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Translated from the French. 




HUNGARY is a country, of which our knowledge, from 
the very little intercourse maintained with it, is exceed- 
ingly imperfect. The duties of a recent traveller, M. 
Beudant, led him to explore and survey that remote un- 
visited region, with the design of collecting, ascertaining, 
and adopting, on a systematic principle, all such new, but 
scattered information, as was to be found in a large sphere 
of remark and enquiry, upon the subject of geology. 

But while paying due attention to the principal and 
avowed object, he deemed it of importance to accom- 
plish another by it, that of observing and desorj'h'ng what 

the means given, and the opportunities afforded, would 
enable him to learn, during his short stay, respecting the 
customs and manners, the taste, habits, and character, of 
the inhabitants, the chief part of which has been carefully 
preserved in the following translation. 

G. SIDNEY, Printer, 
Northumberland Street, Strand. 


IN respect of the diversities of its people, no country whatever 
can be compared with Hungary. They form an heterogeneous 
assemblage of nations, some of which descend from the primi- 
tive inhabitants, others from the different hordes that invaded 
them, including migrations from neighbouring countries, colo- 
nies invited thither, and individual families attracted by the 
fertility of the soil, or the hopes of commercial gain. 

The'following are the names under which the several nations 
may be arranged : Slowacks, Croats, Russniaks, Servians, 
Illyrians, Carniolians, Magyares, Kumans, Jaszons, Szeklers, 
Wallachians, Bulgarians, Saxons, Suabians, Bavarians, Fran- 
conians, Austrians, Greeks, Armenians, Albanians, Italians, 
French, Jews, and Zingares. 

Though attached for ages to the same country, united by a 
common interest, governed, in several respects, by the same 
laws, and living, for the most part, in good intelligence with 
each other, the diversities here enumerated remain distinct. 
Each retains, with a sort of pride, the remembrance of its 
origin, and the alliances they contract are within the limits of 
its pale. Thus they preserve their dialect, manners, customs, 
and very often a peculiar physiognomy. 

The Slowacks, called also Bohemian Slavi, designated, in 
French, by the generic term, Sclavonian, mostly inhabit the 
mountainous part in the north of Hungary. They nearly com- 
pose the entire population of the Comitats of Presburg, Niyi- 
tra, Trentsen, Thurotz, Arva, Liptot, Zolyom, Bacs, Gomor, 
Nograd, and Gran. These Sclavonians are probably the re- 
mains of the extensive Moravian kingdom, and, of course, the 
natural inhabitants of the country. They are more active and 
more industrious than the Hungarians, and have spread their 
colonies, in our times, into different parts of the flat country 


2 M. Beudanfs Travels in Hungary. 

that were uninhabited before. One fact is remarkable, that 
wherever the Sclavonians form fresh establishments, the Ger- 
mans and Hungarians either become blended with them, or 
soon disappear. Several even of the Town Mines, which are 
now become Sclavonian, as M. Schwartner observes, retain a 
decisive mark of their denationalization, in their names, as 
also those of many families, being of German origin. 

The Slowacks are in general pretty well made, and they 
dress rather neatly, and at times elegantly, on their holidays. 
Their summer dress consists of cloth pantaloons, of buskins, 
of a cloth waistcoat without sleeves, garnished with very large 
silver buttons, in the form of little bells, and chased on the 
surface. The waistcoat open, lets the shirt appear, which is 
embroidered on the breast and sometimes on the sleeves. A 
leather girdle serves to fasten the clothes about the body; it 
incloses also the steel, the tinder-box, the pipe, and the to- 
bacco-pouch. In winter a large pelisse of cloth, or of sheep 
skin, suffices to protect them from the rigours of the season. 
As to head-dress, it varies in different places ; frequently the 
head appears bare, the hair oiled and pretty well combed. In 
some parts they wear a large round hat, in others a sort of 
high hood, a foot and a half in length, and without a brim ; it 
is a coif or cap of felt. The women appear in buskins with 
copper heels, adorned with little bells ; they have cloth petti- 
coats and corsets without sleeves, mostly of a dark colour. 
Their chemise is commonly embroidered about the sleeves, 
which are sometimes edged also with a coarse lace. Young 
girls have their hair tied behind in a queue, trimmed with rib- 
bands of all colours, that float on the back. The women adjust 
their head dress with a long cloth band, which, from the mid- 
dle of the head, falls crossways on the chin j the two ends 
turned behind about the neck, are again brought forward so as 
to fall elegantly on the breast. This coiffure so completely 
overspreads the face, that scarcely is even the nose visible. 
Its singularity may be accounted for from the piercing winds 
to which they are exposed at morning, night, or occasionally 
in the day-time, and which prove very troublesome, if the neck is 
not well covered. To the same cause I assign the men letting 
their hair float on their shoulders. Though habituated to 
brave all the vicissitudes of the weather, I have often been 
obliged, at night and morning, to wear a kind of shawl about 
my neck and head, like many of the inhabitants in the hot 

The Russniaks, or Ruthenians, (properly Russians, and 
sometimes wrongly named Greeks, from the religion they pro- 
fess) are originally from Red Russia, i. e. Eastern Galicia and 

Introduction. 3 

Lodomeria. Whelroppressed by the Russians and Polanders, 
they took refuge in Hungary, about the twelfth century. Here 
their local seat is in the comitats of Saros, Beregh, Ugots, 
Ungh, Zemplen, and a part of the Marrnaros. Placed also on 
the limits of their natal soil, they unite with their countrymen 
that still remain in Galicia, in the circles of Stanislawow, of 
Stry and Sambor. Some also have settled iri the Buckowine, 
and others have passed into Transylvania, where they are 
blended with the Wallachians. They appear to be of a dull 
and heavy temperament, and in general live wretchedly. Their 
number is not considerable, and they live on good terms with 
the other nations. Their language is a dialect of the Sclavo- 
nian, but they do not intermix with the Sclavonians, which is 
attributed to their religion. Some follow the orthodox, and 
others the schismatic Greek Ritual. 

The Servians, called also Raatzea or Rascians, but among 
themselves named Serbi, come originally from Bosnia and 
Servia. Their country was incorporated with the kingdom of 
Hungary, in the beginning of the thirteenth century ; and from 
that time they began to pass the Save and the Danube, and to 
settle on the military frontiers which they now occupy. But 
when Bosnia and Servia fell under the dominion of the Turks, 
a number of others arrived. The kings of Hungary then be- 
came their protectors, and granted them considerable privi- 
leges, with the free exercise of the orthodox Greek religion, 
which they profess ; their bishops have also obtained the right 
of sitting in the diet. The Servians are pretty numerous, and 
in general in good repute with the other nations. They chiefly 
inhabit the military frontiers, and speak a particular dialect of 
the Sclavonian. We find them also in a considerable number 
in the southern part of the Great Plain, in the comitats of 
Temes, Torontal, Bacs, &c. also in Sclavonia and Croatia, be- 
sides a great number of them in Transylvania. 

The Croats or Horvates form a remnant of the ancient 
Sclavonians, who, about the beginning of the seventh century, 
emancipating themselves from the dominion of the Avari, ex- 
tended their conquests into the present Albania, Servia, Bos- 
nia, Croatia, and Dalmatia. Besides Croatia, properly so called, 
this nation still occupies a part of the comitats of Sthulweissen- 
burg, Eisenburg, Sumegh, Wieselburg, (Edenburg, and Szala, 
in Western Hungary. They constitute also a part of the popu- 
lation of Sclavonia, and are found mingled with Illyriaus, Car- 
niolians, Germans, and Hungarians, that were invited into their 
country, on the termination of those bloody wars, of which it 
had been the theatre, and during which the Turks had destroy- 
ed the major part of the inhabitants. 

4 M. Beudant's Travels in Hungary. 

As a people, the Croats retain an airof rudeness in their 
manners and physiognomy, notwithstanding which, frankness 
and loyalty form the basis of their character, and the conduct 
of such as I met with was irreproachable. They appear tole- 
rably neat in their dwellings, but their apparel is often coarse, 
and sometimes old enough. The women especially hunt for a 
medley of motley colours ; I have seen them sometimes with 
petticoats of strong blue or brown cloth, streaked and speckled 
with ribbands of every colour; also with red stockings and 
yellow shoes, or with stockings striped transversely, red, yel- 
low, brown, &c. But I may seem here criticising too freely, 
for I recollect, at Paris, not more than twenty years ago, our 
elegantes being caparisoned, about the legs and feet, in the 
same way. The women attire their heads pretty much like 
the Slowacks; their figure is, in like manner, half concealed; 
but in some cantons they wear besides, or; the crown, a napkin 
folded square, and a muslin neck cloth or handkerchief, or else 
a piece of linen fastened to it, but so as to fall and spread over 
the back. Generally speaking, the costume varies materially 
in the different parts of the country which these people inhabit; 
the only predominant taste is for mottled stuffs, or clothing of 
different colours. 

The Magyares form a considerable part of the population of 
the Hungarian provinces, but their number is inferior to that 
of the Sclavonians taken collectively. It is wonderful that they 
have not long ago been extinguished or confounded with the 
other natives, having had particularly so many wars and dis- 
asters to encounter and surmount. The Magyares, with their 
own maternal language, still exist as a separate nation, occu- 
pying all the flat country in the centre of Hungary. This peo- 
ple spread from the plains of Munkacs, where'they first arrived, 
through all the fertile part of the country, driving the Sclavo- 
nians into the mountainous regions, and employing themselves 
in agriculture, or leading a pastoral life. Becoming Hunga- 
rians, they have also settled in Transylvania, where they 
occupy the comitats of Kruszna, Torda, Alba Inferior, Alba 
Superior, Dobaka, Hunyad, Klausenburg, Kukullcy Szolnok. . 
Interior, Szolnok Middle, Zarand, and the districts of Fagaras 
and Kovar. 

The Magyares retain a distinct character, uniformly dis- 
cernible. They are of the middling size, but of a robust make. 
Many authors describe the Hungarians generally as tall, but 
this rather belongs to the Sclavonians, who are commonly 
slender, and not so stout as the Hungarians, The Magyares 
are broad shouldered, with muscular limbs, have a well set 
figure, and a very masculine physiognomy, breathing an air of 


Introduction. 5 

independence, that ^pears to most advantage when united 
with the qualities of the heart. They possess a degree of 
vivacity even to impetuosity; their frankness many would 
construe into rudeness, but it is accompanied with an accom- 
modating temper, and they are ever ready to do services. A 
sprightly manner, blended with their vivacity, and mixed with 
a certain head-strong inconstancy, makes their character, to 
speak freely, resemble that of the French. Having been 
admitted into a number of companies where French was uni- 
versally spoken, and remarking the gaiety of some, the impas- 
sioned manner of others, the lively turns of the discussion, the. 
desultory interruption of conversation, combined with the 
affability of all, I have forgot for a time that I was in a foreign 
country. This description is not, however, more applicable 
to the Magy ares than to the Sclavonians, and must be under- 
stood as restricted to the higher classes. 

The dress of the Magyare peasant resembles that of the 
Slowacks, but it is of a ruder kind. Large pantaloons of linen 
cloth, which fall into the stockings or over the boots, and a shirt 
which only comes down to the loins ; these constitute the sum- 
mer wear. A large pelisse of sheep skin, often embroidered 
with other colours, thrown over the shoulders, or a rough 
great coat, with very long hairs, to resemble the fleece of a 
sheep, makes up the winter apparel. But if the dress of the 
peasants be generally coarse, throughout Hungary, that of the 
gentlemen is very elegant ; it is modeled on the equipment of 
our light cavalry, originally copied from the Hungarian cavalry, 
which has ever been in great reputation. Our hussars have 
borrowed their name, their helmets are similar, and some of 
their accoutrements, as Sako, Sabrack, &c. are terms of Hun- 
garian derivation. According to report, the word Hussar ori- 
ginates from an edict of king Mathias Corvin, ordaining that 
every twenty labourers should provide a horseman ; he was 
called, in Hungarian, Huzzas, whence hussar has been formed. 

The Kumans, called by the Hungarians, Kun, appear to be 
of Magyare origin ; their name, perhaps, eomes from the river 
^Kuma, which, from the Caucasean region, falls into the Black 
Sea. We find, in history, a branch of the Magyare people ex- 
tending to Caucasus, and on the banks of the Kuma, are the 
ruins of a town called Madschar, or Madjar, which may indi- 
cate their pristine residence. Their history becomes* more 
apparent about the end of the eleventh century, and the begin- 
ning of the twelfth, when king Stephen, to recompence their 
valour, in wars against the Greek emperor, assigned them a 
district on the banks of the Theysse, now known by the name 
of Great Ku mania or Great Kunia; in Hungarian, Nagy Kunsag. 

6 M. Beudant's Travels in Hungary. 

In a later time, under the reign of Bela IV., a tribe of 
Kumans, from the northern plains about the Black Sea, came to 
claim Hungarian protection, arid received a portion of territory, 
now called Little Kumania, or Little Kunia, in Hungarian, Kis 
Kunsag. Their language is a dialect of the Hungarian. The 
people are almost wholly occupied in rearing cattle, their situ- 
ation and soil being favourable for pasturage. 

The Jaszons appear to be also a tribe of Kumans. The 
lameofJasz, which the Hungarians sometimes give to the 
Kurnans, generally, is thought to be derived from their skill in 
jaculating arrows, and from their being employed in the corps 
of lancers. In ancient acts, they are mentioned under the 
names of Balistarii and Balistei, and, by corruption, Philistei, 
words which refer to a similar import. The Jaszons inhabit 
a particular district in the comitat of Pest, designated by Hun- 
garian geographers, by the name of Jaszsag, and which was 
granted to them by king Ladislas I. Their language is the 
same as that of the Kumans. 

The Szeklers must be of the same origin as the Magyares, 
as they speak the same language and exhibit the same traits of 
character. They are of a middling size and robust make; their 
complexion is b&wn, their hair black, their physiognomy ar- 
dent and animated. The people are considered as the remains 
of the Kuns, and have been settled for ages in Transylvania, 
where history exhibits them in all the wars and troubles that 
have ravaged that country. They occupy the eastern part in 
the local seats of Haromeszek, Udvarhely, Csik, and Aranyos, 
all conquered by force of arms and secured by treaties, which 
have likewise guaranteed to them a number of particular pri- 
vileges. They form one of the three nations of Transylvania ; 
the two others are the Hungarians, properly so called, and the 

The Wallachians, called by themselves Romans, (Rumaene) 
seem to be actually a remnant of the ancient Dacians and Ro- 
man colonists intermixed. During the incurs-ions of the bar- 
barous hordes, they sought refuge about Mount Hsemus, and 
afterwards found means to re-enter their own country. Their 
language is a mixture of corrupt Latin, or bad Italian and 
Sclavonian; and thus, with the exception of some words, a 
Frenchman, habituated to the dialect in the southern provinces 
of France, finds it easy to understand and converse with them. 
In writing they make use of Greek characters, disfigured more 
or less. These they have borrowed from the Sclavonians, 
among whom this alphabet was introduced by the two brothers, 
Cyril and Methodus, sent from Constantinople, about the end 
Of the ninth century, to preach the gospel and translate the 

Introduction. 7 

scriptures into their language. These missionaries added 
several particular signs to the common Greek alphabet, to ex- 
press all the sounds of the new language they were to adopt. 
As to the word Valaque or Wallach, German, it seems to 
come from the Sclavonian word Wlach, pronounced nearly 
Valaque, and which signifies an Italian : just uj the words 
Walen and Wallon, in the middle ages, designated a people 
whose language had affinity to that of the Romans. 

The Wallachians are, in general, little and robust j of an 
aspect rather lively, but of a brutal and perverse character. 
Their hair is black and clotted together, and of all the tribes 
in Hungary, they are the most remote from civilization. The 
men are naturally slothful, and if they can find means to satisfy 
the most urgent wants, are with difficulty excited to labour. 
Hence, they ever appear filthy and ill clothed, and they must 
drag out a miserable existence. From this indolence and 
wretched condition, De Sacy derives their name. He con- 
ceives that the Greeks, who first made mention of them, de- 
signated them by the name of Blax, which denotes idle, 
contemptible. The women, on the contrary, are very active; 
we never see them unemployed, and if we meet them in the 
highways, it is always with the distaff or knitting in their 
hands. It is they who manufacture all the clothing for the 
family; they assist, and often become substitutes for their 
husbands in the labours of the field. In their cabins they 
manage the household business, while the men are smoking 
their pipes, or reposing sluggishly in some corner of the tene- 
ment or garden, or waiting till their meal is brought them. 
This activity gives to the Wallachian women an advantage of 
an exterior more engaging than that of the men, attended at 
times with a certain elegance, and their costume in general 
has nothing in it disagreeable. They wear no petticoats, but 
their chemise, often embroidered with different colours, is 
always very long, and they spread over it two aprons set off 
with fringes, one before and the other behind. Their head- 
dress consists in a sort of little bonnet tucked out and rumpled, 
or in a handkerchief folded somewhat like a turban ; the young 
women have their hair plaited, and sometimes pretty neatly 

Maize forms the chief article of sustenance with the Walla- 
chians j of this they make a soup called memelige, and a sort 
of bad bread ; they have scarcely any thing else but milk and 
its produce, with leguminous plants and roots. The men are 
immoderately addicted to drinking brandy. Their national 
character is that of crafty, vindictive, pilfering, and superstiti- 
ous, with no fixed principles of morality or religion. To 

8 M. Beudant's Travels in Hungary.^ 

which, when we add that they are destitute of arts and civili- 
zation, their condition must evidently be abject, and we need 
not wonder if the Hungarians, as well as other nations, treat 
them like slaves. They dwell chiefly in Transylvania and on 
the frontiers of Wallachia, but they are tolerated merely, and 
are not considered as forming a part of the nations that possess 
the country. Several, indeed, from some signal merits, have 
become members of these nations, and there are distinguished 
families among them, of Wallachian origin. The famous John 
Corvin Hunniades was of their race ; history records his great 
actions in warring with the Turks, and his son, Mathias Cor- 
vin, was elevated to the throne of Hungary. 

Exclusive of Transylvania, we find a great number of Wal- 
lachians in the Banat, where they are the most ancient in- 
habitants ; we meet with them also along the frontiers of 
Transylvania, in the comitats of Arad, Bihar, Szathmar, and 
Marmaros. In general, the number of Wallachians is very 
considerable, and but little inferior, perhaps, to that of the 
Hungarians or Slowacks. In 1790 they rated their number, 
in Transylvania alone, at one million; at that time they were 
soliciting a participation in the privileges of the other nations. 
In Hungary, properly so called, they occupy 1024 villages along 
the frontiers of Wallachia and Transylvania. Their fecundity 
is very great, and in places where they inhabit, in common 
with the Servians, they supplant the Ir-tter, just as the Sclavoni- 
ans do the Germans and Magyares. There are now among 
them, families of Russniacs, of Servians, and Bulgarians, which 
have lost every trace of their primitive language. 

Next to the Sclavonians, the Germans undoubtedly form the 
most ancient nation of Hungary. In fact, many tribes of Ger- 
mans settled in the western parts of the country, prior to the 
invasion of the Magyares, and especially after the destruction 
of the Awares. At the arrival of the Magyares, all the western 
part of the country, included between the Danube and the 
Save, had been subjected to the emperor Arnulph, and al- 
though that part was quickly wrested from him, a great 
number of the inhabitants would doubtless remain. But 
subsequently to the establishment of the Magyares, the num- 
ber of Germans increased considerably. King, or Sainted 
Stephen, the primitive legislator of Hungary, feeling the neces- 
sity of augmenting the population, granted privileges to invite 
German colonists, which were carefully preserved by his suc- 
cessors. And thus, from the eleventh century, the Germans 
possessed settlements in different parts of Hungary. But it 
was more especially in the twelfth century, under king Geysa 
II., that they arrived in numerous bodies, so as to fill entire 

Introduction. 9 

comitats and provinces. They mostly fixed their residence in 
the northern provinces and in Transylvania, so that from Pres- 
burg to the frontiers of Wallachia, they formed a sort of mili- 
tary cordon. They came from all countries, from Flanders, 
the Netherlands, Alsace, and the southern parts of Germany; 
they are designated, however, by the general name of Saxons. 
These ancient Germans have proved a valuable acquisition 
to the country, compensating amply for the privileges granted 
to them. The civil professions of the state of burgesses origi- 
nate from them, and to them may be attributed the opening 
and labours of the mines. By the Germans, industry was 
introduced into the towns, and a commercial intercourse with 
the north created. They early adopted the manners and cos- 
tume of the country, though partly mixed with their own ; but 
in some cantons they have a particular mode, which appears 
odd, of wearing a white chemise over a dark-coloured culotte. 
The ancient colonists look with an evil eye on the fresh comers 
from the Palatinate, Franconia, Suabia, and Bavaria, that ar- 
rived in Hungary at the beginning of the eighteenth century, 
after the expulsion of the Turks. These last go by the name 
of Suabians (Schwaben) which is become a term of reproach, 
" he is a Suabian, es ist ein Schwabe." 

The number of those whose vernacular tongue is German, 
is comparatively small; a circumstance which is owing to the 
influence of the Slowacks. In many places originally founded 
by the Germans, we at present only find Sclavonians. The 
vestiges are few of that great girdle that reached from the foot 
of the Carpathians into Transylvania. It is in the comitat of 
Lips, in the centre of the Carpathians, that they mostly abound, 
their number exceeding 60,000. There is another numerous 
assemblage of them in Transylvania; there the Germans, 
under the name of Saxons, occupy the local seats of Herman- 
stadt, Nagysink, Medgyes, Reps, Segesvar, Szaszsches, Szas- 
zvaros, Szerdahely, and Uj Egyhaz, together with the districts 
of Bistricz and Kronstadt. Here they form one of the three 
nations, and possess particular privileges which rank them 
above the state of burgesses. There are also many Germans 
in the Banat, colonists of the eighteenth century. We trace 
them again in great numbers towards the frontiers of Austria, 
in the comitats of CEdenburg, Eisenburg, and Wieselburg, be- 
sides which, there are many Germans scattered through all 
parts of Hungary. Several are to be found in all the mining 
towns, and whatever depends on industry or trading concerns, 
in the free towns, is chiefly in the hands of the Germans. 

In the Population of Hungary, other nations require to be 
mentioned, though their number be, comparatively, inconsi- 


10 M. Beudant's Travels in Hungary.' 

derable, some employed in husbandry and others in trade. 
Of the former, is a little colony of French, that, in the time of 
Maria Theresa, settled in the plains of Hungary, between the 
Maros and the Bega, in a marshy, but very fertile territory. 
We find them congregated in the little town of Hatzfield, in 
the villages of Charleville and St. Hubert, and in those of Nag- 
yjetsa and Csadat, in the comitat of Torontal. There are 
others at Breztovaez, in the comitat of Bacsj this last little 
colony has, hitherto, retained its language. ' .R^ 

Some few Italians yet remain in Hungary j it is these that 
have introduced the culture of rice and the rearing of silk 
worms. Their number was, formerly, much more consider- 
able, when the Hungarians had kings and queens of Italian 
families, and when there was a trade with Venice. They are 
now nearly limited to the village of Charlottenburg, in the 

Commercial pursuits have attracted into Hungary a number 
of modern Greeks, Armenians, and Jews. The modern 
Greeks, or Macedonians, are mostly engaged in commercit 
speculations, and much of the specie or cash passes througf 
their hands. Some reside at Pest, and there is a pretty great 
number of them at Hermanstadt and Kronstadt, in Transyl- 
vania. Many have no fixed residence, but traverse the inte- 
rior parts of the country, especially in the great plain. Among 
themselves they have trading companies that extend from 
Vienna throughout the Levant. Their stay in Hungary is but 
temporary, their place being filled up by others of their coun- 
trymen. They frequently acquire a considerable fortune in 
Hungary, commencing with a very small capital. These 
Greeks have a particular costume which appears distinct from 
all other habiliments. Large pantaloons descending into the 
boots, these last of different colours, a silk camisole or under 
waistcoat, a woollen or cachemire belt or girdle, a short ridiug 
coat or frock open before, and a red cap or coif. 

The Armenians who came to settle in Transylvania, about 
the year 1672, and thence spread into the plains of Hungary, 
are also engaged in trade, and particularly that of cattle ; they 
are in possession of a considerable part of the grazing lands. 
The individuals of this nation are, in general, isolated in the 
middle of the plains of Hungary, where they lead a sort of 
Nomade or pastural life. They have only one small parish, at 
Neusatz, opposite Peterwaradin. In Transylvania their num- 
ber is pretty considerable, and especially in the towns of 
Szamos Ujvar, and Ebesfalva; elsewhere, they are scattered 
through the province, and here and there we meet with very 
rich families of them. Certain individuals, as also of the Ma- 

Introduction, 1 1 

cedonians, have been admitted into the corps of Transylvanian 

The Jews form a very numerous body in Hungary, where 
their number amounted, in 1805, to 128,000; they must be 
considered as a particular people, as they marry only among 
themselves, and are not denizens in the eye of the law. In 
the middle ages, all the financial operations of the state passed 
through their hands ; they only understood the art of coining, 
the rates of exchange, and the business of trade in general. 
The sovereigns, when their treasury was low, had no other 
resource than the speculations of Jewish capitalists ; from 
these they obtained ready money, but it was by means ruinous 
to the state, though profitable to the speculators. M. Schwart- 
ner reports, that during the expedition of Andrew II., in Pales- 
tine, the finest domains or estates were alienated, and the 
royal rights, as to coinage and the salt duties, were transferred 
to the Jews, and that the dilapidation of the revenue made it 
necessary to declare the goods of the crown unalienable. The 
Jews were then excluded from the management of the finances; 
and later, under Lewis the great, their residence in Hungary 
was prohibited : but Sigismund, who was always in debt, re- 
established them in the kingdom, and in some measure legal- 
ised loans at usurious interest. The like disorders occurred 
under Lewis II., and in 1524, we find a Jew, named Isaac, at 
the head of the mint of Kaschau. 

At pre?2nt the situation of the Jews is very different. They 
are subjected to a surveillance rather rigid, which includes a 
particular tax, called the Toleration. They are prohibited by 
law from residing on the frontiers, as also from entering the 
mine towns. This extends also to several other places, so 
that, for the most part, they are held in little consideration. 

The cantons wherein I observed the greatest number of 
Jews, are the frontiers of Galicia, and the banks of the Bodrog, 
in the eastern part of Hungary, and the comitat of Stuhlweis- 
senburg, in the western part, and many remain at Karlsburg, in 
Transylvania; elsewhere they are scattered along the roads and 
in the villages, where they live in huts or keep little pot-houses. 
Many tramp about as pedlars, carrying on a small trade in 
wares of every kind. Their apparel has something in it odd, 
forbidding, and apt to excite distrust. It consists of a long 
robe of woollen or black silk, fastened about the body by a 
black-coloured girdle, a large broad-brimmed hat or high bon- 
net, of hair or black sheep skin, to which, add a long beard 
and an air of slovenliness in general. 

In the last rank of human beings that inhabit the soil o f 
Hungary, are the Zingares, by the Germans named Zigeuner, 

32 M. Beudant's Travels in Hungary. 

and that pass in France under the name of Bohemians. These 
are very numerous in Hungary, but no certain accounts have 
been given of their origin. Grellnian's Researches make it 
appear probable that they are descendants of a cast of Indians, 
the Farias, that were driven from their country about the year 
1408, during the conquest of India, by Tamerlane. Some 
authors consider them as Egyptians, and from this notion the 
name of Pharaoni, or Egyptians, has been assigned to them. 
Jt is certain that they speak a particular language, that their 
features are not European, and that their first appearance in 
Europe was at the beginning of the fifteenth century ; about 
1417, we find them first noticed in the history of Hungary. 
They have ever lived a wandering life, and the means employ- 
ed to bring them within the pale of civilization have only re- 
claimed a small number that have settled, as husbandmen, on 
the frontiers of Transylvania. The rest ramble about, encamp- 
ing in the middle of woods, or near villages, in huts which 
they speedily raise, and that are truly wretched and filthy. 
They are indolent and vicious, and only work to procure what 
is indispensably necessary. Some are blacksmiths, and forge 
nails, knives, and hatchets, which the women go and sell in 
the villages ; others tramp from town to town, playing slight 
of hand tricks, or on some instrument to which the peasants 
dance. They go all covered with rags, and the women espe- 
cially are very disgusting. 

The number of these vagabonds has been very considerable ; 
from a census ordained by the emperor Joseph, in 1783, it ap- 
pears that they amounted to more than 40,000; but they are 
now much diminished, either from being dispersed in the 
neighbouring countries, or from gradually mingling with the 
peasants and settling in different places. 

Such are the varying tribes of people confounded under the 
name of Hungarians. The mass of population, of which this 
assemblage consists, amounts to more than ten millions. Ac- 
cording to M. Schwartner, the enumeration of them, in 1809, 
might be rated as under : For Hungary, Sclavonia, and Croa- 
tia, not including the noblesse, the clergy, regiments of the 
line, or the military frontiers, 7*555,920 ; for the corps of 
noblesse, 325,894; for the clergy of all religions, 15,600; for 
the regiments of the line, 64,000; for the military districts of 
Hungary, 777>406; for the military frontiers of Transylvania, 
137,041 ; and for the provincial of 'Transylvania, 1,501,106. 
Total, 10,376,967. 

This population, uniformly spread over the entire superficies, 
as it existed previous to the treaty of Vienna, in 1809, gives a 
mean number of 633 inhabitants to the square league, or 1790 

Introduction. 13 

per square mile. The extent of the kingdom is about 16,390 
square leagues, of 25 to a degree, or 5900 square miles, of 15 
to a degree. If this number should seem small in respect to 
France, which contains at least 1000 inhabitants per square 
league, it will be considerable, compared with the population 
of Sweden, Norway, Russia, &c. But the population of Hun- 
gary is not distributed uniformly, as supposed above j there is 
an immense surface, consisting merely of mountains covered 
with thick forests, besides arid plains and vast marshes that 
are no better than deserts. The population is, of course, 
much more condensed in the habitable places, where it varies, 
however, according to circumstances. In 1809, M. Schwart- 
ner. calculated 990 inhabitants per square league, in the co- 
mitat of (Edenburg; 924, in that of Presburg ; 858, in that of 
Zips; 743, in that of Zemplen, &c. He computed the popu- 
lation of Transylvania at about 800 individuals per square 
league, which number may be augmented, in different cantons, 
if the uninhabited parts be subtracted. 

On the whole, the population of Hungary is evidently in- 
creasing, as appears from the census of 1/87? compared with 
that of 1805 ; the latter gives a surplus of 439,131 individuals. 
Instances are afforded in the comitat of Beke's, which a cen- 
tury ago was an immense pasture ground, with a few wretched 
hovels, and now contains flourishing towns and villages, with 
more than 90,000 inhabitants. The Banat of Temes, which, 
setting aside the military districts, contained, in 1799, about 
3^18,000 inhabitants, in 17*85, had 560,000, and in 1805,636,000. 
This rapid augmentation is partly owing to fresh colonies, and 
partly to the improvements of rural economy. These would 
produce advantages much more considerable, were encourage- 
ment given to the clearing of uncultivated lands, the draining 
of marshes, and the propagating of a taste for the arts and 
sciences ; of this a great number of Hungarian lords begin 
now to be sensible. 

Hungary is a country which contains landscapes and produc- 
tions remarkable for originality, and its history has scenes of 
great interest. It is situated in the most temperate part of 
our hemisphere, and watered by one of the greatest rivers of 
Europe, with a number of tributary streams. The soil, in 
general, in the lowlands, possesses an uncommon degree of 
fertility, and the mountains, where, from their height, they 
are deprived of cultivation, are not without circumstances in- 
teresting to the traveller, and uncommon to the naturalist; 
these consist in the superlative abundance of their mineral 

As to the people, the best picture that could be drawn of 

14 M. Beudant's Travels in Hungary. 

them, would be formed by an exposition of their actions. To 
get a just notion of the genius of the nation, we should con- 
sider them as exhibited at different periods. For eighteen 
successive centuries, they had to resist the united attacks of 
foreign or neighbouring nations ; their resolution and firmness 
appear in numberless wars, and they uniformly preserved the 
same spirit. Their military occupation, during perpetual wars, 
gave birth to an anomalous character, which their history, in 
its various stages and incidents, best describes. 

The conclusion of their wars with the adjacent nations, the 
establishment of peace, and their reconciliation with Austria, 
gave another turn to the pursuits of the nation and the spirit 
of its government. We then take a political survey of them, 
as emerging from barbarism and a degraded state of humanity, 
as framing laws and assuming some diversities of character, 
when the general face of their country had become serene, 
delivered from the storms and convulsions which had agitated 
or destroyed it. The forms of their government are monar- 
chical, and their institutions feudal ; they are, however, no 
longer in a state of slavery or comparative misery, but enjoy 
such blessings as the country affords. In the general economy 
and order of their domestic polity, their privileges are many 
and great. 

In surveying modern times and more recent objects, the 
immense variety of natural productions offers reflections, de- 
scriptive of the country, and conduces to set it in its true light. 
Their gold mines, the only such in Europe ; their iron mines, 
resembling those of Sweden ; their copper mines, opals, and 
certain lands that apparently exhibit, in their composition, 
phenomena, the peculiar produce of this country : these, with 
their beautiful plains and fruitful valleys, with their rich soils, 
woods, and forests, yielding plenty and variety of fruits and 
game, give importance and value to the subject, and render 
it interesting to the naturalist, the philosopher, and to readers 
in general. 

Hungary, notwithstanding, in its various relations, is one of 
those countries with which we have the least acquaintance. 
Its situation, at one extremity of Europe, in part surrounded 
by nations not the most civilized, communicating but little with 
such as are, it seems to have been so shut up, that the curi- 
osity of travellers has been seldom attracted to it. More than 
a century has elapsed since its interior has enjoyed perfect 
tranquillity, and a free communication with the rest of Europe ; 
yet the Hungarians have made few observations to surprise, 
enrich, or invigorate science or art, though they have the re- 
quisite materials within their power. 

Introduction. 15 

It will be easily conceived, that something necessary to di- 
rect the public judgment in these matters, might have been 
expected from the Austrians, but though the disasters of wars 
and revolutions are soon repaired, in a natural way, their moral 
effects are not easily effaced. The people of Hungary have 
long lived in an insulated state, indifferent to the progress of 
useful studies or knowledge, devoted to ancient customs, and 
subjected to prejudices which have hitherto been held sacred. 
To describe them has been deemed a difficult enterprise, from 
the diversity of their language, which a stranger must acquire, 
more or less, before he can decide exalt narration to truth, 
or reject it as fiction. 

Other circumstances contribute to prevent, or to retard the 
progress of a foreign traveller. Hungary lies out of the way 
of all frequented roads, and has none of those facilities of com- 
munication which other countries contain. From the priva- 
tions to be expected, the most experienced tourist would feel 
a degree of diffidence in exploring such untrodden ground. 
The climate, too, has been represented as prejudicial to health, 
the people as cut off from the rest of mankind, half barbarous, 
and tinged with an antipathy to the visitors of all other nations. 

These reports are exaggerated ; much, indeed, must be left 
to time, habit, education, before society here can be freed from 
its incidental blemishes, can rise to that superior civilization, 
elegance, and embellishment, which are scattered over the face 
of some other countries. 

To compensate for such defects, Hungary teems with mate- 
rials and stores of curiosities which, duly methodised, would 
furnish a subject interesting to science and to men of letters. 
Among these it may be said, that as to the virtues of civil life, 
the people hold a distinguished rank. They retain, in their 
highest degree, a patriarchal hospitality, a noble frankness 
arid simplicity of manners, such as an instructed mind would 
naturally turn to study. From every gentleman, or rather 
from every Hungarian, a stranger would meet with assistance, 
protection, and friendship, where, indeed, he would be least 
looking for it. 

There have not been wanting Works, however, treating of 
Hungary ; some describing the different branches of its poli- 
tical economy, others investigating its antiquities, geography, 
numismatics, rural economy, natural history, and mineralogy. 
On this last head, Hungary is deserving of particular notice, 
being the only country on the continent of Europe that has 
mines of gold and silver. These have been worked for ages, 
and it has been found, by M. de Humboldt, and other scientific 
characters that have visited the mines in America, that the 

16 M. Beudant's Travels in Hungary. 

metallic earths of Hungary strongly resemble those of Mexico 
and Peru, and that all the geological circumstances are in ac- 
cordance. This observation is too remarkable not to excite 
the curiosity, or occasionally the suspicion, of the penetrating 

The reflections here suggested had been duly appreciated 
by M. the Count de Bournon, director of the king's cabinet of 
geology, and he speedily procured his Majesty's consent and 
protection, that I should visit other countries, to collect facts, 
useful, interesting, or new, on which a system of geological 
science might be planned. Hungary was the last country that 
I explored ; my labours in it were ended towards the close of 
the year 1817, out previous to my quitting it, I made it my 
business to collect materials of miscellaneous information. 
This I frequently obtained, by visiting a number of antique 
castles, seated in the midst of surrounding forests, and which 
had stood numerous assaults during the wars of eighteen cen- 
turies. The following contains a concise compilation of what 
is desirable in former authors, or the result of my own diligent 


The kingdom of Hungary once included, in the conquests of 
its different kings, Bulgaria, Wallachia, Transylvania, Molda- 
via, Galicia, Hungary properly so called, Sclavonia, Servia, 
Bosnia, Croatia, and Dalmatia, with some parts of Austria and 
Moravia. But in the course of events, Bulgaria, Wallachia, 
Moldavia, Servia, Bosnia, and Turkish Croatia, have been sub- 
jected to the Ottoman empire, the archduchy of Austria* has 
resumed its detached part, Moravia is dependent on Bohemia, 
Galicia, which the kings of Poland had conquered, is re-united 
to Austria, and Transylvania, raised into a principality, has 
been ceded also to Austria, retaining its particular rights. 

