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Hungary is situated in Central Europe, in the Carpathian basin, and occupies 36,000 sq. m. of land with a population of about 10.5 million people. There are three basic topographic regions: the hilly regions of Transdanubia in the West and South-West, the low-lying Great Plain in the East, and the northern mountain ranges including the country’s highest peak (3,300 ft.). The biggest rivers are the famous "Blue" Danube and the Tisza. The country has a number of lakes, the largest, Lake Balaton, is the most popular destination of the country’s 20 million visitors per year.
Hungary's climate is temperate, and the country can be divided into three climatic zones: Mediterranean in the South, Continental in the East, and Atlantic in the West. In Southern Transdanubia, summers are long and winters mild and wet. The Great Plain has the most extreme seasonal differences with cold, windy winters and hot, usually dry summers. The mean average temperature in Hungary is 52 F. January is the coldest month with about 28 F and July is the hottest (about 72 F).
Being on the crossroads of the West-East and the North-South trade routes, the country has a long and battered history. The first Kingdom of Hungary was founded around 1000 A.D. and after short periods of independence the country suffered under different rules. The Ottoman Empire occupied most of the land in the 17th century, then Austrian rule followed. The Austro-Hungarian Empire flourished between 1867 and 1918. Starting after the Second World War, Soviet occupation lasted until 1989. After accelerating the collapse of Communism by dismantling the "Iron Curtain" along its border with Austria, the country re-established democratic parliamentary government in 1989, and the Republic of Hungary was declared the same year.
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The third-largest town in Hungary, Miskolc is about 100 miles to the East from Budapest, the national capital. It is situated where the mountains of the Hungarian Highlands become hills and meet the Great Hungarian Plain. From the hill of Miskolc, the Avas, a beautiful view opens up to the surrounding area: to the North are the 7,000 ft. peaks of the Tatras, and to the South the infinite space of the Great Hungarian Plain. The Bukk mountains climb over the horizon to the West, and the massive Tokaj hill (home of the world-famous Tokaj Aszu) can be seen to the East.
The development of Miskolc as a major town relied on the industrial developments of the second half of the 19th century, with the rapid expansion of the iron and coal industries. The iron mills of Massa and Hamor had been operating since 1770, a steelworks was established in 1870.
Miskolc enjoys a colorful cultural life with a National Theater (the nation’s first), libraries, galleries, various schools, and the University of Miskolc. Churches of most religions can be found, even an Islamic Center is maintained.
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A Short History of the University of Miskolc
The legal predecessor of the present-day University of Miskolc was founded by the Austrian Imperial Treasury in 1735. The Mining School established in that year at Selmecbánya (a mining town in the North of Hungary) was designed to train the specialists needed for the prosperous gold and copper mining industries. After the very early years, with the establishing of three departments, the School developed into a Mining Academy between 1763 and 1770. The Academy thus became the first institution of higher education in the world’s mining industry.
For about a century, tuition was conducted in German, but from 1867 on, Hungarian was gradually introduced. The structure of the Academy as well as the courses offered underwent continuous development and by the turn of the century there were 20 departments altogether. The new name of the institution was the Academy of Mining and Forestry. After the First World War and the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1919, the Academy was moved to Sopron in Western Hungary.
The Technical University of Heavy Industries was founded in Miskolc in 1949 and a completely new campus on the outskirts of Miskolc was built in the next few years. The Mining Academy was made part of this newly established institution and transfer from Sopron to Miskolc was finished by 1959. The Petroleum Engineering Department was established in 1951. Global changes in the life of the university started with the founding of the Law School in 1980, the School of Economics in 1990, and the School of Liberal Arts in 1992.
To cope with the broadening of the university’s profile, the name was changed to University of Miskolc in 1990. The present institution is one of the largest universities of the country and, at the same time, an important scientific research center. Total number of students is over ten thousand.
In September 1995, the University of Miskolc celebrated the 260th Anniversary of the establishment of its forefather, the Mining School of Selmecbánya.
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 Last revised: May 02, 2013