Saint Stephen and the Christian Hungary The wise leader of the Hungarians, Géza saw that if Hungary doesn’t convert to christianity his nation will dissapear in Europe. That ’ s why he raised his family in the christian belief-system. Géza
His son (originally called Vajk) defeated the remaining pagan Hungarians lead by Koppány, founded the Kingdom of Hungary which stood for more than 900 years, became the first king of it and received the title Saint from both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Ortodox Church.
He is known today as King Saint Stephen of Hungary
He started the construction of the Esztergom Basilica which is the 3rd largest church in Europe, this is where his right hand, the so- called „Holy Right” is kept.
Unfortunately in 1241-1242 the conquering mongol tribes lead by Batu Khan reached Hungary and massacred half of the population and burnt most of the country to the ground.
The news of the death of the Great Khan made the enemy hordes to return to Mongolia This is when the rebuilding of Hungary started by King Béla IV. who because of this is called the second founder of Hungary
Soon a new enemy, the growing Ottoman Empire became a threat to Hungary. The country became the fronline of Christian Europe. This is when the great general Hunyadi János came to power, and at Nándorfehérvár he defeated the Turks, becoming a hero in over Europe.
Later his son has BECOME one of the most influental Hungarian King, who brought the Renessaince to Hungary and continued the fight against the Ottoman Empire. Today we know him as Matthias Corvinus
In 1526 a catastrophy happened, the Ottoman Army defeated the Hungarian forces at Mohács, killed the king, and conquered the middle part of Hungary, broke the rest into two halves, leaving Hungary separated for 150 years.
Finally in 1683 an international effort was made to chase out the Turks from Europe. In 1699 Hungary was freed from the Turks, but payed a big price. We had become the a part of the Habsburg- Austrian Empire and lost our independence.
The Modern Time of Hungary didn’t start so well, there was an attampted fight for independence lead by Rákoczi Ferenc, but it was defeated.
Later on Hungary started to develop, the so- called Reform Age began with the leadership of the two most cherished Hungarian politicanS, Széchényi István and Kossuth Lajos. This is when many of Hungary’s symbols were built like the Chain Bridge.
This eventually lead to Hungary’s most celebrated date, March 15 where The War for Independence started by Petőfi Sándor, Hungary’s national poet.
The war almost succeeded, but with Russian intervention the Habsburg Empire defeated the Hungarian forces, Pet ő fi was killed, 13 generals of the Hungarian Army were executed along with other people, and many leading politicans including Kossuth fled to other countries.
Our 20 th Century After the downfall of the War of Independence, the Austrian Empire knew they had to ease the sorrow of the Hungarians. This lead to the birth of the Austrian- Hungarian Monarchia. Hungary went through vast modernisation, Europe’s second biggest Parliament was built and the first subway in Continental Europe was built here
The First World War The Monarchy was a major force involved in the First World War. Hungarian troops had fought on Italian, Romanian, Russian, and Serbian frontlines.
The Monarchy had fought on the side of the German Empire, and it’s casualty was 385 000, but that was only the beginning. The terms of surrender,named Trianon Treaty dictated that Hungary would loose 3/2 of its territory, leaving 3,3 million ethnic Hungarians abroad. This tragedy haunts Hungarians to this day, because still millions of Hungarians live in another country because of this.
The Second World War Due to the territory lost and the German political influence Hungary entered the Second World War alongside the Axis The conseqences were devastating to the country.
Hungary has lost 580 000 people in the war wich was 6,4% of the total population and Budapest was in ruins. The Second Hungarian Army was compleatly destroyed at the Russian front. Hungarian Jews being selected, deported and killed in concentration camps.
At the end of WW2 Hungary was occupied by the Red Army, becoming a part of the Eastern Block for 50 years under the oppression of the Soviet Union and Hungarian Communist leaders like Rákosi Mátyás Like in any other Eastern Block country at the time, there weren’t any free elections held, the Secret Police searched and dealt with the „politically incorrect” and the everyday life of the people was dictated by the State.
This eventually lead to the 1956 Revolution where Hungary fought against the oppresion. The event was started by university students demonstrating and became an all-nation revolution. At the time the soviet forces were breaking down the uprising, H ungary’s waterpolo team had a semi-final match against the Soviet Union at the Melbourne Olympic Games, which is called the bloodiest match in the Olympics history. The team had won the golden medal altough the Revolution failed.
After the Revolution and the bloody retaliation, the State’s leadership knew they had to provide a better life quality for the people. Altough the politicics were still the same the people now had little moore freedom and better life circumstances, so there weren’t any more uprising. This went on until the end of the ’80s when fortunately Hungary had a peaceful conversion to become a democratic state.
A free Hungary Today Hungary is a democratic country and a member of the European Union since 2004. The country has finally become a peaceful and beaut i ful place, where all guest are welcome.