What constitutes the present kingdom of Hungary, is Hun- 
gary properly so called, and Sclavonia, with parts of Croatia 
and Dalmatia. Prior to the year 1809, Hungary extended to 
the Adriatic, and took in a part of the islands that lie along 
the eastern coast of that gulf. But by the treaty of Vienna, 
in 1809, Hungarian Dalmatia, the greatest part of Croatia and 
the Banat frontiers were ceded to France, and, together with 
Carniola and a part of Carinthia, were consolidated under the 
name of the Jllyrian provinces. The kingdom of Hungary 

* The name of Austria is a corruption of the German word CEstreich, denoting 
kingdom of the east, which was given, in the tenth century, to the eastern part 
of the German states. 

Introduction. 17 

then terminated at the Save, near the town of Agram* (Zagra- 
bia) and this forms the present limit; for, although Austria 
has recovered all that it lost, from the Save to the Adriatic, 
these provinces have not been reinstated in the kingdom of 

The provinces, collectively, comprehend a surface of 5597 
German geographical square miles, on which are found 90 
cities, 706 towns, and 14,134 villages and hamlets. 

Hungarian Croatia, (Horvat-Orszag, Hung. Kroazien, 
Germ.) and Sclavonia, (Tot-Orszag, Hung.) the extent of 
which last is very diminutive, are both included between the 
Drave, the Save, and a part of the Danube that passes between 
the mouths of these two rivers, from Eszek to Belgrade; 
Croatia forms the western part, and Sclavonia the eastern. 

The principality of Transyjvaniaf (Erdely-Orszag, Hung.) 
is bounded, on the north, by the comitats or counties of Mar- 
maros and Szathmar; on the east, by Moldavia; on the south, 
by Wallachia ; and on the west, by the Banat and the Hun- 
garian comitats of Arad and Bihar ; or rather, it is encom- 
passed with groupes of mountains stretching in those directions. 

Hungary alone occupies a space nearly three times as large 
as the above provinces, taken together. It reaches from the 
Danube and the Drave, to the lofty mountains that form the 
limits of Austria, Moravia, the two Galicias, and the Buckawine. 

With respect to the configuration of the surface, here are 
mountains, whose summits are buried in everlasting snows, 
and vast plains, but little above the level of the sea. The 
mountains form a girdle round the country, as if to separate 
it from all others ; it is open only on the south side, opposite 
the Ottoman empire. 

There are two considerable ranges of mountains distinguish- 
ed from all others by their elevation, the mountains of Tran- 
sylvania to the S. E., and the groupes that form the boundaries 
of Moravia and western Galicia. These two grand masses, in 
relation to Hungary, appear like two citadels at the entrance 
of an immense gulf. This part of the girdle has been called 
the Carpathian Chain, though, strictly speaking, the name 
should be limited to the most elevated parts of the north west. 

* The coraitat of Zagrabia, which anciently covered 300 square leagues of 
country, lost, at that time, 213 of them. More also have been taken away by 
the Croat regiments, and the kingdom of Hungary has had a total loss or depri- 
vation of 844 square leagues. 

t This name was given to the principality, from its situation beyond countries 
covered with wood, that lay at the eastern extremity of Hungary, properly so 
called, and from itself consisting chiefly of forests. The Hungarian epithet, 
Erdely, comes from Erdo, a forest ; Erderly-Orszag signifies a country or king- 
dom of forests. 


18 M. Beudanfs Travels in Hungary. 

The limits of eastern Galicia are formed of mountains of 
sand, with here and there some points of solid rocks inter- 
spersed. They constitute, apparently, a sort of talus, pretty 
uniform, from one extremity to the other. 

Though the mountains cover an immense extent of the sur- 
face, there are also vast plains that become the centre of the 
country. Some of these serve as granaries for such cantons 
as, from their elevation, have not the benefits of culture. 

The principal rivers which either pass through the Hunga- 
rian States, or compose its boundaries, are the Danube, the 
Theysse, the Save, and the Drave ; into these a number of 
others, more or less considerable, disembogue, but all ulti- 
mately fall into the Danube. 

The Danube, (Duna, Hung. Donau, Germ.) next to the 
Wolga, is the largest river in Europe. It rises in the Black 
Forest, arid after traversing Suabia, Bavaria, and Austria, 
passes on one side of Hungary, at the point where it receives, 
on its left, the river Morave, or March. Below Presburg, it 
contains a great number of islands, and in its entrance and 
passage through the plains of Hungary, its waters spread over 
a large tract. At Neu-Orsova, it quits the Hungarian States, 
and proceeding through the vast plains of Wallachia and Mol- 
davia, empties itself into the Black Sea. 

The course of this river is very tranquil through Hungary, 
the country being flat, and the descent of the waters inconsi- 
derable. The banks are frequently overspread with immense 
marshes that fatigue the traveller's patience with a disagree- 
able monotony. But between the mountains of the Banat and 
Servia, where the river is much straitened, it makes its way 
with a tremendous rapidity, which, with the shoals scattered 
here and there, renders the navigation extremely dangerous. 

The Theysse, (Tisza, Hung. Tibiscus, Lat.) next to the 
Danube, is the most considerable of the Hungarian rivers. Its 
source is at the extreme limits of the Marmora, and the Buek- 
awine, and after crossing the vast marshes of the comitats of 
Szathmar and Szaboles, at length enters the plains of Hun- 
gary, across which it proceeds to the Danube, and joins it be- 
tween Semlin and Peterwaradin. In its course it receives all 
the waters of Transylvania, and the greatest part of those of 
the northern mountains of Hungary. The rivers of Transyl- 
vania are the Syamos, the Koros,* and the Maros, which last 

* The whole territory traversed by the three branches of the Koros, (called 
the Rapid, the Black, aud the White Koros) is extremely marshy. The baron de 
Vay calculated the lands covered by the Rapid Koros alone, at 55,000 acres, and 
the moist lauds occasionally inundated, at 70,000. 

Introduction. 19 

quits Transylvania below Dobra, and passing through the 
plains of Hungary, falls into the Theysse, opposite Szegedin. 
Among other rivers that issue from the northern mountains of 
Hungary, are the Boclrog and the Hernat, with smaller streams, 
such as 'the Erlau, the Zagyva, &c. The Theysse, after its 
junction with the Marcs, is not inferior to the Seine, at Paris. 
This river, with the Maros, the Koros, the Szamos, and the 
Bodrog, are navigable in detached parts of their course, but 
not throughout. Many attempts have been made to render 
some of them serviceable to navigation, by canals of commu- 
nication, but hitherto they have proved fruitless. 

The Save (Szava, Sclav. Sau, Germ.) which forms the 
southern limit of the Hungarian States, rises in the mountains 
of Carniola, crosses Styria, and enters into Croatia, to the 
Hungarian part of which it serves as a boundary. It frequent- 
ly overflows, covering all the low tracts about it, and leaving 
water that turns stagnant a great part of the year. It is navi- 
gable nearly throughout, and is the channel by which grains, 
tobacco, &c. are exported to Dalmatia and Italy. 

The Drave (Drava, Sclav. Drau, Germ.) rises on the frontiers 
of Tyrol, crosses Carinthia and Styria, enters the Hungarian 
States, and proceeds in a S. E. direction for the Danube, into 
which it falls below Eszek. This river forms the natural 
boundary between Hungary and the provinces of Croatia and 

There are two lakes in Hungary of considerable magnitude, 
the lake Balaton, and the lake Neusiedel. The former is about 
sixteen leagues from S. W. to N. E. ; its greatest width is 
nearly three leagues. Its situation is between the comitats of 
Szala and Sumegh. The lake of Neusiedel, from N. to S., is 
about eight leagues, its greatest width two and a half. Its 
situation is between the comitats of CEdenburg and Wiesel- 
burg. There are many other collections of water, of a smaller 
description, in the mountainous regions. 

Marshes are uncommonly numerous in Hungary, and par- 
ticularly in the middle of the Great Plain, on the banks of the 
Theysse and the Danube, as also in the large vallies, through 
which run the Drave and the Save. Baron Lichtenstern esti- 
mates the surface of the lands overflowed, at 300 square 
leagues, or 108 geographical German square miles. Several 
lords have successfully attempted the draining of certain mar- 
shes; their example duly imitated, would restore an immense 
number of acres to cultivation, and secure the inhabitants from 
putrid miasmata, to which they are now liable. This malign 
influence, however, is confined within a compass of about 300 

20 M. BeudanCs Travels in Hungary. 

square leagues, arid in more than 15,000 square leagues the 
climate is as wholesome as in France or Germany, 

It is wrongfully that Hungary has been called the grave of 
foreigners; the climate, in general, is salubrious, and the 
natives retain their health and energy as long as in other coun- 
tries. Precautions are requisite here, but not more than in 
other warm climates. The days are often extremely hot, and 
the nights cool ; this unequal temperature makes plenty of 
warm clothing necessary. The quality of their wines, though 
excellent, is very spirituous ; excess in the use of them would 
give rise to inflammations, or other serious complaints. I can 
vouch from experience, notwithstanding all the fatigues and 
privations I have undergone, during my residence in the coun- 
try, that I never felt the effects of insalubrity, as represented 
in books, acd of which I had heard a thousand absurd tales, at 

Hungary, properly so called, was divided, by former geo- 
graphers, into upper and lower, or, which comes to the same, 
and is less liable to error, into eastern and western. The line 
of demarcation was the Theysse, which appears nearly in the 
centre of the country, and which, from Szolnok, turns from 
north to south. Hence, an ideal line is traced across the 
mountains to the centre of the Carpathians. The parts east 
of this line had the name, improperly, of Upper Hungary, and 
those to the west, of Lower Hungary, no less inapplicable. 
This division is now abandoned. 

The territorial divisions of the Hungarian States are civil 
and military. These last, on the frontiers of the Ottoman 
empire, form a cordon agaihst invasion ; the inhabitants are 
both soldiers and husbandmen. They are designated by the 
name of Regiments, and are twelve in number. In Croatia, 
the regiments of Koros, and of St. George. In Sclavonia, do. 
of Gradiska, Brodi, and Peterwardin ; in Hungary, do. of 
Tsaikists, German Banatic, and Wallachian Illyrian. In Tran- 
sylvania, the first Wallachian regiment on the frontiers of 
Wallachia; second do., on the frontiers of the Buckawine; 
third Szekler regiment on the frontiers of Moldavia, and the 
second Szekler regiment on the frontiers of Moldavia and 
Wallachia. One of these, the battalion of Tsaikists, derives 
its name from Tsaikes, barks to defend the passage of the 
river Danube ; this battalion consists of the boatmen that arc 
to guard it. 

The civil territorial divisions take the name of comitat, from 
the Latin comitatus, or otherwise, that of district. Of these, 
Proper Hungary comprises forty-six. The names are, Abauj, 

introduction. 21 

Arad, Arva, Bacs, Barany, Bars, Bekes, Beregh, Bihar, Bor- 
sod, Csanad, Csongrad, Eisenburg, Gomor, Gran, Heves, Hont, 
Komorn, Krasso, Lipto, Marmaros, Nograd, Nyitra, OEdenburg, 
Pest, Presburg, Raab, Saros, Stuhlweissenburg, Sumegh, Sza- 
boles, Szala, Szathmar, Temes, Thurotz, Tolua, Torna, Toron- 
tal, Trentsen, Ugots, Ungh, Veszprim, Wieselburg, Zemplen, 
Zips, and Zolyom. 

There are, besides, certain detached lauds, insulated within 
the comitats, and governed by particular laws. Some depend 
immediately on the king, others on the Palatine. Among the 
former, are the free towns of Zips, scattered in the oomitat, but 
composing an assemblage or district. The Haidonical towns, 
in the country of Debreczin, that furnish a particular foot 
militia, are under the royal authority. The districts that de- 
pend on the palatine, are Little and Great Kumania, and the 
Jaszons, all three in the Great Plain, and insulated within the 
comitats of Pest and Heves. Sclavonia and Croatia have each 
three comitats, Posega, Syrmia, and Verocze, for the former, 
and Koros, Varasdin, and Zagrabia, for the latter. 

Transylvania is divided into three nations, the Hungarians, 
the Szeklers, and the Saxons, and contains twenty-nine civil 
divisions. For the Hungarian nation, eleven comitats, Lower 
Alba, Higher Alba, Doboka, Hunyad, Klausenburg, Kraszna, 
Kukullo, Szolnok Interior, Middle Szolnok, Torda, and Za- 
rand, with the two districts of Fagaras, and Kovar. 

The Szekler nation has five local seats, Aranyos, Csik, Ha- 
roinzek, Maros, and Udvarhely. 

The Saxons have nine seats or local portions, some of which 
are extremely impoverished, from the long wars, which have 
left marks of their desolations. The names are, Hermanstadt, 
Nagysink, Medgyes, Reps, Segesvar, Szaszebes, Szaszvaros, 
Szerdahely, and Ujegyhaz. There are, besides, two districts, 
Bisztricz and Kronstadt. 


It will be readily conceived, from the diversified classes that 
inhabit Hungary, that there must be a confusion of tongues ; 
in fact, such has been the difficulty of a mutual understanding, 
that, for ages, the Latin has been in use for matters of common 
concern, both with the government and individuals. Notwith- 
standing which, there are really in Hungary but four consti- 
tuent languages, the Sclavonian, the Hungarian or Magyare, 
the German, and the Wallachian. 

The Sclavonian is one of the most ancient languages of 
Europe, and the most extensively spread, in its different dia- 
lects. Those of the northern people that had been civilized 

22 M. Beudanfs Travels in Hungary. 

by the Romans, and passed under their name; such of the Euro- 
peans as were ever at war one with another, such as rose up 
after the invasion of the Huns and Avari, these all spoke the 
Sclavonian language. One of its dialects, the Bohemian, had 
its golden age in the fourteenth century, and in the beginning 
of the fifteenth, when, agreeably to the statutes of the Golden 
Bull of Charles IV., 1359, emperor of Germany and king of 
Bohemia, every elector of the empire was to learn the Scluvo- 
nian Bohemian language. At the time of the council of 
Constance, in 1414, Bohemian literature was in a flourishing 
state, while in Germany and France the morning of letters had 
scarcely begun to dawn. With the Sclavonian tongue, a tra- 
veller might pass through Illyria, Dalrnatia, Croatia, Bosnia, 
Servia, Hungary, Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia, Poland, and Rus- 
sia, as the languages in all of these are but dialects of it. Most 
of the Hungarians that have devoted any time to literature, 
are acquainted, at least, with the three radical languages, the 
Sclavonic, German, and Latin ; and among the noblesse, I 
have met with such as speak six or eight different languages. 
The Hungarian or Magyare language, is sui generis, and has 
no more affinity with the German or Latin than these have 
with one another. There are a number of words introduced 
from other languages, such as Tatar, Turk, Persan, Arab, with 
others of Finland extraction, also Sclavonian and German 
words, more or less modified ; but it has a particular and 
Asiatic character in its suffixes and affixes, at the end of sub- 
stantives or verbs, in lieu of pronouns. The language has nu- 
merous vowels, and there are few words that a Frenchman 
would not easily pronounce, though a German could not with- 
out difficulty. 

The Wallachian language is a mixture of Sclavonian and 
Latin, but strangely mutilated. In more than half of its ex- 
pressions, it bears a striking analogy to the patois, in the south 
of France and Italy ; with due attention it is easily acquired. 
In the Hungarian provinces, we meet with little less diver- 
sity of religious creeds, than of its population. Each nation, 
each colony, has its particular mode of worship. The inha- 
bitants, in general, profess the Christian religion, but are divided 
into a number of different sects. Here are Roman Catholics, 
Orthodox Greeks, Schismatic Greeks, Lutherans, Calvinists, 
Socinians, and Anabaptists j these, with the Jewish religion, 
comprehend the totality of creeds. 

The Roman Catholic religion is that of the state, and of the 
great body of the people. Its establishment may be traced to 
the tenth and eleventh centuries, when the Magyares, who had 
overthrown its first altars, began to grow civilized. 

Introduction, 23 

The Greek Orthodox church, which was raised about the 
same time, has its adherents in most of the Russniacs, Walla- 
chians, and Servians. They are subject to two bishops, one of 
whom resides at Unghvar, and the other at Grosswardien, 
both suffragans to the archbishop of Gran. This church has 
its members also in Transylvania, with a few in Croatia and 

The Schismatic Greeks comprise almost the whole of Scla- 
vonia, and the major part of the Wallachians, of Transylvania 
and the Banat, besides others in some of the Hungarian comi- 
tats. Their patriarch, similar to an archbishop in the Roman 
church, resides at Carlowitz, near Peterwaradin j he has seven 
bishops under him. 

Lutheranism has a number of partisans, that persecution 
only augmented and made bolder. Tranquillity was com- 
pletely restored, by the toleration edict of Joseph II., and 
Lutherans are now to be found in every part of Hungary, 
especially in the northern parts where the Germans have 

Calvinists are more numerous than Lutherans, and abound 
chiefly in the plains of Hungary, and on the frontiers of Tran- 

The number of Socinians is very small; they are chiefly 
found in Transylvania. That of the Anabaptists is still less ; 
a few are found in the comitats of Presburg and Nyitra. 

The Jews are tolerated, and have synagogues, but are divi- 
ded, as in other countries, into two sects, the Karaites, whose 
Scripture is confined to the books of the Old Testament, and 
the Rabbinists, who give almost equal authority to the Talmud. 

These religious denominations are sometimes more espe- 
cially congregated in certain cantons; here we meet with a 
Roman Catholic village or an Orthodox Greek, there a Schis- 
matic Greek, or one of the reformed religion ; sometimes we 
rind in the same village, three or four churches of different 
communions, though it may not contain fifty houses. But, in 
general, the Catholics exceed, and we may rate them, at least, 
at one half of the population, or at five millions, including the 
Orthodox Greeks, whose number amounts to six or seven 
hundred thousand. The Schismatic Greeks may amount to 
a million and a half, and the reformed religion may take in 
two millions and a half, whereof the Calvinists form two thirds. 


Hungary has been governed, for some centuries, by the House 
of Austria, yet it remains a distinct kingdom, with particular 
laws, magistrates, and privileges, By special treaties, the 

24 M. Beudanfs Travels in Hungary. 

crown is declared 'hereditary in that family, and Hungary 
forms a part of the Austrian states, while the family remains 
on the throne ; in the event of its extinction, the Hungarians 
would recover their right of election. At his accession, the 
hereditary prince is installed and crowned king of Hungary, 
independently of other states subject to his dominion. The 
coronation has its particular ceremonies, in accordance with 
the privileges of the nation, and is performed in presence of 
the states, consisting of the clergy, the noblesse, and the bur- 
gesses of the free cities. 

Excepting the palatine of the kingdom, who is elected by 
the states conjointly, the king may dispose of the principal 
places and offices, but the person nominated must be noble 
and an Hungarian. He can also grant titles and letters of 
nobility, and the right of denizenship to noble foreigners. He 
disposes of all the ecclesiastical benefices, nominates to the 
abbeys, chapters, bishopricks, and, in the vacancy of any see, 
has the profits till the next installation. In all matters con- 
nected with public instruction, his power seems to be unre- 
stricted. He can declare peace or war, dispose of the military 
force, and order a levy, in mass, by the nobles (called here an 
insurrection). In other respects, he retains only the executive 
power, which he is to exercise according to certain forms, with 
the right of proposing measures adapted to various exigencies. 
None of the existing laws can be modified, nor can any new 
law be established, without the consent of the nation. No 
extraordinary contributions, no levy of troops in a word, 
nothing can be done without an assembly of the states, or 
diet, wherein the clergy, the noblesse, the great officers of 
state, the chapters, and the free royal cities have the right of 
sitting, or of being represented. 

This numerous assembly, which the king can convoke, 
prorogue, or dissolve at pleasure, but which must be convened, 
at least, once in three years, is divided into two chambers. 
The former, or upper chamber, consists of magnats, that is, 
of the archbishops and bishops, the princes, counts and barons, 
and the governors of counties. The second comprises the 
abbots, and others of the higher clergy, with the deputies of the 
counties, of the chapters, and of the free royal cities, and the 
representatives of the magnats who cannot attend in person. 
These two chambers form, in reality, but one body, which has 
no other interest but that of the nation at large. 

In this assembly, all the wants of the state are discussed and 
provided for. The king is there either in person or by com- 
missioners. His propositions are considered, the levy of 
troops is fixed upon ; the noblesse tax themselves with such 

Introduction. 25 

tharges as war or other circumstances may require. But the 
king has the right of a negative on the decisions of the diet, 
nor can any be in force till they obtain his sanction, when they 
are published in his name throughout the kingdom. 

In his exercite of the executive power, the king's organ is a 
particular council, altogether independent of those which re- 
gulate the other parts of the empire. This is called the chan- 
celry of Hungary, is resident at Vienna, and constitutes the 
first authority of the kingdom. The lieutenancy of the king- 
dom, or council of state, at Buda, over which the palatine, or 
viceroy, presides, has the direction of affairs relating to the 
interior. To this board the chancelry transmits the king's 
orders, the legality of which it has a right to investigate, and 
to forward them afterwards to the public functionaries. Every 
comitat or county has a governor, who corresponds, directly, 
with this central administration, which, moreover, has under 
it all that concerns the police, justice, the execution of govern- 
ment orders, and of those of the county. 

The administration of the military frontiers depends imme- 
diately on the Aulic council of war at Vienna ; every regiment 
has a commandant, who has under him a number of officers. 
All business is transacted in a military way, the people being 
soldiers, though attached to and cultivating the soil. 

The legislative code consists of laws enacted under different 
sovereigns, and accepted, generally, by the states, but various 
nations or divisions have their particular laws, and certain 
privileges granted to them separately, but assured to them, 
subsequently to their union, as a nation. Some among them 
are entirely governed by the Germanic code. Each of the 
states of the kingdom, each division of people, and, indeed, 
every city that has special laws, has its particular magistrates 
and judges, acting only among themselves : there lies an ap- 
peal, however, to the supreme courts, for cases not especially 
provided for. 

With respect to the public revenue, it depends on the pro- 
duce of the mines, and on the taxes which are levied on indi- 
viduals, on cattle, on land, and articles of trade. There are 
no monopolies on the productions of the soil, but the annual 
contributions fall exclusively on the burgesses of the free towns, 
and on the peasantry ; the noblesse are exempted, having the 
right of taxing themselves. The gentlemen, however, con- 
tribute towards the temporary taxes fixed by the diet, for ex- 
traordinary occasions, as also to the charges of a war, when 
within the kingdom, and they arm a quota of men proportion- 
ed to their estates. Indeed, they are to rise in mass, when 
called upon by the sovereign, in defence of the state. This 


26 M. Seudant's Travels in Hungary. 

obligation was truly burthensome, in the disastrous times, 
when the Turks were making continual inroads, Hungary 
berng the barrier of Europe against those infidels. 

The noblesse enjoy very great privileges ; besides holding 
all the places of public functionaries, being exempt from all 
the permanent contributions, sitting in the diet, and having a 
considerable number of votes there, they only are entitled to 
have lands in possession. The burgesses can only possess 
landed property within the territories of the free cities, and 
the peasantry have little other property than their moveables. 
The Hungarian gentleman is not, however, absolute proprietor 
of his possessions ; in some respects, he has only the usufruct, 
for on the extinction of male issue, the property reverts to 
the state, which may dispose of it in favour of another family. 
Seigniorial lands cannot be sold ; they may be mortgaged, and 
the original proprietor, or his children, may reclaim, on reim- 
bursing the sums advanced. This is attended with an advan- 
tage to decayed families, and there are many examples to 1 
attest it. 

So many privileges exclusively attached to the noblesse, are 
at variance with the notions now prevalent in most other parts, 
but the peasant here is not exposed to such inconveniences 
as might be imagined. There was a time when the Hungarian, 
peasant was really attached to the glebe; at present, he is free, 
and contentment appears in the cottage no less than in the 
palace. Such is the empire of the laws and of custom, that the 
peasant's lot in Hungary is often superior to that of the same 
class in countries that have more freedom. The noblesse 
have possession of the soil, and the lord is obliged to divide 
the land into farms of a certain proportion, and these he lets- 
out to peasant cultivators. According to an urbarium, pub- 
lished under Maria Theresa, wherein all the customs of long 
standing were combined into a law, a complete farm was to 
consist of a mansion, with courts, barns, a garden, a certain 
number of acres of arable land, (forty-four Parisian) and a 
smaller for meadows, in the proportion of six to forty-four. 
The peasant takes a real interest in the soil, but for his loca- 
tion, he pays in daily labour and other services. One who has 
a complete farm owes to the lord, as services, fifty-four days' 
labour in a year, with a cart and a double train of horses or 
oxen. The farmer is also to deliver in annually, the ninth 
part of the products of the land, (for the first crop only, for if 
there be a second he pays nothing) the ninth part of his lambs, 
kids, honey, &c. He has to support other charges fixed and 
proportioned to different rights which he may acquire. But, 
if, with permission, he clears a portion of waste land, he 

Introduction. 27 

sesses it without services or obligation, and the lord can only 
resume it by granting a suitable indemnification. 

Tii us, the Hungarian peasant, in some measure, enjoys the 
fruits of his labour. He may dispose of eight-ninths of the 
product of his crops, and he becomes proprietor of moveable 
goods, flocks, and herds, &c. which pass to his children. In 
addition to which, if from accident his crops should be lost, 
or his cattle destroyed, the lord must furnish him with suste- 
nance, and even pay his debts and discharge other engage- 
ments, which he may have contracted with the seignior's 

The peasant who has no lands to cultivate, suffers no dis- 
paragement OD that account. If he dwells in a cottage, the 
seignior erects it, and supplies materials for its repairs ; the 
service due is eighteen days' labour in a year. If he has a 
portion of land besides, he contributes the ninth part, either 
in stock or money, and his service of days' labour is only due 
when the ground is, at least, one-eighth of what would consti*- 
tute a complete farm. 

On the whole, the condition'of the peasant is not inferior to 
that of many farmers in France.* The impossibility of ac- 
quiring land'is matter of regret, but the peasant, with some 
formalities, may become a proprietor in the territory of the 
free cities. 

The seignior is responsible for all that passes on his domain ; 
complaints against the peasants are lodged with him, and he 
may be sued in the county court, or in the supreme court, for 
redress. He maintains a sort of police, and some have the 
right of criminal justice, but nothing is done in an arbitrary 

* In the south west parts, the farmer has no landed property, but owes ser- 
vices to the proprietor, from whom he receives annual wages, the rate being 
invariable, in abundance or scarcity. The fanner receives 200 francs in money, 
13 hectolitres (about 1300 English quarts, more or less) of wheat, 16 hectolitres 
of maize, and 13 of rye; 2 barrels of wine from the press, 1 hectolitre of salt, 20 
pounds weight of oil for.eating, 20 do. of oil for burning, 6 cart loads of fire wood, 
and 1 tenement for his family. The whole, taken at a medium, may be valued 
at from 8 to 900 francs. These disbursements are indispensable on the part of 
the proprietor. 

These advantages are on the side of the farmer, who seems hereby assured of 
the means^of subsistence, but he has no chances of better fortune derivable from 
his industry, and is merely a tenant at will. Here the Hungarian peasant has an 
advantage, for the lord cannot dismiss him from the ground he occupies, except 
for bad management or conduct. An Hungarian farm, comprising an extent 
conformable to the nrbarinm, may be valued at from 15 to 1700 francs. The 
fifty-four days' labour, and the product of the ninth part, cannot equalize this 
sum, and in those parts of France where labour is dearest, would not rise to 
above 500 francs. The clear ninth produce at the highest, would only be from 
2 to 500 francs ; there would, consequently, be a benefit of from 6 to 700 francs, 
to be added to the eighj-nintha remaining of clear produce, that will belong to 
the pea*ant. 

28 M. Beudant's Travels in Hungary. 

manner. In respect to police, every village has a kind of 
judge, elected in a meeting of the inhabitants, out of three in T 
dividuals presented by the seignior, and often from among 
themselves. To enforce execution, unless for causes or of- 
fences of minor import, the seignior convenes a court of justice, 
which pronounces legally on the case, or refers it to the county 

P- From the forms of government, and the civil constitution of the 
kingdom, the principles of which are analogous to those of the 
most flourishing states, we might expect a high degree of civi- 
lization, and are astonished to find the tardy progress of letters, 
sciences, arts, industry, and commerce. To these, enlightened 
men of all nations are now directing their attention, and as 
the Hungarians are no longer in dread of revolutions, their 
melioration may be looked for. During the last thirty or 
forty years, the lords have begun to apply themselves to study, 
endeavouring also to diffuse the means of useful knowledge, 
and laying out their money to excite a spirit of industry. In 
this respect much has been done, but much more remains to 
do, and especially in matters wherein a government may pro- 
ceed more effectually than individuals. Public instruction is 
much neglected, and excepting a few establishments which 
are very inferior to those of other countries, the youth here 
find it impossible to acquire learning, or even the elements of 
it, in a correct manner. ' 

In the produce of general industry, the condition of this 
country is deplorable. With the exception of articles of the 
first necessity, manufactured in the towns where most of the 
workmen are Germans, others of almost every kind are im- 
ported from Austria. The few manufactures in Hungary are 
of inferior execution, and altogether inadequate to the con- 
sumption. There is reason, however, to hope that a change 
will take place for the better. There are now some manufac- 
tures of cloth, the most considerable of which are at Kaschau 
and Gacs, in the comitats of Abauj an<i Nograd. There is one 
at GEdenburg, on the lake of Neusiedel, where the finest cloths 
are made, and some, but inferior, at Modern, Tyrnau, and Ska- 
litz ; all others are of the coarsest description, and the men 
employed very few. The comitat of Zips has many manufac- 
tures of linen cloth, and this business is carried on also, in the 
most northerly mountainous parts, and at Kesmarck. There 
are bleaching grounds at Rosenau, and within a few years 
some cotton works have been raised, as at Sassin, in the 
comitat ofNyitra, and atCEdenburg; they have a pretty ex- 
tensive sale. Fifty or sixty years ago, certa'in silk works were 
Introduced with much zeal, but the fabrics, and the culture. 

Introduction. 29 

/of worms and mulberry trees, are dwindled to an inconsider- 
able number. A few paper" mills are scattered about the 
country, but the paper is very bad, and the quantity small. 
At GEdenburg are some brandy distilleries and a sugar house ; 
also works for linseed and turnsol oil, and for snuff and to- 
bacco, which last are in great reputation, and have a sale pro- 
portionate. The tanneries are pretty numerous, and their 
leather, dressed pretty well, forms a considerable article of ex- 
portation. The potteries are also pretty numeraus ; delft 
.ware is made at Buda, Kaschau, Papa, Dotis, and at Holies, 
.on the frontiers of Moravia; this last is a very ancient esta^ 
ilishment. At Debreczin are some houses for making com- 
mon glass, and for making soap ; and there are a few alum 
works, the most valuable of which are in the comitat of Beregh. 
If the productions of industry in Hungary are of minor im- 
portance, if they are inadequate to the internal consumption, 
its natural productions more than compensate. These are in 
such abundance, that the annual exportation is considerable. 
The dealings, however, in them, are mostly in the hands of 
foreigners, who, after amassing fortunes, return into their own 
.countries to enjoy them. It gave me pain to find such a num- 
ber of foreign traders selling their goods as dear as possible, 
,and contriving, by various expedients, to render themselves 
necessary. This being the case, when are we to see public 
attention directed to the making of roads, the construction of 
canals, and rendering the rivers navigable? Several attempts 
have been made, and projects, at different times, laid before 
government, so far as to enter on the execution, but from the 
want of public spirit, or the difficulty of exacting sacrifices 
from the mercantile class, which are for grasping temporary 
benefits in preference to future good, most of these improve- 
ments have sunk into oblivion, and if actually commenced are 
110 w abandoned. 


In respect of these, no country in Europe is more favoured. 
The abundance is such, compared with the adjacent countries, 
that we no longer wonder 'at the old national adage, " Extra 
Hungariam, non est vita, si est vita, non est ita." " There is 
no living out of Hungary or, no living can compare with that 
in Hungary." In the southern and eastern parts of the Great 
Plain, the fertility is prodigious ; so also on the banks of the 
Theysse and the banks of the Koros, in the comitats of Temes, 
of Torontal, Csanad, Bekes, Bacs, Syrmia, &c. But besides 
these places, grain of every species is cultivated with great 
Advantage in all the southern parts of Hungary, of Transyl- 

30 M. Beudanfs Travels in Hungary* 

vania, Sclavonia, and Croatia; and, indeed, wherever the 
height of the mountains or encroachment of the forests does 
not affect the temperature. In various parts, where corn does 
not thrive, they grow barley, rye, oats, and sarrazin, or black 
\vheat (polygonum fagopyrum). In good years, they export 
more than 6,000,000 bushels of wheat into the neighbouring 
countries. What would the produce be, if agriculture, which 
is here in its infancy, were on a level with that in other 
countries ? 

Besides the Cereal plants (corn, and maize, &c.) millet and 
rice are cultivated in Hungary. Maize is grown on a large 
scale, in the Banat, in Croatia, Sclavonia, &c., and in less quan? 
tities in almost all the flat country of southern Hungary. In 
Transylvania it is the main article of sustenance to the Walla- 
chians and Russniaks, who make a kind of gruel with it; also 
crumpets baked in the ashes, and even bread, which would be 
pretty good were it rightly prepared. The ears of maize mix- 
ed with water, are so dressed as to form a sort of national 
meat; it is, in fact, very good eating, and a stranger may 
readily use himself to it, although it does not appear at the 
tables of the great lords. Millet is generally cultivated in the 
same places as maize, but especially in the more southern 
parts. As to rice, it is grown in the marshy districts of the 
Banat ; there are rice plantations also in various other parts. 
The baron de Vai had it in contemplation to form rice beds in 
the tracts bordering on the three branches of the Koros j a 
measure which would add immensely to the culture. 

The vineyards of Hungary are in high repute, and their 
wines constitute one of the most important branches of their 
commerce. The vine is cultivated in all parts of Hungary, 
excepting the most northern provinces and the most elevated 
situations. The quantity of different wines made and export- 
ed into all the adjacent countries is immense. The white 
wine of the country of Tokai, about the borders of theTheysse 
and the Bodrog, is well known ; in point of excellence it ranks 
high. But the red wine of Menes, in the comitat of Arad, of 
a very different gust, is not at all inferior, and is preferred by 
some epicures. Besides these, there are many that have a 
well-merited reputation. Such as those of CEdenburg and 
Rust, on the lake of Neusiedler, with others too numerous to 
quote. In general, Hungary takes the lead even of France, 
in the variety of its wines ; it has many not unlike our best 
Burgundy, from along the Rhone, &c. ; also others like our 
sweet and our heady wines, but there yet remain others that 
have no similitude whatever to any wines, the growth of our 

Introduction. 31 

M. Schwartner calculates the value of the annual growth, 
ftt a hundred and ten millions of florins, (289,300,000 francs) 
but he justly observes, that the quantity aimed at for exporta- 
tion is too considerable, and that where the wines are indiffer- 
ent it would be better to attend to the culture of grain. 

Tobacco is another production of no small importance; its 
consumption being general throughout the country, and its 
excellent qualities making it a desirable article of export. No 
restraints are laid on the cultivation, but to enter Austria, ex- 
orbitant duties are imposed. Hence, the peasant can only 
gain a very moderate profit from his produce. After provi- 
ding for the internal consumption, he must compound for the 
surplus with the Austrian officers, who go about the country 
and often buy up the tobacco before it is ripe. 

In Transylvania are large plantations of tobacco, which is 
in great repute, but whether it be preferable the consumer 
must decide. Of the different kinds of snuff, those of Transyl- 
vania and of Fuzes Gyarmath appear to be the best. Tobacco 
for smoking is not subject to any very particular process, but 
the leaves are merely dried and chopped, or reduced to pow- 
der. Hereby it escapes that strong scent which the same sort 
prepared in Austria emits, and it takes an agreeable odour 
somewhat like the perfume of incense. The snuffs are never 
black like those in Austria, but take a yellow or chesnut brown 
colour ; they are extremely fine, very piquant, and perfectly 
free from that ammoniacal smell, incident to snuffs prepared 
in the other parts of Europe. They are much valued. 

