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Békés County is situated in the southeastern part of the Great Plain, which constitutes most of the territory of Hungary. It is part of the historical Southern Great Plain region. Békés Region neighbors Hajdú-Bihar and Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok counties on the north. Csongrád-Csanád County borders the west, and in the southeast, the region forms the Hungarian-Romanian state border of a length of 140km. The county stretches across an area of ​​5,630 kilometers squared, which is 6.1% of Hungary's territory. Békés area is one of the deepest areas of Hungary. The terrain is mostly even, creating a nearly completely flat plain. The average altitude of the county is 90m above sea level. The area's highest point is located on the Csanádi ridge, in the area of Battonya, exceeding 106m above sea level. The lowest point is situated near Hármas-Körös, at an approximate altitude of 81m above sea level. Some of the most significant rivers of the region are Körös, Berettyó, Dry-vein, Hortobágy-Berettyó. [1] Concerning the population of Békés County, 361,802 residents live in this area, which represents 3.6% of Hungary's population. The density of the population is 64 inhabitants per kilometer squared. The biggest population density is in Békéscsaba city, which is the capital city of the county. Other significant cities are, for example Gyula, Orosháza, Békés and Szarvas. [2]

What Bekes is known for

Among the most sought after natural attractions of the Békés area belongs the Körös-Maros National Park, known for the great variety of bird species inhabiting this area. It's also the largest bustard reserve in Europe. The national park offers periodical programs for its visitors, mostly including birdwatching sessions, but also various exhibitions and farm tours. The national park is known for light hiking or cycling as well. [5]

Concerning the historical and cultural heritage of the Békés County, Gyula Castle, located in the city of Gyula, is one of the world-renowned castles in the area. Gyula Castle, which was built in 1405, is the only surviving Gothic brick castle in Europe. The last renovation took place in the 1960s and since then, the castle features the Castle Theatre. In 2005 the Renaissance Castle Museum was opened. The exhibition features 24 rooms, going through the history of the last six centuries in chronological order.  [6] 

Another significant historical sight, dating into an even deeper past, is the Vésztő-Mágor Historic Memorial Site. This architectonical sight features two separate archeological finds. The first one can be dated approximately 6,000 years back and is located in the nature reserve of the former meandering riverbed of the Sebes-Körös, where two mounds called the Mágor Mounds are located. Under one of the two nine to ten-meter high mounds were numerous settlement layers atop each other, the oldest dating back 6000 years ago. The second mound bears the remains of the settlements from the Árpád Age monastery. The Csolt Monastery was located in this area between the 11th and 13th centuries. Nowadays this cellar poses a home to the Csolt Monastery Museum, featuring various archeological expositions. [7]


Békés County, as well as most of Hungary, is located in the Great Plain. The territory is mostly flat, with an altitude of 81-106 meters above sea level. The area's highest point is located on the Csanádi ridge, in the area of Battonya. It exceeds 106m above sea level. The lowest point is situated near Hármas-Körös, at an approximate altitude of 81m above sea level.[1] Due to its generally favorable geological structure, the area creates geothermal conditions for the high occurrence of the medicinal and thermal waters. The thermal waters are known to have temperatures above 50°C and numerous health benefits. A number of wells at a depth of several hundred meters obtain these thermal waters. [2]

The most well-known National Park in the area is Körös-Maros National Park, which is one of the ten national parks in Hungary. Körös-Maros National Park stretches over the territory of Southern Great Plain, with an area of 501.34 kilometers squared. The main purpose of the establishment of this national park in 1997 was the protection of birds, residing in this area. The area is divided into subunits, such as Kis-Sárrét swamp, Fáspuszta, Mágor-puszta, Kardoskúti Fehértó and a bustard reserve established in 1975. The bustard reserve is located in close proximity to the city of Dévaványa and it is the largest bustard reserve in Europe. The area is also resided by the Ostrich of the Hungarian puszta. Another destination for the bird watching in the Körös-Maros National Park is the Lake Fehér near Kardoskút. The lake is used as a resting and nesting site for a relatively high quantity of cranes, wild ducks, and plovers. [3]

Regarding the climate of the Békés territory, the county is located in the dry continental climate area, with additional Mediterranean and oceanic effects. The average yearly temperature is between 10-11°C, with an annual average precipitation of 500-600 mm. [2] On average, the warmest month of the year is August at 26.0°C., while January is the coldest month, with an average temperature of 0.0°C. The wettest month on average is June, with 87.0mm of precipitation. The driest month of the year is October, with 33.0mm of rainfall.[4]


The first tribe to be proven to settle in the Békés area is the Gyula tribe that settled next to the Körös Great Plain. A few decades later, a feudal state was established in this area, by King St. Stephen. In 1046, the Békés castle was the center of the pagan rebellion of Vata. By the beginning of the 13th century, the Békés had already developed a dense settlement structure constituting hundreds of villages. However, the development stopped abruptly, due to the Tatar invasion in 1241. As a result, whole areas of the Békés territory became depopulated. During the Middle Ages, the development occured again, mainly in agricultural areas. At the beginning of the 15th century, the castle of Gyula, which is the only intact Gothic brick castle in Europe, was built. During that time, Gyula became the county's seat; however, in 1566, the castle was conquered by Turks who ruled over the area for a century and a half. As a result, another significant depopulation of the region took place. The area was resettled again by Hungarians, Slovaks, Romanians, and Serbs only after Rákóczi won the War of Independence. The area developed rapidly as the state made significant investments in the construction of the dam, river regulation, and railway and road construction. Education and healthcare networks improved as well. Due to the natural conditions, the agriculture and food industry became one of the largest contributing factors to the economy and continue as such to this day. The First World War ended for Hungary by accepting the territorial provisions of the Treaty of Trianon, which put Békés County at a significant disadvantage. Opportunities for economic cooperation and direct market were strongly suppressed. In 1950, a reorganization of Békés territory took place with the addition of the new headquarters, Békéscsaba, which served as the railway junction and industrial and commercial center of the region. Due to this, Békés County as we know it today was formed. [2]