Hungarian Turul

National Animal of Hungary: The Symbol of a Country!

Do you love Hungary and want to know more about the national animal of Hungary?

This post is one in a series that I really started to enjoy writing about. Why? Because countries all over the world pick symbols that mean a lot to their people and showcase history as well as culture. So, what about the national animal of Hungary as a symbol?

National animals often have a special place among these symbols because they tell fascinating stories about legends, resilience, and identity.

Hungary, which has a lot of history and culture, is a great example. Its national animal, a beautiful and mythical bird, is more than just a living thing. It’s really a symbol of the country’s soul.

Let’s dive in!

What is the national animal of Hungary?

The answer to this question is the Turul! It’s a mythical bird that is a big part of Hungary’s past and folklore, and is its national animal. The Turul is a very important part of Hungarian culture. It’s basically a big falcon or hawk.

If you’re into history, you’ll probably love the story behind this animal. The Turul was said to have been sent by the gods to help the Magyar people find their way to the Carpathian Basin, which is now Hungary.

National animal of Hungary - The Turul in Tatabanya
The Turul in Tatabanya

This powerful bird has often been used in heraldry and other national symbols because it stands for power, strength, and freedom.

And what makes it so important you might think? Well, its appearance in many monuments and old books shows how important it is not only as a national symbol but also as a keeper of Hungarian identity and history!

Through the Turul, Hungarians are reminded of their ancient roots, their journey as a people, and how God has led them through the ages.

What are the sacred animals of Hungary?

I love the fact that Hungary has a lot of myths, tales, and a long history. Because of this, there are a lot of animals that people love and respect.

Not only are these animals important in terms of biological diversity (a hot topic nowadays), but they are also important in a spiritual and symbolic way. Let’s dive in to the meaning of a few of these sacred animals:

  • The Turul:

As said, the Turul is a mythical bird that looks a lot like a large hawk or falcon. This magnificent animal is often shown with its wings spread wide, ready to take off into the sky.

But the Turul is more than just a bird. It has a strong place in Hungarian culture. It’s thought to have been a key part of the foundation the Hungarian nation!

national animal of Hungary - The impressive Turul
The impressive Turul

Legends say that the Turul came to the Hungarian queen Emese in her dreams to tell her that her son lmos, the founder of the Hungarian people, was going to be born.

So, the bird stands for leadership, direction, and the spiritual link between gods and people. You can see it as the guardian angel that keeps the Hungarian people safe.

  • The Stag:

The stag is an important figure in many cultures, and Hungary is no exception. The stag’s majestic antlers and royal appearance make it a very important figure.

Especially in Hungarian folklore, the stag is a very important animal. One story says that Hunor and Magor, the sons of the Bible’s King Nimrod, chased a golden stag through the woods of the Scythian wilderness.

The stag in the wild
The stag in the wild

This chase led them to new lands, where they settled. Their offspring became the Huns and Magyars (Hungarians). So, the stag is a sign of exploring, traveling, and the close relationship between Hungarians and nature. Another cool story, right?

  • The Horse:

I can be wrong but I believe that the horse is loved by many because of its beauty, strength, and endurance. Even more important is what the horse means to the Hungarians.

In the past, the hills of Hungary were perfect for horse-riding tribes, which led to the development of a strong horse culture. Europe looked up to Hungarian riders because they were the best at riding and fighting on horses!

Horses and rider in Hungary
Horses and rider in Hungary

In Hungarian culture, the horse is a symbol of freedom, nobility, and the never-ending spirit of the nomads who once roamed its fields.

  • The Grey Cattle:

This breed of cattle with long horns is also native to Hungary. They are easy to spot because they have long, sweeping horns and a calm, relaxed look.

The Grey Cattle is a link to Hungary’s past as a rural and agricultural country. They show that the country has always had a strong connection to agriculture and that the Hungarian people are deeply connected to their (farm)land.

The cattle represent food, traditions, and the country’s desire to protect its natural and cultural history.

The Grey Cattle in action
The Grey Cattle in action

So you could say that these sacred animals not only represent the natural beauty of Hungary, but also the Hungarian people’s spirit, mythology, and long history.

National Animal of Hungary: FAQs

The information below relates to the national animal of Hungary and will give you greater insights about the amazing country of Hungary!

Which large predatory animals are native to Hungary?

Hungary’s large and diverse lands are home to many different types of predators, including:

  • The Lynx: This is a mysterious and beautiful cat that you’ll find in the woods of Hungary. It has tufted ears and a spotted coat. They are a sign of how wild and beautiful the country is.
National animal of Hungary - The Lynx in Hungary
The Lynx
  • The European Brown Bear: This is a very strong animal that was once free to roam throughout Hungary. It is a sign of strength and resilience.

    They are seen less often today, but they are still a beautiful part of the country’s wilderness if you ask me. They usually cross the border from Slovakia.
National animal of Hungary - The European Brown Bear in Hungary
The European Brown Bear
  • The Wolf: The wolf is also an animal you could meet while wondering through the country. It’s a symbol of freedom and wilderness, and the fact that it lives in Hungary again shows what a rich wildlife it has.
National animal of Hungary - The Wolf in Hungary
The Wolf in Hungary

When you go for a stroll through the Hungarian wilderness, just keep in mind that you could come across these predators. But this shouldn’t hold you back when it comes to exploring Hungary.

National symbols of Hungary

Besides the national animal of Hungary, this country has some more interesting national symbols:

  • The Holy Crown: This isn’t just a cool gem, it’s also a family heirloom. The Holy Crown of Hungary has been around for a thousand years and has seen many kings and queens come and go.
  • The Hungarian Coat of Arms: This symbol, with its intriguing design and duality, shows how the country’s past is made up of both hard times and good times.
  • The Hungarian Flag: With its red, white, and green lines, the flag tells every Hungarian a story of bravery, purity, and hope.

Motto of Hungary

And besides all the national symbols, you might wonder about the motto of the Hungarian people and see whether it can be linked back to its symbols!

So, the motto of the country is Cum Deo Pro Patria et Libertate, which means With God’s help for Homeland and Freedom. I feel like this is a pretty strong motto to have as country.

It shows that the people of Hungary have always had hope, strength, and a strong desire for freedom. For me, this motto definitely relates to Hungary’s national symbols. Do you agree?

Hungarian Tours

If you’re in Hungary (or planning to go to Hungary) and want to see some of the animals above, I can recommend some great tours below!

You can book your desired tour by clicking on one of the links below:

1-Hour Horseback Riding in the Hungarian Puszta!

2-Hour Horseback Riding in the Hungarian Puszta!

Bear and Wolf Sanctuary Tour!

By doing one of these tours, your trip to Hungary will really be a different experience than the usual sightseeings!

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    The Wrap-Up: National Animal of Hungary

    You now know that the Turul is the national animal of Hungary! With its impressive mythical wings spread out, the Turul stands for Hungarian hope and dreams.

    But throughout this post, the mix of symbols, from the holy stag to the intriguing Holy Crown, has shown you a Hungary full of stories and traditions.

    Each emblem, animal, and its motto tells a part of the long-lasting story of the Hungarian spirit! I personally really love it it sheds a different light on this country. Next time when you visit Hungary, keep this in mind.

    In case you might be interested in this specific topic, check out my other posts about the national animal of Poland and the national animal of Croatia!

    And if you fell in love with the country and are looking for a new adventure, you can check out my post about the best places to live in Hungary.

    And are you curious about the language in Hungary? Check out my post about what language do they speak in Hungary?!

    Your restless voyager,


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