The interior consumption of tobacco is immense, for the 
men almost universally, and youths of fifteen or sixteen, use it 
to excess. If, at a moderate estimate, we suppose one-third 
of the population in the use of smoking it, or of taking snuff, 
and each individual to consume a pound a month, the total 
would amount to 207,000 metrical quintals, or about 415,000 
quintals, fixing the quintals at the ancient pounds of Paris. 
The exportation is also very considerable, and according to 
M. Schwartner, amounted, in 1802, to 187,200 quintals (ancient 
pounds of Paris.) 

The immense forests that cover the mountains in the west, 
north, and east of Hungary, would acquire additional import- 
ance and value, were forges erected among them, and roads 
and canals made for the carriage of their materials. The 
woods rot in the mountainous parts, Avhile the price is high, 
and getting dearer every day, in the plains. Besides timber 
for building and fuel, there would be supplies for the marine, 
as in those eternal forests of pines, are many straight and very 
beautiful trees that would serve for masts. But from the irn- 

$2 M. Beudant's Travels in Hungary. 

provident management in a number of places, no other advan- 
tage is obtained from the wood than burning it to get pot- ash 
from the cinders. Thus the major part of the forests, in the 
higher regions, are lost to the state, and in the lower parts, for 
want of proper modes of cutting, frightful mutilations and 
havock take place. This has been found out too late, and 
several establishments on the roads, or at the extremities of 
towns, are in danger of being broken up. 

The vast forests of oaks on the tracts less elevated, are ser- 
viceable in building, and their acorns feed thousands of hogs, 
half wild. Of these we meet with numerous herds, especially 
in the western parts of the country. Considerable quantities 
of gall nuts are also obtained from them, that are mostly used 
in the tanneries. 

From the excellent pasture grounds, especially in the marshy 
parts of the Great Plain, the rearing of cattle has been much 
attended to, so as to form an article of exportation. M. 
Schwartner reports, that in 1802, 158,600 horned cattle,' 
536,340 sheep, rams, goats, &c., and 170,068 lambs and kids, 
were sent out of the country. The breeding of sheep, among 
which are many Merinos, has been brought to some perfection. 
Large quantities of their wool is used hi the manufactories, 
and much also is sent abroad. According to M. Schwartner, 
the exportation, in 1802, amounted to 14,278,8/0 ancient 
pounds of Paris. Wrought into cloth, and different Woollen' 
stuffs, it finds its way back into Hungary. 

The oxen are generally of a large size, their hair grey and- 
smooth, their horns large and well formed, their head square. 
Whert fattened, they are allowed to be fine animals. The' 
horses, however, are small and ill made, and not a little atten- 
tion is paid to improving the breed. Many of the lords have 
particular studs on their lands, but the principal one is that 
of Mezohegyes, in the comitat of Csanad, established by Joseph 
II., in 1785. It is endowed with a territorial domain of 
47,350 acres, (Parisian) and never has less than from 8 to 
10,000 horses, including stallions of all descriptions. The 
superintendent is a colonel, who has under him a major, 
twelve officers, fifty inferior officers, and two hundred soldiers, 
with a number of other individuals held in employment. There' 
is another imperial stud at Babolna, in the comitat of Komorn. 
These establishments have supplied the army and the opulent 
classes with good and elegant horses, but the race in general 
is not meliorated. The traveller every where meets with 
horses of an inferior size, that appear to be stunt or not well 
broke, and such as he would be timorous of making use of. 
They support fatigue, however, much better than animals o 

Introduction. 33 

superior make and appearance. They are allowed to drink 
largely of water when heated ; a practice contrary to what 
prevails in other European countries. 

As to fruits of every kind, plants, useful in the arts and for 
sustenance, game, poultry, fresh-water fish, Hungary yields to 
no country in these respects. The mineral kingdom also 
teems with immense resources, and the lofty mountains that 
encircle it on all sides, contain in their bowels riches of various 

The gold and silver mines of Hungary and Transylvania, 
are the only ones in Europe of fixed and stable importance, 
and till the discovery of Peru, Mexico, and Brazil, were held 
of prime consideration. The well-known mines of Sehern- 
nitz and Kremnitz, with those of Kapnick, Nagy Banya, Voros 
Patack, and others, are still worked to great advantage, 
but it is not easy to appreciate their positive annual value. 
Their products, in times past, have been immense, but whe- 
ther it is from negligence or a gradual impoverishment, the 
gains are greatly reduced. Besides these, wherein the metals 
are found in masses and veins, gold dust is collected in Tran- 
sylvania, in pretty large quantities. There are also golden sands 
gathered in the river of Aranyos, (the word denotes bearing 
gold) which empties its waters into the Maros. And authors 
mention the Szamos, the Lapos, in the north of Transylvania, 
together with the Nera, in the Banat. 

But besides these precious metals, Hungary contains copper 
mines of great importance, and indeed the richest in Europe; 
those of Oravitza, Moldava, and others, in the Banat; those of 
Iglo, Dobschau, Smolnitz, Herrengrund, Libethen, &c. in 
Hungary. Iron mines abound, and the mineral, from its ex- 
cellent nature and quality, may be compared with that of 
Sweden or Norway. But the mining works are not suffi- 
ciently numerous or considerable, and are far, indeed, from, 
answering the internal consumption, large sums being sent out 
of the country for this article. Some few mines of quicksilver 
are to be found, particularly at Szlana, in the comitat of Gomor, 
but the quantity extracted is small. 

Salt is one of the most important mineral productions of 
Hungary. It abounds very much in the eastern parts of the 
kingdom ; considerable masses of it are formed in the centre of 
Transylvania, in the comitats of Torda, Klausenburg, &c. An 
immense depot is also found on the northern frontiers of that 
province, in the comitat of Marmaros, but its situation is so 
remote that but little is supplied to the internal consumption. 
The salt mines of Poland interfere with the exportation north- 
wards, and those of Salzburg and Salz Kammergut, from their 


34 M. BeudanCs Travels in Hungary . 

proximity to Austria, must operate against it. The quantity 
of salt employed in trade annually, may be rated at 1,200,000 
quintals, ancient weight of Paris. This mineral substance is 
every where a royal right j no individual can go to work for it 
on his own account, and provision can only be made from the 
large depots established in different places by the government. 
But the price, a matter of general import, is always fixed in 
the assembly of the states, where nothing that can contribute 
to the public welfare escapes attention. 

There are several other salt beds or pans in Hungary, of 
more or less value, where salt is found, in solution, in the 
waters of the marshes and lakes about the vast plains of the 
country. In the heat of summer, the salt effloresces on the 
surface of the soil, and large quantities are gathered of it. 
Nitre (natron) is also produced in a great number of places, 
and especially in the eastern parts of the Great Plain. In the 
comitat of Bihar alone, more than 5000 metrical quintals are 
collected annually, most of which is employed in the manufac- 
ture of soap, particularly in the town of Debretzin. Saltpetre 
is gathered, in considerable quantities, on the surface of the 
pasture grounds, in the comitats of Szabolcs, Bihar, &c. In 
1802, 3500 metrical quintals were obtained, and the produce 
would be much more considerable, should the wants of the 
State require it. The sulphate of soda, and the sulphate of mag- 
nesia, are found in the same places, and very large quantities 
might be procured, were it demanded for internal consumption. 

During the last thirty years, attention has been attracted to 
a particular production, till then altogether unknown, certain 
alum rocks, perfectly resembling those of Tolfa, in the Roman 
States. These, under the management of M. Derczeny, of 
Dercsen, have already yielded excellent produce, and in toler- 
able abundance, not only sufficient for the manufactures of the 
country, but for exportation to Austria. The principal places 
where this valuable mineral appears, are in the mountains of 
the comitat of Beregh. It is found also at Parad, in the co- 
mitat of Heves, but it is there so blended with Pyrites, that the 
produce is much diminished by it. 

Mines of pit coal would form a very desirable acquisition, 
but the country seems rather destitute in this respect, whatever 
may be asserted to the contrary by a French author, Marcelle 
de Serres, in his travels into the empire of Austria, in 1814. 
The only coal pits accurately ascertained, and where men are 
at work, are in the comitat of Barany, near Funfkirchen on 
one side, and at Egregy and Siklos on the other. Those near 
Funfkirchen are the only pits where the works are followed up 
with a certain regularity and advantage. The produce is ab- 

Introduction^ 35 

sorbed in the circumjacent parts, or is conveyed to Pest, where 
it is chiefly in use with whitesmiths and blacksmiths. All 
other depots of mineral coaly matter, passing under the name 
of steinkohle or earth coal, consist of lignite, a coaly substance 
which contains no bitumen like coal, never swells or puffs 
when heated, is often difficult to set fire to, and diffuses an un- 
pleasing odour. It is a remnant of wood that has lain buried 
in the earth, in ancient revolutions of the globe, and the woody 
texture is occasionally very apparent. Many vestiges of this 
combustible have been discovered in different parts of Hun- 
gary, but there are few places where it has become an object 
of regular labours. At Wandorf, near CEdenburg, large quan- 
tities are produced, chiefly for transport to Vienna. It is, how- 
ever, highly probable that this mineral combustible might be 
worked, in a great number of places hitherto unexplored, and 
with obvious advantage. The mines of Sari Sap, at a little 
distance from Gran and Pest, are deserving of notice, from 
their situation in a part of Hungary where wood is getting 
scarce and dear. 

Among other minerals, opal, which for ages has been the 
peculiar produce of this country, should not be omitted. Of 
late years, indeed, equatorial America has furnished samples 
of it for commerce. Opal is particularly found in the groupe 
of mountains that stretch from Tokai to Eperies, and it is 
about half a day's journey N. W. of the town of Kaschau, near 
the village of Cservenitza, that mining works have been carried 
on for centuries. This substance is discovered in several other 
places, but it no where else presents that life and vivacity of 
colours that make it in request with the jeweller, and so highly 
enhance its value. Ancient authors have recorded, and more 
recent authors have repeated, that emeralds, beryls, topazes, 
rubies, hyacinths, and lapis lazuli, have been found in the Car- 
pathian mountains, but neither in my excursions, nor in the 
collections that I visited, could 1 trace any vestiges of such. 
I am of opinion that opal is the only fine or precious stone 
that Hungary affords. 

There are mineral waters, in various parts, that have ac- 
quired celebrity in a greater or less degree. Some are hot, 
others cold ; some are purely acid like those of Seltz, others 
are both acid and ferrugineous, acid and sulphureous. Some 
are used for bathing in, others for drinking. Those most fre- 
quented, and in the highest vogue, are at Bartfeld, in the 
comitat of Saros, at Lublb, in that of Zips, at Trentseii, Eisen- 
bach, Glasshutte, about Schemnitz, and at Fared, on the bor- 
ders of the lake Balaton. These are the principal, but there 
are other waters that require only a more agreeable situation 

36 M. Beudant's Travels in Hungary. 

and greater publicity, to make them popular. The number is 
more than four hundred, many of which have undergone 
analytical process by physicians. There is scarcely a comitat 
that has not several, and it is only in the vast arid or marshy 
plains that we are not to look for them. Such as are bitter, 
alkaline, and nitrous, are, occasionally, prescribed by phy- 

Croatia and Sclavonia have, likewise, a great number of 
'mineral waters, and there are others in the Banat, particularly 
the ancient baths of Mehadia, commonly called the baths of 
Hercules, They are found also in Transylvania, and on the 
frontiers of Hungary. From the abundance of its mineral 
springs, the names Teplitza, Teplica, Tepla, Tapolcza, signify- 
ing hot baths, occur frequently on the maps of Hungary. 
These waters all issue immediately from calcareous mountains, 
or from sand and pulverised remnants at their feet. They 
often contain a great quantity of carbonate of lime, which they 
deposit all along in their passage, and which, in different places, 
forms considerable masses of calcareous tuft. 




IT is not without a secret pleasure, that the philosophical 
student quits the narrow precincts of towns in quest of tracts 
wherein a cultivated country is covered with beautiful verdure, 
or wherein nature, left to itself, appears in all its riches and 
magnificence. The hope of collecting new facts, in the history 
of art, or of tracing general laws, by fresh observations, out of 
those already discov red, gives an impulse to the imagination, 
so as to excite fresh efforts to redouble his courage, vigour, 
and perseverance. 

* The parts of Hungary that most abound in mineral waters, are the comitats 
of Zips, Saros, Abanj, Lipto, Arva, Trentsen, Tliurotz, Zolyom, Bars, Hont, 
Nograd, Heves, CEdenburg, Eisenburg, and Szala. 

Journey from Paris to Vienna. 37 

Hungary, a country but little explored by travellers, was an 
object of curiosity, no less by its physical than its political 
constitution. I had been several months accumulating, in 
Paris, all the facts, details, and circumstances relating to Hun- 
gary, that I could find in different authors, and the baron 
Podmaniezkey, envoy from his apostolic majesty, with whom 
I had become acquainted in Paris, furnished me with ample 
instructions as to the interior of the country, the manners of 
the inhabitants, and the ways of travelling in it. He had 
pointed out all the little difficulties I might meet with, and by 
letters of special recommendation to his relations and friends, 
scattered over the country, had suggested the means of my 
surmounting them. 

In general, my journey from Paris through Germany, to 
Vienna, was rapid, and I had not much leisure to dwell on 
intermediate objects. As a geologist, I observed large masses 
of red free-stone, on both banks of the Rhine, which, indeed, 
extend very far into Germany, and seem to connect with those 
of the Duchy of Deux Pont. In many parts of the mountains 
of the Black Forest, are depots of real pit coal. I crossed 
those mountains by the valley of Kinzig, and visited, by the 
way, the coal mines of Zunsweyer, which belong to M. Hecht, 
of Strasbourg ; he accompanied me in the same. From Kehl, 
along the banks of the Rhine to Offenburg, we have uniformly 
a champaign country; we meet with no hills till a little before 
we come to Schwarzwald. 

The entrance of the valley of Kinzig, which I passed, April 
22d, 1818, exhibited a delightful spectacle, from the multitude 
of fruit-trees loaded with flowers, whose colours, white, tinged 
with green, contrasted agreeably with the dark green of the 
pines that covered the tops of the mountains. About a league 
above Gengenbach, the vegetation was not so agreeable to the 
view, but the numerous habitations scattered about the gentle 
declivities, exhibited animating attractions of another kind. I 
had set out rather late from Zunsweyer, arid in order to sleep 
at Wolfach, as 1 intended, was obliged to walk a little in the 
night. Here I was gratified with another amusing prospect; 
lights appeared in all the dwelling houses, and in the midst of 
the profound darkness that overspread the heights, the valley 
seemed illuminated, to a great distance, along its two sides. 
The further end was enlivened by clouds of smoke and flame, 
from the forges of Hausach, in the higher part of the valley. 

I passed the greater part of next day in viewing the geolo- 
gical collections of M. Selb, and towards night had a guide to 
Hornberg, where I could resume the post road. In the mid- 

38 M. Beudanfs Travels in Hungary. 

die of the mountains of Tryberg, I beheld with pleasure, the 
first waters of the Danube #t their source; the course of the 
river I was afterwards to pursue, though at a great distance. 
At Riedlingen, the hilly country ceases, and all appearances 
announce our entering into plains. 

The vast plains of Bavaria, the soil of which is covered with 
sand and calcareous fragments, reminded me of the plains of 
Switzerland, of which they form a continuation. They are 
only separated by hills of no great height, which mark the 
division of the waters between the Danube and the Rhine. 
The Bavarian plains are bordered by the same calcareous mat- 
ters, as form the two sides of the great valley of Switzerland. 

After crossing these plains very rapidly, I proceeded towards 
Salzburg, intending, by the way, to take a view of the salt 
mines, which constitute the riches of that country. From 
Munich to Peiss, along the route of Rosenheim, we travel 
throughout in a plain that has no undulations, but the country 
rises gently afterwards, and we pass over a long ridge of hills, 
in general, richly clothed with vegetation, and presenting 
aspects extremely diversified. The lake of Chiem, which is 
not less than ten leagues in circumference, and which we coast 
along, in passing from Rosenheim to Traunstein, has a fine 
effect, as surveyed with the hills that surround it. 

At Traunstein, the town on the top of a hill pretty lofty, and 
the immense buildings of salt works at the foot of it, commu- 
nicating with the town by covered escaliers, (staircases) erected 
on the slope of the hill, exhibit a total not a little striking, and 
which, from the heights that border the lake of Chiem, on the 
east, are truly picturesque. The buildings for the works, and 
the large toll-house on the Traun, by which wood is conveyed 
into the timber yards, must necessarily arrest the attention of 
every traveller who would investigate the nature of great com- 
mercial establishments. There is an admirable order in the 
management ; the salt water is brought from Reichenhall, and 
from Berchtesgaden, ten leagues distant, over two chains of 
very high mountains, by machines and pumps at regular dis- 
tances. The water is finally brought into an immense reser- 
voir in the centre of the buildings, for evaporating it by fire. 
Round the reservoir are eight large coppers and immense ware- 
houses over them. The furnaces are very well constructed, 
and the combustible materials are husbanded with exact 

From* the toll-house is a little causeway, and a very agree- 
able path that leads towards Reichenall. Advancing towards 
Itzel, the hills get higher, and beyoucj that village are moun- 

Journey from Paris to Vienna. 39 

tains much higher still. Towards Reichenhall, the country 
assumes an aspect altogether wild, and the valleys are inter* 
sected with rocky precipices perpendicularly steep. 

Along the road across the mountains, between Itzel and 
Reichenhall, we meet with a number of aqueducts that convey 
the salt water to Traunstein, as also conveyances of fresh 
water passing in an opposite direction. The machines and 
pumps are numerous, and are worked with singular precision. 
A machine does not occupy a space of more than four feet 
square, but the movements are executed with such punctuality 
and facility, that you scarcely hear the noise of the piston and 
suckers of the pump within it, at the distance of a few feet; a 
person outside can form no idea of the enormous effort that is 
exerted. The engineer that constructed these works is M. 
Reichenbach, of Munich, the author of many other ingenious 

The object of my excursion to Berchtesgaden was to visit the 
salt mine. The director could not accompany me himself, but 
sent me his secretary as a guide. The entrance to the gal- 
leries is at a little distance from the town. I was rather sur- 
prised to see the miners bring me a white cassock, like a 
combing cloth, being accustomed, in all my previous visits to 
mines, to throw a black cloth over me ; a large bougie was 
next put into my hands, in lieu of a miner's lanthorn. Those 
who accompanied me had the same costume ; thus accoutred, 
each with a bougie in his hand, and bis tunic on his back, we 
marched in procession into the mines. They led me to all the 
windings, remarking on every interesting particular, and at- 
tending, with infinite complaisance, to all my goings and 
comings, so that I had every opportunity of studying the nature 
and variations of this depot that I could desire. 

My first views encountered an argilous matter, replete with 
fissures, filled occasionally with veins or nests of salt. I came 
next to a mass of salt, very potent and nearly in a pure state ; 
we pursued the track of this down to the deepest part of the 
labours, it growing purer and purer as we proceeded. This 
mass is reduced to powder, and detached portions are convey- 
ed into reservoirs, where, by solution, the salt is cleared of its 
earthy particles. The water is then made to pass to Reichen- 
hall and Traunstein, for evaporation. 

The interior of the saline regions of Berchtesgaden, cannot 
but prove interesting to any that would study the nature and 
structure of those depots of ancient seas, but I experienced 
also, the satisfaction of a general traveller, in surveying the 
most beautiful scenery imaginable. 

After passing through a long gallery, we came to one of those 

40 Mm&tdanfa Travels in Hungary. 

vast cavities from which large quantities of salt had already 
been extracted. It was a sort of subterraneous gulf, but 
then it was illuminated by the miners through its whole out- 
line, and even in the sinuosities of its deepest recesses. A 
glimmering light was every where visible, but not clear enough 
to distinguish objects ; this cast a mysterious air over the 
whole, so as to form a scene truly magical. The effect was 
still more imposing, from being blended with terror, when I 
catched a glimpse of the steep walls of the surrounding pre- 
cipices, with the ladders and machines for drawing up the salt. 
The view was tremendous and enchanting, and produced a 
sensation, of which no description can convey an adequate 

Quitting Berchtesgaden, I proceeded next for Hallein. The 
entrance of the galleries was at Durnberg, where I arrived in a 
direct course, though I was obliged to pass to Hallein, to get 
leave of the directors to visit them. Hallein lies in the bottom 
of a valley, the descent to which is very rapid, by a way cut 
out of the abrupt declivities of the mountain ; to a stranger it 
has a very picturesque effect. The district no longer forms a 
part of Bavaria, having been lately ceded to Austria. At 
Durnberg, the master miner had, by appointment, agreed to 
accompany me. 

This entrance is by an horizontal gallery, lined with solid 
walls, in all the first advances ; afterwards we come to a timber 
wainscoting, and then appear masses of saliferous argile, solid 
enough not to require supports or props. In the midst of 
these argilous walls, we see [Jretty large portions of pure salt, 
grey or reddish. 

I had not at Hallein the view of an illumination as rich as 
at Berchtesgaden, but by the light of their little lamps, the eye 
could trace a number of large lakes, on which are conveyed the 
saline substances, dug up by the workmen. These lakes were 
thirty-two in number ; I launched into the middle of one of 
them, on the same radeau as had served the emperor Francis. 
At the time of that monarch's visit; the whole area was lighted 
up with great magnificence, and to judge from the space which 
the lamps occupied, the scenery so enlightened, and shining 
with so great a lustre, must have been very imposing. 

One particularity attached to the works of Hallein, is the 
inclined planes on which we glide to pass from the higher to 
the lower galleries. The number of these is considerable, and 
much of the time is spent in the exercise. It may seem strange 
that we thus glide, pretty rapidly, in an obscure path, over de- 
clivities of from eighty to one hundred feet in length, holding 
a bougie in one hand, and the rope which serves for a guide in 

Journey ft -om Paris to Vienna* 41 

the other. The old miner that conducted me was in a trans- 
port of joy to see me move along as nimbly as himself. These 
miners, in general, expect to receive money from visiters, but 
when a stranger takes an interest in their labours, converses 
freely with them, and shuns no difficulties, betrays no fears in 
following them, they redouble their efforts to satisfy and inform. 

After sliding thus along time, from top to bottom, we arrive 
at a large gallery, whence there is a way to get out. There 
we find miners with little wheel-barrows, that bring us up to 
day light in a quarter of an hour, though to pass on foot would 
require thirty-five minutes. 

This long gallery, partly dug or hollowed in the saliferous 
mass, and partly in the calcareous, exhibited a phenomenon 
rather unusual. We should naturally look for moisture as an 
attendant on the saline substances, and if dryness could be 
supposed any where, should expect to find it in marbles 
or calcareous masses, but here the effects are directly the re- 
verse. In the interior parts it is quite dry, where the congeries 
of salt appears, but the calcareous masses* are found to be every 
where dropping. Two causes may be assigned for this ; one, 
that the argilous mass, which in some measure incloses the salt, 
is not easy to be penetrated by water, which slides over it till 
it finds a vent or issue j another, that what little of moisture 
penetrates, is firmly retained by the argile as well as by the 
salt, and cannot leak or run out. But a calcareous mass, even 
the most compact, will easily let water filter through it; and, 
besides, it is sure to contain a great number of fissures. 

While I was at Hallein, I macle an excursion to the valley of 
Salza, surveying the adjoining mountains with the eye of a 
geologist ; on my return, I took the straight road for Vienna. 
I passed through Salzburg some days after a calamitous event 
which was every where the subject of conversation. A dread- 
ful conflagration had destroyed eighty-eight houses in the city, 
together with the superb Chateau Mirabella, which had been, 
ever recommended as an object of curiosity to strangers j also 
four churches, and the little village of Frosheim. While the 
inhabitants of this latter were affording their assistance in the 
city, their own dwellings had become a prey to the flames. 
The prospect from the mountain of Monchsberg, in the neigh- 
bourhood, is magnificent, exhibiting the whole country like a 
map to the eye of an observer. The landscape was beautiful 
in itself, but to me was clouded by the smoking ruins that 
tinged it with a sombrous hue. 

After passing through Molk, St. Polten, arid Burkersdorf, 
we enter the plains of Vienna. Here are many pleasant vil- 
lages that announce our approach to a great city. We leave 


42 M. Beudanfs Travels in Hungary. 

the imperial palace of Schonbrunn, which contributed not a 
little to improve the prospect on our right. The day of my 
arrival was a holiday, and the road was thronged with cara- 
vans going and coming with great rapidity, sometimes contain- 
ing not less than twenty passengers ; they raised terrible clouds 
of dust, which intercepted the sight at a few paces distance. 
I reached the barriers at length, and proceeding through the 
suburbs, which took up half an hour, I entered the city. Up- 
wards of an hour was spent in the search of an apartment with 
furnished lodgings ; the hotels and auberges were full, or other- 
wise not to my taste, and I at last accepted the recommenda- 
tion of my postillion, who removed me to Leopoldstadt, one of 
the suburbs, in an island of the Danube. Here I found suit- 
able accommodations, and regretted that I had not followed 
his advice sooner. 

The city of Vienna, (Wien, Germ. Vindobona, and Vienna, 
Lat. Bets, Hung.) stands on the right bank of the Danube, in 
a pleasant situation, lat. 48, 12', 40", N. long. 17, 32', 30'', 
E. of London, and about 413 feet above the level of the sea. 
Some authors trace its origin to a village of the Windes or 
Wendes, in the same place, the name of which must have 
been Windewohn, a dwelling of the Wendes, whence the 
Romans made Vindobona. Others assert that it took the 
name of Fabiana, or Faviana, from a Roman governor named 
Fabius, or from a king of the Rugians named Fava, the word 
being afterwards corrupted to Viaua, and then to Vienna. 

At Vienna we must make a distinction between the city and 
the suburbs. The city occupies but a very small space, and is 
surrounded with fosses and fortifications. As it includes the 
ordinary residence of the court, and is the centre of all the 
public offices, and the seat of commercial transactions, it natu- 
rally becomes the most populous. The streets are extremely 
narrow, the houses very high, and the whole population is ex- 
ceedingly straitened. Though the number of palaces, hotels, 
and superb buildings is more considerable, in proportion, than 
in any other great city, the aspect of the whole seems dark 
and melancholy, breathing an air of austerity beyond the com- 
mon standard of German gravity.* 

The suburbs are much more extensive, and infinitely more 
agreeable j the houses are more spacious, less crowded to- 
gether, the streets wider, and the gardens are in great num- 
bers, diffusing a gay appearance over the whole. The suburbs 

* According to an average observation of the barometer, of 17 years, at the 
mean temperature of 12, 5', 8", for the mercury, and 10 for the air, it will be 
at Om, 7478. The hall of the observatory, wherein the barometer is fixed, is at 
33" above the confluence of the Vienne and the Danube, 

Journey from Paris to Vienna. 43 

form a sort of rural district to the city, and there, at the return 
of fine weather, the great lords, who have erected magnificent 
palaces with delightful gardens, spend a part of the summer. 
There is also a considerable number of handsome public build- 
ings, such as the school of surgery, the polytechnic school, 
with numerous churches, among which is that of St. Charles, 
considered as the finest in Vienna. There are several very 
pleasing promenades, in the midst of parterres, wherein the 
vegetation is rich and abundant, the city affording nothing of 
the kind. 

But notwithstanding these advantages, there are also incon- 
veniences, which no doubt will be removed hereafter, but at 
present are disagreeable. In the suburbs, the principal streets 
only are paved, and the rest, in winter or rainy weather, are 
covered with mud. The boulevard, which we pass over to 
enter into the city, is also filled with it ; add to which, that in 
summer, in the dry weather, we are scorched by the sun, and 
stifled with dust. 

The suburbs have all been raised since 1684; those prior to 
that period were destroyed, in 1683, at the approach of the 
Turkish army, during the revolt of count Tekeley, in Hungary. 

They have not always made a part of the city; several form- 
ed distinct villages, till Joseph II. incorporated them with 
Vienna. They have been since increasing rapidly, and an ex- 
tensive line drawn round the city would take in about 6000 
houses and 180,000 souls; the city alone may have 1400 
houses, and 46,000 inhabitants. The suburbs are thirty-three 
in number; the principal and most beautiful are Leopoldstadt, 
Wachringergasse, Alvergasse, Josephstadt, Maria Hulf, Wie- 
den, and Landstrasse. The Prater, the finest promenade in 
Vienna, and perhaps in Europe, is in Leopaldstadt. It is a 
sort of magnificent forest at the gates of the city, in a large 
island of the Danube; it is more than a league in length, and 
half a league wide, and contains oaks, beech, lime, and chesnut 
trees, all of a superior description. Superb avenues, with 
flowery meadows on each side, have been cut through it, in- 
terrupting the monotony which the thickness of the foliage 
would occasion, and giving animation to the scene. A multi- 
tude of booths and little auberges are scattered in various 
directions, forming detached hamlets, exhibiting spectacles, 
games, horsemanship, &c. The Prater is, in summer, the 
rendezvous of the whole town, and when enlivened by a crowd 
of splendid equipages, by the gay assemblage of the population, 
diversified with Turks, Greeks, Armenians, Jews, &c. all in 
their national costume, the traveller of sensibility will feel 
himself highly gratified. 

44 M. Beudant's Travels in Hungary. 

If Vienna, in its interior, presents few attractions, this must 
be attributed to the height of the houses and the narrowness 
of the streets, for there are few cities, and especially fortified 
cities, that contain, in proportion, so great a number of palaces, 
hotels, and genteel buildings. These are mostly of pretty re- 
cent construction ; few, or none, however, display any thing 
remarkable in their architecture. The imperial palace is an 
immense structure, but having been enlarged at different pe- 
riods, there is little of symmetry in the exterior, and its 
general appearance falls below the idea that one would form 
for the mansion of a great Sovereign. Certain parts of it look 
beautiful, and others have an air of imposing grandeur, but 
here, as throughout Vienna, every thing is crowded ; the palace 
is concealed on one side, by the houses of the town, and by the 
rampart on the other ; nor is there any other entrance or 
egress than by arcades that are necessarily public, and of 
course generally encumbered with carriages and foot passen- 
gers. Among 'the churches, that of St. Stephen is well de- 
serving of attention ; its architecture is a beautiful Gothic. 
The spire, which is not so high as that of Strasburg, but bolder 
and higher than any in Paris, is 414 feet above the level of the 

Within the city, the number of places or public squares is 
pretty considerable, but they are, for the most part, irregular, 
and thronged with little stalls of hucksters. In their centre 
appear fountains and monuments, but often overcharged with 
ornaments, and generally in a bad taste. The place Joseph 
may be considered as one of the courts of the Chateau ; it has 
an air of dignity which would be greatly enhanced were it 
more spacious. The statue of Joseph II., which occupies the 
centre, is frigid, and not without its imperfections ; it adds, 
however, to the embellishments of the place. 

The houses of Vienna are mostly of bricks or timber ; build- 
ings of any consequence are of stone. Some are of a particu- 
lar free-stone, greyish or yellowish, of which I observed a 
series of mountains, previous to my reaching Vienna. Others 
are of calcareous, coquiliferous stones, from the borders of 
the lake of Neusiedel, in Hungary, and resembling those most 
in use at Paris. The streets are pretty well paved ; on each 
side are causeways for foot passengers, consisting of large flags 
of grey granite, from Saiblingstein, on the banks of the Danube. 
The middle of the street is of grey-coloured free-stone, partly 
brought from Burkersdorf, where I had occasion to notice some 
quarries, and partly from other points of the same mountains. 

In treating of Vienna, I must not omit mentioning their 
mode of paving under coach gateways. In lieu of stones, they 

Journey from Paris to Vienna. 45 

use cubes of wood, placed one beside another as in ordinary 
pavements, so that the edges of the wood lie vertical. In this 
way, a carriage passing under the gate makes no shaking or 
harsh noise, as when the paving consists of stones. Fir is the 
timber employed, and this sort of pavements will last for a 
long time. 

The number of hotels with furnished lodgings, is not consi- 
derable at Vienna, which seems rather unaccountable, con- 
sidering the vast influx of strangers. In the very heart of the 
city the accommodations are not the most inviting, and a stran- 
ger feels little inclination to stop there. But in the auberges 
of the suburbs it is otherwise, and the terms reasonable; in 
this respect, Leopoldstadt may be recommended for a traveller 
who means to make only a short stay. The air is salubrious, 
and the Prater is nigh at hand, where, every day the promenade 
is respectable, and on Sundays it is thronged with all the va- 
rious classes of society. In most of the auberges you may 
have your meals, either in your own apartment or at a com- 
mon table. But these meals are regularly from twelve to two, 
and from eight to ten ; nothing can be had in the intervals, 
unless previously ordered. The auberges where liquor only is 
to be had, are distinguished by a bundle of shavings, moulded 
into the form of a bell ; those, where eating is provided, are 
noted by a bunch of fir. Some of the traiteurs are in veiy 
great vogue, and there are many coffee-houses ; some are 
pretty well furnished, and here all the voluminous gazettes of 
the German States may be read. One particular, incommoding 
to a stranger, is, that the hackney coaches, which are pretty 
numerous and ready at hand, either for town or country, are 
subject to no fixed prices, so that you must agree with them 
beforehand, or you may expect disagreeable altercations. 

Such is the general outline that I sketched of Vienna, during 
the short time of my residence, going through and returning. 
As to the various institutions, such as the university, the'aca- 
demy of surgery, the gymnasia, the polytechnic school, the 
academy of com'merce, that of the fine arts, the normal school, 
the academy of oriental languages, the general seminary, the 
institution for deaf and dumb, the hospitals, the establishments 
of a benevolent description, of which there are many that do 
great honour to the inhabitants, and some to the care of go- 
vernment, I had no time to examine or treat of in detail, 
inspecting some very rapidly, and others not at all. In gene- 
ral, I may remark, that, as to the primary bases of instruction, 
it appears less forward here than in other parts of Germany. 
The polytechnic school has no resemblance to ours ; it is li- 
mited to providing a certain number of young persons with 

46 M. BeudanCs Travels in Hungary. 

instruction merely elementary in the arts and commerce, so far 
as to construct plans, and in the practical parts of stone cut- 
ting; these extend also to chemistry, physics, natural history, 
as connected with the arts and commerce, also to history, 
geography, and the languages. The plan of this establishment 
is more assimilated to that of our schools of arts and trades, 
but is more comprehensive. 

Vienna, in its aggregate, contains very numerous collections 
of every description. The imperial library adjoining the Cha- 
teau, passes for the most considerable in Europe ; report as- 
signs to it more than 300,000 volumes, (the royal library in 
Paris has more than 500,000) also a great number of MSS., 
and of samples in the art of printing, from 1435 to 1500. The 
apartments wherein these valuable assemblages are deposited, 
are very suberb, and if there is any thing objectionable, it is 
the superfluity of gildings, marbles, paintings, and other articles 
of luxury. The cabinet of antiques and medals is also in the 
imperial palace, together with .the museum of natural history, 
the present director general of which is M. Schreibers. This 
establishment is very rich in minerals, many from Hungary, 
also in shells, marine polypi, &c. 

The gallery of paintings at the Belvidere, on the Rennweg, 
has an immense collection of works of all the different schools; 
it was first formed by Joseph II., and has been gradually 
increasing since. There are very capital paintings in the dif- 
ferent churches ; these have also their rnausolea, the most 
remarkable of which is that erected by duke Albert de Saxe 
Teschen, in 1805, to the memory of his wife, the archduchess 
Maria Christina. This monument is in the church of the 
Augustins, adjoining the palace ; it was executed by Canova ; 
the whole has an air of dejection and grief so natural, that the 
sympathising spectator cannot but follow the figures, slowly 
moving, as it were, to the tomb. 

At a little distance from the Belvidere, in the Rennweg, is 
the botanic garden, belonging to the university. It is under 
the management of the baron Jacquin, son of the botanist to 
whom we are indebted for the Flora of Schonbrunn. The 
number of rare plants is not very great, but the establishment 
is very well adapted for the instruction of the students. 

Besides the collections of a public character, there are a 
great number that belong to individuals. Indeed, there are 
few cities wherein a taste for the arts is more generally dif- 
fused among the opulent classes. There are collections of 
paintings, of statues, of antiquities, but a great deficiency of 
those in natural history. M. Vondernull has a collection of 
mineralogy, of which M. Mohs has published a descriptive 

Journey from Paris to Vienna. 47 

catalogue ; another also of precious stones, cut and polished. 
This last has been since sold to count Archinto. 

The environs of Vienna are, in general, agreeable. We find 
scattered around, elegant villas, chateaux, palaces, surrounded 
with the richest vegetation, in situations the most pictu- 
resque, and abounding with natural curiosities. For further 
descriptions of Vienna and its environs, I must refer the 
reader to the work of M. Marcel de Serres, on the Austrian 
monarchy, who has handled this subject with very consider- 
able detail, and to other authors. 

