Hortobágy is both the name of a village in Hajdú-Bihar county and an 800 km² national park in Eastern Hungary, rich with folklore and cultural history. The park, a part of the Alföld (Great Plain), was designated as a national park in 1973 (the first in Hungary), and elected among the World Heritage sites in 1999. The Hortobágy is Hungary’s largest protected area, and the largest natural grassland in Europe.
Hortobágy is a steppe, a grassy plain with cattle, sheep, oxen, and horses, tended by herdsmen, and it provides habitat for various different species (342 bird species have been documented, including the Common Crane, Dotterel, Stone Curlew and Great Bustard). One of its most iconic sites is the Nine-holed Bridge. Traditional T-shaped sweep wells dot the landscape, as well as the occasional mirage of trees shimmering in the reflected heat of the Puszta.