Budapest Spring Semester | History
A brief history of Budapest
The history of Budapest and the region extends back to the early Romans who were drawn to the region by the thermal baths. Extensive remains of the largest Roman settlement in the region lay just outside the modern city. The Romans were succeeded by Attila and the Huns in the early Middle Ages, and then by the arrival of the Magyars and the founding of Hungary at the end of the 9th century. In its modern history, Hungary has been occupied in turn by the Ottoman Empire, the Austrian Empire, and the Soviet Union. Hungarians have fought for their independence in two tragic and unsuccessful revolutions – in 1848 against the Austrians and 1956 against the Soviet Union. Each of these has left its marks on the city, making it an extraordinary museum and laboratory for studying this extraordinary history.
With the collapse of Central European communist regimes in 1989, Hungary became an independent republic and its recent history has been shaped by the political, economic, and cultural opportunities and challenges of democratization and by its membership within the European Union. Students will experience this transition first hand as they come to know Hungarian students, interact with the large population of international students in Budapest, and follow political developments in Hungary and the European Union.