Some notice may be taken, however, of the imperial palace 
of Schonbrusur, the park of which especially merits the atten- 
tion of naturalists, from the immense number of plants dis- 
tributed throughout its numerous inclosures. This is partly 
owing to the munificence and special care of the reigning 
emperor, who is not a little attached to the study of nature. 
Occasionally the traveller will see foreign birds fluttering 
about the plants of their natal soil, though generally confined 
in cages. The menagerie is not very rich in animals, though 
superior to that at Paris. At Schonbrunn are also the Alpine 
collections of the Archduke John. The archdukes, the arch- 
duchesses, and the emperor himself, are frequently occupied 
in the investigation of the objects of natural history. 

The imperial chateau of Lachsenburg, excites an interest 
of another kind, in the variety of its objects of fancy. Here 
are temples and pavilions of curious foreign architecture, also 
buildings and their furniture, throughout, in the rustic style, 
with village fishing and farming. One building, called the 
House of Caprice, is singular in its architecture, and in its odd 
and grotesque contents, some of which are so contrived as to 
be rather mischievous. But the most striking object, at Lach- 
senburg, is the little Gothic castle, built by the present em- 
peror, on the model of the castle of Ambras, in the Tyrol, 
which is as old as the fifteenth century. It forms a truly 
curious picture of a castle of the middle ages, giving a com- 
plete idea of chivalresque manners, monuments, furniture, &c. 

The chateau of Dornbach has a very delightful park, and 
that of Schoenau, two posts from Vienna, contains the famous 
temple of night, the descriptions of which resemble those of 
the palaces of the fairies. About Vienna are not a few neat 
villages, with elegant houses and chateaux, more or less re- 
markable, where a stranger may entertain himself during the 
fair season, amidst a profusion of materials, accumulated by 
art and caprice. 

In one of my excursions as a mineralogist, I came to Sifring 
to survey two quarries, from which vast quantities of stones 

48 M. Beudanfs Travels in Hungary. 

had been taken, so as to lay open the composition of the inte- 
rior soil. I remarked there, in prodigious quantities, the re- 
mains of plants and vegetables, that had changed their nature 
and become a carbonaceous substance. 

One object of my staying a little longer at and about Vienna, 
was to make preparations for my journey into Hungary. I 
wished to procure such maps and descriptive notices as were 
not to be had in Paris. I expected to find in the learned 
bodies and their collections, new documents respecting the 
country I intended to visit. But herein I was greatly disap- 
pointed ; at Vienna the information was as defective as at 
Paris, and, besides, strong prejudices existed against the 
people and country. Many were for prepossessing me with 
groundless apprehensions for my personal safety, but I had 
formed my resolution, and could account, from history, for a 
kind of national antipathy in the Austrians, Ihe result of so 
many ages of incessant wars. To this I also attribute certain 
incivilities, on the part of the police, when I made known my 
intentions of proceeding into Hungary. Recent circumstances 
might have inspired some distrust of the French name, but all 
difficulties vanished on addressing myself to the higher officers, 
and I met with nothing but complaisance and facilities. M. 
le Comte de Cararnan, French ambassador at Vienna, demand- 
ed himself the passports I should require, at the Hungarian 
chancelry, and procured also, from the chamber of mines, the 
necessary orders for my entering and inspecting the mines of 
the state. 



I quitted Vienna, May 26, 1818, but difficulties lay in my 
way in passing through the barriers. A clerk stopped the car- 
riage, and asked a number of questions, and when, in reply, I 
assured him that I had come from Paris, and meant to travel 
through Hungary, he repeatedly exclaimed, striking his head 
in astonishment, " Von Paris, nach Ungarn ! From Paris to 
Hungary !" To the Austrians, Hungary is tantamount to Si- 
beria. The clerk, after examining my ample papers, added, 
" How learned this gentleman must be !" and after asking if 
Dominus Magnificus, in the passport, was my Christian name, 
to which I gravely answered in the affirmative, I was allowed 
to proceed on my journey. 

Journey from Vienna. 49 

For a long time, we pass over a plain in pretty good cultiva- 
tion ; the islands of the Danube skirt the horizon on the north, 
and with the forests that cover them, serve to amuse the tra- 
veller in his passage. In front are the Laita Mountains, 
stretching from N. W. to S. E., and in some measure connect- 
ing the Carpathian mountains with those of Styria. In the 
neighbourhood of Peternel, in the middle of the fields, we 
perceive the remains of a triumphal arch, attributed to the 
Romans. I arrived at Presburg towards night. 

The city of Presburg (Posonium Lat. Posony, Hung.) is one 
of the most considerable of Hungary. Though at the frontier 
extremity of the kingdom, it was long the seat of government, 
while the Turks were in possession of Buda, or in a condition 
to threaten its security. It is generally considered as having 
been founded prior to the time of the Romans, from whom, 
however, it derived the name of Pisonium, or Posonium. 
Presburg is pleasantly situated on the left bank of the Danube, 
which is here about 270 feet in width. It is tolerably well 
built ; there are many good houses, and some large buildings, 
called palaces, among which the palace Batyani is undoubtedly 
the [most magnificent, though unfortunately pent up among 
other buildings. The churches are in a plain style, but appear 
very neat in the interior. The streets are mostly narrow, and 
often turning; they are paved, but not well, in the town, and 
in the suburbs are only causeways on one side next the houses ; 
the middle is a channel, very muddy in rainy weather, and in 
dry seasons nauseating and stifling from the dust. 

The castle royal, destroyed, in part, by a conflagration, stands 
on a gentle eminence, on a bank of the Danube, and is com- 
monly considered as the first promontory of the great chain of 
the Carpathians. Its height above the Danube is about 180 
feet. The castle is large and well built, but has nothing re- 
markable in its architecture. There is a fine view from the 
mount on which the castle stands, but misty weather prevent- 
ed me from entirely commanding it. 

At Vienna, I had heard so much of the harsh treatment stran- 
gers experience in Hungary, that I was not without apprehen- 
sions, when one of the town servants brought me an order to 
appear before the police. These were dissipated when I pre- 
sented myself before a magistrate, who, with the greatest civi- 
lity, assured me that my reception, as a stranger, would 
be every where agreeable. In fact, I witnessed the noblest 
hospitality on the part of the gentlemen, and an interesting 
affability in all classes of the people. 

I quitted Presburg by the road of Posing, having on the 
right a very large plain, well cultivated, and the primitive 


50 jff. Beudant's Travels in Hungary. 

mountains on the left. Near Posing is a vein of quartz, pro- 
ducing gold ; at Malaszka is one of antimony, and near it ano- 
ther of gold and silver ; all of these have been worked. Those 
of silver or gold are similar to what is yielded by the primitive 
earths at Botza, in the comitat of Lipte, but cannot be com- 
pared with those of the country of Schemnitz, which are in a 
soil very different, marked with particular characters, only to 
be found, elsewhere, in the mines of the New World. 

The lower parts of these mountains, from Presburg to be- 
yond Posing, are covered with vineyards that produce very 
good wine, known by the name of St. George; together with 
the wines of Buda and (Edenburg, it passes at Vienna for one 
of the best of ordinary wines. 

Having reached Moderna, I quitted the road that leads to 
Moravia, for that of Tyrnau. Travelling in this direction was 
unpleasant ; it was over a flat not very fertile, extending on 
the west and south as far as the horizon, and bounded on the 
north by very distant mountains. 

Tyrnau is a small but pretty handsome town. I was struck 
with the air of neatness that pervaded all the houses, which 
had been lately white- washed, and the window-blinds painted 
green. Though not really better than cottages, their appear- 
ance was sprightly and gay. There are several churches ; at 
some distance nothing appears but steeples, which gives an 
air to the place of being much more populous, and hence, it 
has been called Little Rome. The streets are wide and kept 
clean ; there is a good choice of inns, but I had been recom- 
mended to the best, the Black Eagle, in the Place, or Market, 
fronting a large street, at the end of which we discover some 
part of the buildings of the university. 

Leaving Tyrnau, I had to cross plains where the road ser- 
pentines, so as frequently to appear diverting us from the 
object intended. Perhaps my guide had lost the road, but this 
he would not acknowledge} I was six hours, however, in 
reaching Freystadt, (Galgotz, Hung.) a distance of only four 
leagues. Here, after crossing the Vag, we find along the 
water side a very agreeable promenade, on the declivity of a 
hill which has a castle on its summit. The situation was de- 
lightful, and formed a contrast with the dreary plain I had just 
been traversing. 

At Freystadt I noticed a considerable magazine of mill- 
stones, conveyed from the quarries of Konigsberg. Leaving 
Freystadt, I had to travel tip and down hill, with no shelter 
from the sun, and afterwards through a wood, where the shade 
was doubly refreshing. I then reached a point of view where 
the city of Nyitra lay in a sort of basin below, It was pleasant 

Journey from. Vienna. 51 

to see an end of this day's toil, for I had been partly on foot 
and was fatigued, yet had my doubts as to readily procuring 
lodgings in one of the great cities of Hungary. 

In less than half an hour I had reached Nyitra. I came first 
to the suburb of the Jews, called the Judenstadt, but from old 
prejudices, was averse to stopping in a Jewish auberge, and 
passed on to look out for one in the town. I entered one of 
very decent appearance, the Golden Stag, but the master, after 
eyeing me from head to foot, assumed a theatrical air, exclaim- 
ing, that he neither could nor would provide me with a cham- 
ber. I then, in my turn, with a lofty demeanour, planted 
myself in the house, sending my servant out for the judge. In 
the interval, by shewing these people my port folio, and other 
parts of my paraphernalia, they found me a chamber, and 
brought into it a dry mattrass, and an enormous pillow that 
was to serve for a covering ; no bed-clothes. When I asked 
for some, and a pullet for my supper, the house became a 
scene of uproar, which was only terminated by the arrival of 
the judge. This gentleman, on inspecting the large seals of 
my passport, and my relays of assignation, (forchepan) took 
his hat off, with many tokens of respect, and seriously repri- 
manding my landlord, departed. The latter then was all civi- 
lity and complaisance. 

In general, throughout Hungary, a person that arrives on 
foot is but little considered. The reason is, that the lords, the 
public functionaries, and all that are provided with relays of 
assignation, have a right, on payment of a small sum, to be 
conducted by the peasants, who are obliged to furnish a car- 
riage and horses. Hence, it so happens, that one who can 
afford to eat a pullet is rarely a foot traveller. The peasants 
are accustomed to it, being inured to a hard life. In entering 
an auberge, they do not even ask for a chamber or a stable to 
sleep in ; if they do not find some corner on the ground floor, 
they throw themselves down in the middle of the court, wrap- 
ped up in their bunda. This is a large pelisse made of sheep 
skin, and their only clothing in summer and winter. In cold 
weather, they turn the woollen side inward, and the contrary 
in warm weather. They even prefer this covering to any 
other. A person travelling in a carriage is every where well 
received and entertained. This is the case with such as travel 
in hay- carts, which is very common in Hungary, even with 
the great lords. 

The reception I had met with, insensibly gave me a dislike 
to the town ; it has, however, some fine houses, and it lies in 
a very pleasant situation on the side of a hill. 

My next object was to make an excursion to the mountains 

52 M. Beudant's Travels in Hungary. 

of Gimes. When I came to the village, it was only with a 
Jew that I could have a small chamber, and that not in the 
neatest order. Observing a capital house at some little dis- 
tance, I recollected the advice given me by the magistrate of 
Presburg, arid was not long in introducing myself. It was the 
mansion of the count de Forgacs, lord of the district, who re- 
ceived me in the kindest manner, inviting me to stay with him 
while I was exploring the parts adjacent. 

Hungary is a country that its neighbours are ever misrepre- 
senting, and we have, in France, notions not much in its fa- 
vour. The lords, however, are in general very well informed, 
speaking several languages, and the French habitually, which, 
indeed, is usually the language &f good society. But their 
distinguishing characteristic is a noble politeness ; a stranger 
is uncommonly well received, not only by those to whom he 
is recommended, but by those to whom he is entirely unknown ; 
a dignified simplicity will add grace to the reception. To be 
lodged in an ill-conditioned auberge, belonging to one of his 
farmers, would be a sort of reflection on the lord, or the stran- 
ger would be deemed as holding himself inferior to polite 

The peasantry are very well behaved, and I had never the 
slightest reason to complain of any. When obliged to have 
some with me, in my little expeditions, I always found them 
remarkably attentive, and ever eager to accompany me some- 
what further. This proved to be the case universally, and I 
am unable to account for the boisterous declamation of travel- 
lers, respecting the manners of the inhabitants. Our reception 
depends much on the mode of presenting ourselves; if we 
will not conform to the usages of the people, if >we treat the 
peasant with hauteur, or ridicule his appearance and behaviour, 
no wonder that disagreeable consequences arise, and more I 
should look for in Hungary than elsewhere. Some of their 
customs are uncommonly singular, but I submitted, unre- 
servedly, to them ; and this little complaisance, which costs 
nothing, contributed not a little to render my stay in the 
country agreeable. 

In fact, what could seem more odd to a Frenchman than to 
see the dessert served up as soon as he is sat down to table ? 
then comes chocolate, then an omelette cut into small bits, 
and these arranged symmetrically on a plate of prunes, then a 
piece of veal on baked pears, a plate of maize baked in a dish, 
with water, &c. A bottle of liquor and a glass are then 
brought, at which every one helps himself in his turn. After 
4he repast the men fall "to smoking, the ladies being the first 
to offer a pipe ; and tiiis occurs every where. The Hunga- 

Journey from Vienna. 63 

rians are so truly polite when we adopt their customs, that 
we cannot with a good grace refuse to be accommodating. 

We should still more make it a point to conform to the 
manners of the peasant, who seldom or never reasons, and 
judges of others by himself. One of his greatest civilities is to 
offer you drink out of his bottle ; he drinks fir$t, and again 
after you ; if you comply, you are instantly in his good graces, 
but otherwise if you slight his kindness. It is well, however, 
not to make one's self too familiar, avoiding, at the same time, 
all appearance of hauteur. 

When I arrived at an old castle, the resident of the lord's 
game-keeper, a young girl came to open the gate, and instantly 
took my hand to kiss it. I was a little startled at this gallantry, 
witnessing it, for the first time, at the gate of an old forsaken 
castle, in the midst of a forest. My surprise disconcerted the 
girl, and being desirous to speak with her, I found she only 
understood the Sdavonian. She again took my hand to kiss, 
and I no longer declined it. I have since been frequently a 
witness to this usage, which is very common. A peasant 
never appears before a well-dressed man without practising a 
similar ceremony. Children and young persons learn and 
practise it not only with their relations, but with company of 
every description. Gentlemen kiss the hands of the ladies ; 
and a lady paying a visit to another, superior to herself in age 
or quality, tenders this mark of respect ; if the latter would 
give an instance of politeness in return, she conceals her hands 
and makes a prompt offer of her face. 

From the top of the castle there is a very fine view of all 
the surrounding mountains, which are every where covered 
with trees. In one excursion, I found a handsome wood, 
wherein the count de Forgacs has cut a number of little 
avenues and paths that serpentine in every direction. In an 
adjacent warren is a variety of game, with fish ponds ; these, 
with the situation entirely rural, render it a very pleasing 

I could not stay long atGimcs, notwithstanding the pressing 
instances of the count de Fergacs ; I was impatient to visit 
certain problematical rocks, that formed a principal object of 
my journey. I left my new friends, much pleased with their 
affability; the count supplied me with his carriage, and I took 
the road for Konigsberg. 

I might observe here, that the most elevated point of the 
country is the mountain of the castle of Schlossberg, called 
here the Mountain Gimes. Its height is about 1536 feet above 
the level of the sea. Annexed are some barometrical obser- 
vations, June J, 1818. 

54 M. BeudanCs Travels in Hungary. 

Srhlnqshpnr hei S ht of the larom eter,"J 719 mill, 
at noon g> temperature, \ 19 gr. 

fair weather. J 

The village height of the barometer,"i 738 mill, 
at 10 o'clock' temperature, > 19 gr. 

fair weather. -> 

Observatorv hei S ht of the barometer O 742 mill. 

atBudaT temperature of the air, I 19gr. 5 

2o ? clock do. of the mercury, ? 15 g, 

flying clouds. ' 

The new observatory of Buda was the point of comparison 
which 1 assumed for all the barometrical observations I made 
in Hungary. 

At the village of Aranios Marot, I found an auriferous lead 
mine, and along the road I was now travelling, met with large 
blocks of a porphyritic stone, to which M. Haiiy has given the 
name of trachyte. These must have descended, washed away 
by some great flood, from the hills to the north-east. At the 
village of Szent Benedek, (St. Benedict) which is adjoining to 
those hills, I observed blocks of trachytes exactly similar to 
those in the walls of the castle of Gimes. On the summit of 
one is a monastery, which has been ceded to the chapter of 
Gran, and overlooks a pretty good landscape, though the fea- 
tures of the country are harsh and severe. At the foot of it 
runs the river of Gran. The whole district is a champaign, 
covered with sand and vegetable earth, and the few neighbour- 
ing hills are very low and round. Little is to be seen all the 
way to Konigsberg. 

This little town, called by the Hungarians Uj Banya,* would 
scarcely deserve the name of a village in France. The only 
object worth noticing, is the town-house, built, in 1382, by 
queen Mary, for her own residence ; in front of it is an inn, 
where a traveller may find tolerable accommodations. The 
houses of this royal free city are scattered up and down, with- 
out order or neatness, and the environs have a wild appear- 
ance, except an opening that commands a valley, which here 
produces an agreeable feeling from the effect of contrast. 
Lofty mountains, crowned with thick forests, the little scattered 
dwellings of the miners interspersed among the trees, the 
roofs of the engines and buildings for the machinery, a church 
on a little eminence, these look well at a little distance, but 
on approaching them, from the heaps of rubbish thrown out 
by the miners, the illusion vanishes. 

* The name of Banya often occurs in Hungary; it signifies a mine. Uj is au 
adjective, meaning new ; Uj Banya, the new mine. 

Journey from Vienna. 55 

At and about Konigsberg are rocks that are worked ito for 
mill-stones; they bear the name of Muhlstein. 'llrey are 
found also at Hlinik, which is about four leagues to the N. N. W. 
on the banks of the Gran. The trade in these mill-stones is 
very considerable throughout all the S. W. parts of Hungary. 

I visited the mines of Konigsberg, which are situatea above 
the town, and found the metalliferous parts every where in the 
midst of earthy rocks. The minerals consist chiefly of auri- 
ferous sulphurated silver, found in masses or in small veins, 
and portions scattered over a soft substance easily diluted in 
water. Native gold also is found in fine parcels, mixed with 
earthy matter, and it is sometimes found in veins of quartz. 
Sulphurated antimoniated silver, fragile sulphurated silver, and 
sulphurated antimony, are also occasionally found. There is a 
very great quantity of sulphurated iron, in little crystals, spread 
through all parts of the rock. 

The mines of Konigsberg are extremely ancient, and, in 
earlier periods, were abundantly productive. The payment of 
the miners consisted then of the gold-dust that would attach 
to their clothing. This prosperity gave such importance to 
the place, that queen Mary I., in 1382, built a mint here, and 
a palace for her own residence. A considerable diminution 
has taken place, and in lieu of 300 workmen, at present there 
are only 80. 

The labours of the workmen are not conducted according to 
the usual methods, but enormous transversal galleries have 
been formed, constantly pursuing the earthy rocks to indefinite 
lengths, and only terminating with the mineral, in deposits 
more or less considerable. This shews that the labours ex- 
erted in the masses met with here and there, have furnished, 
at times, an immense produce, at others, hardly covering the 
expenses. The parts abandoned, whatever the miners advance 
to the contrary, seem completely exhausted, and their opera- 
tions are at random, without any fixed data as to the metal- 
liferous depots. 

I traversed the mountains on both the right and left side of 
the valley of Gran. In the latter, one general character pre- 
sented itself, a number of cavities, which appeared like the 
remains of so many craters. They are covered with a thick 
vegetation, almost impassable, and contain no vestiges of scori- 
fied matter, to denote the quondam existence of an igni- 
vomous aperture. There are, however, near the village of 
Magospan, in the declivities and lower parts of the earthy 
sides, basaltes, evidently significative of volcanos, posterior to 
the formation of the trachytic rocks. These basaltes are in 
mass, and but seldom divided into distinct prisms j their 

56 M. Beudant's Travels in Hungary. 

colouwK commonly a dark grey. In some points, remarkably 
cellulWTs, the colour is a pretty deep black. On the surface 
of the soil are found considerable quantities of black scoriae, 
twisted, and as evidently produced by the action of fire, as 
those pf Nugere, Puy de la Vache, &c. in Auvergne, or as those 
of volcanos in full activity. 

These, and other observations made in the vicinity of Ko- 
riigsberg, could not lead to any decisive conclusion as to the 
origin of the rocks, whether igneous or neptunian. It is evi- 
dent that the trachytic earth is mixed with substances really 
scoriaceous, and that the basalte contains scoriae, turbinated 
or twisted, which would denote a probability in favour of an 
igneous origin. The existence of metallic depots, in the heart 
of substances produced by fire, is not peculiar to Konigsberg; 
it is the case in the gold mines of Telkevariya, in Upper Hun- 
gary, in those of Viltalpand, in Mexico, and perhaps in the 
mines that Strabo makes mention of in the Isle of Yschia, on 
the coast of Naples. But this will not apply to the mines of 
Schemnitz, and a number of other places, where every thing, 
on the contrary, points to a neptunian or aqueous origin. t 



On quitting Konigsberg, we pass along the right bank of the 
Gran, by mountains of molar porphyry, that stretch to beyond 
Scharnowitz. After crossing the river at the village of Rudno, 
we meet with trachyte rocks, extending to beyond the village 
of Unter Hamer, and to the mine works that lie before the 
village of Hodritz, where are various other rocks of different 

The village of Hodritz, overlooked by wooded mountains, 
or the dark foliage of pines, contrasts agreeably with the bright 
green of other trees, and has a cheerful aspect. On a height, 
a little before it, is a spot covered with little habitations, neat- 
ly white-washed, and which have a fine effect, from the ver- 
dant scenery with which they are surrounded. 

After this coasting along the left bank of the river, we meet 
here and there with detached houses. We then begin to 
ascend by a noble road, cut out regularly on the right declivity 
of the valley. When arrived at the highest point of the road, 
we discern on the N. W., the valley of Eisenbach, and on the 
east, after turning the Paradeisberg, or Mountain of Paradise, 

Journey from Vienna. 57 

which, till then, obstructed the view, we overlook "another 
open country, and approach the basin wherein we survey 
Schemnitz and Dulln. This country has acquired considerable 
celebrity, from the immense mineral riches that it contains. 
The traveller's attention is arrested, when he reflects that it 
has been the nurse of geologists, Jacquin, Delin, De Born, 
Scopoli, &c. The engines for extraction seem numberless, 
and may be every where distinguished by their conical roofs, 
exhibiting all the appearances of bustle and activity. AH 
around are immense lialdes, heaps of excavated matter now 
re-agglutinated from decomposition, and attesting the antique 
origin of the mines, by the prodigious mass of their materials 
drawn from the bowels of the earth. 

The road descends rapidly on Schemnitz, and I arrived 
there early, to trace a rapid sketch of the environs, and form a 
general notion of the country. The little town of Schemnitz 
(Selmecz, Germ. Banya, Hung.) is situated at the northern 
extremity of the comitat of Hont, on the southern border of a 
little basin, encircled on all sides by groups of mountains. In 
the middle of the basin rises the mountain Calvarienberg, with 
a conical form, and completely isolated. A chapel on the 
summit, and certain stations constructed on the southern de- 
clivity, give it, from the plain, an inviting air. Its summit is 
about 2239 feet above the level of the sea, and 101 above 
Schemnitz. The view from it is very much narrowed by the 
surrounding mountains, but their sinuous elevations, with the 
forests that cover them, form a delicious panorama. The 
town of Schemnitz, which lies southerly, appears from it like 
an amphitheatre of houses, which, blended with verdure, in 
carpets of grass that partially cover the country, exhibits a 
landscape that never fails to be attractive. 

Here 1 may remark, that the Germans have, pretty general- 
ly, given name to various places wherein they have settled ; 
sometimes it is a corruption of the native name, and some- 
times a word that has no relation to it. Most places have 
various names, and one or other is used as the discourse is 
directed to an Hungarian, a Sclavonian, or a German. There 
are even Latin names pretty common, modelled on one or 
other of these languages. 

Schemnitz, according to report, was in being under the 
reign of St. Stephen, the first king of Hungary, about the year 
1000 of the Christian sera. It was then partly built on a rocky 
point that lies to the N. W. near the town, and which was 
overthrown by an earthquake. There were gold mines then, 
working at Dulln, when those of Schemnitz were first disco- 
vered. Tradition relates, that this was effected by a hog, 


53 M. Beudant's Travels in Hungary. 

which, ""grubbing up the earth, made bare the indications of a 
famous treasure of minerals, near the place where now stands 
the principal inn of the town. 

The gosition is somewhat disagreeable, from its lying open 
to the north winds, and being excluded from the south by 
mountains ; the weather is eold in all seasons. There is 
nothing in the interior to invite attention, no pleasant pro- 
menade to recreate the inhabitants during or after their la- 
bours. There is, universally, an arid appearance on which 
ever side we turn ; mountains of rubbish covered with ochre, 
and exhaling a sulphureous scent. All around we must scale 
more elevated situations to come at a temperature more re- 
freshing, trees, green grass, and the sweets of vegetation. 

The valleys which descend to the S. W. are agreeable, 
though in their higher parts less pleasing; thick forests of 
pines cover the declivities as well as the tops of the mountains, 
and appear as if intended to conceal the depths of the adjacent 
precipices. The lower parts are more agreeable, the declivi- 
ties more gentle, and various parts are covered with oaks, 
birch, and beach trees, whose lighter foliage contrasts with the 
darker tints of other trees. 

The valleys of Eisenbach and Glasshutte contain baths of 
great celebrity, and much frequented in the fair season ; they 
then become points of assemblage very entertaining. But we 
do not find in these establishments all the conveniences that 
might be wished. Throughout Hungary the traveller takes 
with him his bed, linen, and other articles of prime necessity. 
Woe to one that arrives without this immense luggage, for a 
wooden bed, often too short by a foot, straw, two or three bad 
chairs, and a coffer or chest of fir, constitute the whole furni- 
ture of a chamber, though always very neatly white-washed ; 
and the baths here can offer him no better. 

The school of mines established at Schemnitz, by the em- 
press Maria Theresa, acquired, at its outset, a well-merited 
reputation. The encouragements given to the students, the 
talents cf the professors, the curious improvements in the 
processes of extraction, &c. attracted from all parts a numer- 
ous concourse of pupils, as also of eminent scientific characters. 
At present, few traces remain of that transient splendour. They 
are now more intent on realising products than propagating 
useful knowledge. The chamber of mines is chiefly or wholly 
occupied in financial arrangements; all that regards science 
and the practical improvements of art, are subordinate objects 
hardly deserving notice. Here are no professors devoted to 
the study of different branches of mining as a science ; some 
officers go through some courses, but it is like works of super- 

Journey from Vienna. 59 

erogalion, sacrificing time snatched from other business. 
Here is no difference between the engineer and the miner; 
the same lessons serve for both, and are unsuitable either for 
one or the other. For a laboratory, there is a hail without 
any of the necessary implements, and for a collection, a con- 
fused heap of samples, ill selected, confusedly thrown together, 
and covered with dust. Such is the state of this once cele- 
brated school. Among the officers of the mines are men of 
merit, but their efforts are paralysed by the lucrative spirit 
that pervades the superior management. The quantum of the 
products is, in some measure, prescribed beforehand, and the 
chamber refuses to advance the disbursements requisite even 
for improvements that would augment the profits. 

A country as important as that of Schemnitz, from its mine- 
ral riches, which for ages has been the object of subterraneous 
labours the most extensive, might readily be considered as 
well known with respect to its mineral constitution. But the 
authors that treat of Hungary, notice Schemnitz but slightly, 
though its district forms a type of comparison for all others of 
the same kind. 

As to the nature and position of the soil or earth, Becker 
and others consider the whole mineral mass as entirely formed 
by water ; others consider it as the production of volcanic 
depots. There is a great contrariety among authors 5 M. de 
Buch, however, has demonstrated, that there have certainly 
been volcanic depots in Hungary. Admitting this, my own 
opinion is, that the mines of^Schemnitz are not of igneous 



Within this range, there are several mining works of greater 
or less celebrity, as in the flanks of the mountain of Szalas, in 
the valley of Eisenbach, in the lower part of the valley of Ho- 
dritz, to within a little distance of Unter Hamer, some hours 
journey from Schemnitz. To the south also, the mountains 
that rise behind Schemnitz give vestiges of numberless exca- 
vations and subterraneous labours. But the mining country 
is surrounded with a number of sterile tracts. 

Those mine works, in general, within the country of Schem- 
nitz, appear included within a space nr-arly quadrangular. 
The valley of Eisenbach seems to be the most interesting in 

60 M. Beudanis Travels in 

the whole district, from the numerous veins, argentiferous, 
and auriferous, that constitute its riches. The village of that 
name lies at the entrance of a vast basin, about which the 
mountains are not so lofty, their summits are more depressed, 
their declivities less rapid, and covered with a refreshing 
vegetation lighter than the dark tints of the firs; the tempera- 
ture also is milder, and nature presents, as it were, a new lace. 
The bathing house, the only place where a stranger can con- 
veniently lodge, is at a little further distance. The house is a 
very good one, and most agreeably situated j in front is a 
little square, and in its centre a little Chinese parasol, in a bad 
taste, and somewhat degraded from the gypsies, in the season 
of the waters, playing airs there, to me very disagreeable, for 
whole days together. The house, for an hotellerie of Hungary, 
appears genteel in its interior; it is exclusively appropriated 
to the bathing visiters, but the season was just" commencing, 
and they were willing to take me in, on condition of not stopping 
longer than three days. I was conducted into a vast corridor, 
with a number of chambers on each side, on each of which the 
price was fixed. Some, towards the back part of the house, 
were taxed at a florin per day ; others, more to the front and 
in a better light, at a florin and a half. With difficulty I pro- 
cured one on this side, under a promise of removing, should 
it be asked for by any one taking it for the season. These 
chambers are not elegant, but remarkably neat, and, being all 
newly white-washed, had a gay appearance. A couchette, at 
least half a foot too short, and some stuffed chairs, not in the 
best condition, made up the whole furniture. Going out soon 
after on a visit to the mountains, the servant wished me to 
leave the key, that they might make my bed, but when I re- 
turned in the evening, 1 found my room just as I had left it. 
They imagined that my bed and wardrobe would arrive after 
me, and they had made preparations for receiving them. There 
was no mattress in the house, and I was glad to content my- 
self with a bottle of straw. The only covering I could get was 
a very dirty coverlid ; the borders I wrapped as carefully as I 
could with the napkin that had served me for supper. The 
bourgeois (my landlord) did not approve of this, but it was my 
only resource, and would be so to any other visiter that should 
arrive on foot, and with no other luggage than a hammer in 
his hand. 

Along the roads, in the valley of Eisenbach, intermixed with 
others yet in activity, I observed a number of mines that had 
belonged to individuals, but had been seized by the Austrian 
government, which now holds the major part of them. The 
proprietors were even compelled to melt, in the government 

Journey from Vienna. 

forge?, the minerals which they had prepared. It gave me 
to see buildings and establishments in ruins, the multiplicity 
of which attest the inherent riches of the soil. All the im- 
plements for pounding and stamping with belong to the state ; 
their number is pretty considerable, and their clattering, in a 
sort of cadence, helps to break through the solitude of the valley 
wherein we seem to be secluded from the world, livery where I 
met with miners reduced to poverty, whose pale figure and 
particular dress, most commonly covered with mud, strongly 
attracted my sympathy. From their earliest years they have 
been habituated to the hardships of a miner's life, but these 
alone were comparatively overlooked. 

At the extremity of the valley of Eisenbach, I met, for the 
first time in Hungary, with gypsies, known both in Hungary 
and Germany by the name of Zigeuners. It was at the village 
of Bzenicza ; they were in a little hut made of branches and 
clay, and they were lying together, men, women, and children, 
on a little straw and dried herbs. In the vicinity of their 
cabin was a forge where they made hatchets, knives, &c. for 
sale. One of them was an aged person, had been in Germany 
and spoke the language ; I entered into discourse with him, but 
could learn nothing as to the origin of his nation ; all that he 
knew was, that,he was born in Transylvania, and that his chil- 
dren and grand children xvere born in different places. When 
I asked why they did not fix in some village where they might 
live more comfortably, he made a sign with his head that it 
was not agreeable to their inclinations. 

The Zigeuners, in general, retain a particular national 
character, and this has been observed for three centuries, as 
they never marry but among themselves. They are of low 
stature, mostly meagre but well made; their complexion is tan- 
ned, or rather copper coloured, their eyes black and vivid, teeth 
white ; in fact, their physiognomy has something in it foreign 
to the European. The women, partly from the negligence of 
their attire, are disgusting, and reminded me of those old 
mummies that we find in cabinets of antiquities. It is wretch- 
ed living that so disfigures them, for the girls are well made, 
and their figure is far from being disagreeable. 

The general opinion is, that marriage does not take place 
among this class, but that the women and children are in 
common. The latter remain entirely naked to an advanced 
age, and I have sometimes seen girls of their full stature, and 
well formed, in a state of nudity; I remarked, however, that 
they always shunned the presence of strangers. A set of naked 
children, with their dark skin, ill combed hair, &c. seemed to 

me, 1 

M. Btudant's Travels in Hungary. 

me, like little fiends, and I always surveyed them with pain- 
ful sensations blended with pity. 

The Zigeuner has ever been addicted to a rambling life, 
neglecting advantageous offers on the part of the sovereigns. 
Maria Theresa and Joseph II. endeavoured to fix them in 
Transylvania and the Banat, but could prevail only on a small 
number that applied themselves to agriculture. When they 
remove, they take their all with them, that is, a few rags and 
certain instruments to carry on their trade. They live much 
in the woods, or near to the villages, where they sometimes 
stop several years, and, at last, decamp suddenly without pre- 
vious notice. We see nothing in their cabins but a few earthen 
pots and a little straw, and, in winter, much of their time is spent 
smoking together men, women, and children. They appear 
very fond of the caustic and oily soot, nauseous to the scent, 
that lodges in the tube of their pipes. They ask, pressingly, 
for this, when they see any one cleaning his pipe before them. 

These gypsies are indolent and vicious, never working but 
from the pressure of necessity. The most common trade 
among them is that of blacksmith, and it is they who manu- 
facture the little iron or copper hatchets with cane handles 
every where met with. Not a few are musicians, and some 
have risen to celebrity; they then roam about the villages 
playing to the peasants on holidays. They have their slight 
of hand tricks and posture masters, though less in Hungary 
than elsewhere. They are subtle and active, and pilfer any 
little articles that fall in their way ; but I never heard of gross 
enormities among them. I have frequently met with them 
in woods where they might have robbed me with impunity, 
but they never spoke, unless I addressed them first, and then, 
after answering, they would ask for some tobacco. 

The Zigeuners have a peculiar language that has no analogy 
with any other. They are not originally European, and were 
not known in France till the beginning of the fifteenth century. 
It is certain that they were in Hungary in 1417, and that then 
great numbers of them were scattered throughout Wallachia, 
Transylvania, Moldavia, the Buckawine, &c. In 1427, a band 
of them came to Paris, representing themselves as inhabitants of 
Lower Egypt, first converted to the Christian faith, relapsing into 
Mahometanism, and admitted to penitence by Pope Martin V. 
who, by way of penance, ordered them to travel about every 
where for seven years, without sleeping in beds. The Parisians 
would not receive them, and they were sent to la Chapelle, near 
St. Denys, where people went in crowds to hear them tell for- 
tunes. Their conduct, however, was complained of, and the 
Bishop of Paris, to prevent greater disorders, excommunicated 

Journey from Vienna. 63 

aJt who pretended to tell fortunes. These vagabonds then 
left the country, but either they or others returned, for an or- 
donnance of the states of Orleans, in 1560, ordered all impostors, 
under the name of Bohemians or Egyptians, to quit the king- 
dom under pain of being sent to the galleys. It was, pro- 
bably, in the fifteenth or sixteenth century that they arrived in 
England, where they are known by the name of gypsies. 

Authors differ as to the origin of the Zigeuners. * Some trace 
them to Cilicia and Assyria, others consider them as Persians, 
of the branch of the Usbecks ; others derive them from Zin- 
gitania, in Barbary, turning the word Zingare into Zingari and 
Zigeuner, names given them in Italy and Germany. Accord- 
ing to some, they are real Egyptians, having been called Phara- 
oni, while others bring them from Asia Minor, in 1403, after 
the defe-it" of Bajazet by Tamerlane. Grellman refers their 
descent to Hindoos of the cast of the Parias, who were driven 
out of their country, at the time of the conquest of India, by 
the same Tamerlane. It is generally agreed that they are not 
originally Europeans. As to the name of Bohemians, this is 
applied in France to vagabonds of every description ; the first 
gypsies that arrived had probably passed through Bohemia ; 
the appellation, however, is considered as injurious. 

