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Pest County is one of the 19 counties of Hungary. It is located in the central part of the country, constituting the Central Hungary Region. Pest county, from which the name of the capital city, Budapest, is derived, surrounds Budapest completely. Twelve percent (approximately 1,226,115 people) of the total population of Hungary inhabits Pest, which makes it the largest Hungarian county in terms of population. The population density is 191.8 inhabitants per kilometer squared. Concerning the county's area, Pest is the third-largest in Hungary, with 6,393.14 kilometers squared. Pest is divided into 18 self-governing districts.[1] Even though Budapest is an administratively separate county itself, it is also the capital city of Pest County. To the north, the county neighbors Komárom-Esztergom and NógrádIt. It also forms a state border with Slovakia in the north. Pest shares its eastern borders with Heves and Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok counties. The county borders Bács-Kiskun to the south and Fejér county to the west. The landscape of Pest County is relatively diverse in terms of its landscape, in part due to its geographical position. Northern sections, with Duna-Ipoly National Park, are hilly. The biggest river flowing through the region is the Danube, which forms a plain in the central part of the Pest county.[2]

What Pest is known for

Pest territory abounds with cultural, historical, and natural sights and attractions. One of the cities with various touristic attractions is Szentendre, founded by Dalmatian Serbs. The original town of Szentendre was built in a Mediterranea style, later adorned with Baroque-style monuments.[3] One of the attractions in the city is the Hungarian Open Air Museum, founded in 1967. It is Hungary's most extensive outdoor collection, with an area of 46 hectares. The museum features the artwork of various families as well as Serbian religious art. The Open Air Museum is divided into eight regions, each of them displaying different historical lifestyles and traditions.[4]
Another notable city in the region is Visegrád. The Visegrád Citadel has also been considered one of the cities' most predominant features. The castle complex is situated at the top of the Várhegy, offering a view of Danube Bend from its terrace. The complex hosts many exhibitions–mainly about the Middle Ages.[5]

Close to Gödöllő Landscape Protection Area is located Gödöllő Royal Palace. The Royal Palace is the largest Baroque palace in Hungary. It was built in 1735, and the last renovation was held in 2010. Nowadays, the Palace offers various permanent and seasonal exhibitions as well as a theatre, riding hall, palace park, or palm house.[6] Among the impressionable castles of the county also belongs a Schossberger Castle in Tura. Baron Schossberger built the castle in 1883. The modern components of the castle were considered to be built ahead of its time. However, Schossberger's descendants moved out of Hungary during WWII, and the castle became abandoned and deteriorated. Renovations to the building took place in 2011, and in 2020 the Botaniq Hotel was opened in the castle. The hotel offers relatively unique accommodation in the original castle building and suites. It also features the castle garden, spa, and restaurant.[7]

Concerning natural sights and attractions, in the northern part of the territory is located Danube-Ipoly National Park, which includes the area of the Pilis, Visegrád, and Börzsöny mountains, Ipoly Valley between Hont, Balassagyarmat, and some areas of Szentendre Island. Three landscape units collide on its territory, the mountains, plains, and river valleys. The parks' primary objective is to protect natural and historical landmarks. Traces of Stone Age settlements were found in Börzsöny, mainly in the river valleys and multiple caves on the Pilisi side. Rivers, after which the natural park is named as well, play the leading role in the park's fauna.[8]


Pest County features a diversity of landscape and natural conditions. The hilly northern part of Börzsöny is of volcanic origin. The area is also rich in water sources, with numerous springs and watercourses. On the opposite side of the Danube Valley are located the Visegrád Mountains of volcanic origin as well. Between the Pilisvörösvár ditch and the Pomáz–Esztergom line is situated a northern member of the Transdanubian Mountains, Pilis. Continuing to the south, the Buda Hills rise beyond the Pilisvörösvár ditch. However, the largest hills of the county are the Gödöllő–Monori hills, extending to the Great Plain area in the south. On the other hand, the most extensive plain in the region is the Dunamenti Plain, stretching from the northern tip of Szentendre Island to the southern part of Csepel Island. [2]

Nature is relatively diverse despite the lowland conditions. However, resulting from the area's extensive human activity, the original vegetation has been reduced to smaller areas. These areas feature nature, mainly represented by oaks in the lower regions and beeches in the higher parts. A fifth of the area of ​​Pest County is covered in forests, inhabited by deers, roe deers, and wild boars. Mouflon populations can be found in Börzsöny and the Gödöllő hills.[2]

Regarding weather and climate, Pest is the world's northernmost area that can be classified as having  a "humid subtropical climate." Winters are relatively cold, with temperatures around 0°C, classifying the area as a humid continental climate. Summers are warm,  due to the nearness of an oceanic environment.[9] The warmest month is August, with an average daily temperature of 28.6°C. January is the coldest month, with an average temperature of 4.0°C. The driest month is February, with an average of 29.0 mm of rainfall. The most precipitation falls during June with an average of 64.0 mm. July, with 279 hours, gets the most sunshine on average. [10]


Pest County is situated in the central part of the Carpathian Basin, with territory formed by both mountains and plains. These features, adding up to the Danube flowing through the region, are the reason for the early settlements of the Pest area. The remains of Roman and Avar settlements were found in the territory. As Hungary progressed to become a state, the importance of Pest increased. The county was surrounded by important state institutions such as the Archdiocese of Esztergom during the rule of King Stephen, not to mention Budapest in the center of the county itself. During the Árpádian period, most of the county was part of the royal estate. Due to its proximity to the royal seat, the ruler, and the biggest agglomeration–Budapest–was the seat of the parliament founded in Pest as well. In 1541, Turks invaded Buda, which led to Pest becoming part of the Turkish Empire. Most state institutions left the county and returned only after the liberation of the area. The county was destroyed most severely in the transition between the 16th and 17th centuries, during the first fifteen years of war. However, after the liberation, Hungary became part of the Habsburg Empire. In 1873, Pest and Buda parts of the city were unified, forming Budapest, which led to the increased development not only in the city but in the surrounding Pest County as well. Pest County retained its central role until today in administration and as an industrial, transport, and cultural center.[2]

Nowadays, the Pest County is the most populated county in Hungary, most likely as a result of the region's close proximity to the state capital, Budapest. The population has relatively high diversification among the people. Hungarian nationality represents the majority of the population. 2.29% of the population is of German nationality, and 1.84% are of Gypsy ethnicity. The most represented religion are various Catholic sectors, followed by Judaism. The majority of Pest County Council's seats belong to the conservative or right-wing parties.[1]