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Hungary is an Eastern European country which has been inhabited by many peoples throughout history. After the end of Habsburg rule, Hungary became an important part of the AustroÔÇôHungarian Empire from 1867 to 1918. In 1989, the nation became free of a Communist dictatorship. Hungarian is the most widely spoken non-Indo-European language in Europe, and its origins are debatable. At just over three percent, Romani gypsies are the largest minority in the country. They are not always accepted in society, but they have made a great contribution to folkloric music and dance.
Hungary has varied landscape, with both plains and mountains. It can boast the largest thermal water cave system in the world, the second largest thermal lake in the world at Lake H├®v├¡z, the largest lake in Central Europe at Lake Balaton, and the largest natural grasslands in Europe in the Hortob├így National Park. Budapest, called the Pearl of the Danube, has the second largest synagogue in the world, the imposing Buda Castle, and the Art nouveau-styled Gell├®rt Bath pool and thermal bath house.
Hungarian cuisine is typically very meaty. Beef guly├ís (goulash) and chicken paprikash on nokedli pasta are classic dishes, as are the often ornate pastries dating back to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Try t├Âlt├Âtt paprika (stuffed pepper) or the surprisingly delicious meggy leves (sour cherry soup). You may find some organic vegetarian Hungarian, Indian, or Italian eateries, along with some rare spots offering organic wines, raw foods, or Ayurvedic dishes. Palacsinta crepes for dessert could make you and your stomach very happy.