The Zingares have appeared, at times, in such numerous 
bodies as to excite uneasiness in the inhabitants of the coun- 
tries through which they were passing. More than 60,000 
have been counted in Hungary and Transylvania, and when 
the Buckawine was ceded to Austria in 1/78, out of 7000 in- 
habitants, 1000 were Zingares. In the census, under the 
Emperor Joseph in 1783, the number for Hungary amounted 
to 40,000. There are many also in England, but in France, 
Spain, and Italy, where they must conform to somewhat of a 
civilized regimen, their number is very small. The children 
among them are much fewer, in proportion, than among the 
peasants of the countries where they reside. 


I made excursions through all parts of this valley; the mines 
are pretty numerous about Hodritz, but terminate there. 
Coming to a village called Kopanicza, inhabited by Germans, 
from Austria and the frontiers, I was preparing at the church to 
take the height of the barometer, when 1 found myself presently 
surrounded by all the women of the place. They were astonish- 
ed at the norelty of the spectacle, and were disputing about 
the nature of the barometer, (that of Fortin) which sparkled 
in their eyes, and they deemed it a wonderful machine. One 
of them then became a Ciceroni, and explained to the others 

64 M. Beudant's Travels in Hungary. 

that it was an instrument to observe the firmament with. I 
could not perceive one man while I stopped in the village, 
which was more than an hour, or even in the neighbourhood. 
One woman offered to conduct me on a road that would 
take me to Viszoka, but I walked quicker than her, and she 
left me with a direction to go on straight forward, although 
there was no road. 

Arriving at the heights near Viszoka, about four o'clock, I 
found myself very much fatigued, having, for two nights, slept 
in a manner in the open air. After leaving Hodritz, where I 
dined on a bacon salad, I could get nothing to eat but black 
bread and milk. In lieu of descending to Steinbach, where I 
might take post, I renewed my ramble, and was near being 
lost in the mountains of Szitnaj my compasses became my 
guide in the woods, and night did not overtake me till 1 had 
reached the heights of Windchacht, where I recovered my 
knowledge of the road. About eleven I reached Schemnitz, so 
exhausted that I was unable to stir out the next day. This 
was one of my most fatiguing journeys, and brought on a pain 
in my eyes that was very troublesome and did not leave me 
while I remained in the country. I attributed this to the cool- 
ness of the nights, the more dangerous from the great heat of 
the day-time. Frequently after 20 or 25 degrees of heat during 
the day, I have known the thermometer fall down to 12 in the 
night. Such a difference, with the humidity that attends it, 
produced an effect on my organs only to be conceived by those 
that have had the like experience. I would earnestly recom- 
mend to foreigners, travelling in Hungary, to wear warm cloth- 
ing sufficient to be a protection in case of passingthe night abroad. 
The peasants, who often lie in the open air, have the precaution 
to carry about them pelisses of sheep's skin. For my own 
part, obliged to be frequently on foot, and having sometimes 
two or three men with me that would soon be loaded with 
stones, I was unable to make a due provision beforehand, 
and though my constitution was robust, my health was some- 
what impaired. J would not advise any one to venture him- 
self in Hungary as I have done, without previously consulting 
his physical and moral constitution. Much depends on the 
force of habit, on energy of character, and, above all, on the 
enthusiasm of a naturalist to brave the privations and fatigues 
incidental to such journeys. 


There are two roads to pass from Schemnitz to Glasshutte, 
one a footway over the mountain of Szallas, the other a high 
road through the basin of Schemnitz, to the foot of the moun- 

Journey from Vienna. 65 

tains that border it on the west. It would be requisite for a 
geological traveller to take both these roads, but, to avoid 
fatigue, he might go by the Szallas, where the greatest part of 
the way is on a descent, and return by the high road, which is 
the easiest. 

In leaving Schemnitz, along the high road, we pass at the 
foot of a mountain, named Rothenbrun, that overlooks the 
town and stretches nearly from east to west. According to 
tradition, one part of the town of Schemnitz formerly stood on 
this mountain, and was overwhelmed by an earthquake. It 
might have been a partial fall of the mountain, as the rock, in 
its upper parts, appears cleft perpendicularly to a vast height. 

About an hour's journey before we reach the village of Glass- 
hutte, there is u gallery of mines, now neglected, as the profits 
did not answer the expenses. It contained veins of argentife- 
rous lead. The village is in a pretty agreeable situation, though 
the walks about it are rather difficult. There are several bath- 
ing houses that are well frequented in the fine season. The 
mineral waters that supply the baths proceed from a mass of 
calcareous tuft that contains remains of plants and terrestrial 
shells ; they form a hill on which stands the church of the 

The waters are acidulous and ferrugineous ; their tempera- 
ture, at the springs, is 43 degrees (Reaumur), that of the air 
being 14'. But in other springs that I met with, at the foot of 
calcareous mountains, the temperature was only from 24 to 
30 degrees. In an excursion from Glasshutte, I had to pass 
over some mountains bristled with wood, and where, at every 
step, are steep precipices or rapid descents, vast fragments of 
rocks, and a number of antique castles, raised on points scarce- 
ly accessible. Those which I have met with elsewhere, in the 
midst of the wildest forests, might seem to have been the 
haunts of robbers, or served perhaps as retreats to the victims 
of those disasters, the horrors of which are traced in every 
page of the Hungarian history. 


My return to Schemnitz was by the mountain of Szallas. 
I took a little foot-path that ascends towards the mountain, 
but lost myself a second time in the woods, though assured 
by a peasant, my conductor, that, having worked in the forests 
of the country, he was well acquainted with the way. I 
wandered about the whole day, depending on his pretended 
knowledge, but towards night was obliged to take my com- 
passes for a guide. My conductor was perplexed and puzzled, 
roaming about in every direction, and I had some difficulty in 


66 M. Beudanfs Travels in Hungaiy. 

persuading him that I could find a way out of those winding 
gorges and antique forests. Throughout Hungary, the peasants 
are afraid to trust themselves half a league from thefr village ; 
I have frequently met with some that would not pass the sum- 
mit of the mountain that overlooked their valley. In general, 
I was advised not to venture too far, as robbers, they said, 
haunted the heights. Many dismal stories were told me on 
this head, but I have explored all parts, without apprehension 
of danger. These prejudices seem to have descended from 
ancient times, when it would have been imprudent to advance 
far into the woods, which now may be penetrated with safety. 

The point of Szitna is the most elevated, not only of these 
parts butof the whole circumjacent country. Its height above the 
level of the sea is 1338 yards. June 9, 1818, the height of the 
barometer, on its summit at noon, was 686 mill. 8 gr. tempe- 
rature 6, 5 : weather cloudy; wind, a strong northerly. 

In one of these excursions, I visited a gallery of mines where 
the workmen had found what they called large pieces of wood, 
with remains of vegetables, in the heart of coaly substances. 
The officers considered them as anthtracites, but I am inclined 
to adopt the opinion of the miners, that they are lignite, though 
I cannot pronounce positively, not having seen them. Near the 
village of Illia, the miners, iu their labours, find bituminous 
pieces of wood, and also wood opalised. 

Returning to the mountain of Snitza, which in my rambles 
I had lost sight of, I found its point or summit completely 
overlooking all surrounding objects to the distance of many 
leagues. A little square pavilion has been erected here, by 
Prince de Kohary, which is visible at a very great distance, 
and which, from the plains of Schemnitz, appears like a shep- 
herd's hut. A balcony runs round it, whence, at our ease, we 
may survey a vast extent of country. In this magnificent 
view the observer traces, on the south, the plains of Hungary. 
His eye, glancing over the mountains of Dregely, reposes on an 
immense horizon. On the east, various groups of mountains 
stretch, successively, to a great distance, and to the north, we 
perceive the lofty granitic and calcareous crests in the comitats 
of Zips, Lipte, &c. and which join the central groupeof Tatra. 
The citnex, or highest point of this last, is the most elevated in 
the whole kingdom of Hungary. M. Waldenburg makes it 2666 
yards above the level of the sea. The peak of the Calvarien- 
burg appears, from Szitna, like a point in the middle of a plain ; 
Schemnitz and Duller look like heaps of hovels, and the vil- 
lages and buildings for the mines can scarcely catch attention. 
The castle of Autal, belonging to the Prince of Kohary, is the 
only object to arrest the spectator's view. On the 10th of July, 

Journey from Vienna. 67 

1818, the height of the barometer, from Szitna, was 674 mill. 
3. Temperature 15 gr. flying clouds, wind northerly. 

At Tiszolez, I was informed that opalised wood was in such 
abundance about Uhorska, that the church of that or some 
neighbouring village was wholly constructed with it. 

The environs of Palotja are somewhat remarkable from the 
depots of lignite, and relics of shells of various descriptions. 
They have evidently been deposited under waters, tossed 
about in every direction, and the waters must have covered 
them long enough to allow of their living and multiplying 
there. The quantities of the remains of the molluscae kind 
are immense. At the southern foot of Szitna, an argilous 
matter is found which has long been in use for the manuufac- 
ture of porcelain at Vienna. 


By the road which leads directly from Schemnitz, we advance 
to a flat, where we see the mountains lowering successively, 
and the eye catches a glimpse of the vast plains of Lseva. We 
then seem to breathe a new air. Nature seems becomingly 
to smile, decorated with forest flowers and richer apparel, and 
we quit, with pleasure, the cold and savage country wherein 
Schemnitz lies. As mineralogy was one principal object of 
my journey in Hungary, I may here insert some observations 
that I made generally. 

The quantity of gold, silver, and lead, that the mines of 
Schemnitz supply annually, is not correctly known. It is cer- 
tain that the products, at present, are much inferior to those 
at former periods. Often, from the pressure of different wars, 
the lateral veins have been neglected ; these and the parts less 
rich were resumed in times of peace. M. Schwartner assumes 
for a term of comparison, the eight years of peace that elapsed 
from 1780 to 1783 ; he rates the products of the mines of 
Lower Hungary at 12 or 1300 marcs of gold, and from 58 to 
59,000 marcs of silver. Adding to it the products of Upper 
Hungary, he makes out a total of from 15 to 1700 marcs of 
gold, and from 70 to 74,000 marcs of silver, per annum. But 
this does not appear to be an average term, as at periods, both 
before and since, the products have~been much greater. 

It is well known that at Kremnitz, from 1680 to 1693, more 
than 200,000 marcs were procured annually. In 1772, the 
mines of Lower Hungary remitted to the mint at Kremnitz, 
53,860 marcs of silver, and 2291 marcs of gold. From 1740 
to 1773, a hundred millions of florins were obtained from 
Schemnitz and Kremnitz, which would yield annually a sum 
of more than eight millions of francs. 

68 M. Beudanfs Travels in Hungary* 

M. Heron de Villefosse computes the products of all the 
mines of Hungary at 2600 marcs of gold, 80,000 marcs of 
silver, and 6000 quintals of lead. The gold and silver would 
then furnish an annual sum of 6,344,000 francs. But these 
numbers, which represent, pretty well, the mean annual pro- 
ducts of times more remote, are much superior to the products 
of the present day. 

Hungary (higher and lower) supplies about half the gold 
that the mines of Europe produce. Transylvania furnishes 
nearly the other half. 

The total quantity of gold extracted from the mines of 
Europe may be calculated at 5300 marcs. How immense 
the difference compared with the produce of America, which 
rises to 70,647 marcs ! 

The quantity of silver drawn annually from the mines of 
Hungary, is somewhat more than one-third superior to what 
is yielded by the mines in the rest of Europe, the total of 
which may be estimated at 216,000 rnarcs. 

In these products France can enter into no sort of compa- 
rison. The quantity of gold drawn from our rivers is incon- 
siderable, and our mines of argentiferous lead do not yield 
above 7500 marcs of silver. 

Generally speaking, the mines are wrought at Schemnitz as in 
other countries, but on a larger scale. The pits and the galleries 
are very well executed, and quite compact; the reservoirs of 
waters are disposed with much art ; several fine arrangements 
evince the care and grandeur of conception manifested under 
the special protection of the sovereigns. If science and their 
improvement of the art were more attended to, Schemnitz 
would again become one of the finest establishments in 
Europe, and rival that of Freyberg, in Saxony. 



The district of Newsohl formed one part of my scene of 
observation ; the road lies through the valley of Koselnick. 
Here the declivities are less abrupt ; vegetation has not lost 
its strength and beauty, but covers the face of nature ; the 
gloomy fir trees disappear. From Altsohl to Neusohl, the road 
winds along the banks of the Gran, in the bottom of a broad 
valley ; approaching the town, we arrive at the foundry to 
which the minerals of Schemnitz arc conveyed. 

Journey from Vienna. 69 

The town of Neusohl owes its origin to a colony of Saxons 
invited thither by King Andrew II. for the purposes of mining, 
but the German race is now extinct, and the place is wholly 
inhabited by Sclavonians. Its situation on the banks of the 
Gran, at its confluence with the little river Bistricza, with the 
high wooded mountains that at a distance appear to advan- 
tage, exhibiting an amphitheatre of verdure, might charac- 
terise it as a very agreeable town; but, detached from the rural 
scenery, it has a sombrous aspect, and -is, in general, ill built, 
except a few houses ; among these we may distinguish the 
palace of the ancient bishop. At my first coming, it seemed 
as if it had been consumed by a conflagration, though I soon 
found it was owing to the construction of the houses, at least 
in the principal street. Most of these have but one story, 
surmounted with a very lofty roof, but to represent a second 
story, an isolated wall appears to conceal the roof, and which 
terminates in a cornice. In this wall are one or two openings 
in the form of windows, but without glasses or a sash, and we 
can see the dark tints of the roofing through them. But the 
first impression arising from this singular construction is, that 
the house is in ruins, that the roof and windows are decayed, 
and that the case only is left. The mistake is soon detected, 
and these false windows appear intended to pass through them 
a heavy piece of timber that serves for a gutter. In some houses 
somewhat more of luxury appears, and real window blinds, 
painted green, are annexed to the wall for a deception; how- 
ever, these enormous gutters, conveying water through window 
blinds to the distance of ten or fifteen feet, in the middle of 
the street, must have an odd appearance. 

At my first arrival I became acquainted with M. Zipser, one 
of the first mineralogists in Hungary, and also with M. Be- 
niczki, notary or secretary to the comitat, who, to a variety of 
general information, adds a particular inclination for geology. 
Their collections contain interesting details relative to Hun- 
gary, and from their conversation I derived useful instructions 
for the rest of my journey. Among other civilities, I might 
notice their accompanying me in several of my excursions. 

In one of these we visited Herrengrund, where copper mines 
have been worked from the thirteenth century. The kinds of 
copper are the pyritous, the grey copper, and the green and 
blue carbonated copper. The decomposition of the minerals 
produces a great quantity of sulphate of copper, which dis- 
solves in the waters that filtrate from all parts of the works. 
These waters are carefully collected in cavities, where they 
have a process to decompose the salt, and so to extract cop- 
per by cementation. 

70 M. Beudant's Travels in Hungary. 

In another excursion, M. Beniczki accompanied me to an 
old lead mine which had been abandoned, and where he had 
again set men at work. The old entrance lies at the foot of an 
immense wall of rocks, in a situation truly picturesque. There 
was always a natural cavern, which the mining labours have 
extended. Of the minerals, the principal masses are a brown 
earthy carbonated iron, and an earthy oxydated iron, in which 
are portions of sulphurated copper and galena, more* or less 
considerable. There is also carbonated copper, green and 
blue, carbonated lead, phosphated lead in mass, sometimes, 
but rarely, crystallised, and of a greenish yellow ; also calamine 
in little square masses. 

We came-afterwards to the little town of Libethen, elevated 
to the rank of a free and mining town, by king Lewis I., son 
and successor of Charles Robert. Though founded by the 
Saxons, invited thither by king Andrew II., it is now wholly 
inhabited by Sclavonians. The town suffered much from wars 
and revolutions. About the end of the fifteenth century, 
during the wars of Mathias Corvin with the Bohemians, it was 
attacked suddenly, when one part of the inhabitants were 
driven to quit the place, and the rest, who had fled to the 
mines, were miserably suffocated by the fire and smoke thrown 
into them. The town then remained desolate forty years, till 
the mines began again to be worked, at the beginning of the 
sixteenth century. The town is but indifferently built, and 
lies in rather a wild situation, at the bottom of a valley, with 
groupes of mountains on every side. It is not larger than one 
of our smallest villages about Paris. We came also to the 
village of Sajba, famous for the most beautiful opal jasper and 
opalised wood ; hence come those samples of a yellowish white 
opalised wood, and others of a very brilliant grey, that have 
long been in our collections at Paris ; they are found here in 
every shade of colour, lustre, and pellucidity. 

Tradition reports that the country of Libethen anciently had 
gold mines, but it is certain that, for a long time, nothing but 
copper has been worked. The mines must have been very 
important to raise the town to the rank of free and royal, but 
now it is partly abandoned, and the number of workmen 
greatly diminished. 



We can go from Neusohl to Ki emnitz by a foot way, to the 
W. S. W. of the town, by traversing the range of mountains 

Journey from Vienna. 71 

that form the limits of the two comitats. The forms of these 
are often Very grotesque, from having been rent into various 
shapes. A very narrow path rises very rapidly, and in the de- 
clivities of some of the mountains I observed a very thick ve- 
getation, which, though unfavourable to the geologist, would 
offer an ample field of research to the botanical enquirer. 
Here were plants, to a great number of which I was a stranger ; 
nnfortuHately, those 1 had collected during my travels were 
lost, among many other objects of natural history. I particu- 
larly regret a multitude of insects, collected in different coun- 
tries and elevations of the mountains, which required classifi- 
cation in the various branches of entomology. 

The town of Kremnitz (Kormecz Banya, Hung.) is one of 
the most ancient royal free towns of Hungary. It is said to 
have had mines worked in the time of the Romans, but in the 
middle ages, the Germans resumed the labours, and gave rise 
to the town. It is they, in fact, who have successively renew- 
ed it, after the various devastations it underwent, in common 
with other places. Many Germans yet remain in the country, 
who speak an unintelligible Gothic German, as harsh in pro- 
nunciation as the German Swiss. The town lies in the bottom 
of a narrow valley, overlooked on the right and left by high 
mountains ; its position is far from being agreeable, and ils in- 
terior has little to exhibit but the mint, to which all the gold 
and silver from the mines of the whole kingdom is conveyed 
to be inspected, and where all the preparatory operations, as 
that of acids, &c. are conducted on a great scale. Out of this 
establishment, which also stands in need o improvement, 
there is little worth seeing, and a stranger would find it diffi- 
cult to get a decent lodging. I could not have procured a 
lodging in the only public house that was shewn me, if an in- 
dividual, to whom I applied in the street, had not generously 
pleaded my cause with the hostess, who, yielding to his request, 
helped me to some bad soup, and to something of the same 
nature, called kneps. She assured me that there were no eggs 
in the town, and to get a wretched fowl at night, my servant 
was obliged to threaten the hens that were running about the 
house. It was a Friday, and the people here, scrupulously 
adhering to the laws of the church, observe meagre days, and 
cannot conceive how a traveller dare do otherwise. I have 
sometimes dined with the curates on these days, and meat then 
was provided for myself, while they contented themselves 
with a few vegetables. 

One general observation I made respecting Kremnitz, that 
it is only in one species of earth or soil, trachyte, that the 
mines are found. In that, and the concomitant characters, 

72 M. Beudanfs Travels in Hungary. 

there is a striking analogy between the local stratifications of 
Schernnitz and Kremnilz. 

At the bottom of an immense cavity, formed by a perpen- 
dicular dislocation of the mountain, 1 observed a pool of fer- 
rugineous water, with bulru-shes, of the most beautiful green I 
ever beheld, growing in the middle. Some attribute the colour 
of the plants to the influence of the waters, and it is a fact, 
that, wherever I have noticed them, the green colour of th 
vegetation is much more intense than elsewhere. The cold 
at the foot of this immense excavation was insupportable, but I 
was astonished to find the thermometer not lower than 13, that 
is, only 2 below the temperature at the top of the mountain. 
In places of this kind there is a humid vapour which penetrates 
the clothing, but which, from the warmth of the body, soon 
becomes a dry vapour ; hence, we feel a cold much more 
piercing than what comports with the temperature of the cir- 
cumambient air. 

In one of my excursions from Kremnitz, I came to the vil- 
lage of Perk, where every thing reminded me of journeys that 
I had made in the south of France. The face of nature was 
gay, the sun's vital beams and heat were every where felt, bright 
and shining forests of firs on the left, penetrating, as it were, 
through the gloom that surrounded them, and perfuming the 
air with a resinous scent. Hid from the public walks of men, 
I thought I discerned some of nature's finest touches, though 
different parts of the soil were sandy and dry. 
In my road to St. Kerest, I remarked siliceous, fissile sub- 
stances of a black colour, but which grow white before a fire, 
and that retain all the appearances of vegetable impressions. 
De Born, in his description of the same tract, makes mention 
of petrifications, which he compares to vegetables, or to corals. 
Ferber has noticed these organic remains, and compares them 
to the roots of marine plants, and to the stalks of one that 
grows in marshes, the thypha palustris. M. Esmarck also 
alludes to them, under the designation of calcedonies and 
petrified reeds. 

The town of St. Kerest is beautifully situated on hills that 
border the Gran ; it was the residence of the ancient bishop 
of Newsohl. There is a very stately chateau, and a number 
of neat dwelling houses, with an excellent auberge, at the post- 
house, where even pedestrian travellers are treated with great 

The village of Prochot is inhabited by ancient Germans, 
whose language my servant, though a German, found it very 
difficult to understand. A stout young man, about thirty years 
of age, made a tender of his services, as a guide to a mountain 

Journey from Vienna. 73 

in the neighbourhood, but we had no small trouble to get his 
mother's permission. The good woman was alarmed and 
afraid of me. She was overjoyed at our return, and I received 
from her afterwards, every mark of civility. These simple 
people, not without reason, harbour a distrust of the inhabi- 
tants of the towns ; to manage them requires a certain frank- 
ness without rudeness, and little occasional liberalities. When 
once gained, their attachment grows fervid, and no exertion 
will be spared to render themselves accommodating and agree- 
able. The good woman herself was an instance of this, offer- 
ing me some crumpets she was baking in the oven, and wishing 
to detain me till I had explored every corner of the adjoining 
mountains. One of these, which I scaled, had an immense 
plateau on the crust, covered, not with resinous, but with 
hazel-nut and juniper trees. 

At St. Kerest I again met my travelling companions, and 
we set out together for a fresh excursion into the country of 
Schemnitz. But the sum of my observations there, of a ge- 
neral kind, have been already noted. My stay in Hungary 
had been longer than what I had contemplated ; I had almost 
exhausted my stock of ready money, and the dates of my let- 
ters of exchange, for different parts of Hungary, had expired. 
I found it necessary, therefore, to return to Pest, for the re- 
establishment of my pecuniary concerns. 



I shall introduce here a little adventure that occurred, while 
exploring the groupe of the mountains of Dregely. I intended 
fixing my head quarters at Nograd, which is marked in the 
maps as a market town, and where I had supposed the assizes 
for the county were held. But on my arrival I soon found my 
mistake; it is but a small village, and cannot be much fre- 
quented, as it does not lie on any road. I was conducted to 
an auberge where I might have had accommodations, but for 
the uncouth and avaricious humours of those who kept it. I 
ordered a supper, being hungry and fatigued with my day's 
journey, and reckoning upon it, I walked up to the castle and 
other parts of the village. 

From the remains of the towers and walls, the castle must 
have been very strong and extensive, and a place of import- 
ance. A great part of it was destroyed in 1685, by the explo- 


74 M. llcudunt's Travels in Hungary. 

sion of a powder magazine; the Turks had a garrison there, but 
they abandoned it. Nograd, now a wretched village, had been 
a considerable place in ancient times, but was desolated by 
successive wars. Returning to my host, I was equally sur- 
prised and mortified to find no culinary preparations. The 
mistress had been at a neighbour's in search of a pullet, and 
made free to fetch one away in the absence of the family ; 
this, however, was soon reclaimed, or its value fixed at a floriri; 
The aubergiste would not pay more than half, and the other, in 
a foaming fury, snatched the fowl, then ready for eating, from 
the spit, threw the latter in the face of my hostess, and ran 
home. I now promised to pay for the pullet, cost what it 
might ; I even repaired to the house of this neighbour, but she 
had retired elsewhere, probably to devour the fowl at the house 
of another neighbour, i was then forced to be content with 
three eggs, which I had to share with my servant and the 
peasant that had been my guide. 

In my journeys I visited the mountain of Dregely, which is 
a conspicuous object, and one of great notoriety in Hungary. 
Its form is conical, and it stands altogether detached from the 
mountains that surround it. Its height above the level of the 
sea is about 1260 feet. There are some remains of its old 
castle, consisting of dilapidated walls, cemented with a mortar 
not very solid, of lime, siliceous sand, and pebbles of quartz 
and granite. In the eastern quarter are a door and a staircase, 
both cut out of the solid rock. From the top of the walls is a 
commanding prospect over the whole country, which takes in 
many extensive ranges of distant mountains. On the 28th of 
Sept. 1818, the height of the barometer from the castle of 
Dregely, was 724 mill, j temperature, 16 gr. ; weather, flying 
clouds ; sun very hot. 

In my journey to Vissegrad, the road winds along the 
Danube, and sometimes approaches so near that we pass 
through the water. The castle of Vissegrad was formerly the 
residence of several kings of Hungary, and its apartments and 
gardens were decorated in such a style of magnificence, that a 
pope's legate, in the reign of Mathias Corvin, gave it the name 
of the Earthly Paradise. When it was built is unknown ; it is 
first noticed by Hungarian historians, in the reign of Lladislas I. 
in the eleventh century, as the prison of king Salomon, after 
the defeat of the Wallachians, whom he had incited to insur- 
rection. It was probably then of minor importance, till en- 
larged and beautified by succeeding kings. Charles the First 
preferred it to any of his other houses, and entertained in it, 
with extraordinary pomp, the kings of Bohemia and Poland. 
Mathias Corvin embellished the gardens with marble statues, 

Journey from Vienna. 75 

basins, jetteaux, &c. The royal habitation and the gardens 
were at the foot of the mountain, on the banks of the Danube, 
where they could not occupy a very considerable space, but 
the castle was on the isolated point of an eminence, about 650 
feet above the Danube, which, in this part, may be about 400 
feet above the sea. Vissegrad is a Sclavonian word, and de- 
rives its name from its position ; Vissi, most high, and Hrad 
or Grad, a castle. 

It was in the castle of Vissegrad, then considered as the 
most secure in Hungary, that the crown sent by pope Sylves- 
ter II. to St. Stephen, as a gift from heaven, was preserved. 
This was agreeably to an ordinance of Lladislas II. ; it was 
placed in the most inaccessible part of the fortress, and con- 
fided to keepers, selected from among the Grandees, who were 
under an oath only to resign it to the nation assembled, and 
to lay down their lives in the defence of it. This consecrated 
crown, however, was often carried away during the troubles ; 
sometimes by the dethroned kings, who, by that means, pre- 
vented the coronation of their successors, and sometimes by 
those who pretended to the throne. It has frequently given 
rise to bloody wars, and thousands have fallen victims to pre- 
serve or to regain it. Such was the high importance attached 
to it, that the place of its custody was fixed by a decree of the 
nation assembled, nor was it to be removed but by a similar 
order. Joseph II. had it removed from Presburg (where it 
had been deposited by an order of the assembly of 1608) to 
Vienna, but this act of authority was considered as arbitrary, 
and derogating from the rights of the nation. It contributed 
not a little to retard the various reforms which that monarch 
had projected. Fears were entertained of a general insurrec- 
tion, and Joseph, in rescinding many of his acts, addressed a 
manifesto to the nation, which shewed that his object was the 
general good, and that his intentions were grounded in purity, 
justice, and equity. The crown was lastly removed to Buda 
by another order of Joseph, Feb. 18, 1790, two days before 
his death, and this event was hailed with transports of joy 
throughout the whole kingdom. 

The castle of Vissegrad, taken and retaken alternately by 
the Germans and Turks, is now a huge heap of ruins. Close 
to the Danube we yet find some old towers and a wall, with 
bastions, ascending thence to the summit of the mountain, to 
communicate with the principal fortress. The ruins of the 
latter are very considerable, in walls and round towers. We 
may plainly distinguish the double walls that formed the ex- 
terior inclosure, between which lay the pathway that led to 
the fortress. In the interior appear two successive fosses, one 

76 M. Beudant's Travels in Hungary. 

above another, and in the centre stands the castle on an iso- 
lated rock, cut perpendicularly to the height of several yards. 
In the remnant of the castle are certain chambers and apart- 
ments, with ogive gates and windows, ornamented with little 
pilasters, round or square, strongly reflecting the taste of the 
ancients. But, in general, we see nothing but walls thrown 
confusedly one over another, and filling the fosses with rub- 
bish. In the inner court is a cistern in the shape of a bell, 
into which all the waters from the different roofs emptied 
themselves. Opposite this, in the middle of the wall, we ob- 
serve a sculptured stone, containing some coats of arms, with 
a Latin inscription half defaced, and the date of 1493 in Roman 
ciphers. From the top of the walls the eye traces the course 
of the Danube; meandering to the west behind the mountains, 
and then turning abruptly to the south, his stream rolls onward 
through the champaign districts of Pest, and the vast central 
plain. As a comprehensive and animated view of the produc- 
tions of nature, I was enchanted with it. 

As to the whole range of walls, they are composed of the 
rocks whereof the mountain consists, but the gates and win- 
dows, and all parts that require to be cut in regular forms, are 
of very solid calcareous tuf, that contains in it a vast number 
of vegetable impressions. These tufs have been brought 
from the neighbourhood of Old Buda. 

In the environs of Vissegrad I first noticed (though I found 
them, afterwards, in other parts along the Danube) two species 
of fluviatile, or river shells, that are not common in Europe. 
One belongs to the menalopside genus, and the other to the 
Paludine ; the latter has obtained the name of Naticoide, 
in a work now publishing by M. de Ferrusac. I was very 
desirous to see their molluscae, or living animals, in order 
to study their characters, but could not succeed : the shells of 
both are defended with corneated opercules. 

Here 1 may observe that immense collections of fossil shells, 
such as are only to be found in the sea, have been excavated 
in the hills of freestone that run from north to south, be- 
tween the rivers of Gran and Ypoli. I have remarked also 
numberless beds of different shells, with strata of lignites, in 
carbonaceous substances, in my rambles through Hungary. 

On the flanks of the freestone hills, and on the banks of the 
rivers that intersect them, are still found the remains of large 
animals, as teeth, heads, thighs of the elephant and mammoth; 
several of these are deposited in the cabinet of Pest. There 
are specimens of the elephants of Asia and the elephants of 
Africa, Those bony fragments have been found in various 

Journey from Vienna. 77 

other parts, as also in the plains of Hungary, but, more com- 
monly, in the soil of alluvion than in masses of freestone. 

To other observations made in and about the mountains of 
Dregely may be added some notice of Acsa. It is chiefly re- 
markable for the castle and park of Baron de Pronay. From 
the terrace there is a fine view over the surrounding moun- 
tains. The little town of Watz is deserving of notice, being 
one of the most agreeable in Hungary. According to history, 
it was built in the reign of Geysa I. who, on gaining a decisive 
victory over Salomon, caused a church to be erected in the 
midst of the forest that covered this country. The name of 
Watz was that of a solitaire or recluse who lived in the forest. 
It became afterwards a considerable place, and the see of a 
bishop ; and later, the cradle of letters and philosophy. The 
town suffered much in the invasion of the Mongols, notwith- 
standing the vigorous resistance of the inhabitants. It was 
exposed to similar disasters in the reign of John de Zapola, 
in his wars with Ferdinand of Austria. It was taken also and 
retaken several times by the Turks ; their incursions, whether 
as enemies or allies, contributed to retard theprpgress of civi- 
lization. The entrance of the town is distinguished by a 
beautiful triumphal arch at the extremity of a fine avenue of 
trees ; this is on the side of the Danube. There are several very 
good houses,and some public buildings, for affording the means 
of instruction. Among others is an institution for the deaf and 
dumb, founded by the Emperor Francis, in 1802. And what is 
not the least recommendation to a traveller, here are several 
good inns. 



I arrived at Pest, July 17th, towards evening, and on the 20th, 
in the morning, I was on the road for Aszod, where an an- 
nouncement to the Baron Charles Podmaniczky had already 
preceded me. The two intermediate days had been devoted to 
the arrangement of my pecuniary concerns, to visiting the 
museum of natural history and that of the observatory, as also 
to an acquaintance 1 had formed with Dr. Haberle, Director of 
the Botanic Garden. I obtained here some valuable informa- 
tion relative to certain parts of Hungary, and for which I have 
also to thank M. Schuster, Professor of Chemistry in the 

78 M. Beudant's Travels in Hungary. 

In renewing my pedestrian excursions as usual, I passed by 
Godolo, where there is a fine chateau belonging to Prince Gras- 
salkoritzs ; it stands on the right hand of the road, but very 
near to it, and the grounds contain a number of plantations 
and inclosures. The next object to attract notice was a gib- 
bet, the first I had met with in Hungary, bearing the carcase 
of a criminal who had suffered six months before. The spec- 
tacle seemed too shocking for the feelings of women and chil- 
dren, and the sensibilities of humanity are outraged and 
nauseated by it. 

These impressions I retained till my arrival at the castle of 
Aszod, where my gracious reception and entertainment soon 
effaced the disgusting sensation. The neighbourhood was not 
favourable to the leading object of my journeys, and I depart- 
ed, the Baron accompanying me to Gyongyos, where he in- 
troduced me to several officers of the Palatine regiment. 

Lieut. Col. Baron de Edelsbacher and Count Teleky gave 
me letters for the Baron D'Orcy, at Parad, in the northern 
part of the mountains of Matra. I set out with the horses 
arid servants, supplied by these gentlemen, and attended by an 
hussar, whose presence might inspire the greater security. 
This amiable and preventing kind of hospitality I witnessed 
throughout the country, and I cannot but speak highly of the 
generous attentions of the good Hungarians. At Parad my 
entertainment was no less agreeable, and the Baron D'Orcy 
accompanied me, in my rambles, with all the promptitude 

The village of Parad is but small, but there are ferrugineous 
waters that, in the fine season, attract company. The 
Baron D'Orcy's habitation is only intended for occasional re- 
sidence in the summer. Every thing has an air of the greatest 
simplicity, and the whole appears rustic arid rural. It forms 
an assemblage of small buildings with only the ground floor, 
and disposed, on each side, so as to make a broad street or 
place. Some serve for the accommodation of the Baron and 
his people, and others for the reception of visitors. In the 
middle is a chapel, and in summer, the whole looks more 
animated and gay than some more stately chateaux. The 
amiable affability of its possessors might tend to strengthen 
this feeling. 

I intended to visit a certain crater, mentioned by Fichtel, but 
the baron was eager to conduct me thither, and we according- 
ly set out in a caravan, the baron, the colonel of the palatine 
regiment, a neighbouring curate, and myself, with seven do- 
mestics or guides. In our way we went to visit some of the 
baron's alum works, long established, and I was instantly 

Journey from Vienna. 79 

struck with the resemblance of the rocks to some of Mont 
Dor, in Auvergne. The experiments that I made, after my 
return to Paris, on some specimens that I brought away, con- 
firmed the analogy in the materials of the two places. With 
someprecautions,"alum might be procured at Farad, nearly as 
pure as that of Munkacs or Musaj, and, of course, like the fine 
sort known in France by the name of Roman alum. 

After this we renewed our excursion to the mountain. For 
two hours we passed through very thick woods of oaks and 
beeches, and at different points 1 observed the rosa spinosissima 
in prodigious quantities, which, with the crategus aria, pro- 
duced a very agreeable diversity. In all this tract I saw none 
of those eternal firs that appear every where, on equal heights, 
in the mountains of Schemnitz and Krernnitz. 

Arriving at the crater, I found its depth about 180 feet. 
The whole cavity was filled with very large beech trees, also 
with crab apple and hazel-nut trees, and brambles, which it 
was often difficult to get clear of. The sides or walls are per- 
pendicular in some points, and at others have a pretty rapid 
descent. I could not trace, either on the sides or in the parts 
adjacent, any vestiges of scorification, such as one would ex- 
pect to find, had there been an ancient ignivomous aperture, 
similar to what exist in the extinguished volcanos of Auvergne. 
I examined every part, the sides, top, bottom, and am con- 
vinced that it never was volcanic ; it has not even the ordinary 
form of a crater, an inverted cone, nor is it in the usual posi- 
tion, at the summit of a mountain. 

