In southwestern Hungary, you will find the fertile Mecsek Hills; Pécs is the major city of this hilly region. Pécs has been named a European Capital of Culture for 2010, when the spotlight will be on highlighting its history and cultural life. On the other side of the Danube to the south and east, lies the mainly agricultural region of the Alföld (Great Plain), which begins not far outside of Budapest. This is the farmland of wheat and orchards -- a broad, bleak, yet dramatic land mass that covers almost half the country. It is similar to the great prairies of the U.S. The last remains of the Puszta are in this region, where Hungarian folk legends have sprung from, and the land of the Hungarian cowboys or csikós. This is also the home of the famous Nonius horse, a powerful equine breed developed in Hungary in the 19th century, which won the title "Ideal Horse" at the Paris world exhibition in 1900. The main cities here are Kecskemét and Szeged. The Great Plain comprises approximately 51,800 sq. km (20,000 sq. miles).
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