretty girl in a short blue skirt with a fat goose under her arm, who, by her mischievous smile and her frequent pointing from him to the bird, appears to be drawing a trenchant historical parallel between the two.
Further on, a buxom marketwomen, whose ruddy face is framed in a smart yellow kerchief, the ends of which hang down her back like drooping flags, is dilating volubly upon the merits of the piece of colored calico which she is holding temptingly before the eyes of a hesitating customer. See how eagerly these two children, whose bare brown arms are fully displayed by their sleevless pink frocks, are eyeing the piled-up sweetmeats on yonder stall. And here comes a figure which at first sight looks like a barefooted woman who has adopted the fashion of divided skirts, but which is really a slim, smooth-faced lad from the plains, in the loose white drawers of the Hungarian csikos, (herdsman.)
The first glimpse of Szolnok, which lies on a low clayey peninsula at the junction of the Theiss [Tisza] and the Zagyva, suffices to show that we are passing from the west to the east of Europe. The broad, straight, unpaved streets, the enormous ditches that flank them, bridged with charitable planks here and there, the all-pervading dust and flies, the quaint, half Oriental costumes, the muddy river with its rude wooden bridges, the "corduroyed" road through the swamps outside the town, the happy-go-lucky arrangement of the houses--which look like raw recruits vainly trying to form in line--would all be quite at home in any country landscape of Roumania or Southern Russia.
But primitive as it is, the quiet little town has won an imperishable name in Hungarian history, and no one need wonder why who has read the full details of the splendid tragedy so briefly summed up on the monument beside the Zagyva bridge: "In memory of the heroes who were slain at Szolnok for the freedom of their fatherland on the 5th March, 1849."
D. K. [DAVID KER]
The middle portion of the above article, dealing with Vienna, Austria, is located at Austria News & Links
The New York Times, August 6, 1919, p.3:|
BUDAPEST AWAKENING FROM RED NIGHTMAREAgoston Says New Cabinet
Has Honestly Turned Its Back on Communism.
BUDAPEST, Aug. 5. (Associated Press)--Count Julius Andrassy, former Austro-Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs; Ernst Garami and Dr. Wilhelm Vaszony have arrived in Budapest from Switzerland.
Count Andrassy had a conference today with Hungarian politicians, and expressed his preference for a purely bourgeois government. He said, however, that he recognized the necessity for a coalition ministry which he promised to support, though under no circumstances would he participate in it.
The restoration of the country and an effort to move the Peace Conference into changing the peace terms as to boundary lines so as to permit Hungary to retain more of her former territory are among the many problems now facing the new Cabinet which, according to Peter Agoston, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, has honestly turned its back on Communism.
It has appointed business men to posts in its membership. Among them, Max Fanyu has been named for the Department of Commerce, and M. Lovassy for the Department of Instruction. The latter has just been released from a Communist prison, where he had been held as a hostage.
Less than a coalition government, it is stated, is impossible under the present state of mind of the proletariat. The people, it is asserted, were glad to see the Bela Kun Soviet go, but are uneasy at the prospect of losing all the offices the proletariat once had. They are bitterly resisting disarming, especially since the Rumanians arrived preceded by tales of terrible cruelty.
The Communists have disappeared entirely, but is is feared that they are merely laying low and will appear actively if the new government is too reactionary.
Captain Gregory, the chief allied food administrator in Central Europe, has come here by automobile from Vienna in order to see the re-establishment of communication and secure coal for the hundreds of locomotives tied up with miles of idle freight and passenger cars. It is desired to set this rolling stock in motion so that food may be moved from the Banat region to Vienna and to enable trade to resume its normal routes.
It was stated today that three regiments of troops, Italian, French, and British, respectively, are to be billeted here for the purpose of maintaining order. It was thought, however, that this possibly would be unnecessary.
This beautiful city is slowly reawakening. The hotels are being filled rapidly by refugees returning from Vienna and elsewhere. Many of them expressed amazement at the thoroughness with which the Soviet had stripped parts of the city.
The Hungaria Hotel, which masqueraded as the Soviet House from three months, and was occupied by a band of persons who lived on the favor of Bela Kun and other leaders, is now housing anti-communists.
Many things are difficult to get here. A waiter in the Hungaria Hotel begged the correspondent for a collar. He said he had but one, and it was wearing out rapidly because of its constant use and frequent overnight washings.
Along the country roads, when automobiles stopped so the passengers might show the military guards news of the new Government in Vienna and Budapest papers, women, ragged and barefooted, sought to exchange their shoes, which they carried, for meat for their families.
In Budapest, in the ante-rooms of Premier Peidll, and in other rooms once luxuriously furnished, callers sit on handsome antique furniture, which, however, is battered, and chairs have arms or legs missing.
The negro chauffeur of an American party, after a few hours stay here today, remarked: "This sure is a dead town; I want to go home."
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All of Hungary is one
time zone at GMT+1, with
with European DST.
The Republic of Hungary is a landlocked country, bordered by seven other nations of central Europe. The capital is Budapest. The area of Hungary is 35,919 square miles (93,030 square km). The estimated population of Hungary for July, 2008 is 9,930,915. The official language is Hungarian.
Hungary became a Christian kingdom in A.D. 1000 and for many centuries served as a bulwark against Ottoman Turkish expansion in Europe. The kingdom eventually became part of the polyglot Austro-Hungarian Empire, which collapsed during World War I.
The country fell under Communist rule following World War II. In 1956, a revolt and an announced withdrawal from the Warsaw Pact were met with a massive military intervention by Moscow. Under the leadership of Janos KADAR in 1968, Hungary began liberalizing its economy, introducing so-called "Goulash Communism."
Hungary held its first multiparty elections in 1990 and initiated a free market economy. It joined NATO in 1999 and the EU in 2004.
CIA World Factbook: Hungary
Area of Hungary:
93,030 sq km
slightly smaller than Indiana
Population of Hungary:
July 2008 estimate
Languages of Hungary:
Free Online Books on Hungary
Budapest, City of the Magyars 1903
City of the Magyar Vol 1 1840
City of the Magyar Vol 2 1840
Hungary 1909 with paintings
Peasant Art in Austria & Hungary 1911 color pics
Austria-Hungary 1905 Baedeker Handbook
Travels in Hungary 1797
Unknown Hungary 1881
Hungary: People, Places & Politics 1907
Hungary & Transylvania 1850
Hungary: People, Country & Conditions 1908
Hungary and the Hungarians 1908
Hungary Past & Present 1854
History of Hungary & Magyars 1853
History of Austro-Hungary 1889
English-Hungarian Dictionary 1886
Hungary Reference Articles and Links
Wikipedia: Hungary - History of Hungary
Library of Congress Hungary Country Study
The Economist: Hungary Country Briefing
BBC Country Profile: Hungary
US State Department: Hungary Profile
Hungarian Embassy, Washington, DC
US Embassy, Budapest
Governments on the WWW links
US State Dept Hungary Travel
Hungary National Tourism Office
This Way Budapest 2001
Adventure Guide to Hungary 2007
Hungary News Websites
MTI Hungarian News Agency
MTI Eco financial
Napi Online in Hungarian
Nepszava in Hungarian
Nepszabadsag in Hungarian
Gondola in Hungarian
Reggel in Hungarian
Vilaggazdasag in Hungarian
Magyar Nemzet Online in Hungarian
ABYZ: Hungary News Links
Hungary Internet Directories
Yahoo!: Hungary directory
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