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Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County is one of the 19 counties in Hungary. It's located in the northeastern corner of the state, contributing to Hungary's state borders. The county has a short border with Slovakia in the north, Ukraine to the north and northeast, and Romania to the southeast. The Hajdú-Bihar County borders the Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg to the south, Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén borders it to the northwest. The county's seat, Nyíregyháza, is situated in the county's southwestern part. Other significant agglomerations are Mátészalka, Kisvárda, and Nyírbátor. [7]The county as a whole is located in a lowland area. It contributes to the Northern Great Plain Region with Hajdú-Bihar and Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok Counties. Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County is, population-wise, the third most inhabited county in Hungary, excluding the capital city, Budapest. Nearly 555,496 people inhabit the territory making up 5.6% of the country's population. [8] Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County occupies an area of 5,935.83 kilometers squared, which makes it the sixth-largest county in Hungary. The county is divided into 13 self-governing districts. [2]

What Szabolcs-Szatmar-Bereg is known for

Not only the capital city, Nyíregyháza but the whole Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County is known for its considerably high number of thermal springs and baths. One of the most prominent spa complexes in the region is the Aquarius Experience and Park Bath, located on the outskirts of Nyíregyháza, Sóstógyógyfürdő. The location is popular for its medicinal waters. The spa complex sits on 1.7 hectares and features various attractions, including a wave pool, slides, a wild water stream channel, children’s pools, and Inca temple ruins with a treasure island. The spa complex contains seven pools, with temperatures ranging from 16 to 40°C. [4]

Regarding the cultural and historical sights of the Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County, in the western-most corner of the territory is located the Tiszadob-Andrássy Castle. The palace was built between 1880 and 1885 by Count Gyula Andrássy. Andrássy was the first prime minister of the Kingdom of Hungary. The palace is located on the bank of river Tisza in the Tiszadob village and is considered to be one of the most significant pieces of Hungarian palace architecture. It was shaped to that version by Andrássys' son, who matched a palace park to a castle's interior. The castle contains archaic wooden stairs, the wooden paneling of the dining room, and the French-style parterre often called the boxwood labyrinth. Nowadays, the castle is open to tourists and visitors. The castle restaurant located directly in the palace dining hall is highly recommended, serving traditional aristocratic cuisine. [5]

Concerning museums in the Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County, presumably one of the most significant is the Sóstó Open Air Museum, Hungary’s biggest regional open-air museum. The museum not only exhibits but plays out the traditions and day-to-day lifestyle of 19th-century middle-class peasants and members of the lower nobility. The village features replicas of traditional houses, workshops, an old smith shop, a barber’s shop, and the church in the center of the town featuring wooden paneled decorations.[6]


Regarding its area, Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County is Hungary's sixth-largest county. The county is divided into two geographical units, the Upper Tisza Valley and the Nyírség. The predominant feature of the Upper Tisza Valley is the river Tisza, entering the area at Tiszabecs and leaving at Tiszadob. The Tisza segment in the Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County is 208 kilometers long. Together with the area around, the river reaches the site of Tokaj and Rakamaz. The second larger geographical unit is called Nyírség. The core of the word "nyír" means birch, as most of that part is dominated by birch woodlands. Typical flora found in Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County includes forests, fields, pastures, meadows, and moorland forests. The area has a higher average number of sunshine days than the rest of Hungary. For this reason, Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg is ideal for cultivating tomatoes, sunflowers, tobacco, apples, and other fruits. The county is especially famous for growing plums, which are later either dried to produce marmalades or fermented to produce prune brandy. [2]

Concerning the region's waters, the Upper Tisza region contains various streams and several rivers. On the other hand, the Nyírség region is relatively dry, with minor surface water. On the Tisza river itself is established a hydroelectric power station. The sandy areas of the region are filled with lakes of various sizes. Considered to be one of the most significant is the Sóstó or Salty Lake, close to the capital city, Nyíregyháza. The lake contains alkaline, hydrogen-carbonated waters, which have notable medicinal qualities. The Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg and Nyíregyháza are primarily known for a number of therapeutic and thermal waters. The most significant thermal springs are located in Nyíregyháza, Kisvárda, Mátészalka, and Tiszavasvári.[2]

Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County is located in a continental climate area. Due to its northern position, the annual weather is cooler than the rest of Great Plain, and it also gets more precipitation on average.  [2] The warmest month is August, with an average daily temperature of 26°C, while January is the coldest month, with an average temperature of 0.0°C. February has been found to be the driest month, with an average of 30.0 mm of rainfall, in contrast to when the most precipitation falls during the month of June, with an average of 80.0 mm. July, with 282 hours, gets the most sunshine compared to all the other months of the year. [3]


Early Hungarians significantly transformed the area of Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County. These first settlers cleared large areas of forests, in order to create pastures and farmland. In the 1240s, the area became a gateway for the Mongol invasion of Hungary, which led to considerable destruction and population decrease due to the raids. [2]

The first written mentions of the capital city of Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County, Nyíregyháza, can be dated back to 1209 when the town was called "Nyír," meaning birch. By 1326, the city already had a church. Thus, the second part of the word Nyíregyháza, "egyház," meaning the church, was added to the city's name. The town grew, and by the 1450s already had approximately 400 inhabitants. Due to the Turkish invasion, all of its inhabitants deserted Nyíregyháza in the 16th century. The city was resettled again in the 1640s. Most new settlers were Slovaks from the area of Békéscsaba, presumably due to the close proximity of Slovak borders. By 1786, Nyíregyháza became the biggest town in the county, with approximately 7,500 inhabitants, and was granted the right to hold markets. The city took an active part in the war of independence from 1848 to 1849. Significant urbanization took place in the second half of the 19th century. In 1876 Nyíregyháza became the capital city of Szabolcs County, which is nowadays part of Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County. [1]

Nyíregyháza was occupated by Romania for ten months after World War I and later Hungarian-Romanian War. During Second World War, there were Jews in Nyíregyháza that were used as forced laborers by Hungarians. Later, the city was invaded by Germans, and over 6,000 Jewish inhabitants were deported to Auschwitz. Soviet Union troops liberated the County; however, the Soviets deported approximately 2,000 Hungarian inhabitants into Soviet labor camps after the liberation. Destruction of several city buildings took place, among them the Status Quo Synagogue. Its preserved front wall is now displayed in Nyíregyháza's Jewish Cemetery. In 2004 a Holocaust victim's monument was constructed. [1]

Since the 1960s Nyíregyháza developed quickly. Nowadays, the city is one of the most prosperous cities in Hungary and is known to have a bar on every street. [1] The county's population as a whole is represented mainly by Hungarians (over 90%). A significant minority is of Romanian nationality, with over 8% of the total population. Other minorities are of German and Ukrainian nationalities. Religion-wise, Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County is relatively segregated. The prevailing religion is the Reformed Church, closely followed by catholicism. Currently, a conservative, right-wing Christian coalition occupies most of the seats on the County Council. [2]