Nomadic animal husbandry is in decline in the Hortobagy area, but some ancient Hungarian domestic aminals, such as the mangalica pig, the grey cattle or the racka sheep are kept here, for gene preservation and also as tourist attractions. On the picture there is a mangalica sow and her piglets :-).more
The neoclassical Nine Span Bridge is the most famous man-made landmark in the Hortobagy (it does have nine spans, just three are missing from my photo). It was built between 1827-1833. It's the longest stone highway bridge in Hungary (about 167 meters) and crosses the river Hortobagy.more
If you want to know the Puszta you should stay at family Hajdu's home. The next day Mr Hajdu will get you in his horse carriage into the Puszta itself to meet that wonderful habitat and the animals that are part of it: the curious furred pigs, traditional grey cows, bulls and a great variety of birds and other wild animals - horses, deers and...more
People usually visit Hortobagy to see the Hungarian Horsemen and the Great plain but Hortobagy is more than that. There's a wild bird Hospital where they cure injured birds and try to set them back to nature and it all happens right in front of your eyes. From the surgery room to the first flights. There's also an Archeopark which shows how people...more
The Racka is a unique and very cute-looking ancient Hungarian breed. Both the ewes and the rams have long corkscrew-shaped horns. The Racka sheep are used for milk, wool and meat production. In Hungary, the most typical Racka colours are white and black, but brown ones also exist.The Racka is a hardy animal, so it could survive for centuries on the...more
For Hortobagy visitors, seeing a horse riding show is usually a must: the Hungarian cowboys - called the "Csiko's" (pronounced approximately as Tshikoush) - demonstrate some of the traditional equestrian exercises such as making the horse sit and lay down(this was a very useful skill when the cowboy and the horse had to hide for some reason). On...more
HortobÃ¡gy-MÃ¡ta, Hortobagy, 4071, Hungary
Good for: Couples
We had wonderful meals served nice and properly at this restaurant, even though we came late in the evening. It was local food for the right price and the peach palinka is exceptional although, in this case, the price is somehow exagerated even for tourists (880,00 Hft)...Go there!more
A traditional restaurant in an old inn building. It has a nice "puszta" atmosphere and the food is good. Of course, it's quite a touristy restaurant, but I like it anyway.Once I was there with a group of about 20 Hungarian and foreign students. We ordered all kinds of food, both in Hungarian and in English, with quite a few special requests such as...more
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We took the train from Debrecen. This picture is from the Debrecen station and shows the rural way of life in Hungary. Hungary has an excellent rail system.
This woman embroiders all of her wares. This is real Hungarian craft. They are beautiful.
What to buy: Buy the embroidery, it is an excellent keepsake or gift, and it travels well and packs easily.
The Hortobagy is probably even more renowned for its herdsmen than for its natural beauty. They are more than simply the representatives of a vocation: they are the symbol of the "puszta", of freedom and a natural way of life. Traditionally, there has been a hierarchy between the herdsmen of different animals: "csikos" - horsemen - on the top, followed by "gulyas" - cattle herders, cowboys -, then came the "juhasz" - shepherds -, and finally the "kondas", the swineherds.
The Hortobagy National Park was established in 1973, and it covers about 80000 hectares. A significant part of the Park is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Wetlands of international importance occupying about one third of the HNP area are protected by the Ramsar Convention. In 1999, the Hortobagy was inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage list as "an...more
If you are good with horses, you can rent one, but you must demonstrate your ability (test). The horses speak Hungarian (haha). If you are not good on horseback, there are buckboard tours to show you the way of life on the plains. You will see the horsemen doing some amazing riding, and see the animals they tend. Work the cantilevered wells. An...more