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Grassalkovich Palace - Gödöllő, Hungary
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Downtown, riverbank of Tisza - Szolnok, Hungary

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GPS coordinates: Latitude 47°10'19", Longitude 20°11'52" (N47 10.32 - E20 11.87) Map

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Statue of Zounok, the first steward Szolnok, a bronze male fugure stands on a granite boat - Szolnok, Hungary Statue of Zounok, the first steward Szolnok, a bronze male fugure stands on a granite boat

Created by Gábor Benő Pogány in 2001

The place in the park in Szolnok on the riverbank of the Tisza where today the statue of Zounok stands on a boat was already a "popular" statue installation site also in the past. In the 1940s there was a so-called Greater Hungary Memorial Park here, then after the World War II the occupying Soviets erected a war memorial here for themselves, which was called by the locals just "szivar" (it means "cigar") due to its shape. Despite the "nice" nickname the people definitely did not love it and during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 they simply tore it down. Then in 1966 the communist leaders of the country erected a Lenin statue on this place, which stood here until 1990, when it was finally swept away by the bloodless revolution of the political system change.

Bronze statue of steward Zounok - Szolnok, Hungary Bronze statue of steward Zounok

Created by Gábor Benő Pogány in 2001

The word "Zounok" or "Zounuk" was probably the old name of Szolnok city, supposedly it is a word of Turkish origin and it meant "deputy" or "spokesman". Zounok was a historical personality in the first half of the 11th century, probably the first "ispán" (steward) of the county who actively involved in the organization of the state. Together with Bishop St. Gerard Sagredo (in Hungarian "Szent Gellért") and other Christian priests he died in martyrdom on the Kelen Hill (the present-day Gellért Hill in Budapest) when Vata, the rebellious heathen lord of the Békés Castle had them shoved into the abyss on a wheelbarrow in 1046.

A marble tablet near the Country Flag, with the map of the Kingdom of Hungary before and after the World War I (the Threaty of Trianon), showing its big areas and the population that were divided among the neighbouring countries - Szolnok, Hungary A marble tablet near the Country Flag, with the map of the Kingdom of Hungary before and after the World War I (the Threaty of Trianon), showing its big areas and the population that were divided among the neighbouring countries

Treaty of Trianon declares among others the borders of Hungary after Word War I. Although it is a treaty or agreement, Hungary couldn't have a say to change anything in it, so actually it is a dictate instead. The treaty was signed close to Paris, in the Grand Trianon Palace of Versailles on 4 June 1920. The figure on the memorial plaque tries to show the big difference in size between the original and the new borders.

The winner Entente powers eliminated the almost thousand years old (and mostly coinciding with geographic boundaries) borders of Hungary, and effectively split up the country. Most of the territory was distributed among the older and newly created countries around. It was done very disproportionately and unfairly compared to Hungary’s role in the war, thanks to the well lobbying neighboring countries as well. Even the also defeated Austria got a region, it is now called Burgenland. More than half of the inhabitants and more than two thirds of the area were taken away from Hungary (not counting Croatia, which was also part of the Kingdom of Hungary). Among others Hungary lost Partium and Transylvania or Erdély (these were acquired by Romania and alone larger than the current area of Hungary), Upper-Hungary or Felvidék (it is the whole area of current Slovakia) and Kárpátalja, including a lot of natural and cultural assets, mineral resources, etc.

Interestingly, although the new borders were drawed based on ethical considerations, there were more than 3.3 million Hungarian nationality people, who suddenly found themselves in a hostile country, despite they didn’t leave their native land. Also a related historical lesson that among the countries, who aquired territory from Hungary only Austria and Romania still exist today. Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union were broken up long time ago, mostly due to their internal ethnic conflicts.

It should be stressed that the ethnic problems of the Kingdom of Hungary were established many hundreds years earlier, by the mongol invasion and the 150 years long turkish rule. Much of the Hungarian population were killed or they had fled away. Huge regions were depopulated, thus other nationalities and ethnic groups could gain a foothold there, by artificial or natural colonization. Nevertheless, they all lived together peacefully for many centuries.

In Romania a related date, 1st of December is a national holiday, of course for obvious reasons, because by acquiring Transylvania, Partium and East Banat from Hungary, the area of Romania was effectively duplicated.

The "Mating dance of the mayflies" or "Tiszavirág couple" fountain sculpture, the Szolnok Gallery and the terrace of the Galéria Retaurant on the new square - Szolnok, Hungary The "Mating dance of the mayflies" or "Tiszavirág couple" fountain sculpture, the Szolnok Gallery and the terrace of the Galéria Retaurant on the new square

The Tisza mayfly or Tisa mayfly, in Hungarian "tiszavirág" (Palingenia longicauda) is a large aquatic insect (the adults are 8-12 cm long) from the mayfly family. This species is today native to the Tisza River, but in the past it was widespread in entire Europe. Its speciality is that as a larvae it lives in the mud for three long years, but during the swarming in spring or early-summer (this is the so-called "blooming of the Tisza") the colorful winged adult animals comes up to the surface in large quantities and live only for another few hours or a day. This event is always very spectacular, probably that's why it became a tourist attraction. At this time the mayflies no longer feed (they cannot) and only the reproduction instinct leads them. The access to the surface of the water from the bottom of the river is also helped by the accumulating gases under their integument (their "skin" or exoskeleton). The species is protected in Hungary.

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