Under the Spell of Distant Landscapes: On the Lives and Work of a Few Famous Hungarian Travellers and Explorers after 1945 – an Introduction to the Topic for English-Speaking Readers


All travellers and explorers have always had the desire and the ambition to discover, for different reasons and motivations, remote and unknown lands. Hungarian travellers and explorers are no exception here. Eminent Hungarian Orientalists, archaeologists, geographers, as well as anthropologists, geologists, zoologists and botanists, and other brave and adventurous scientists, have become justly recognised in recent centuries, even worldwide, for their oeuvres and their scientific achievements.

After 1945, travel opportunities in socialist Hungary became more limited, and Hungarian scientists and researchers could embark on their expeditions only with great difficulty, overcoming many obstacles and with scarce financial resources.

In this study, I introduce five such brave and determined Hungarian travellers: Dénes Balázs: geographer and karst researcher, János Balogh: biologist, ecologist and professor, Steve Bezuk: engineer and extreme sportsman, who lived in the United States, Ödön Jakabos: Transylvanian writer and “Székely pilgrim”, and finally, Tibor Székely: travel writer, museologist and Esperantist from Vojvodina.

They all – through their individual scientific achievements, discoveries, perseverance and human attitude – have become worthy heirs of the outstanding Hungarian explorers and travellers of the past centuries.

see the article on the SHS website