Having acquired a certainty that M. Fichtel and others have 
been mistaken on this point, we again set out on our return to 
Parad. In about an hour, descending towards the village, we 
found the steward and a party of the baron's people, who had 
prepared a very good dinner, under a tent of branches and 
foliage. They had brought with them also a relay of horses. 

In another excursion which I made to Erlau, I arrived at 
the town of Sirok, in a valley, through which runs the river 
Torna. Its ancient castle was built on the point of a white 
rock, nearly isolated, the flanks of which are torn by deep 
ravines, and not a tree to be seen about it; it is now in a 
ruinous state. The higher parts of the rock are almost every 
where perpendicular. Several chambers of the castle were 
dug or hollowed out of it. On these great walls we see frag- 
ments, and blocks of all sizes and colours, white, yellow, grey, 
&c., and in one of the caves, others of a black colour. In 
short, the walls, the courts, and fosses, exhibit, in a numerous 
collection, all the varieties of massive rock. This castle was 
taken by assault, in 1596, by the Turks, and the crescent 

80 M. Beudant's Travels in Hungary. 

waved on its walls for a long time; at present, it is so encum- 
bered with ruins that it is impossible to form a correct opinion 
of its strength and construction ; from the space which it oc- 
cupied it must have been very large. 

The town of Erlau (Eger, or Jager, Hung. Agria, Lat.) is si- 
tuated nearly on the confines of the Great Plain that forms, 
in some measure, the centre of Hungary. It was built by king 
Stephen, who made it the see of a bishop, since raised to that 
of an archbishop. It is one of the richest benefices in Hun- 
gary ; .the revenues were so considerable, that the ancient 
kings ordered the see to be reserved for their fourth son. The 
town is pretty well built ; there are several very good houses, 
but, in general, it looks dull, which is common to all the small 
towns in Hungary. The most remarkable buildings are those 
of the university, constructed at the charge of more than two 
millions of florins, by the bishop, count Charles Esterhazy. 
Convenience, neatness, and beauty, are alike consulted j the 
professors are well lodged and accommodated; the classes, 
the apartments, are handsome and correctly arranged ; the 
chapel, the library, the hall of conferences, are extremely ele- 
gant, and furnished with paintings of uncommon beauty. The 
buildings are surmounted with a very lofty tower, intended for 
an observatory, but, unfortunately, it was ill provided with 
instruments. The cathedral, and several other churches, the 
episcopal palace, and the house of the comitat, are structures 
which would not disparage other towns more populous, and 
from the heights, they give to this an aspect truly imposing. 

Behind the town we discern the site of the ancient castle, 
now scarcely distinguishable by some remains of rubbish. 
Count Esterhazy, the bishop, was allowed to demolish it, and 
the materials were made use of in the construction of the 
University and other buildings. The battlements no longer 
exist to attest the valour of its ancient inhabitants, but the 
pages of history retain the remembrance. The town was com- 
pletely destroyed, in the reign of Bela IV. by the invasion of 
the Mongols, who carried fire and sword into the heart of 
Hungary, and turned the most populous countries into vast 
deserts. But raised again from its ashes, defended by some 
fortifications, and yet more by Hungarian intrepidity, it sus- 
tained, with incredible energy, the most dreadful assaults and 
sieges. We cannot survey, without admiration, the sanguinary 
details commemorating the vigorous resistance of its inhabi- 
tants against the Austrians and against the Turks. 

I shall quote here a passage from a French writer, concur- 
ring, with other testimonies, in favour of that patriot zeal 
which transforms the feeblest into heroes. Erlau was besieged 

Journey from Vienna. 81 

in 1555, by Mehemet Pacha. On the approach of the enemy's 
army, the whole town resounded with acclamations, men, 
women, soldiers, all vowed adherence to the following con- 
ditions : " the word capitulation is proscribed 3 death shall be 
the punishment of him that mentions it. Should the enemy 
invite to proposals of peace, the answer to be by discharges of 
artillery. In the case of provisions failing, we will devour one 
another, and the lot shall determine the victims. The women 
shall be employed in repairing the walls ; they may follow 
their husbands to the breach, or at the sorties. To prevent 
any plottings to surrender, no assemblages of above three or 
four to be allowed within the town." 

These desperate conditions were strictly observed j in vain 
Mehemet sends a trumpet with offers of peace ; no answer is 
returned, and while he is haranguing at the foot of the walls, 
the inhabitants, in gloomy silence, place four pikes on the 
rampart, and on them a coffin covered with black, to indicate 
that the town should be their grave. The trumpeter reported 
to his general this terrible but eloquent reply ; salvos of artil- 
lery soon dismantled the castle and unroofed the houses, but 
the first attack was repulsed, and 8000 Turks perished at the 
foot of the ramparts. Mehemet orders four assaults at the 
same instant; the women run to the breach, some rush among 
the enemy, others roll huge stones, or pour scalding oil on the 
assailants. The wife, seizing the arms of her husband, pierced 
by her side, the mother, those of her son, and all, forgetting 
their weakness and danger, think only of defending their 
country and religion, and avenging the death of their friends. 
These examples of female heroism gave a fresh stimulus to the 
ener ies of the besieged, who soon became the aggressors, and 
compelled the Turks to retreat, after the loss oif more than 
30,000 men. 

The hills about Erlau are, in general, covered with vines, 
that produce a wine much esteemed, but very heady. It strong- 
ly resembles some wines from the banks of the Rhone, in 
Languedoc. Among these hills are some rocks of a grey, com- 
pact, calcareous substance, from which issue the hot springs 
that feed the baths of Erlau. My stay here was short but 
agreeable. The Baron D'Orcy had obligingly made his house 
in the town my home, though not present himself, and had 
my stay been prolonged, I should have met with more friends. 
The Abbe" Titel, a young astronomer, who had spent some 
time in Paris, entertained me with perfect cordiality, and the 
Archbishop, Baron Fisher, testified his regret at my hasty de- 
parture. I had intended to return to Erlau, after visiting the 


82 M. Bemlant's Travels in Hungary. 

comitat of Gomor, but proceeded so far, in another direction, 
that the time would not have sufficed. 

In general, I may observe, as a geologist, that an entire 
analogy exists between the mountains of Matra, the scene of 
these last excursions, as to the nature and disposition of the 
rocks that compose them, and those that I had more studious- 
ly explored in the country of Schernnitz. Among other points 
of resemblance, I found, as a naturalist, about Erlau, trunks 
and branches of opalised wood, as also various kinds of shells", 
fragments of obsidian, &c. As to the pretended crater, it is 
simply the upper end of a little valley, partly stopped up with 
a number of blocks that have fallen from the heights, and 
thrown in heaps one above another. 



Quitting the mountains of 'Matra for a northerly direction, 
the most prominent object is the point of Salgo at a distance, 
the conical mass of which rises, in an isolated situation, above 
all the surrounding heights. On this mountain, according to 
Busching, the earth, charged with sulphureous vapours, kindled 
and burnt for two months together; this was in the summer 
of 17^7- I shall not dispute the fact, though I could find no 
tradition or report concerning it ; but if it took place, it could 
not have been occasioned by sulphureous vapours, the nature 
of the mountain not warranting the presence of such a com- 
bustible, though it was probably of igneous origin. 

In exploring the mountain of Samos Ko, I came to an old 
castle on the summit, which must have been very spacious. 
Several stories are yet remaining; the walls are composed of 
basaltic prisms, laid one upon another, arid cemented by avery 
rough mortar, of -little solidity in its present state. 

The mountain of Salgo, at about three quarters of an hour's 
journey from the village of that name, is a basaltic mass, rising 
up among woods and forests scarcely penetrable, and every 
where exhibiting marks of volcanic productions. They bring 
to mind the masses of scori'aceous substances about volcanoes, 
whether alive or extinguished, such as frequently are seen in 
the Vivarais, under or between layers of basalts. The summit 
of Salgo is a very narrow point ; the castle which bounded it 
could never have been very extensive. Nothing is to be seen, 
at present, but some remains of walls, which more resemble 

Journey from Vienna. 83 

a tower for observation than habitations to reside in. Its mean 
height is about 1920 feet above the level of tlue sea. Barome- 
trical observations, July 27, 1818. Sumnlit of Salgo at eight 
in the morning. Height 710 mill, temperature 17 gr. Flying 
clouds, wind easterly. At the foot . of the basaltic mass, half 
past seven, height 728 mill, temperature 17 gr. 

About half an hour's walk from Salgo, is a mountain called 
Medve, similar in its formation. In piercing through the woods 
to arrive at it, scoriaceous matter appears scattered over the 
soil, though often concealed by a vegetable earth that has all 
the marks and colours of having been emitted from a volcano. 
At the mountain itself, the characters are so strongly marked 
that the most hardy neptunist could not call in question their 
igneous origin. I proceeded in search of a crater in these parts, 
but the top of the mountain exhibits only a plateau, or a level 
surface, pretty extensive and covered with trees. Scoriae, how- 
ever, of every description, abound, inclosed in a red earth, that 
seems to have proceeded from their decomposition. 

In the midst of the plains of Fulek, is another mountainous 
crest of basaltic formation. It is on it that the remains ap- 
pear of a strong castle, which, in the fifteenth and sixteenth 
centuries, was taken, alternately, by the Turks, Germans, 
and Factions of different parties. But here are no masses of 
scoria}, but basaltic tufs of the colour of yellow ochre. 



Renewing my excursions, I arrived one night, about ten 
o'clock, at Tiszolez, a little town inhabited by Sclavonians, 
and situated in the middle of a valley, through which runs the 
little river Rima. There was no inn, and to procure a lodging 
I made application to the judge, who had me conducted to a 
wretched cabaret, where was nothing but straw to sleep on. 
Unluckily, six Jews had arrived before me, whose filthy beards 
and squalid appearance obliged me to retreat elsewhere. I was 
taken to a small chamber filled with onions, butter, and cheese, 
and where a young man, the son, was snoring tremendously. 
Here I and my domestic passed a part of the night, and the 
guides, I believe, slept in the street. 

In such circumstances I was not long detained in the arms of 
Morpheus ; before day I was in the middle of the village, 

84 M. Pendant's Travels in Hungary. 

imbibing the fresh air, and by six o'clock, had advanced a good 
way towards some mountains I was in quest of. On my re- 
turn, I inquired for the evangelical minister, soliciting permis- 
sion to introduce myself to him. Here fortune became pro- 
pitious, M. Schulek received me with the most engaging kind- 
ness, and both he and his lady lodged arid entertained me with 
cordial hospitality. 

At Szlana are quicksilver mines, which I entered and 
explored. The works have been very extensive, but at present 
the quantities of mercury extracted are not considerable. I 
next entered the valley of Sajo, on my road to Bethler. The 
mountains, on both sides, are uncommonly rich in metallic 
substances, and especially in copper and iron ; here are mines 
which have been, and yet are worked, in a great number of 
places. At Bethler are iron mines, establishments for forges, 
foundries, &c, of great importance ; they are the property of 
Count Androssy. These minerals bear a strong resemblance 
to those of Sweden and Norway, where are whole mountains 
consisting of them j the analogy prevails also in the rocks that 
contain them. 

In some mountains of these parts are caverns, of no small 
celebrity in Hungary, partly from their extent, and partly 
from ice being preserved in them during a great part of the 
summer. In caverns like these, it is generally thought that 
they are much colder in summer than winter, nature appearing 
here in contradiction to itself. I conceive this to be a mistake, 
from not accurately analysing the circumstances. These ca- 
verns are always in the temperature of melting ice, that is, at 
zero, in summer; and the sensation of cold is more intense as 
the external heat is greater. On the contrary, in winter, they 
are never below the external temperature, and no difference 
of sensation is perceived in entering them. In the first frosts 
the caverns retain the temperature of zero, on a supposition of 
ice yet remaining, whilst the cold without has reached several 
degrees ; a sensation of warmth is then felt on entering them. 
It may be observed, further, that no ice, or very little, is found 
in these caverns at the beginning of winter, and the contrary 
occurs in the beginningof summer. In the first case, it is evident 
that the ice had not melted during the preceding summer, and 
that the frost had not lasted long enough to acquire fresh forms. 
Jn the second place, all the ice appears that had accumulated 
during the winter, and which had not yet had time to melt. 

As fals.e notions prevail on the above subject, I may add, 
that at the cavern Chaux, in the department of Doubs, it is 
evident that the ice is formed during the winter. The tem- 
perature within the cavern is always as low, in that season, as 

Journey from Vienna* 85 

the external temperature. The water then drops from the 
vault, in greater or less quantities, and congeals into stalactites 
and stalagmites, that continue increasing through the winter, 
the quantity of ice being greater in proportion to the length 
and the rigour of the frost, It increases even when the frost 
without is gone, as the air of the cavern is a long time in ac- 
quiring an equilibrium of temperature, and the maximum of 
the quantity of ice obtains only in the spring. Then it begins 
and continues melting through the summer, so that it is en- 
tirely melted, or considerably diminished by the return of 
winter, when similar phenomena recur. Both the caverns of 
Szclitze, where I then was, and that of Chaux, and many 
others in the mountains of Jura, have their apertures turned to 
the north, which must facilitate the lowering of the tempera- 
ture during the winter, and keep it, at the same time, from 
rising rapidly during the summer, 

The town of Dobschau* (Dobsina, Sclav.) is one of the most 
ancient mining towns of Hungary, and situated in the most 
mountainous part. It was founded by some Germans, in the 
beginning of the fourteenth century, for the sake of working 
its mines. Its mountains contain 'immense mineral riches; 
here are mines of copper, iron, and cobalt, the productions 
from which were very considerable, when strict attention was 
paid to this branch of revenue. According to the .miners, all 
these minerals are in couches or beds, more or less condensed, 
and very few in veins. 



After quitting the comitat of Gomor, my next excursion was 
to the frontiers of Galicia. Passing through the plains of Iglo, 
I came to the town of that name, which is but a small place, 

* This word is often pronounced and written Topfschan, and hence, it ha$ 
been derived by many from Topfschaven, to look into a pot. The arms of the 
town represent the circumstance of a miner looking into a pet. This refers to a 
tradition, that the original miners having assembled to give a name to the town, 
agreed to take for it the word that the first miner, coming out of the mines, 
should utter. One of their comrades soon appearing, drew near the fire, ex- 
claiming, " Er muszle zu seinem topfschauen, I must look into my pot." Others, 
however, derive it from the situation of the town, appearing, from the very higu 
aiuuutiuuf that surround it, as lying in the bottom ot a pot. 

86 M. Beudant's Travels in Hungary. 

though the principal of the sixteen free towns of Zips, and the 
centre of the royal administration. 

It was about half a day's journey from Iglo to Mount Tatra, 
which I meant to visit. On the way, I called at Gross Lom- 
nitz, on M. Berzeviczy, for whom I had letters of recom- 
mendation ; he received me in a manner most agreeable to 
my feelings, and I had no little satisfaction in his society and 
conversation. In countries so remote, and generally deemed, 
though erroneously, only half civilized, in comparison of the 
rest of Europe, to meet with a man so well informed, scientific, 
and learned, was a source of high gratification. Before sup- 
per we walked to the heights behind the castle, and had a 
magnificent view of the Tatra. Its most acute cone, known 
by the name of the Peak of Lomnitz, rises majestically, like a 
nine-pin, above every object around it, and is about 5700 feet 
above the plain that lies at its foot. It stands completely iso- 
lated, and its flanks are marked by deep ravines, produced, in 
1813, by a water spout that fell on the summit, unrooting 
trees, dragging along enormous portions of rock, and hollowing 
the soil to a great depth. The mountain of Tatra has been 
described by geographers, as connected with others that 
branch into Transylvania, but I had many proofs of the con- 
trary. Though I did not scale the summit, I had opportuni- 
ties of surveying it on every side. 

We set out from Lomnitz with very good horses, proceeding 
in a straight line for the farm of the same name, and reached 
it in about two hours. The lower parts of the rocks, as we 
advanced, were partly cultivated with an indifferent kind of 
oats, further on were meadow grounds, and at the farm appear 
juniper and fir trees. Here we breakfasted, and leaving our 
horses, set out on foot, with attendants that carried provisions 
for a dinner. M. Fabritzi, the fiscal or steward of M. Ber- 
zeviczy, would accompany me in this excursion, and this ren- 
dered it doubly agreeable. We entered a valley called White 
Waters, from the usual colour of its white muddy streams that 
empty themselves into the White Lake. After two hours 
march among rocks, we discover the elevated peaks, contigu- 
ous to that of Lomnitz, which form the natural limits between 
Hungary and Galicia. Here are varieties in the vegetation ; 
those declivities of the mountains that are not too steep, ex- 
hibited thick forests of different pines, with the sorbns aiicu- 
paria, and the vaccinium uliginosum was in great abundance. 
Approaching the White Lake, the vegetation grows more 
scanty ; the other species disappear, and we find only the 
pinus pumilio, the spreading branches of which form tufts that 
are sometimes twenty feet in diameter. 

Journey from Vienna. 87 

After three or four hours' further march, (for the naturalist 
cannot always reckon distances rigorously) we came to the 
Green Lake, ^Griiue See) so named, as, from the hills that sur- 
round it, green spots are seen here arid there on the black sur- 
face that covers the rest of its waters. Approaching near, I 
remarked these spots, as arising in places whence issue the 
little springs that feed the waters, and where the bottom is a 
white sand, composed of little portions of mica. This lake is 
at the northern foot of the Peak of Lomnitz; from this point 
that acute cimex appears quite as high as from the plain. It 
exhibits a pyramid rising to a peak, and at length, almost 
vertically above us. It stands in a spacious basin, surrounded 
with rocks perpendicularly steep, at the foot of which lie, n 
heaps, the blocks and fragments that are constantly falling 
from the heights. We heard several avalanches, or down- 
falls, while we were traversing this part. Very near the Green 
Lake, at the foot of a rock almost perpendicular, in the shape 
of a needle, is another lake very deep, but much smaller, called 
the Black Lake, from its waters reflecting a blackish hue. 
Snow, I am told, never rests on the summits of Tatra, but it is 
found in the valleys, where, sheltered from the winds, it does 
not entirely melt throughout the summer. I should have ob- 
served, that the White Lake is so named from the waters that 
roll from the surrounding mountains, being often impregnated 
with a white calcareous matter. 

We were descending very quietly, without any signs of bad 
weather, but, in this region, naturalists must, it seems, endure 
the shock of the elements. M. Wahlenburg complains of it, 
and prefers the climate of Lapland to that of Hungary. M. 
Townsori was unlucky here, also j and just when I was felici- 
tating myself on my better fortune, a clap of thunder, in the 
mountain, was harbinger to an assemblage of clouds, and the 
rain fell in torrents. It did not last above half an hour, and 
our clothes, though well soaked, had time to get dry, so that 
we returned safe to Lomnitz. I was inured to these sinister 
adventures, and concerned to find M. Fabritzi, who had ac- 
companied me from complaisance, riot a little incommoded. 

There are several mines in the mountainous groupe of, or 
about, Tatra, and especially mines of copper. There is an 
auriferous vein, inclosed within quartz, towards the summit of 
the Krivan, but the mines of Botza are in the greatest repute ; 
these are of argentiferous and auriferous copper, and have been 
worked a very long time. The surrounding mountains give 
numerous indications of similar materials. 

Parallel to the groupe of Tatra, is another mountainous 
range, rich also in mines. In the valley of Lipto, which is in 

88 M. Beudant's fravets in Hungary. 

these parts, ard the numerous caverns noticed in maps of Hun- 
gary, especially that of Demanova, and described by some 
authors as containing ossified remains of animals. The valley 
itself, from its magnificent vegetation, has acquired the sur- 
name of Hungarian Switzerland. There are, however, other 
caverns in the comitats of Arva, Thurotz, &c. 

Finding, at Lomnitz, that I was but three days' journey from 
Villiczka, I felt an inclination to visit its famous salt-mines. I 
made preparations accordingly, taking care to have my collec- 
tions- sent directly forward to Pest. My baggage I had removed 
to Eperies, and I took with me only what was necessary for 
my little excursion into Poland. I set out with horses hired at 
Gross Lomnitz. 

The Polish auberges are many degrees inferior to those of 
Hungary; this I had soon an opportunity of Witnessing. Being 
obliged to stop at Relyo, in a wretched cabaret kept by a Jew, 
for my bed I had nothing but a bottle of straw spread in the 
middle of what served me for both chamber and kitchen, 
wherein I had scarcely room to stir, and Which, moreover, 
Was very near the stable. My Jew was very apprehensive of 
defiling the dirty porrengers that served for his own use, and 
would have conversed with me, seated on a chair, had I been 
in a humour to listen to him. My supper was an omelette of 
fried eggs badly cooked. To enhance my misfortunes, several 
peasants came in at ten at night, to drink potatoe brandy ; the 
place was nauseating with it, and they would have remained 
till next morning, had I not assumed the character of a great 
lord, and dislodged them. 

When day appeared, I quitted my laire without waiting 
for breakfast, though it was my custom to take refresh- 
ment before setting out. At the town of Altendorf, I had to 
undergo an examination by the officers of the customs ; this, 
however, was soon dispatched, as I had only brought a shirt 
with me, but my passports were only for Hungary, as, from 
information I had received, there would be no difficulty in 
passing the frontiers. The clerks, however, thought otherwise, 
alleging that I should have had letters for quitting Hungary, 
and that, besides, an order of the Hungarian chancelry could 
not be valid in an Austrian douane, as if every Hungarian must 
repair to Vienna in quest of a passport for Galicia. The direc- 
tor whom I called upon gave an order for instantly signing 
my passports, but his wretched scribes stood haggling with me, 
and seeing me take snuff, pretended to confiscate nearly an 
ounce that I had in my snuff box. I then threw the whole 
about the place, and as it was fine and dry like all the snuffs 

Journey from Vienna* 89 

prepared in Hungary, they presently decamped, not caring to 
come in contact with it. 

The whole country of Poland seems very poor j we see 
nothing but oats and potatoes in cultivation, and an air of 
wretchedness pervades the peasants. Their clothing consists 
of a surtout of coarse brown wool, fastened about the body 
with a leathern girdle ; under this few of them wear a shirt ; 
and they have nothing else but linen pantaloons, commonly 
without stockings or shoes, or in lieu thereof, sandals bound 
with thongs that pass under the feet. On their heads they 
wear a round hat, or a woollen bonnet ; their hair, filthy and 
greasy, hangs down behind. The villages contain cabins or 
hovels of earth or clay, and in the town of Myslinice, except- 
ing the inn, which is a neat building, and the Town-House, 
which has nothing in it remarkable, the other dwellings are of 
a similar J ascription. 

After two or three days' travelling, wherein one part of the 
road lay between two hills very near each other, and on the 
tops of which we could see the remains of old castles, that de- 
fended the passage, and were celebrated in the last wars be- 
tween Poland and Hungary, I arrived on the heights of Villiczka. 
Here we survey a vast horizon with not an elevation that deserves 
the name of a mountain. At a little distance, in the west, the 
city of Cracow (Kra/cau) appears to great advantage, and even 
Villiczka exhibited an object on which the eye might repose. 
Hence, in less than a quarter of an hour, I arrived at the town, 
the entrance to which is by a kind of suburbs. This part 
was inhabited by Jews, who, with their large black robes, long 
beards, and huge hair bonnets, reminded me of Robinson 
Crusoe in his island. In the town I was shewn to a wretched 
auberge,the only one in it, where my chamber, perfumed with 
onions, was a sort of warehouse to the kitchen adjoining ; in- 
deed, the passage lay through it. The windows and doors were 
opened to let in the fresh air, but this had not been done of 
some years, and they made me a bed as well as they could. 
About three in the morning I heard the crowing of fowls ; I 
thought, at first, they were under my window, but one of them 
mounting on the bed, I found there were half a dozen others 
perched on a pole. As I wished to get rid of them, I had some 
exercise in driving them out at the window, and this thorough- 
ly awoke me. I was for getting out also, but the doors being 
secured, I followed the fowls and jumped out of the window. 

The little town of Villiczkais situated on the verge of the plains 
of Poland, and at the northern foot of the mountains that sepa- 
rate it from Hungary. Tradition reports that the mines, which 
constituted wealth, were discovered by a shepherd, named Vil- 


90 M. Btudftnfs Travels in Hungary. 

liczk, and that Queen Cunegonde had them opened about the 
beginning of the fifteenth century. Its salt mines exceed all 
others in Europe in their extensive produce, and in the execution 
of the works and labours. On the day of my arrival I had soli- 
cited permission to visit the mines, and the next day the direc- 
tor sent an engineer to accompany me, so that I had an oppor- 
tunity of examining every thing in detail. 

The usual entrance into the mines is by the great well of 
extraction, as the descent is more speedy than by escaliers, 
and such precautions are adopted that there is no danger to 
apprehend. This well or pit is about ten feet in diameter at 
the mouth, but widens considerably lower down. It is about 
200 feet in depth to the first gallery, beyond which we every 
where descend by superb escaliers. The upper part of the pit is 
lined with timber, as it passes through a quicksand ; the lower 
parts, which have been cut through the mass of salt, or in the 
saliferous argile, require no support. The mode of an expe- 
ditious descent has nothing frightful in it to a miner ; nor am I 
surprised that all the persons employed would ascend and de- 
scend, in a manner instantaneous as it were, rather than 
traverse four hundred and seventy-six steps by the escalier. 
In the mines that I had visited heretofore, I descended either 
upright or seated on the edge of the basket that brings up the 
minerals, holding the rope in one hand, and a lamp in the 
other ; but, at Villiczka the descent is by a singular process, 
whereby several, seated in a sort of rope arm-chairs, in divisions, 
or rows, one above another, are let fall, in a few seconds, in a 
ythat seems frightful to persons not accustomed to it. 
Every one here carries a bougie in his hand, so that it appears 
like a set of chandeliers one above another : the movement is 
effected by horses. 

The saliferous depot of Villiczka has long been the subject 
of notices published at different times. The stupendous 
labours in the execution have often excited the enthusiasm 
of travellers, and have given rise to pompons descriptions, 
wherein not a little of the marvellous has been mingled. I 
shall confine myself to a slight sketch of what relates to the 
works, and what is most remarkable in the mine. 

The works at Villiczka are on a grand scale, conducted with 
perfect regularity, and even with a sort of luxury. Beautiful 
galleries, large and elevated, form easy communications be- 
tween all the works of each story ; superb escaliers, cut in 
the saline mass, or constructed of solid timber-work, in the 
heart of the different excavations, produce a general circula- 
tion, and points of junction between the upper surface at the 

Journey from Vienna. 91 

aperture, and the labours throughout, even where they are the 

Exclusive of these magnificent works, which are essential 
to the mining, and which contrast, in a striking manner, with 
mining labours in general, particular decorations have been 
added on certain points. Here is a spacious hall, agreeably 
ornamented, in the middle of one of the cavities, produced by 
the clearing away of the salt ; there appears a chapel, with 
columns, statues, &c. cut in the salt itself; in other parts are 
terraces on the brink of the excavations, also gates represent- 
ing the entrance of a strong castle, an obelisk commemorating 
the visit of the Emperor Francis, all regularly fabricated of 
rock salt. We find also, in different points, inscriptions noticing 
the presence of the sovereigns ; decorated radeaux, on which 
they pass over the collections of waters and fakes; consecrated 
paintings, dedicated, by the veneration of the workmen, to the 
patrons of the labours. Nor is this all ; at every step we find 
traces of magnificent illuminations which have been made, at 
different periods, in the heart of these depths. Such are the 
real facts, which have been embellished by a thousand fictions. 
Some of these may be quoted here ; springs and streams of 
fresh water, a windmill, houses with several stories, as in a 
town. It has been further reported, that the workmen, wheti 
once entered, never quit the place, but this is only true as ap- 
plied to the horses. Among other fabulous reveries, children 
were born here that had never seen the day. 

In general, this depot may be considered as an immense 
mass of argile, called by the workmen, halda, disposed, not in 
strata, but in vast bodies -unusually voluminous, to which, 
names have been given according to their respective positions, 
and the degree of purity in the salt. The works are divided 
into stories ; the first, or uppermost, is a coarser sort, called 
gransalz, or green salt. The second story exhibits a purer 
salt, named spiza, immense quantities of which are exported 
to foreign countries. The third and last story, named szibik, 
is lamellated, that is, divided into a number of thin plates. 

These different collections of salt, as also the saliferous argile 
that contains them, are of great solidity. Each of them, when 
worked, is nearly cleared throughout, and then appear immense 
excavations, the walls of which are well able to support them- 
selves. In the lower parts, the works are only advanced into 
such bodies of salt as, by their position with respect to the 
upper galleries, cannot, by fresh cavities, impair the solidity of 
the rest. From the solidity of these masses, combined with 
the facility with which they are penetrated, those beautiful 
escaliers, with the spacious galleries and architectural decora- 

92 M. Beudant's Travels in Hungary. 

tions, by which this mine is distinguished, have been, with less 
difficulty, executed. 

Several of these cavities contain considerable collections of 
water, and even large lakes, into which, as they are cleared 
and emptied, portions of the saliferous argile are thrown. 
Boats and radeaux are in use on several of them. 

The dryness generally remarked in this mine, has not es- 
caped the attention of naturalists, but the same phenomenon 
occurs in all salt-mines. It often contrasts, in a striking man- 
ner, with the excessive humidity that pervades works that pass 
through earths of another description, previous to arriving at 
the salt. 

Organic remains have been occasionally discovered in this 
mine. Remnants of cray fish, and the shells called chamites, 
have been found in the heart of the saliferous argile. It is not 
unusual to meet with ammonites, and other marine shells, 
even in the salt itself, and in the argile, petrifications, and pit- 
coal. M. Townson noticed little bivalve shells in the argile 
that incloses the spiza salt. Some have mentioned elephants' 
teeth, and the ossifications of quadrupeds, but these have 
rather been found in the lands, increased by river slime of the 
adjacent plain, than in the saliferous depot. 

It may be further observed, that this mine lies at the foot of 
a great chain of mountains, consisting of free-stone and argile, 
that reach to the Buckawine, and the mountains of Marmaros, 
and that all the depots of salt, and all the salt springs of Galicia 
and Hungary, are exactly in a similar position. 

The greatest depth of the labours in the mine of Villiczka is 
about 960 feet below the surface. The descent into the mine 
is about 150 feet below the level of the sea. 

As to the organic remains peculiar to these mines, they con- 
gist of lignites, or fossile carbonised wood, scattered through 
the salt, and marine shells inclosed in the saliferous argile. 
The fossile wood is so abundant in the spiza salt, that it is 
hardly possible to break off a piece wherein some will not 
appear. Some have nearly passed into a state of jet by trans- 
formation, others are altogether bituminous, and retain their 
figure. There are very large trunks and fragments, as well as 
very thin branches of trees. I have been informed that leaves, 
in the form of cords, have sometimes been found. I observed, 
in the director's collection, a fruit of a round form, of the size 
of a nut, in tolerable preservation. 

This fossile appeared to be of a ligneous description, some- 
thing like the shells of nuts ; but I could not distinguish to 
what- genus of plants it belonged j it had passed into the bitu- 
minous state. 

Journey from Vienna. 93 

What struck me the most in these bituminous lignites, was 
the very strong and nauseating smell which they emitted, not 
a little resembling truffle at the height. This becomes insup- 
portable in a chamber where fresh samples are stored j in the 
mine it is qualified by circumstances, perhaps by the muriatic 
acid. Indeed, it is not easy to discern it there ; the smell that 
is perceptible, resembles what we find in places confined and 
not frequently cleaned. 

Another more remarkable singularity is, that this smell is 
exactly like what some species of the medusa, molluscse, and 
marine animals, thrown up by the waves on the shore, exhale. 
The alcohol, in which these animals are preserved, takes the 
same smell very strong, especially when the decanters are not 
well stopped up. This is the more noticeable, as I have never 
observed any vegetable putrefaction with the like property. 
One instance may form an exception, certain fossile madre- 
pores of Italy, that have been extracted from depots as modern 
as those of Villiczka. 

The shells are found in the saliferous argile, but never in 
the salt itself. The largest that I have seen are bivalves, from 
four to five lines in diameter (a line is the twelfth part of an 
inch). Such as I collected were, apparently, of the genus 
tellines, but they would not bear handling, dissolving instantly 
into dust. Besides the bivalves, the argilous mass contained 
an infinite number of fluted, microscopic univalves, very much 
resembling those found in immense quantities in the fine sands 
of our seas, and in certain marine depots that have not been 
very long discovered, in the environs of Paris. 

Though 1 could find no remains of animals in the pure salt, 
there appears in the king's private cabinet of mineralogy, at 
Paris, a very distinct fragment of madrepore, in a portion of 
salt that looks like the green salt of Villiczka. 

The circumstances above noted, of lignites, or bituminous 
wood, found in large quantities in the mines of Villiczka, with 
the fluted shells, &c. are the more remarkable, as we know of 
nothing similar in other saliferous depots. 

Here, also, I might observe, that in certain mountains to the 
north, on the banks of the Vistula, in the middle regions of 
which are lead mines, are calcareous substances, exactly 
similar to such as appear in the mountain Lime, as it is called, 
of Derbyshire. To which may be added, that all the depots of 
salt, at Villiczka and Bochnia, with all those in Gallicia and 
the Buckawine, as well as in Hungary, are found uniformly in 
one position, i. e. at the foot of athain of mountains. Also, 
that the saliferous depots of Poland are always on the borders 
of plains, and only at the height of about 760 feet above the 

94 M. Beudant's Travels in Hungary. 

level of the sea, while in the depots of the Alps, that are, appa- 
rently, of more ancient formation, they are found at the height 
of 4850 feet above the same level. 

The salt-mine of Bochnia is not above four leagues from that 
of Villiczka ; it exhibits similar characters, and is probably a 
continuation of it. The whole substance of the soil, between 
the two towns, is homogeneous. But at Bochnia we find, 
about the town, and on the very surface of the soil, an argilous 
matter that prognosticates the vicinity of the saliferous argile. 

In some of the neighbouring forests, which are covered with 
vast numbers of sapinettes, a very elegant species of fir, and 
here and there with the thayd, I remarked ant-hills of ex- 
traordinary magnitude; some were not less than ten feet in 
diameter at the base, and in height exceeded my stature. 
They formed hills of small bits of wood, accumulated into a 
congeries. There were many others smaller, but more con- 
siderable than any that we meet with in the woods of France. 
These forests are extremely solitary and of unknown antiquity. 

While in these parts of Poland, I was proceeding one day, 
on a Sunday, to Altsandec, where all the inhabitants, peasants, 
were promenading the village in their best apparel. This 
might be reckoned pretty good, but I never could reconcile 
myself to that singular mode, though almost universal, of 
having the shirt hanging down over a blue culotte, and adjusted 
to the waist by a dark-coloured flannel waistcoat. 

Approaching the frontiers, I found the roads extremely dan- 
gerous, from passing along declivities where are no traces of a 
visible path, and where carriages frightfully incline to a de- 
scent. The inclination sometimes appeared so considerable, 
that I was eager to take the measure of it, but how was I asto- 
nished'to find it, where the descent was most rapid, at not 
more than from twenty to twenty-five degrees. The fact is, 
that our senses misled us frequently in these approximate 
computations ; however, no carriage could travel here with 
security, were the friction less considerable. In France, the 
high roads, where the descent is most rapid, are, by law, re- 
stricted to five degrees inclination. Occasionally, roads of this 
description are met with in Hungary, but mostly in the moun- 
tainous parts; where they are descending, the drivers pass 
without hesitation, though sometimes at the risque of getting 
stuck fast at the bottom. Indeed, throughout Hungary, the 
roads are in general execrable. Horses and carriages drive 
over such points as no one in France would ever think of 

Proceeding towards Lublo, to enter again into Hungary, 
over some hills of moderate height, I found an old castle, (an 


Journey from Vienna. 95 

occurrence pretty frequent) and soon after, at the bottom of a 
valley, had to go through the ruins of a village, destroyed by 
an inundation ; to prevent similar accidents, it was rebuilt on 
the hill. Lublo is a pretty considerable town, and has baths 
in its neighbourhood, of some repute. Unfortunately, I arrived 
on the eve of a great market-day, and the inn, and both public 
and private houses, were full of guests, so that there was no 
possibility of getting a lodging. No doubt my equipage would 
appear singular ; I was taken for a comedian. The inn-keeper 
would gladly have entertained me, when I promised him much 
diversion, but I was obliged to retire and re-pass the river 
Poprad, in quest of a cabaret, where the peasauts.were dancing, 
and they usually continue the sport through the night. I then 
had the bed removed to the coach-house, where I slept quietly ; 
my domestic lay in the pantry, and my coachman on some 
straw in the stable. 

