Hungary traces its history back to the Magyars, an alliance of semi-nomadic tribes from southern Russia and the Black Sea coast that arrived in the region in the ninth century.
After centuries as a powerful medieval kingdom, Hungary was part of the Ottoman and then Habsburg empires from the 16th century onwards, emerging as an independent country again after the First World War.
A landlocked country, Hungary is home to Lake Balaton, the largest in central Europe, and to a large number of spa towns and hot springs.
It has especially rich traditions in folk and classical music and has been the birthplace of many outstanding performers and composers, including Franz Liszt, Bela Bartok and Zoltan Kodaly.
- Capital: Budapest
- Population: 10 million
- Area: 93,030 sq km (35,919 sq miles)
- UN, World Bank
- Major language: Hungarian
- Major religion: Christianity
- Life expectancy: 71 years (men), 78 years (women)
- Currency: Forint