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Opusztaszer -- National Historical Memorial Park

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June 29

Written July 28

Dear Friends and Families,


Every country starts somewhere, I suppose, and Hungary started at Opusztaszer. The story is that in the Tenth Century, Arpad and the seven tribes he led, triumphed over the indigenous Slavs to claim the fertile trans-Carpathian valley as the homeland for their people. Tradition says they met at Opusztaszer to divide the region among themselves and decide where each tribe should settle down. Today, the National Historical Memorial Park celebrates this founding with a famous painting of the conqueror and a park filled with buildings and displays of Hungarian history.

Of course, Marianne's relatives insisted that this should be a stop on our country tour and I have to admit I enjoy learning about history and I know very little of it for Hungary. We took our California friends Rita, Peter and David with us, even if Hungarian history may not have been in their original plans. In the end, it was a fun day, with a pleasant drive down from Budapest, our few hours of history, a nice lunch at a "Csarda", a sort of open-air, down-home-food restaurant. On the way back, we even squeezed in a visit to Kecskemet, where a tea pot led us to shopping (you had to be there to understand).

Below are our daily pictures, from arrival at the Park to the last gasp of shopping in Kecskemet.

Take care and take in a little history from time to time -- at least on your way to shopping.


John and Marianne


Park Entrance

Monument to the seven tribes (maybe).

Inside the building housing the giant painting-in-the-round depicting Arpad's victory

Upstairs in the museum was a recreation of a turn-of-the-century Hungarian city.

The park had a small hut and several large yurts.

The Fisherman's hut was particularly basic. Those were NOT the "good old days".

This is Anonymous, a real historical person. He was scribe to King Bela. One of the Yurt's was devoted to the Hungarian Diaspora and this display estimated that the US has 1,740,000 Hungarians, about 10% of Hungarians world-wide.
This was the original one room school house of nearby Pusztaszer. One of the major lessons in Pusztaszer seems to have been how to control fly infestations. This was graphic enough that language didn't matter!
Outside, the open-air history museum focused on farm life, including a steam tractor and a windmill. On our way out, we crossed paths with modern Huns displaying the horsemanship made famous a millennia ago.
Here we are enjoying lunch at the Csarda. Eating outside is fun anywhere in the world, as long as the weather is cooperating.  
A few kilometers north of Opusztaszer, we dropped by Kecskemet, a pleasant small city where we did the required things: shop and visit a church. This teapot guided Marianne and Rita to a shop for local handcrafts. I forget if they bought, but the guide was unique.
The required visit to a church was OK, as European churches go. The purples in the stained glass were particularly interesting. Finally, one more kiosk to shop at and then it was back on the road to Budapest.


-- National Park: http://www.opusztaszer.hu/

-- Szeri Csarda: http://www.szericsarda.hu

-- Kecskemet Tourism Office: http://www.kecskemet.hu/?l=en

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