The little town of Bartfeld, where I arrived next, is tolerably 
well built j its situation is pleasant, and it would be an agree- 
able place, were it not encumbered with the ruins of its ram- 
parts, which bear an impression of desolation. It has ranked 
among the royal free towns since 13/6, and has a pretty con- 
siderable trade in wines, wool, and corn, forming an entrepot 
between Hungary and Poland. About half a league north of 
the town are baths of great celebrity, and deservedly so from 
the excellent quality of their acidulous waters. They have 
nothing of that hepatic smell, commonly emitted by similar 
springs in Hungary, nor of that iron taste which is often dis- 
agreeable, though the waters may be very wholesome. They 
are in a situation extremely picturesque, and are the most 
esteemed of any in Hungary, being exported to considerable 
distances, as were formerly the waters of Seltz, till artificial 
means of producing them were discovered. 

On leaving Bartfeld, I descended the valley of Topla, and 
there my coachman contrived to overset the carriage, in as 
good a road as any in Hungary. To enhance my misfortune, 
we plunged into a brook, and my barometer was broke in the 
fall. All the samples that I had been collecting, since my 
departure from Kesmark, were immersed in the water, and 
the sack which contained them rolled also into the stream. I 
had not paper enough to wrap them in a second time, and, to 
remedy these disasters, I was under the necessity of repairing 
toEperies. But misfortunes seldom come alone, and in crossing 
certain hills, over roads which I shall call diabolical, the car- 
riage rolled over a second time, and the coachman, who had 
not learned caution from the first accident, here broke his 
shoulder bone. 

96 M. Beudanfs Travels in Hungary. 

One general remark maybe made here, that the salt-springs 
and saliferotts depots are constantly found conterminal with 
(i. e. more less bordering on) sands, whether of a deep solid 
mass or otherwise, mixed with argilous couches. This remark 
will apply to iEastern Galicia and the Buckawine, taking in the 
depots of Dobroniel, Drohobicz, Lisovice, Delatyn, Kossow, 
Solka, &c. stretching from NW. to SE. and passing on to Boch- 
nia and Villiczka. A similar remark may be made, as applicable, 
in some measure, to the numerous iron mines and works at 
Smolna, Grow, Skole, Myzun, Weldzicz, Rotzniatow, &c. as 
also in the Buckawine, and on the frontiers of Moldavia, these 
are found between the couches of argilous sand and the free- 
stone with calcareous cement. To which may be added, that 
it is especially in the districts occupied by this free-stone and 
argile, that all the salt-springs and saliferous depots, at the 
northern foot of the Carpathians, from Villiczka and Brochnia 
to Portestye in the Buckawine, are found. And further, these 
saliferous depots differ materially from those in all other coun- 
tries, as containing a considerable quantity of organic remains. 
These may be here recapitulated, as consisting generally of 
bivalve shells, that appear to belong to the telline genus, of small 
microscopical, multilocular shells, of the renalite, rotalite, or 
discorbite genera; and lastly, of lignites, in larger or smaller 
pieces, wherein are lodged trunks and branches of trees, inter- 
mingled with fruits and leaves. 



My arrival at Eperies could not repair my disasters, as I had 
no tubes for the barometer in the baggage I had forwarded 
thither, and unluckily, though I ranged about the town, I could 
not find one barometmacher in it. The bad weather, too, pre- 
rented my geological perambulations in the mountains, and M. 
Sennovitz, \he only naturalist I wished to see, being absent, 
I spent my time in promenading the town with my umbrella. 
Judging of it, under such circumstances, Eperies appeared to 
me very large, well built, and, what is not common in Hungary, 
the streets are decently paved, and have rather a neat appear- 
ance. The inhabitants may be rated at from 7 to 8000, con- 
sisting of Germans, Sclavonians, and Hungarians. The first 
are by far the most numerous, and the Hungarians are but few 

Journey from Vienna. 97 

in number. This town was raised to the rank of a royal free 
town towards the end of the fourteenth century, and it is now 
the most considerable of any in the comitat. The other free 
royal towns are Zeben and Bartfeld; the former (Sabino, 
Sclav.) takes its name from Sabina, sister to king Bela III. 
Eperies is surrounded with walls that are in pretty good con- 
dition, but it was often taken by the Polanders, by Ragotzky, 
and others, and suffered much in different wars. It is now one 
of the chief towns of Hungary. Here is a tribunal arid a gar- 
rison ; the trade is pretty considerable, and there are several 
manufactures. The Lutherans have a college here of some 
reputation, and they are very numerous. There is one very 
good inn, but they charged me very high for my entertain- 

The weather clearing up in the afternoon, I walked out of 
the town towards the hill Calvarienberg, on the sides of which 
are several little chapels painted white and red, and a church 
at the top. These different buildings, intermingled with trees, 
present a varied and magnificent scene. 

Among some freestone hills, a little east of the town, are the 
salt-mines of Savar, that have been worked for several cen- 
turies, but were more considerable formerly than at present. 
The salt-springs issue immediately from the freestone, and are 
covered here, as in the plains of Poland, by arenaceous or 
sandy beds, not solid or consistent. It is probable that deeper 
researches would lead to very considerable depots of salt, as 
the geological relations are analogous to those of Villiczka and 

I returned to Eperies with an intention of proceeding to 
Kaschau, and having ordered horses at the post-house, I set 
out in rainy weather. Arriving at Habsany, the first post station, 
meaning to visit a depot of opals, and somewhat in ill humour 
with the weather, fortune befriended me. As chance would 
have it, the office clerk went to consult his master about pro- 
mising me the horses, but he soon returned with an invitation 
to enter the chateau ; here I found, in lieu of an ordinary 
post-master, a gentleman of singular affability, M. Edward 
Bujanovics ; he would have me stay dinner to judge of the 
weather, and promised me the company of the tutor to his 
children, as far as to Cservenitza. The accident of my baro- 
meter was also repaired ; he tendered me one constructed on 
the plan of Reichenbach, that he had purchased at Vienna, 
I took knowledge of the quantity of mercury that it contained, 
should an opportunity offer of comparing it with ano'.her, the 
better to ascertain the correctness of my observations. 

In my route from Habsany to Cservenitza, I first ci.-ssed 


98 M. Beudanfs Travels in Hungary. 

the plains of Hernat and Tarza, consisting of depots of allu- 
vion or of cultivated lands. I then passed over some hills also 
under cultivation, and at length arrived at the opal mines, 
which are at some distance beyond the village of Cservenitza. 

These mines, which constitute the riches and reputation of 
the country, have heen worked for ages ; the labours are very 
considerable. Fichtel reports, from papers in the archives of 
Kaschau, that in the year 1400, three hundred workmen were 
employed in the county of Cservenitza, either in the search of 
opal or in the quicksilver works. It is not very likely that these 
were in regular employment ; they might be peasants of the 
neighbourhood, who anciently enjoyed the privilege of seeking 
for opal wherever they could find it. It was only at a more 
modern period that the labours in quest of this precious stone 
became individual property. The Austrian government had 
possession of it for a certain' time, and then abandoned it. The 
Baron de Brudern has lately obtained some right herein, on 
condition of employing workmen regularly ; till then the works 
had been carried on without any general plan. At the passage 
where I descended thirty men were at work, at the rate of 40 
kreutzer per day, (about 14 Sous of French money.) Two 
comptrollers were here to superintend the men and conduct 
the works, also to see that no labours were carried on in the 
adjacent parts. When at Vienna the Baron de Brudern had 
promised me a letter, but not having seen him since, I should 
have had no little trouble in getting permission to visit the 
works, had I not been accompanied by the governor of the 
children of M. Bujanovics. The comptrollers, however, con- 
ducted me every where with a degree of complaisance, but 
watching my every movement. My object was to examine the 
rock, and to ascertain the variety of opal, the most important 
in respect of science, though of little value in common estima- 
tion, 'f-nv! 

I visited successively the principal mines, commencing with 
the mountain of Dubnick. Here the opal is found in a rough long 
conglomerat, in veins more or less extensive, the opaline mat- 
ter filtrating into fissures which it fills up in whole or in part. 
The most common sorts are the opaque opal, of a yellowish or 
reddish white, and the milky opal, more or less pellucid'; there 
is also thefruar opal, or opal of fire, in pretty good abundance. 

At a little distance is the Pred Branya, south of Dubnick, 
and near that another mine, at the mountain named Libanka. 
It is here that the works have been prosecuted with the greatest 
activity, sometimes in open air, and sometimes by subterra- 
nean excavations. I found much to reprehend in the plan and 
disposition of these labours. 

Journey from Vienna. <) 

. In the above long conglomerats, which are always more or 
less ferrugineous, are veins of a very fine matter, wherein the 
oxyde of iron, or rather the hydrate of iron, is very abundant. 
Sometimes these veins are conjoined with veins of a siliceous 
opaline matter, and the two substances get mixed. From them 
results a true opal jasper, more or less ferrugineous, also opals 
mingled with iron. The finest stones, such as we have in our 
collections, mostly come from a variety of trachytic conglo- 
merat in this mine, as also the opal prisms. In this part the 
labours have been most considerable. Some years ago an 
opal of the finest sort was found, of the size of a small crown 
piece; it was disposed of, according to report, for 30,000 florins, 
or about 79,000 francs. In the conglomerat the opal, for use 
in commerce, is found near the surface, as well as at remote 

The environs of Cservernitza are not the only places of 
these mountains where the opal is found ; there are mines, it 
seems, at Bunita, at Erdoske, and near Sovar, as also towards 
the south, at Herlany, at Kenieneze, &c. In these points, last 
mentioned, large quantities of common opal and of opal jas- 
per are excavated, erroneously designated by the name of pech- 
stein. In former times there were also opal mines at Zaniuto, 
which were rather prohibited than abandoned, and at present 
very fine stones are, occasionally, discovered there. In general, 
opals are extremely abundant in all this trachytic groupe of 
hills, and indices of them unexplored I thought I could dis- 
cern in various points, but none are so beautiful or in such 
abundance as in the environs of Cservenitza and what is 
rather remarkable, a particular character attaches to the con- 
glomerat that contains it. 

After this excursion I returned to Habsany, intending to 
proceed afterwards to Kaschau. M. Bujanovicz had obliging- 
ly provided me a lodging in his house, though he was absent 
from home. The day after my arrival at Kaschau I found my- 
self detained by rainy weather, though I had little occasion to 
prolong my stay. The Abbe Este, professor of physics in the 
university, for whonr 1 had letters of recommendation, was 
going to spend his vacation in little journeys among his friends. 
I had recommendations to several of them, and the Abbe of- 
fering me a seat in his carriage, we so adjusted matters that 
for fifteen days, consecutive, we were frequently together; the 
society of this old gentleman being every way agreeable, and 
his attentions to me unbounded. 

Kaschau (Kassa, Hung. Kossiec, Sclav. Cassovia, Lat.) is the 
principal town of Upper Hungary ; it was founded by certair 
Saxon families that came to settle there in the reign of Geysa II 

100 M. Beudant's Travels in Hungary. 

Here they raised two villages, one of which, the present town, 
was raised to the rank of a free town, by Bela IV. It was then 
surrounded with walls, and became one of the strongest places 
in Hungary. The inhabitants are from 6 to 7000; here is an 
administrative chamber, as also a garrison and a commandant. 
The town is pretty well built, and there are several very neat 
houses, but the way of living is in general simple, and without 
luxury. In the winter, the neighbouring gentry come to re- 
side in it. To these belong certain great hous'es that might 
pass, for hotels in Paris. There are several spacious caseans 
and churches, both catholic and reformed. The principal 
church, built in the fourteenth century, is a very handsome 
structure, of an agreeable Gothic architecture ; it forms the 
most prominent object to shew to strangers. The university 
was founded about the middle of the seventeenth century, by 
the bishop of Erlau, benedict Kisdy ; the reformed have also 
erected a college. In short, Kaschau is one of the first towns 
of Hungary, and has every thing to render it agreeable to a 
stranger; next to Pest, Buda, and Presburg, I would give it 
the preference for a constant residence^ 

The hills about the town are mostly covered with vineyards j 
further on are the mountains of Dargo, all covered with thick 
forests, consisting entirely of oaks. Pursuing this excursion 
to reach Talkebanya, I crossed the plains of Ondava, covered 
with little eminences of a sandy formation, and with few marks 
of cultivation. Further on, from the" summit of some hills 
above Galzecs, the prospect is most beautiful and extensive, 
and the weather being favourable I drew a sketch of it ; the 
forepart exhibits a level country under cultivation ; the first 
hills have, here and there, groves or patches of wood, but all 
the loftier region behind is entirely covered with it. 

Telkcbanya is a village at the foot of the mountains that for- 
merly had mines of gold of some celebrity. 1 found an au- 
berge in it, kept by a jew, who provided me with a very neat 
little chamber, after warranting an assurance that I meant to 
pay him. After that, I had no reason to complain ; I was well 
entertained at a moderate expense, and the next day he took 
care that I should not be overcharged by the guides that I was 
obliged to hire. I must here observe, with regret, that the 
Jewish publicans, against whom I had entertained prejudices, 
were in general far more reasonable, in my dealings with them, 
than others of the catholic faith, who frequently extorted from 
me in a most unehristianlike manner. 

In the evening I had provided a guide to the mines, and 
next morning early we were on our, journey. The country 
was partly covered with vegetation, and partly under cultiva- 

Journey from Vienna. 101 

tion. I observed also large quantities of jasper, and pebbles 
of molar porphyry, more or less siliceous. After three quar- 
ters of an hour's walk, we arrived at the mines, where, my 
visit being short, and the labours having been ill conducted,!, 
could only collect, in general, that the auriferous depot is found 
in the traehytic mass, or more particularly in rocks that strongly 
resemble molar porphyry. 

There were but three or four men at work, employed occa- 
sionally, but from bad management they seemed to be losing 
their time and labour, I may observe here, that the map 
which Fichtel gives of this district, and of the whole tract be- 
tween Eperies and Tokai, is not to be depended upon ; I de- 
tected a number of false positions. I may further remark, 
that the opal of this district (Telkebanya) is in nothing more 
remarkable, than in an exact likeness to that discovered by 
M. Humboldt, at Zimepan, in Mexico ; the geological circum- 
stances are in strict analogy, and the samples from the New 
World, now at Berlin, could not be distinguished from those 
at Telkebanya, if the labels attached to them were lost. 

Passing through a valley covered with a forest of beech and 
oak trees, and afterwards over mountains in horrible roads 
where we were up to the ancles in mud, we arrived at 
Tolcsva, wet to the skin from a heavy rain, and bespattered 
with dirt up to onr ears. We had, indeed, the look of banditti 
rather than of persons used to good company. M. de Szirmay, 
for whom I had letters, was not at home, and the only indi- 
vidual in the house was a girl, to whom my appearance was 
but an indifferent recommendation. She received me after 
some hesitation, when I had explained the particulars, con- 
ducted me into a chamber and made preparations for supper, 
which was as necessary as a lodging. Next morning M. de 
Szirmay arrived, and expressed not a little concern that I had 
intruded myself, as it were, into his house. M. de S. was 
only occasionally at Tolcsva, but he made me promise to 
meet him at Uj Hely, to proceed afterwards to his house near 
Hommona, at the foot of the mountains of Vihorlet, which I 
wanted to explore. 

The town is pretty considerable, and may contain three or 
four thousand souls. The Jews are so numerous, that at first 
they seemed to be the only inhabitants. Out of the town are 
numerous plantations of vineyards, as also caves hollowed out 
in the pouncy conglomerat, 'with stone doors to them ; and 
about a quarter of an hour's walk from the town are extensive 
quarries of mollions, a coarse rough stone used for ordinary 

I then proceeded across the mountains, which are entirely 

102 M. Eeudanfs Travels in Hungary. 

covered with trees, mostly oaks, for the town or village of 
Tallya. I expected to find a road for my carriage, relying on 
the assurance of my conductor. There is, indeed, a road, but 
it is never perhaps frequented, unless by wood-cutters, and it 
was so bad that the horses had to stop every minute to take 
breath, and we were obliged to lay stones under the wheels, 
In descending the road proved much better. 

I passed the night at Tallya, and set out next morning for 
the Sator, the most elevated point in this part of the country. 
From the plateau or little plain, at the summit, there is a very 
beautiful prospect over a great number of towns and villages, 
that, from their contiguity and magnitude, evince the fertility 
of the country. The eye distinctly recognises Tailya, Golop, 
Manok, Megyozzo, Szanto, Varallya, &c., and a number of 
others that are partly hid among trees. The remcjte view is 
terminated by mountains. 

The object of my next journey was Tokaj, or Tokay, a town, 
the name of which is justly celebrated from the wines which 
constitute the riches of this part of Hungary. But for this it 
would not be considerable enough to merit particular attention. 
The place, however, is rather cheerful and gay than otherwise, 
and the Theysse which borders it, by facilitating its commer- 
cial intercourse, produces a degree of activity among its inha- 
bitants. Some of the houses are well built, and there is a 
tolerable auberge ; the inhabitants dso seem comfortable in 
respect of circumstances. The town is not without some re- 
putation among mineralogists, but it is a borrowed one, for the 
substances to which the name of Tokay is given, are found at 
some distance, about other villages and towns that are en- 
titled to notice equally with Tokay. 

The wine, known throughout Europe by this name, is not 
peculiar to the environs of the town, which furnish but a small 
quantity, and that not of the best quality. The vineyards 
which produce this wine, extend over large tracts of country, 
from Szanto to Tokay, on the western declivities of the moun- 
tains, and from Tokay- to Tolcsva, along a semicircle of hills 
that pass by Erdo Benye. The vines are also cultivated on 
the declivities between Tolcsva and Uj Hely, and even on hills 
more remote. The whole territory at the foot and about, the 
high mountains, bears the name of Hegy Allya, denoting the 
lower part or flank of a mountainous region ; hence the wines 
of Tokay are sometimes known by the name of Hegy Allya. 
By mistake, in various French and German works, this last 
name has been assigned to a little chain of mountains between 
Tallya and Tokay, but the mountains of Hegy Allya would then 
signify, literally, mountains at the foot of the mountain. 

Journey from Vienna. 103 

The culture of the vine is attended to with singular care 
through all this extent of country. The grounds for plantation, 
the size of the vine, the requisite labours, the double ploughing 
or digging of the soil, the shelter for the young plants during 
the winter these preparatives are minutely superintended by 
the real owners, with an ardour like that of an amateur, watch- 
ing over rare and delicate plants. Of course the vines exhibit 
an air of symmetry, of neatness and vigour, not usual in ordi- 
nary vineyards. The props are upright and well set, the 
branches tied and bent with judgment, the distances between 
the vines correctly adjusted, and the paths about them well laid 
down to afford a prompt access to them. Men are also ap- 
pointed to guard against damages of any kind, especially to- 
wards the end of the season, when the grapes begin to ripen. 

The vintage is always very late, generally about the end of 
October, as they wait till the grape has attained its greatest 
maturity, and till some parts are half-dried upon the vine. The 
quality of the wiue chiefly depends upon the state of the wea- 
ther in autumn ; the fruit must ripen and grow dry gradually, 
and the warmth or heat must be in proportion to the coolness 
and dews of the nights, and the mists that are then frequent. 
Should one of these circumstances predominate, or premature 
frosts be sensibly felt, the grape would riot arrive at its full 
maturity, and the fairest promise of a good vintage would be 

Other particular and unusual precautions are also adopted. 
AH the grapes thoroughly dried, are laid apart, as also such as 
are merely ripe ; but in both cases the damaged parts are 
thrown away, and the sound fruit only is used, which prevents 
the admission of any improper flavour. Occasionally care is 
taken to keep separate the different varieties, of which there 
are four or five, in the plantations of the Hegy Allya. 

The grapes that are gathered when merely ripe, are trodden 
and pressed apart. From these the ordinary sort is produced, 
which in good years is pretty sweet, very spirituous, and of an 
agreeable flavour, but this wine is consumed in the country 
and has no superior reputation. The wines commonly known 
by the name of Tokay, though in many parts of Europe what 
are sold for such, are either adulterated or fabricated, are pre- 
pared in a peculiar manner. The juice of such grapes as are 
half dried, is mixed with that of the common grapes in greater 
or less quantities; from this mixture, which is very luscious, 
comes a good wine, of which they make two sorts, the Aus- 
bruch and the Maslas, but I could not be present at the vintage 
and distinguish the precise difference between them. 

The half-dried grapes are thrown into a heap, and from 

- 04 M. Beudant's Travels in Hungary. 

their mutual pressure runs a syrup, very thick, extremely sweet 
and aromatic, which is collected with great care. The quantity 
may be augmented a little by pressing the grapes lightly, but 
so as not to bring away any of the pulpous matter, as that 
would tinge the taste of the juice. This juice sometimes takes 
the name of essence, it is mixed, in a certain proportion, with 
the juice of the common grape as it comes from the hogshead, 
before the gross matter is submitted to the press. This mix- 
ture, after fermentation, produces the real ausbruch, a term 
which corresponds to what is called in French mere goutte. 
The maslas is made by mixing the residue of the half-dried 
grapes, after squeezing them harder, to crush the pulp, with 
the common wine, both that which is obtained from treading 
and that which comes from the press. 

The wines that pass under the name of Tokay are very dis- 
similar, and very often the resemblance is merely nominal. I 
have tasted all the different sorts, and among them have found 
some that may be called very bad. Some are of a straw colour, 
with a slight greenish tinge ; in general I consider these as the 
best; others are of a brownish yellow, more or less strongly 
marked. Some are clear, others thick and turbid, but these 
last are often very excellent ; they had, probably, been bottled 
before the sediment had settled. In fact, the wine, as export- 
ed in little barrels, contains a large quantity of mucilaginous 
matter that settles very slowly, so that when it arrives at its 
destination some time must elapse before it will be fit to put 
into bottles. On the mare or gross substance of the grapes, 
it is common to pour a fresh quantity of good wine, which, 
when well shaken, takes a sweet and very agreeable flavour ; 
to this new mixture they also give the name of maslas. 

Wines of the best quality are soon disposed of, with a re- 
serve of some for the domestic consumption of the owners. A 
very large quantity goes into Poland, and there they are found 
to be the best, from the custom of keeping them a length of 
time. The prices vary according to their agej in the district 
of Tokay Proper, good wines of some years standing are at a 
ducat (twelve francs) a bottle, but in Poland they are at two, 
three, or five ducats, as kept longer or shorter. 

A notion generally prevails, at least in France, that the real 
Tokay is only made in places where the imperial family have 

Eossessions, and that it is only from their cellars that it can be 
ad iu perfection. The Hungarians deny this, and allege that 
many land owners have vines of the very best quality. They 
assign the pre-eminence to the environs of Tarezal, and the 
second rank to the canton of Erdo-Benye, where the exposure 
to the sun is peculiarly favourable. This .distinction I have 

Journey from Vienna. 105 

derived from other parts of Hungary, as there was no safe re- 
lying on the pretensions of the two rival cantons. 

The genuine wines of Tokay are supereminently excellent, 
having a particular flavour which I cannot well define, and not 
to be found even in such as come nearest to them. But the 
superiority will not make amends, for the price they are at in 
France, compared with the wines of Frontiniac and Lunel, 
which very strongly resemble them. I have no doubt but that 
equal care in the culture, as to the maturity and desiccation, 
with the precaution of throwing out spoiled grapes, &c. would 
produce wines in Languedoc that might match with those of 
Tokay. The wines that are fabricated with grapes dried artifi- 
cially, are somewhat like the Tokay, and are not seldom sold 
under that name. 

In various other parts of Hungary luscious wines are made 
according to the methods in use at Tokay. Some are white, 
others red, but in general they are of an inferior quality* In- 
deed the wines of Memes, on the frontiers of Transylvania* 
may enter into rivalsbip; it is red, sweet, and very spiritous, 
with the finest and most agreeable flavour imaginable. Several 
prefer it to the wine of Tokay, and I am one of the number 
yet I think it still more unlike Tokay than our best Lunel. 
But whatever its good qualities may be, its reputation falls far 
short of what it deserves the name of Tokay is uppermost in 
the market. 

I shall now resume the course of my mineralogical jour" 
neys. In quitting Tokay 1 returned to Toclsva, to pack up 
my collections, and send them on to Pest. Then, setting out 
from Toclsva for a series of mountains that form the frontiers 
of the Marmoros and the Buckawine, the first part of the 
road lay in a plain, with nothing particularly observable till I 
came to the banks of the Bodrog, which are very agreeable, 
along which we coasted to near Saros Patak, where we turned 
out of the road to visit a mountain, at some distance, famous 
for ita mill-stone quarries. On our arrival, I observed a 
striking similitude, in all the varieties and accidents of geolo-* 
gical circumstances, between these quarries and those of Ko* 
nigsberg and Hlinik. 

,1 then returned to Saros Patak, where I had left my carriage, 
and proceeded in the direction for Uj Heby; on my arrival 1 
found M. de Szirmay waiting for me. I alighted at the house 
of the cornitat, where was an assemblage of persons occasioned 
by a squabble, like what occurs sometimes on the frontiers of 
France and Spain. For a long time, the inhabitants of a tract 
bordering on that of Erdo-Benye, had complained of their 
neighbours for pasturing their cattle on a mountain which be- 


K> M. Beudant's Travels in Hungary. 

longed to them, as they alleged. For this violation of their 
rights, one fine day in the year 1818, they proceeded to bring 
away the whole herd to their own village. Then the inhabitants 
of Benye, with the judge at their head, came, vi et armix, to 
reclaim possession. A bloody contest ensued, wherein several 
individuals were killed, and a" number of women and children 
wounded. The people took back their cattle in triumph, but 
eventually it will prove a serious matter to them and to the 
judge. Here M. de Szirmay presented me to the baron Malony, 
who politely invited me to dinner. 


8 ViRil :( ; rr, -fcv, 


. jrp _ ~ 

I'JEJnT .TOJBWf li y? 

. On quitting Uj Hely I proceeded next for the Udva, near 
Komona, where M. de Szirmay resided occasionally. At La- 
zony 1 stopped a little at the house of M. Paul Szirmay, where 
the Abbe Este met me by appointment. My reception here 
was most agreeable, and I took leave with regret, the next day 
the Abbe Este accompanied me to Udva, and afterwards to 
Munkacs. On the summit of a mountain we passed by the 
old castle of Barks, and found the town of Homona, lying in 
a sort of basin, surrounded with hills of freestone. These 
connect with the mountains that form the boundaries of Hun- 
gary and Galicia. The village of Udva is at a little distance 
among the hills. 

I left Udva early the next morning, on a visit to the moun- 
tains of Vihorlet ; at Dluha I took up M. Alex. Szirmay, who 
would acccompany me in this excursion. Leaving Dluha we came 
to a forge, where men were at work on different minerals, the 
most valuable of which was carbonated iron, from Ostrosznie- 
sa; its colour was a light grey, with a tinge of yellow. Here 
were also minerals from Varano, much mixed with earth, and 
in the middle of them concreted parts of hydrated iron. I 
surveyed the whole establishment, and took notes of the dif- 
ferent minerals that were lying in heaps about it. 

Our course was then directed for the rock of Szinna, which 
may be discerned at a very great distance. Our guides insist- 
ed that it would require tour hours to reach the summit, but 
being inured to the ascent of mountains I judged otherwise; 
in fact, we arrived there in a hour and a half. All these moun- 
tains are covered with thick forests, through which now and 

Journey from Vienna. 107 

then we discerned some slight traces of road. The rock of 
Szintm is an abrupt high and steep precipice, but the ascent 
is pretty easy from a number of 'Steps, though of an irregular 
description. The summit is a little plain, pretty level, com- 
manding a view of the whole country. We descended then in 
quest of a lake at the bottom, on the banks of which, near 
a wood, our attendants lighted a great fire, prepared provi- 
sions, and we encamped for the night. Awaking at intervals, 
I promenaded the little valley adjacent to the lake. In this 
solitary scene my sensations were of a truly singular kind. 
The profound obscurity that pervaded the forests, the expan- 
sive sheet of still water, the stars reflecting a twinkling light 
on its surface, produced a beautiful and affecting scene, gra- 
tifying not only to a, man of taste, but to a philosopher, and 
such as no poetical similes could do justice to. 

The lake is every where surrounded with mountains of some 
height, and it receives all their waters. These have a passage 
through a winding and very narrow valley, with a forge and a 
flood-gate at the end, to regulate the volume of water. The 
sides of the mountains are very steep hereabouts, and it proves 
very fatiguing to scale their summits. They are interrupted 
by a great number of little valleys, through which it is often 
difficult to find the road. 

After this excursion we returned to Dluha, and thence to 
Udva. Next day we set out (the Abbd Este was with me) for 
another excursion on the mountains of Vihorlet. We had 
intended dining at Vinna, but entering the chateau of Ormezo, 
we were so importuned to stop, that we could not resist the 
invitation. Here we found a numerous company, several being 
of the most considerable families in Hungary, and I had the 
pleasure of- being introduced to their acquaintance. The 
society was excellent, and the dinner party very lively and gay; 
we to'ok leave, however, proceeding for Nagy Mihaly. The 
maps which I had of this part of Hungary presented n number 
of hills, but our road lay wholly over a plain. 

At Nagy Mihaly, we alighted at the chateau of Count Albert 
Staray, the exterior of which is in the modern style, with 
every regard to convenience and symmetry. The architect has 
skilfully availed himself of two ancient towers that had a gloomy 
appearance, and uniting them by a portico, with a terrace 
over it, every semblance of antique fortification has disap- 
peared. The interior is also decorated with a display of taste 
and elegance that forms a striking contrast to the simplicity 
that reigns, in general, throughout the dwellings in Hungary. 

From Nagy Mihaly I made an excursion to Vinna, where 
I had the honour of visiting the Countess Wallenstein. The 

108 M. Beudanfs Triiveh in Hungary. 

village lies at the foot of a mountain, and her old castle is 
situated on an isolated point adjacent. It is the fate of tra- 
vellers, and especially of the naturalist, to break off an ac- 
quaintance abruptly, which it would be his highest pleasure 
to cultivate. Setting out early from Vinna, it was evening 
before we reached the residence of Count Barkoczi, at Palocz. 
The country was level, but a marsh intercepted our direct 
route, and we had frequently to wind about it. Next morning 
\ve set out early for Unghvar, but rainy weather coming on, 
the rest of my journey became toilsome. Several excursions 
that I had projected I was obliged to abandon, and to content 
myself with such information as I could collect from different 
quarters. In some of the mountains, in the parts adjacent, 
consisting of trachytic conglomerats, are found the minerals of 
iron, or rather, of silico-ferrugineous matter, in use at Do- 
inorrya, and partly to aid the fusion of other minerals. 

At Munkacs, we alighted at the house of M. Dercseny, 
distinguished by his various scientific researches, and more 
especially by his discovery, in Hungary, of aluniferous or 
alum rocks, exactly resembling those of Tolfa, in the Roman 
states. These, which are in the comitat of Beregh, furnish a 
new and very important branch of industry to the district. 

The country of Munkacs was the cradle of the Magyars, 
where they settled towards the end of the ninth century, 
under their chief, Alom. It is one of the finest and richest 
countries of the kingdom. The town of Munkacs has a me- 
lancholy aspect ; it was formerly surrounded with walls. The 
fortress, which has been notified in history by the wars of 
Tekely and Ragolski, was built in 1360, by Theodore Keriato- 
v'lCSj duke of Munkacs, and enlarged afterwards at different 
times, by the princes of Transylvania, in whose possession if 
long remained. It stands on the summit of an isolated butt, 
in the middle of the plain, and is in very good preservation. 
For some time it has served as a place of custody for state 
prisoners, but had none at the time of my visit. In the inte- 
rior, every thing was extremely neat, but the different parti- 
tions intended for the prisoners, were such as to excite horror. 
The windows are so contrived as to intercept every view of 
the country; the walls are remarkably thick, and pierced ob- 
liquely, so that the day-light can only enter from above. The 
aperture, however, is large enough, thoroughly to lighten a 
little chamber, so that the prisoner may have the benefit of 
reading, or of employing himself in some labour. In one of 
the apartments of the castle, we find portraits of the Ragolski 
family. J know not how far they exhibit a resemblance, but 
they have an ill-looking aspect, and the last chief of the insur- 

Journey from Vienna. 109 

gents, with somewhat of a military air, appears also ungra- 
cious and forbidding, so that I felt no inclination to regret his 
memory. The mantle of this last is preserved in the church 
among the sacerdoial ornaments. 

The aluniferous rocks that formed a principal object of my 
visit to this part of Hungary, are not at Munkacs, but in the 
country of Bereghz Sasz, where they are found in abundance. 
There is only one quarry of alum works at Munkacs, where 
M. Dercseny has introduced the process in use at Tolfa. The 
minerals are so intermingled, that an average product is ob- 
tained in the rate of about twelve for a hundred. They first 
go through an operation by fire, and then are removed to a 
sort of threshing floor, where they are constantly watered to 
reduce them to a paste, and after another operation by hot 
Avater, and evaporation, they are deposited in tubs to let the 
alum crystallise. , . IB . j 

The weather continued unfavourable, but I was under the 
necessity of quitting Munkacs. The Abbfe Este then returned 
to Unghvar, and 1 took the direction for Bereghzasz. In the 
afternoon I reached Bereghzasz, and presented my letters to 
the baron Pereny. Among the adjacent hills I observed a 
great number of vineyards that produced a pretty good wine$ 
the exposure or situation being favourable. bsO'r 

The baron Pereny had sent for the director of the alum 
works at Deda, to accompany rne to Musaj, and we set out 
next morning. At the village we found some alum works, 
and M. Wobry, the director, ordered a young man to attend 
me in my visit. Quarries of mill stones were formerly worked 
here, and are still occasionally, though considered as inferior 
to those of Saros Patak, and Hlinik, but the aluniferous rocks, 
discovered by M. Dercseny, have greatly enhanced the import- 
ance of this whole tract. 

Petrified wood is found here, in the midst of the aluuiferous 
rock. Fragments are found partly in a siliceous state, and 
partly in the state of compact alunite. M. Dercseny shewed 
me some beautiful specimens, and presented me with some, 
the characters of which are strongly marked^ 

A question here arises, whether the facts observed at Mujac 
are analogous, in their circumstances, to those at aluniferous 
depots in other parts of the globe ? Probabilities may be 
founded on the apparent identity of the products, and we may 
adopt one general remark, that when there is an exact con- 
formity between rocks, in a pretty considerable number of 
their samples, it is rare that the same does not exist also in 
the geological relations. But if we compare the products of 
the mountains of Musaj, with those collected at Tolfa, at 

110 M. Beudctnt's Travels in Hungary. 

Piombino, in the islands of the Archipelago, as Milo, Nipp- 
ligo, &c., the resemblance would be so perfect, even in minute 
particulars, that if the samples of the different collections were 
confounded, it would be impossible to point out their local 

As to the alunite, or the substance that, from its intermix- 
ture, furnishes alum by calcination, the samples that I collected 
at Musaj make it appear that it is a very distinct species, to 
be determined by its chymical and crystallographical characters. 


.'* /\f 


-QL'Ofn ufU 2W)u}. >j frtrf}-j*;K i'.jd \ j ; T*g&V'-f ! >ii i W fhf& 
Towards the central part of the principality, in a westerly 
direction, on the groupe of mountains that rise above Carls- 
burg, are a number of mines of salt, and of salt springs. In 
several places the labours are very considerable, the works 
being conducted in large galleries. Such are those of Thorda, 
of Ddes, Kollos, and Szek, also of Viz Akna to the south, in 
the vicinity of Hermanstadt. 

Near to Sibo, on the banks of the Szamos, gypsum is found 
in large quantities, either white or more or less coloured ; or- 
namental articles, of various kinds, are made of it. 

In one part of Transylvania, the country of Kapnik, the 
mountains in the north, arc pronounced, by Fichtel, to be vol- 
canic formations ; but this opinion is inadmissible. The rocks 
which he calls Lavas, are, in reality, porphyric grunsteins. I 
had positive proofs of this, in the collections of M. Schuster, 
at Pest. Near to Fekeleto are mining works, from which are 
produced the red mottled calcairs, known by the name of 
marble of Grosswardein. There are also variously coloured 
marble mines about Belenyes and Vasko, and at Funacza is a 
cavern of'considerable magnitude, wherein the ossified remains 
of quadrupeds have been found. In general, the mines that 
form the riches of Transylvania are found in the porphyric 
grunstein. The mines, in that part called the Banat, are un- 
commonly rich, and particularly in copper, with an intermix- 
ture at times with silver and gold. The superb specimens of 
blue carbonated copper, of Moldava, Oraircza, Dognazka, &c., 
are well known, and are only inferior to those discovered of 
late years, at St. Bel, near Lyons. In these mines also are 
found those beautiful green granets, of which some mineralo- 
gists are for forming a particular species. 

Return to Vienna. Hi 

Such are the general facts that I could collect respecting 
Transylvania ; it is, however, a country abounding in objects 
interesting for a naturalist to visit. 


