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Heves County is one of the 19 counties of Hungary, part of the Northern Hungary region. The county neighbors Nógrád County to the northwest, Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County to the north-east, Pest County to the west, and Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok County to the south. Regarding its natural environments and settings, Heves is presumably one of the most diverse counties in Hungary. The territory of Heves County belongs to two geographical units, the Northern Central Mountains and the Great Plain. The northern part of Heves territory contains the highest mountains in Hungary, Mátra, and also the western third of the Bükk mountains. On the western side of Mátra is located a segment of the Zagyva River, which is the biggest river in the county. Other significant rivers are Eger and Laskó. On the southeastern part of the borders are situated River Tisza and Lake Tisza. The territory of Heves County can be divided into different production areas. At their intersection are located the three largest historical cities of the region, Eger, Gyöngyös, and Hatvan.[1] The county is formed by seven districts with a total area of 3637.25 square kilometers. The capital city of Heves County is Eger, situated at the eastern borders of its territory. The county has 307,985 inhabitants, which equates to a population density of 85.6 people per kilometer squared. [2]

What Heves is known for

One of the most renowned touristic attractions of the region is the Bükk National Park, which represents 13% of the county's territory. The mountain range is related to the Dinaric Alps, rich in steep rock walls and stratigraphic excavations of different geological ages. The national park was founded in 1977 and is the largest national park in Hungary. Bükk's important geological features include various karst formations within its limestone mountains, such as caves, swallow-holes, and ravines. The caves located in the Bükk territory used to be inhabited by pre-historic people. The park also features significant natural diversity, containing ninety species of nesting birds, some of which are considered endangered.[4]

The Heves area contains a relatively significant number of thermal waters and springs. Saliris Egerszalók is one of several spa destinations in the territory. A thermal spring erupts from the depth of the limestone hill created by water runoff, with a temperature of 65-68°C. The spas are sought after because of their presumed medicinal and health benefits. The water contains calcium, magnesium, hydrogen carbonate, sodium, and metasilicic acid. Additionally, it has been ranked as "one of the best in the sulphuric medicinal waters."[5]

Eger, the capital city of Heves County, offers various historical, architectonical, and cultural sights, which attract a number of visitors every year. One reportedly famous sight is the Cathedral Basilica of Eger, located in the city center. The cathedral was designed and built by architect József Hild between 1831 and 1837. The cathedral is a basilica of a Roman Catholic Church with three naves. The dome of the cathedral, situated at the height of 40 meters above ground, is relatively lavishly decorated. The portal on the eastern porch is designed in a Greek temple style.[6] Another renowned historical sight located in the center of Eger is the Eger Castle, which was built in the early stages of the Hungarian State. The castle was widely damaged during the Tatar invasions. However, it was rebuilt again in the 14th century, yet due to the civil war in the 15th century, the castle was destroyed and then again by another Turkish invasion in 1956. Nowadays, the castle features numerous exhibitions, events, and presentations. The castle is also home to a number of valuable historical collections of weapons and paintings. [7] Heves region is also known for its wine production. Among many vineyards and wine cellars located in the territory belongs the Bolyki winery, situated in small proximity to the city of Eger. Its position is relatively unique, as it is located within the 30-meter walls of an old quarry. The quarry spreads out over the territory of 3.2 hectares in four mining yards connected by tunnels. The vineyard features nine wine cellars, all of which can be visited during a wine tasting tour. The property also hosts weddings or various festivals. [8]


The different aspects of nature located in Heves County are some of the region's most distinctive features. Within the county's territory can be found two different landscapes, the Great Plain and the Northern Central Mountains. The northernmost part of the county is formed by the country's highest mountains, the Mátra and Bükk Mountains. The mountainous and hilly parts of the region are rich in various microclimates. Grapes, which are one of the area's more recognized exports, are grown on the southern slopes of various hills in order to receive more sunlight. Lowland areas are drier, whereas Mátra and the Bükk receive 200 mm more rainfall annually. The most significant river of the Heves territory presumably is Zagyva, located on the western side of the Mátra mountain. Other significant rivers are the Eger stream and the Laskó, situated on the eastern side of the Tarna, Mátra, and Bükk borders. Together with the Lake Tisza, the Tisza river forms the southeastern part of the county's border. [1]

The Heves territory is part of the Pannonian flora region regarding geographical conditions. There are three different flora circuits located in Heves. In the county's environment is also situated Hungary's highest point, Kékes, with an altitude of 1014 m above sea level. Kékes is part of the Mátra mountain range, the country's most uniform volcanic formation. One of the number of significant nature conversation areas of Heves County is Bükk National Park, which represents 13% of the county's territory. The park houses various endemic and relict species, such as yellow violet (Viola Biflora), tall isthmus (Armeria Elongata), field flowers (Telekia Speciosa), and fire lily (Liliom Bulbiferum).[1]

The climate of Heves County is relatively balanced. The lowland area is typically a continental climate, whereas mountains are situated in subcontinental climatic regions. On average, the warmest month of the year is August at 28.0°C. January is the coldest month, with an average temperature of 3.0°C. The wettest month on average is June, with 73.0mm of precipitation. The driest month of the year is January, with 27.0mm of rainfall. July is the sunniest month, with 303 hours of sunshine on average.[3]


Heves County territory has been inhabited since ancient times. The earliest archeological finds were found in the limestone caves of the Bükk Mountains and can be dated back to the Stone Age. The Sarmatians and Avars then inhabited the area. Later, in the 12th century, several members of the Aba clan, who already owned the county, bore the name Pata. After the arrival of Hungarian tribes, the territory was occupied, and toward the 14th century, the original clans were oppressed into the periphery. Until then, the Aba clan bore great importance, together with the bishopric Eger city. In the 11th century, reorganization took place. The manor, which belonged to a royal castle, together with the castle staff, formed the earliest county, which was first called the Ispánság. However, the castle estates disintegrated by the end of the 13th century. Heves County was established in the 14th century, its name originating from "Hevesújvármegye", which was the name of one of the castles of the territory. In the 16th century, due to Turkish occupation, Szolnok and its region were merged with Heves, creating one joint county consisting of former Heves and Külső-Szolnok counties. This organization lasted until 1876 when Heves County was reestablished. In 1950, Heves county had three county towns, Eger, Gyöngyös, and Hatvan. Until 1983, no other settlement in the county gained the status of a town. Until 1954, Eger was a city directly subordinated to the county council, thus bearing the function of the capital city, while Gyöngyös and Hatvan belonged to the districts of Gyöngyös and Hatvan. Between 1954 and 1971, the status of all three towns became a "district city" and then simply a city. In January 1984, all districts in the country ceased to exist. At that time, Heves and Füzesabony gained the status of a town. The city status was also granted to Pétervásár in 1989. By 1990, there were already three other cities in the county.[2]