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Hortobágy National Park - the Puszta
Site number:
Type of site: Cultural
Date: -
Date of Inscription: 1999
Location: Europe, Hungary, Counties of Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén, Heves, Hajdú-Bihar and Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok
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Description: Located in eastern Hungary, the cultural landscape of the Hortobágy Puszta is composed of an immense area of plains and wetlands. The local pastoral society has employed traditional forms of land use, such as the grazing of domestic animals, for more than two millennia. --WHMNet paraphrase from the description at WHC Site, where additional information is available.
  Hortobágy is a village in Hajdú-Bihar county in Hungary. It is also a name of a part of Alföld (Great Plain) in eastern Hungary, near Debrecen. It was designated as a national park in 1973 (the first national park in Hungary), and elected among the World Heritage sites in 1999. The Hortobágy is Hungary's largest protected area, and the biggest grassland that remained in Central Europe. Its area is over 800 km². Hortobágy is similar to a steppe, a grassy plain with cattle, sheep, oxen, horses, tended by herdsmen, and it provides habitat for various different species (342 bird species have been registered to appear). Its emblematic sight is the Nine-holed Bridge, and this is the place for traditional sweep wells. Visitors might find mirage as well here. Up to now it was known that this alkaline steppe was formed by cutting huge forests in the Middle Ages and then the river control of the Tisza finished this process with changing the soil's structure and pH. However, Hortobágy is much older, alkalinization started ten thousand years ago, when the Tisza found its way through the Great Hungarian Plain and "decapitated" the little rivers sourcing in the Northern Mountains. The real formation was finished by grazing animals, mammoths and wild horses in the Ice Age, and domesticated animals later. --Wikipedia. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
Reference: 1. UNESCO World Heritage Center, Site Page.
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