Hortobagy National Park (UNESCO site)
The Hortobagy National Park, established in 1973 is the country’s largest protected area of 82 thousand hectares. Known as the Puszta it is situated in east of Hungary near the town of Debrecen and consists of a vast area of plains and wetlands.The Hortobagy National Park is part of the World Heritage List since December 1999.
The national park has 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 Mangalica Pig, which gives good bacon, and the Nonius horse. 342 bird species have been registered to appear in the puszta.
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. Most of the ancient herdsmen’s buildings are very simple but also practical, made chiefly of reed.
In Hortobagy you can visit the Visitor Centre of Hortobagy National Park to see local craftsmen workshop (closed Mondays), exhibition about local flora and fauna, also for the little ones there is a playground.
The regular flooding of the River Tisza provided local farmers with fertile pastures for their herds and allowed for Hungarian Grey Cattle to be exported to Western-Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries. Important trade roads were established for this activity. These roads later became known as the "salt-roads" on which salt was transported from the salt mines of Transylvania. The Nine-Arch bridge was built for that purpose. Damming of the Tisza river started in 1846 at Tiszadob.
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We are organising tours to the town of Debrecen and to the Hortobagy National Park. Write to us to firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to enquire.