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The UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Hungary

December 2014


At present there are eight Hungarian World Heritage Sites on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Each of them is worthy of seeing as they provide a diverse picture of Hungary’s cultural and natural heritage values.

 

Budapest
Including the Banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter & Andrassy Avenue

The World Heritage site extending from Margaret Bridge to Liberty Bridge contains, on the Buda side, the building complex of the Buda Castle Quarter, including the civic district which has kept its medieval structure to date, Matthias Church and Fishermen's Bastion, as well as the Buda Castle.

One of the most impressive buildings of the Pest side is the Historicist-neo-Gothic building of Parliament. The neo-Renaissance seat of the Hungarian Academy of Science; the Gresham Palace, a masterpiece of Hungarian art nouveau; the Pest Vigadó Concert Hall, a landmark of Hungarian Romantic architecture; and the Central Market Hall, one of the most beautiful works of historicist brick architecture in Hungary, are especially valuable.

The cityscape includes the bridges connecting Buda and Pest, four of which belong to the World Heritage site: Margaret Bridge, the Széchenyi Chain Bridge (the first stone bridge between Buda and Pest), Elisabeth Bridge and Liberty Bridge.

Andrássy Avenue is one of the most remarkable urban development complexes built in the second half of the 19th century connecting the dynamic inner city area with the green of the City Park ending in the impressive complex of Heroes' Square. The avenue represents the pinnacle of the era transforming Budapest into a metropolis including a jewel like the Opera House. Underneath Andrássy Avenue, the first underground railway of continental Europe is still in function.

 

Old Village of Hollókő And its Surrounding

The Old Village of Hollókő (Hollókő Ófalu), situated in Nógrád County, in the north of Hungary, is a consciously preserved old village hidden among the hills of Cserhát, where tradition lives on. The village consists of 55 family houses and a church, a folk architecture complex which is reminiscent of the beginning of the 20th century. The historic village architecture, the shapes and use of materials of traditional Palóc buildings form a harmonic unity with the natural landscape. The World Heritage site of 145 hectares includes the ruins of a medieval castle above the village and the outskirts of the village which used to be organically integrated into the village economy.

 

Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst

What makes the caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst so exquisite is their extraordinary variety of formations, complexity and the fact that they are relatively intact and concentrated within a small area. The uniform karst region stretching along the north-eastern border of Hungary and the south-eastern border of Slovakia, comprising more than 1000 caves, is one of the most remarkable and most complex examples of limestone formations in medium-high mountains in the moderate climate zone, extremely rich in biological, geological and paleontological values as well. One of the most significant caves of the World Heritage site is the Baradla - Domica cave system; with a total length of 26 km, which is the longest cave within the moderate climate zone.

 

Millenary Benedictine Abbey of Pannonhalma and its Natural Environment

The building complex of the Pannonhalma Benedictine Archabbey is a landmark in the Pannon landscape of Western Hungary. The monastery of the Benedictine Order built in 996 is as old as Hungarian statehood. As the founder, Prince Géza had envisaged, the monastery became one of the eastern strongholds of Medieval European culture and played a key role in the spread of Christianity in Central Europe.

The monastic community follows the Rule of Saint Benedict with the motto ‘Ora et labora!’ (‘Pray and work!’) and upholds this centre of Benedictine culture with unique continuity up to this day. Rich artistic and scientific collections add to the value of the Archabbey and beside the sacral and educational activities, production of high-quality products is also important (the tradition of viticulture and viniculture is one of the most important economic activities and also the lavender plantation and the herb garden, with its herbal house and tea house and a lavender distiller are also integral parts of the Archabbey).

 

Hortobágy National Park - the Puszta

The territory of the Hortobágy National Park of about 81 thousand hectares is situated on a large plain and presents a unique example of the harmonic interaction of man and nature, manifested in keeping livestock adapted to the natural environment (saline pastures, steppes, meadows and wetlands). The unbroken horizon of the Puszta is only rarely interrupted by trees or clumps of trees, line facilities or settlements, roadside inns, called “csárda”, bridges (the Nine-Arch Bridge is one of the symbols of Hortobágy) and shepherds’ facilities.
For the most part, the Puszta is still uninhabited, but, preserving pastoral and social traditions from April to October several hundred animal keepers graze their grey cattle herds, Racka sheep flocks or horses on the grassland.

In spring and autumn, the special wildlife habitat offered by the Puszta is a site of European significance for the roosting and migration of water fowl. The hundreds of thousands of cranes and wild geese migrating through Hungary take a rest here twice a year, offering a spectacle of international fame for birdwatchers.

 

Early Christian Necropolis of Pécs (Sopianae)

The Early Christian Necropolis of Pécs (Sopianae) is one of the most significant provincial cemeteries. On the site of the modern city of Pécs, the Ancient Romans had founded Sopianae in the 2nd century AD, and by the 4th century it had grown into a flourishing provincial seat and an important center of Christianity. The already explored archaeological findings offer a uniquely varied and complex illustration of the early Christian burial architecture and art of the northern and western provinces of the Roman Empire, the roots of a civilization surviving to the present day.

 

Fertő / Neusiedlersee Cultural Landscape

A mysterious salt lake, marsh, moorland and forests of reeds, romantic landscape with a thousand faces - these are the images conjured up by the mention of Fertő. Although cut in two by state borders since the year 1920, geologically and historically the site is still unified, and it has unique natural, landscape, architectural and settlement qualities.

With its surface of 310 square kilometers, Fertő Lake is one of the largest saltwater (saline) lakes of Europe, a wetland habitat of international significance, and at the same time, the westernmost representative of Eurasian steppe lakes. The cultural landscape contains outstanding values of cultural history and ethnology. There are remarkable monuments of the Ancient Roman period, the Romans also introduced viticulture and wine-making, still important and of high quality. The architecture of settlements around the lake demonstrates the heritage of building construction in the 18th and 19th centuries, such as Fertőrákos, Balf, Hidegség, Fertőboz and Hegykő.
In addition to the simplicity of village architecture, there are some splendid castles of outstanding cultural value such as the Esterházy Castle with its grand Baroque French park or the Széchenyi Castle.

 

Tokaj Wine Region Historic Cultural Landscape

The Tokaj Wine Region historic landscape is situated in northeast Hungary, at the foot of Zemplén Mountain Range, along the River Bodrog, and at the confluence of the Rivers Bodrog and Tisza. The World Heritage site covers the administrative area of 27 settlements, with a total surface of around 88,124 hectares. Viticulture and wine-making probably date back to the Hungarian conquest of the Carpathian Basin (896), and records prove the propagation of viticulture starting from the second half of the 12th century. The special climatic and environmental conditions of the Tokaj Region gave way to a unique tradition of viticulture and wine-making (enology). The diverse socioeconomic, cultural, ethnic and religious background of the population of Hegyalja (Tokaj Region), and last, but not least, the outstanding fame of Tokaji Aszú wine have contributed to the establishment of the rich and varied cultural heritage of the region.

 

For more information please contact László Pásztor at hungary@euromic.com

Budapest

Danube Bank

Buda Castle Quarter

Andrássy Avenue with Heroes' Square

Hollóko Old Village

Hollóko Old Village

Aggtelek

Baradla Cave

Benedictine Abbey of Pannonhalma

The Hortobágy National Park

The Hortobágy National Park-Arch Bridge

Early Christian Necropolis of Pécs

Ferto Landscape

Esterházy Castle

Tokaj Wine Region