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The participants of this year's Budapest Fellowship Program visited the Tokaj-Hegyalja wine region on 22-23 September. In addition to Bodrogkeresztúr, Sárospatak and Mád, the researchers also visited Hercegkút to gain insights into the Swabian culture, the history of the settlement and the wider Swabian community, and their relationship to the Catholic faith.

„Hercegkút epitomizes a Hungarian phenomenon which I find wonderful; the extreme remembrance of history. The history of the town is deliberately woven into its contemporary landscape and in this way, its citizens understand where they come from, the good and the bad.”- Bence Szechenyi, Budapest Fellow

The participants were shown around the Swabian country house, the church, the school, the kindergarten and the memorial to the deportees, and visited an exhibition in honour of the sculptor János Götz.

„The Tokaj region is a hidden gem of Europe, offering both some of the best of Hungary’s wine culture along with a well-preserved history that tells the story of the people who developed it. The iconic wine cellars of Tokaj are an experience to be remembered, demonstrating the endurance of the region’s heritage through time”- Logan West, Budapest Fellow

The tour, rich in historical details, was followed by good-humoured and meaningful discussions at the Naaár and Götz wine cellars, where Ferenc Naár and Ildikó Götz introduced the participants to their family wineries, telling them about the role of the winery in the economic life of the area, the development of the World Heritage cellars and, of course wine tasting was in order as well.

„While many international tourists never venture beyond Budapest, I find that experiencing the countryside is essential to understanding Hungary. Our trip to the village of Hercegkút showcased many of the things that make Hungarians most proud of their nation: steadfastness in the face of historical tragedy, insistence on preserving cultural traditions, charming rural landscapes, excellent wine culture, and delicious dishes like stuffed cabbage and chicken paprikas.” – Luke Larson, Budapest Fellow

The Hungary Foundation (HF) and Mathias Corvinus Collegium (MCC) launched the Budapest Fellowship Program in 2020, which provides a unique opportunity for American professionals to get to know Hungary and Central Europe better. During the 10-month program, participants will gain a deeper understanding of the Hungarian language, culture and history, which is essential for a realistic and objective presentation of our country