Hortobágy is the largest continuous natural grassland in Europe. The Hortobágy National Park is the country’s largest protected area of 82 thousand hectares. Hortobágy has outstanding landscape features and is a unique example of the harmonic coexistence of people and nature based on the considerate use of the land, maintaining great biological variety in respect of species and habitats. However, at first sight there is nothing here. If you look around, the most conspicuous thing is that your eyes are not arrested by any buildings, hills or mountains. The mirage can be a spectacular sight on hot summer days, where you see something that is not in fact there.
A major part of the area of the National Park is formed by natural habitats, alkaline grasslands, and meadows, smaller and bigger marshes enclosed between them. Some artificial wetlands covering a much smaller area are of considerable importance: these are the fishponds, situated on 6 thousand hectares.
The Hortobágy National Park has been inscribed on the World Heritage List by UNESCO in the category of cultural landscapes, since the Hortobágy Puszta have been used by humans for grazing their domestic animals for more than two millennia. A large number of tough, undemanding local breeds can be found here: the Hungarian Grey Cattle, Water Buffalo, Raczka Sheep. Less ancient species are the curly bristled Mangalica Pig, which gives good bacon, and the Nonius horse.
The visitors are amazed at the skills of the horsemen and at the sight of the galloping herds of horses. The herdsmen living on the grasslands do not have permanent buildings for themselves or their animals. The sweep-pole wells for watering the animals have become symbols of the grasslands. Inns were built 10–12 km apart along the commercial roads crossing the plains, where travellers could rest and the herdsmen turn in for the night. Tourists still like to visit these inns where they can taste the excellent herdsmen’s dishes and
Puszta Rare Breeds Park:
- Domestic animals in the Carpathian basin
- Cowherd and Shepherd Festival held on Whitsunday each year
- Souvenirs, parking
Opening hours: (every day)
1 March – 15 November: 9.00 – 18.00
15 November – 1 January: 9.00 – 16.00
2 January – 29 February: CLOSE
Off season opening depends on the weather
Information: +36 52 701 037
Tel.: +36 52 589 000, +36 52 589 321
National Herdsmens` Competition
The more than 300 years old Hortobágy Great Inn, part of the World Heritage at the head of the famous and most photographed Nine-Arched Bridge, serves its guests every day from 8.00 a.m. til 10.00 p.m. (8-22) with local meal specialities.
It is worth getting information on the areas open for visits at the Visitor Centre of the National Park, before setting out on your journey.
Various restaurants and hotels see website: http://www.hnp.hu