Hungary [hʌŋgəri] (Hungarian: Magyarország, officially in English the Republic of Hungary (Magyar Köztársaság, literally Magyar (Hungarian) Republic), is a landlocked country in the Carpathian Basin of Central Europe, bordered by Austria, Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, and Slovenia. Its capital is Budapest. Hungary is a member of OECD, NATO, EU and a Schengen state. The official language is Hungarian (also known as Magyar), which forms part of the Finno-Ugric family. It is one of the four official languages of the European Union that is not of Indo-European origin.
Following a Celtic (after c. 450 BC) and a Roman (9 BC - c. 4th century) period, the foundation of Hungary was laid in the late Ninth Century by the Magyar chieftain Árpád, whose great grandson István ascended to the throne with a crown sent from Rome in 1000. The Kingdom of Hungary existed with minor interruptions for 946 years, and at various points was regarded as one of the cultural centers of the Western world. It was succeeded by a Communist era (1947-1989) during which Hungary gained widespread international attention regarding the Revolution of 1956 and the seminal move of opening its border with Austria in 1989, thus accelerating the collapse of the Eastern Bloc. The present form of government is parliamentary republic (since 1989). Today, Hungary is a high-income economy, and a regional leader regarding certain economic markers. Its current goal is to become a developed country by IMF standards (its HDI world ranking is 36th and rising).
Hungary was one of the 15 most popular tourist destinations in the world in the past decade, with a capital regarded as one of the most beautiful in the world. The country is home to the second largest thermal lake in the world (Lake Hévíz), the largest lake in Central Europe (Lake Balaton), and the largest natural grassland in Europe (Hortobágy).