VIENNA. ,, Ijiifi 

The continuance of rainy weather for eight days together, 
and the very bad roads, rendered my future progress dis- 
couraging. My papers had been frequently wetted, and I was 
unable to preserve what I was collecting, or to make regular 
connected observations. I had intended to cross the moun- 
tains of the Marmaros, but then I should have been under the 
necessity of sleeping in the open air, which then was impracti- 
cable. I determined for Debretzin, and quitting Ardo, began 
to cross the plains of Szaboes. I had been toid of the difficul- 
ties of travelling through districts overspread with marshes, 
but could have formed no idea of the horses being up to the 
belly in mud, and the carriage in danger of sticking fast in it, 
and even of being overturned. To aggravate my misfortunes, 
I could only procure oxen to the first station, and to reach the 
second ; besides oxen, I was obliged to have two Wallachians 
for my guides. This was the first and only time I had to com- 
plain of the Hungarian peasants ; these were ill-looking figures, 
whose dress and appearance prejudiced me against them from 
first setting out. From a negligence which disgusted me, they 
proceeded to ill-humour, and at length grew insolent. I was 
seriously exasperated, frequently threatening them with my 
cane, and with the bastinado on reaching the next station. 
My cool and determined air had its effect, and though we were 
at night-fall in the midst of the marshes, we arrived safe at 
Nagy Kallo. Here the fellows asked my pardon, dreading lest 
I should put my threat in execution. 

At this place I was in danger of starving, as all the provisions 
in the auberge had been consumed, and I had to content myself 
with a small loaf and a glass of bad wine. Nagy Kallo was 
marked on my map as a post establishment, but for six years 
no demand had been made on the post- Blaster, and I was 
obliged to have recourse to the worspan or judge. \ had to 
wait some time, as he could only find oxen, and would hardly 
propose my taking horses extraordinary, that is, paying the 
double station. Assuring him that I would readily do 'this, 

112 M. Beudant's Travels in Hungary, 

and treat him besides with wine, my generosity was not 
thrown away, for, instead of oxen and Wallachians, I had four 
good horses and a well-behaved guide, with whom I advanced 
rapidly to Teglas. 

At Teglas I had a letter for M. De Bek, who happened to 
be absent. I was kindly entertained, however, by madame de 
Bee, with whom I found two French, or rather Belgian young 
ladies, her relations, that agreeably brought my own country 
to recollection. Before dinner I promenaded the gardens, 
and had only one fault to find, their being in a plain perfectly 

Previous to my entering Debretzin, the aspect appeared 
barren and cheerless, and at the return of day, my judgment 
of it was still more unfavourable, as most of the houses have 
but one story, and if two or three, here and there have two 
stories, the buildings, in forming a comparative estimate, 
would be little valued in any other scene. The streets are 
not paved, and already, though the season was not far advanc- 
ed, and the rains had only lasted a few days, it was hardly 
possible to pass from the middle of the street to the houses 
without considerable deviations, to find some fragments of a 

Natron is found in abundance in the environs of Debretzin, 
in a state of solution, among the marshes and lakes that spread 
on all sides of the plain. It is found, more or less, from the 
plains of Szathmar, to those in the comitats of Bacs and 
Pest, also in those of Stuhlweissenburg and CEdenburg, but 
more particularly between Debretzin and Nagy Varad, where 
it has been obtained a long time, from several lakes that get 
dry in summer, the salt then appears on the ground. This 
saline efflorescence, in the middle of summer, looking like heaps 
of snow, has procured them the name of white lakes in 
Hungary. The salt, when taken away, is reproduced every 
three or four hours, and this lasts through the tine season. 
Magazines are formed of it at Debretzin, both for exportation, 
and the manufacture of soap. The annual produce is more 
than 10,000 quintals, and there is no doubt of its being made 
much more considerable, were attention paid to-some very rich 
lakes that are at a greater distance. 

The existence of nitron in the middle of plains, in the waters 
of the lakes and marshes that cover them, is one of the most 
interesting facts in geology, but the least known. It is a phe- 
nomenon not exhibited only in Hungary; it occurs in the 
immense deserts that overspread different parts of our globe* 
From what we know of this mineral production, as discovered 
in Egypt, in Arabia, Persia, the Indies, Thibet, China, Siberia, 

Return to Vienna. { 113 

the plains about the Caspian and Black Seas, in Asia Minor 
and Mexico, it is found every where in analogous relations and 
circumstances. Such are sands mixed with marie and argile ; 
it is accompanied with several other salts, whereof the com- 
mon sort is the most plentiful. There was a succession of 
rainy weather which prevented my researches into other par- 
ticulars, though my curiosity had been ardently excited. 

I spent one entire day in peregrinating the borders of these 
lakes, but the earth was every where a flat surface, and there 
was no ravine, to explore its composition in detail. Thoroughly 
to investigate the phenomenon, it would be requisite to make 
excavations, and examine such as have been made occasionally 
in certain pits or wells. Ruckert, who for a long time was 
employed in extracting the natron, and had leisure to explore 
the soil, states- that the sands are not more than four or five 
feet in thickness, and that they rest on a layer of blue argile, 
and sometimes contain particles of iron in grain. He observ- 
ed waters always lodging in the deeper parts, and therein Is 
contained a great quantity of carbonate of soda, from 50 to 60 
for the hundred, and which crystallises in the cold nights of 

Not being able to remark on the saline efflorescence of the 
soil or surface, where every thing was in a state of re-disso- 
lution, I examined the natron that had been previously col- 
lected. It was mixed with a pretty large quantity of grey ar- 
gilous matter, and contained much muriate of soda, with a cer- 
tain quantity of sulphate. I had afterwards an opportunity of 
seeing some among the peasants in Great Cumania, collected 
in the marshes that border theTheysse, and I noticed the same 
salts, though in a less quantity. The same observation occurred 
in the natron gathered in the plains about the lake of Nieusiedel. 
I conclude that the carbonate of soda is never pure, but that in 
Hungary, as elsewhere, wherever found, it is ever mixed with 
muriate of soda, more or less. 

As to the origin of the natron, we have not data in a suffi- 
cient number to pronounce on it with certainty. We are re- 
duced to speculations which, as being founded on facts, inde- 
pendent of any hypothesis, merit a degree of attention. With 
respect to sub-carbonate of soda, to which Ruckert attributes 
it, by a certain process of nature, this opinion rests on no 
positive observations, as no excavations have been made, pur- 
posely, for the sake of such. Nor is it in analogy with the 
depots of rock-salt, ancient or modern, and the waters of otir 
seas, which deposit salt on the shores, contain no trace ot it. 
In this last case, there does appeal 1 , however, to be a form.a- 
tion of natron, but in very small quantities, which effloresce 


114 M. BeudanCs Travels in Hungary. 

on the surface of the soil, and must be attributed to the de- 
composition of muriate of soda. This takes place in different 
ways, varying only in the promptitude with which the operation 
is performed. Advantage has been taken of it, for the fabriea*- 
tion of the sub-carbonate of artificial soda, and applicable 
successively, to a number of processes, more or less profitable. 

So also it is, in the decomposition of muriate of soda, that 
we are to look for the origin of nation. M. Berthollet accounts 
for the daily formation of this salt, in the valley of natron lakes 
in Egypt, in a probable manner. He imputes it to the reciprocal 
action of muriate of soda, and carbonate of calx, aided by the 
efflorescence, which determines the successive separation of the 
carbonate of soda, and thus allows a continual and indefinite de- 
composition to take place. Ocular inspection will show that the 
lakes contain a great quantity of muriate of soda, lodged in 
a calcareous soil, the rock of which pierces here and there the 
sands which cover it. We meet, likewise, with strata of gypsum, 
which probably accompany the depots of rock-salt, which the 
waters perforate before they enter the lakes. This explication 
very well cigrees with the nation lakes of Hungary, for the richest 
are found in the eastern part of the great plain, at a little dis- 
tance from the calcareous mountains that form the advanced 
posts of the high mountains of Transylvania. In the middle of 
those, or behind them, are considerable masses of salt ; more to 
the west the plain is filled with rough calcareous depots, like 
those in the environs of Paris. The carbonate of calx seems 
very abundant through the whole plain, and forms daily deposits 
of strata, more or less dense, at the bottom of the marshes. 

Every thing indicates that there is much muriate of soda in all 
the plains of Hungary. Most of the saliferous argiles, that I 
have had occasion to observe, as well as the argilous masses on 
the borders of the natron lakes, contain a quantity of carbonate 
of calx, and all are, more or less, sandy. These mixtures natu- 
rally prepare the decomposition of muriate of soda ; one, by 
directly furnishing the substance that is to produce it, and the 
other, by rendering the mass more porous, and thereby facilitating 
the efflorescence of the natron. Jf the decomposition does not 
operate in the mines, it is from a scantier supply of heat and of 
moisture, and especially of fresh air. It is evident, tl;at in tracing 
the course of these plains, where muriate of soda is constantly 
found in the waters, they lead, in an unvarying continuation, to 
the masses of salt that form the object of considerable mineral 

Another salt is also found in the plains of Hungary, more diffi- 
cult still, perhaps, to explain, salt-petre, which is found in very 
large quantities in the plains of Hungary. It effloresces, also, 

lie turn to Vienna. 115 

OR the surface of the earth, in the comitats of Szalhmar, Bihar, 
and others. The labours for collecting it are pretty considerable, 
sufficient to answer the demands of Hungary and Austria. Near 
7000 quintals were taken on the account of Government in 1802, 
but the produce might have been much augmented. 

My next route was from Debretzin to Pest, a journey of four 
days, across the great plain, which constitutes in some measure, 
the centre of the whole country. The superficial extent, from 
the Danube to the mountainous parts, is not less than 40,000 
square leagues. In all this range, the traveller, especially in the 
latter part of the season, might fancy himself in the heart of a 
desert, with no apparent road, and whatever dwellings might be 
traced, would lie scattered, in various directions in the chief towns, 
at vast distances one from another. And what are a great number 
of these habitations ? wretched hovels, built of earth and straw, 
or a sort of rough bricks dried in the sun. Not a tree, not a hill, 
for the eye to repose upon ; and the flat surface, from the effect 
cf refraction, seems every where to rise and fall in gentle slopes. 
At the extremity of the visual horizon one might, in some mear- 
sure, take the height of the stars, as at the horizon of the sea. 
Sensibilityseems to recoil at the idea of such an immense expanse, 
bounds to which (lie eye in vain looks for. A profound silence reign- 
ing throughout the day, it is not without satisfaction, therefore, 
that the traveller, fatigued with so monotonous a tableau, hails 
the approach of night, that will relieve the stretch of vision and 
fancy, by fixing it within the range of his narrower optical sphere, 
Tiie silence is then interrupted by the cries of water-fowl, and 
soon the numerous fires, kindled by the herdsmen, the peasants, 
and by the drivers of carriages, &c. that lodge in the plain, afford 
an aspect more gay and cheerful. Then, indeed, the traveller 
does not appear alone, in a desert. But the fires are often, in 
reality, at very great distances, though to an observer, little used 
to survey objects over so vast and level a superficies, they may 
seem very near. It has been my lot, more than once, to spend 
two hours in a voiture with four horses, to reach one of those 
.fires, that 1 had thought of coming at in ten minutes. This made 
me speculate on the angular distances of the fires, which seemed 
disposed in circles about me, and so near to each other, that the 
parties might easily form an intercourse. Those distances were 
not less than two or three leagues. 

This plain becomes the receptacle of all the waters of the east 
and north ; in general it is extremely humid, and as it every 
where keeps its level, the rivers that traverse it, not being con- 
fined within their banks, render the lands miry, or form impracti- 
cable marshes. The eastern part especially, that is to say, all 
.the plain to the left of the Theysse, exhibits a sort of extensive 

1 16 M. Beudant's Travels in Hungary. 

marsh, from a number of little streams descending from the moun- 
tains of Transylvania, that sllpentine, in a thousand directions, 
and leave stagnant waters on their banks. In this part, however, 
the lands that are under cultivation have been successively gained 
from the marshes ; and the soil, consisting partly of vegetable 
and animal remains, is remarkably fertile, so as to become, in some 
measure, a granary for the rest of the country. The land is black, 
and very dense ; and the cereal plants, (grain generally,) yield 
20 and 30 for 1. This is not the case to the right of the Theysse ; 
in the part of the plain between that river and the Danube, most 
of the lands that are not inundated, produce only heath and 
brambles, and have an aspect of extreme aridity. The plains of 
Kekskemet are covered with white and moveable sands, which 
the winds raise and transport like clouds, to great distances. It 
is certain, however, that a vast extent of meadow and arable 
land, by draining the marshes, on a soil rilled with tine mud and 
organic remains, might be reclaimed with infinite advantage. 

Besides the arable lands, which produce in excessive abun- 
dance corn, maize, millet, &c. ; besides the marshy lands in use 
for the culture of rice ; there are vast pastures in these plains, 
comprehending about 90,000 French acres, where numberless 
herds of horned cattle and horses are fed. Winter and summer 
they remain in the plains, abandoned as it were to chance, but 
t-nti usted to the care of a few herdsmen, each of whom may have 
from 12 to 1500 under his care. In summer the cattle are expo- 
sed to the violent heats that dry up all the plain, and when the 
winter approaches, they have no shelter against rain, cold, and 
tempests ; hence, from accidental circumstances, a great number 
of them sometimes perish. Sad examples are quoted, wherein 
the loss has amounted to 50, 6*0, and 80,000 head of cattle in a 
single night. 

The herdsman, assimilated to the animals that he superintends, 
is in a very little better situation. With no other shelter than his 
bunda, or mantle of sheep-skin, he must also, night and day, 
summer and winter, brave all weathers, not having the resource 
of the mountain shepherds, of digging holes in the sides of the 
hills for shelter, in a rainy season. Hut these guardians, as rude 
and savage as the animals among which they dwell, seem to make 
little account of circumstances that would be intolerable to 
others. Their tanned complexion, mustachios, ill-combed beard, 
hair hanging down, and rustic accoutrements, with a hatchet con- 
stantly in their hands, altogether form figures not very agreeable 
to the eye, and hardly to be surveyed without apprehension. A 
frightful air of filth must be taken into the account, and often a 
nauseating smell of fat, from a custom they have of greasing their 
bodies, and plastering their shirts with grease, to keep them, they 

Return to Vienna. 117 

Say, from vermin, which would otherwise breed, as they some- 
times do not change their linen tillit falls into rags. 

It is, no doubt, owing to the extreme humidity of many parts 
in the plains of Hungary, that the inhabitants rear such a number 
of buffaloes ; we meet with them, sometimes, in considerable 
herds. This animal seems intended for marshy tracts, and proves 
of great use to the peasants, in labours that require draught. 
Two buffaloes will draw a heavy load better than four stout horses, 
and they are easily kept and fed on very indifferent provender. 
Thus, they thrive wonderfully in moist places, where the ox and 
horse could not long be preserved in safety. The buffalo is smaller 
than the ox, and much lower, his hair is of an uncommonly black 
colour. His horns, striated transversely, curved in a semicircle, 
and flattened, are thrown behind, so that the animal has little 
use of them, either for attack or defence. There is something 
hard, rough, and coarse, in his aspect and manner; no care is 
taken to keep him clean, as the creature takes a pleasure in miry 
and marshy waters. He is easily tamed, and does not appear of a 
mischievous character, but is soon irritated, and throws himself 
from one side to the other, if in harness, or escapes into the 
marshes, if at liberty. The milk of the female is full of cream, 
much better tasted than cow's milk, but is yielded in less abun- 
dance. The butter is very good and white, but like grease, and 
not pleasant to the eye. It is usual, in many places, at milking, 
to keep the young buffalo before the mother; but I have often 
seen them stand very quiet, without such precaution, and believe 
they might be trained to it, like cows. It is curious to mark 
them, when again entering the farms and places where they have 
been used to eating and drinking, every movement indicates an 
extravagance of joy, which they express, also, by a low grunting, 
not unlike that of hogs. The buffalo is useful for labour, but 
his flesh is not well tasted, unless very young, and then there is 
something disagreeable. The skin is valuable for different uses, 
and particularly in the works for extracting salt, throughout 
Hungary and Transylvania. The horns are massive, and in great 
request for many purposes, having the preference to those of oxen, 
for durability and beauty. 

In passing over these plains, the eye of the geological traveller 
is wearied with the barren and uninteresting prospect. In a 
space of 100 leagues, he has not seen a pebble larger than a pea, 
and the soil, a perfect level, shews him nothing but siliceous 
sands, more or less micaceous, mixed with argilous and vegetable 
matter. Nor can he have recourse to a ravine, to explore the 
nature and succession of those modern alluvions which have 
equalized the soil, as all the rivers have very low banks, and are 
almost every where surrounded with impracticable marshes. 

118 M. Beudant's Travels in Hungary, 

Having had occasion to mention the notary, I should ohserve 
that the word is not to be taken in the sense we use it in 
France. In the Hungarian villages, they are a sort of mayors, 
employed to execute orders transmitted by the lords, or directly, 
by the comitat ; all ought to know Latin, which is the language of 
office and business throughout Hungary. Their appointment is 
by the lord to whom the village belongs, but the inhabitants of the 
place may depose him and demand another, if his conduct should 
not give satisfaction. Every village has also its judge, but he is 
subordinate to the notary, and, in a variety of cases, must act by 
and with his advice and consent. 

The marshy plains of Hungary, in a zoological point of view, 
must be highly interesting. The number of aquatic and river 
birds is immense, among which there exists species it would be 
difficult to find in the plains of Europe, and especially in France. 
Such, for instance, are the Glareola Austriaca, or ordinary Sea 
Partridge, the Charadrius Asiaticus, or Solitary Plover, found on 
the banks of the salt lakes in Southern Tartary, the Tringa Gre- 
garia, or Social Lapwing, in the plains of the Volga, and a mul- 
titude of other species well deserving of attention, mingled with 
other birds more common. Birds of prey, of every kind, are 
here in immense numbers, some of them weighing from twenty 
to twenty-five pounds. Mammiferous animals, of diminutive size, 
which often occasion much damage, are numerous in the plains, 
and would be interesting as objects of study. And, lastly, in 
these vast marshes I have found testaceous aquatic molluscae of 
every species, genus, and particular variety; to the study of which 
I could have devoted myself with pleasure had time permitted. 
I had collected several varieties that were afterwards lost, andean 
only recommend the assemblage to the notice of future travellers. 

Pest and Buda may be said to form but one city, the two parts 
of which are separated by the Danube. Pest is on the left side of 
the river, at the end of the Great Plain, and Buda, on the right, 
at the summit and on the point of some hills of no great height. 
A bridge of boats maintains a free communication between the 
two towns, during a great part of the year ; but the rapidity of the 
river, from heavy floods at times, interrupts the intercourse. Old 
Buda, which forms a particular precinct, is not properly separated 
from New Buda, and one might pass from one to the other with- 
out perceiving a difference, were it not for a sort of barrier such 
as we meet with between a town and its suburbs. The result of 
this union is a very long street along the Danube, between it and 
the hills that border it ; it requires an hour and a half for a 
pedestrian to proceed from one extremity to the other. 

The present importance of these towns is such that they may 
well be considered as the capital of Hungary. Their height 
above the sca x (according to the mean level of ten years' obscrva- 

Return to Vienna* II 9 

tions, barometrical) at the observatory of Buda, is about 330 feet, 
the barometer being about 250 feet above the river. The popu- 
lation of these towns, including old Buda, may amount to 50 or 
55,000, nearly two-thirds of which are at Pest. It has augment- 
ed considerably during the last fifty years, and every thing announces 
a much greater increase. 

The town of Pest, therefore, is now the most considerable and 
handsomest of Hungary; being pretty near the centre of the 
kingdom, and from its position on the Danube, it has an easy 
communication with Austria and Turkey, and becomes a principal 
entrepot of commerce. This has attracted a number of Germans, 
from all the different states, and every day new sources of indus- 
try are arising that will ere long rank Pest with the greatest 
towns in Europe. New buildings, new works of every descrip- 
tion, appear in all directions, and the improvements are planned 
on a symmetrical scale. A commission of embellishment has 
been established, which obliges the proprietors to build in a man- 
ner more agreeable to the eye ; the results produced excite the 
fairest hopes as to the future, and the town already exhibits a 
great number of elegant and beautiful houses. Their construction 
is simple but in a good taste, and they run in a right line. The 
entrance to the town, on the banks of the Danube, has an im- 
posing effect. As to grand structures there are but few ; the only 
one that can be called magnificent is the hospital for invalids, built 
by Charles VI. and which now serves for a casern. The churches 
are very ancient and have a poor appearance, recalling the bad 
taste of the times. There is one hotel for the exhibition of spec- 
tacles, very large and handsome ; another is building to form an 
national theatre, for Hungarian pieces only, but the subscribers 
are very scanty, as there are but few Hungarians in the town. 
Doubts are entertained whether it will ever be finished, There 
are no public promenades in Pest that can properly be called 
such. Some trees, indeed, have been planted along the Danube, 
and on one of the avenues to the town ; this last will probably 
become a sort of Boulevard, but considerable improvements will 
be requisite to form it into an agreeable retreat. We must go 
half a league out of town ere we arrive at any shade, in a sort of 
promenade, called the Stadwald ; but it is of little notoriety, either 
for extent or respectability. 

In quitting Pest for Buda, we have, on the bridge, a view of 
scenery altogether of the finest order. Water constitutes one of 
its principal features ; the majestic Danube is seen to full advan- 
tage, and the eye enjoys the replication of its course to a con- 
siderable extent. In this part the river is nearly four times the 
breadth of the Seine, at the Garden of Plants in Paris. Its 
islands are covered with verdure, and the mountains in the back- 

120 M* Beudant's Travels in Hungary. 

ground, with their craggy precipices and retired glens, shaded, at 
intervals, by stately foliage, produce an effect truly picturesque. 
To complete the attractions of the spot, Buda presents an amphi- 
theatre of houses that contrast with the rusticity of the other 
scenery, and the palace of the Viceroy, on the summit of the 
hill, fills up a space of ground, insulated from the other buildings. 

In Pest we have the bustle and activity of a commercial town 
compared with it Budha has asequestered character, and with some 
might appear to superabound with solitude. It has no other trade 
than what its daily consumption requires, and throughout the 
fine season the noblesse retire to their estates, when their 
absence leaves a chasm which the other enjoyments of life seem 
unable to supply. In winter the scene changes, cheerfulness 
and vivacity return ; it becomes the festive season of the year, and 
families repair in whole groupes to Buda, where the townsmen may 
welcome them as an annual boon. We then no longer view the 
place through a gloomy medium ; we enjoy the first society, and 
from the diffusion of that wealth which the opulent possess, others 
are enabled to support more comfortable establishments. The 
town is not so extensive as Pest ; its situation on a hill -"-oves an 
insurmountable obstacle to this. It is pretty much in tne same 
situation it was in fifty years ago, but as it was long the residence 
of the kings, and is now of the viceroy or palatine, it becomes of 
course the rendezvous of a part of the noblesse. Indeed, the 
town is very well built, and in a manner far superior to Pest. 
There are many superb hotels, or mansions, that have an air of 
grandeur more easy to conceive than to express, and not be found 
in a mere trading town. Their interior also is very nobly fitted up. 
The palace of the Viceroy, in some measure rebuilt by Maria 
Theresa, is of an immense extent, and being very agreeably 
situated, it is but justice to say that it forms a splendid, and even 
princely residence. 

In Hungary, horses are not harnessed in pairs, but one to draw 
behind another. Three horses will answer the purpose best, so 
that one may be less fatigued than the others. It would even be 
advisable to have one horse running loose along side, each to 
have this indulgence in rotation. 

My first object, after leaving Buda, was to visit certain hills 
on the road to Marton Vasar, which, from their collections of 
calcareous shell-work, more strikingly resemble the quarries 
about Paris, than even those at Pest. The cellars and caves in 
and about the villages, and at Promontorium, have been worked 
in these depdts. 

Among other depots of shells, I visited one on the sides of a. 
height, between Biske and Ober Galla, where the quantity is 
immense. They consist of various genera, but it was not possible 

Return to Vienna. 121 

to characterise them distinctly, as the portions of test which re- 
mained, had passed into the state of spathic calcaire. I remarked, 
in general, however, that these organic remains had no sort of 
analogy to what I may style the Parisian Calcuires of Pest, Pro- 
montorium, &c., and that they much more resemble the cal- 
careous formations of the Jura. 

Throughout this part of the journey, I saw only little low hills, 
though, on the maps, were marked mountains of considerable 
elevation. These hills appeared to me to consist entirely of 
free-stone with lignites ; they were covered with forests of oaks, 
which yielded sustenance to thousands of half- wild hogs, from 
their produce of mast. These animals, throughout Hungary, are 
very small ; they have much more vivacity than those that are 
brought up tame in France, and have even something ferocious 
in their manner. Their hair is black, most commonly frizzled 
on the body, and bristled about the sides. It is not very safe 
being among them wit h dogs, for when they discover one, they 
assemble to a peculiar grunt, and pursue him with the keenest 
antipathy ; if he cannot escape, they will tear him in pieces. 

I next took the road for Veszprim, calling up the people of the 
aubergc rly, according to my custom, and leaving Palota, which 
lies in a plain, I passed by some mountains which I was not 
looking for, my map having marked the spot with marshy plains. 
The town of Veszprim, which my map places in a plain, stands 
on a calcareous plateau of some height, though a number of 
houses, which form a sort of suburbs, stretch along the edge of a 
valley. The descent is considerable, along very bad streets, 
wretchedly paved, and I had no small trouble to advance with 
my carriage, it being market-day, and the whole town thronged 
with people, carts, cattle, &c. But this crowd gave me an 
opportunity of marking the varieties of Hungarians, Croats, 
Slowacks, &c. diverting to one of my taste, and presenting, in a 
lively contrast, various new objects to engage my ideas in con- 
templation. The dress of the women threw around them an air 
of singularity in a mixture of genuine rusticity, and studied 
embellishments, that seemed to bear the semblance of a romantic 
wildness. Red stockings and yellow shoes, petticoats of strong 
blue cloth, red corsets without sleeves, or with sleeves of varying 
colours, a number of ribands, also, of different colours, wi'th a 
very clumsy head-dress these, in correspondence, displayed a 
scene of oddities truly imposing, and such as could not fail to 
interest and amuse. The head-dress appeared to me to consist 
of two neck-handkerchiefs, more or less fine, but sometimes 
coarse enough, one of which, folded like a napkin lengthways, 
rests on the fore-part of the head, one end falling on the nose, 
the other, loose and unfolded, is put behind, and covers the 


122 M. BeudanCK Travels in Hungary. 

shoulders. The former is then tucked up and thrown behind, or 
otherwise wrapped about the head, as we wrap a napkin about 
eggs. The men have mostly round hats, or else, feltcoifs or 
caps ; many had ill-looking hoods of coarse white cloth, and large 
linen pantaloons ; some, rather more elegant, had a culotte of 
strong blue cloth, over which the shirt hung down, with a cloth 
waistcoat of a bluish grey colour. All these accoutrements met 
me in every direction, and my promenade was frequently winding 
into new paths, to enjoy the variegated prospects before me the 
whole, however, accompanied with horrible tintamarre. 

I arrived at Keszthely, at night-fall, and repairing immedi- 
ately to the chateau of Count Festctits, was received with all that 
benevolent philanthropy and tender respect, which form admirable 
traits in the character of an Hungarian gentleman. The count 
sent for the whole of my baggage, which he would not suffer to 
remain at the inn. 

In lieu of making mineralogical excursions about Keszthely, 
I intended visiting the different establishments of rural economy 
which count Festctits had created on his estate. These required 
a particular attention both from the manner in which they are 
conducted, and from their being an inlet for the introduction of 
agriculture into Hungary. This was the first object I was eager 
to explore next morning, and the count and his son accompanied 
me, to detail the particulars. Among these, I was most struck 
with the Georgicon, or school of agriculture, designed to qualify 
young persons for the superintendance and management of estates. 
In Hungary such are called officers of economy. It is intended, 
also, to provide the peasants with such instruction as may make 
them expert in gardening and farming. This establishment is 
maintained entirely by the count, who has endowed it, for the 
purpose, with a considerable farm ; there being different profes- 
sors for different courses of study. These, for such as are to be- 
come officers of economy, include what is necessary in geometry, 
mechanics, the art of drawing, and, more especially, architecture, 
with the designing and construction of plans, &c. In the latter 
part of their time the pupils are practically employed in various 
concerns about the establishment, as keeping accounts, and, alter- 
nately, through a round of other duties. Some part of their 
time is devoted to botany, and to the acquiring of some know- 
ledge in physics and chemistry. On finishing their studies, the 
young persons either return home with certificates of their profi- 
ciency, good behaviour, &c. or are disposed of by the count, on 
his own domains, or transferred to other lords that may stand in 
need of their services. 

The young peasants intended for gardening and farming, are 
taught reading, writing, and accounts ; nor is instruction in reli- 

Return to Fienna. 123 

gious duties neglected. They attend to all such improvements 
in cultivation, generally, as may be suggested in the modes 
of rearing cattle, in models of the different implements for 
plowing, of which there is a complete assortment on the estab- 
lishment. Every department of the school appeared to he well 
adapted and conducted ; what is essential to be known is taught, 
and nothing further. In the gardens are collections of various 
kinds of kitchen vegetables, cereal plants, fruit and timber trees; 
utility being the object to which every thing is directed. There 
is also a small botanical garden. 

The lake Balaton (Flatten Sec. Germ.) is the largest in 
Hungary. Its greatest length, from S.W. to N.E., is about 16 
leagues ; its greatest breadth, which is at its eastern extremity, is 
about three leagues, It grows wider and narrower at various points 
successively, and, at the point of Tihany, is not above half a league 
in breadth. In many parts it is bordered with very extensive 
marshes : the total surface, including the latter, is estimated at 
66 square leagues. The lake is fed by a number of mall streams, 
that descend from the mountains, and especially by the river 
Szala, which rises in the most western part of Hungary, The 
quantity of water supplied by the streams is but small, compared 
with the surface of the lake, and there does not appear to be 
an outlet, unless the little river of Sio be such, which we find in 
the middle of the southern bank. The lake abounds in fishes ; 
the most remarkable, or that which is most in request, is the Fo- 
gacs, a kind of perch, the best eating fresh-water fish that I ever 
tasted. It is highly valued in Hungary and Germany, and occa- 
sionally exported to considerable distances ; according to report, 
it is found only in the lake of Balaton. On the banks which I 
traversed, I observed swans, ducks, drakes, and molluscae, such 
as we have in our ponds. The adjacent marshes swarm with 
water-fowl. The bottom of these marshes is commonly covered 
with turf, of which use would doubtless be made, were wood less 
common. It is in use, however, in several places, and especially 
for various manufactures. It appears that iron, mixed with slime, 
is often found in the marshes. In the country of Balaton, gene- 
rally, there is an ample field for researches to the naturalist, it 
being a most interesting part of Hungary. 

L made but two mineralogical excursions from (Edenburg, 
but I could not refrain from taking a survey of the famous 
chateau of Eszterhazi, which had been much spoken of, as a 
princely and magnificent structure, and which has cost immense 
sums. It is, doubtless, the grandest and most spacious in 
Hungary ; it stands about four leagues east of (Edenburg, on 
the borders of the lake Neusiedel, but the locality, in a flat and 
marshy tract, is not well chosen. The palace itself may be 

124 M. Beudant's Travels in Hungary. 

held up as displaying much stateliness ; I have seen few to 
exceed it. It is exceedingly well built ; the architecture is 
noble, and the various offices are of an elegant and embellish- 
ed description. In these respects it far surpasses the actual 
residence of the prince at Eisentadt. It is also more exten- 
sive, containing 200 chambers completely fitted up ; I counted 
148 window-casements in the principal front, and 200 in the 
garden front, without including a number of pavilions on the 
ground floor. 

We enter the court- yard through an ornamented iron gate, 
not unhandsome, but too small, in comparison with the rest of 
the building. The court yard forms an ellipsis, in one of the 
foci of which, we find a basin of no great magnitude. The 
anterior part is occupied by low buildings, with only a ground 
floor, and which serve for offices and apartments to the stew- 
ard, housekeeper, &c. At the lower end is the chateau or 
mansion ; the middle part forms an elevated structure, with a 
terrace on the top and on the two sides, buildings like wings, 
two stories high, arranged in portions of a circle. An exterior 
escalier, of a congruous and interesting appearance, leads to 
the first story of the middle building. Here is the great saloon 
for receiving company; though in an antique taste, it is scarce- 
ly to be equalled for the ideas of magnificence and beauty which 
it affords. The ceiling is as high as the building itself; the 
paintings are but indifferent ; the flooring is of inlaid work, 
in white and brown colours. We find some very superb 
chandeliers, and over the mantel-piece a time-keeper, small 
and but ill suited to its costly accompaniments; I observed 
others also in the corners of the casements, of a similar de- 
scription. The bed-chambers and smaller apartments on the 
right and left of this vast mansion, contain nothing extraor- 
dinary, and from the contrast, sink in importance and respect- 
ability. On the ground floor are shewn the minor apartments 
of the prince ; the most remarkable is a little saloon, the 
wainscoting of which is a varnish of gilt china, which must 
have cost immense sums, as every piece must have been or- 
dered for the purpose ; but the features which characterise it 
altogether, are far from proving gratifying to the eye. The 
interior of the chateau, .speaking generally, by no means cor- 
responds with the exterior, though the grand saloon may form 
an exception. It is deserted by the family, which may account 
for its being stripped of its best furniture, and for the wains- 
cotings and parquets (floorings) going to decay. A quantity 
of other china is also shewn to strangers, and I saw a number of 
large dishes^ plates, vases, &c., but inferior to the porcelain of 
Sevres. There are some dishes, shut up in coffers, that appear- 

Return to Vienna. 125 

ed to be of European manufacture, but the drawings on them, 
except two little designs of a field of battle, were not com- 
parable to those fabricated at Sevres, Berlin, and Vienna. 
The same magazine contained also a large quantity of grotesque 
china ware, in glaphic talc. 

The gardens and woods behind the chateau have nothing very 
agreeable, as the soil is not well adapted for vegetation. The 
plantations have not been judiciously planned ; they are modelled 
on the antique French taste, but the proportions are ill observed, 
and we have, on the whole, a very ordinary garden, crossed by 
straight alleys. The statues, that formerly were its ornament, 
have been removed to Eisenstadt. 

The chateau of this last is a square building, on which the 
eye reposes with an exhilarating effect, though it does not ex- 
hibit that richness of grandeur which Eszterhazi possesses. It 
was built, in 1683, but fitted up, with a number of additional 
embellishments, especially on the side of the garden, by the 
present prince. The front towards the villas, is ornamented with 
busts of all the ancient kings of Hungary. I noticed these with 
a passing glimpse, but there was nothing in them to draw my 
particular attention. The entrance is through a gate that seems 
too small for the building; then, passing through a vestibule that 
has nothing remarkable, we arrive at a square court, surrounded 
with buildings of some height. The effect of these is rather 
sombrous ; at the opposite extremity we find a little low arched- 
way, which leads to the garden. There the prince has erected, 
in front of the building, a very beautiful perystile, with a gentle 
semicircular descent on each side, for the convenience of car- 
riages arriving at the first story. This is an elegant structure, 
but not in accordance with the rest of the chateau. The gardens 
are in the English style, and there being sheets of water inter- 
spersed, and the ground undulated, I felt the glow of satisfaction 
at the artificial creation, and must acknowledge the sublime 
effect which the scenery produced on my mind. Opposite the 
castle, they were building a kisque, which was to be called the 
Temple of Night ; it is raised over a piece of water, encircled 
with artificial rocks, cut with too much uniformity, and ill suited 
to the taste of a geologian, accustomed to expend time in ex- 
ploring the vast recesses of primitive nature. 

In one part of the garden, on the slope of a hill, are the 
plantations which the prince has constructed, in imitation of 
those of Schronbrunnj they contain an immense collection of 
plants of all countries. I was most struck with the beautiful se- 
ries imported from New Holland. The collections from China 
are not less remarkable ; and, altogether, the botanical establish- 

126 M, Beudant's Travels in Hungary. 

ment may rival that of Schonbrunn, and appears to me to be o. 
the first consideration. 

As to the interior of the chateau, the apartments that I saw 
were very small, dark, and ill fitted up with decorations. In 
general, though it is doubtless a noble structure, in a situation 
very agreeable, with gardens like a paradise, it does not rank so 
high, in the character of a splendid and august edifice, as that 
of Eszterhazi. The principal defect of the latter, is its disad- 
vantageous situation. The chateau of Eisenstadt, from the em- 
bellishments introduced, reminded me of the English country- 
houses, where the manner of building and living was, at once, 
convenient and comfortable, but not well befitting the character 
of magnificent. Many chateaux that I have seen in Germany 
and France, are not so handsome or elegant as this ; which, 
however, is an object by no means so well calculated to fill the 
eye with its grandeur, or to inspire emotions of admiration. 

I entered Vienna again about the middle of November, exceed- 
ingly fatigued with my excursions, after leaving Kesztely, and 
standing greatly in need of repose. After spending a few days 
at Vienna, I prepared for my departure, but winter had already 
set in, and though it was fair weather, the thermometer was ten 
degrees below zero. 

G. SIDNEY, Printer, 
Northumberland Street, Strand.