Pannonian Plain

Pannonian Plain

The Pannonian Plain is a large plain in Central Europe that remained when the Pliocene "Pannonian Sea" dried out. It is a geomorphological subsystem of the Alps-Himalaya system.

The river Danube divides the plain roughly in half. The plain consists mainly of the Great Hungarian Plain (in the south and east) and the Little Hungarian Plain (in the northwest).


Pannonian Plain is part of the somewhat larger geographical area referred to as the "Carpathian Basin" (especially in Hungarian texts) or "Pannonian Basin" (in South Slavic texts).

The name "Pannonian Plain" can also refer to Serbian "Панонска низија," "Panonska nizija," Croatian "Panonska nizina" and Slovenian "Panonska nižina", which are the traditional names for the lowland part of the Pannonian Basin in Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia.

"Pannonian Plain" in some sources is also used as a synonym of the Great Hungarian Plain.


The plain is roughly bounded by the Carpathian mountains, the Alps, the Dinaric Alps and the Balkan mountains.

Although rain is not plentiful, it usually falls when necessary and the plain is a major agricultural area; it is sometimes said that these fields of rich loamy loess soil could feed the whole of Europe. For its early settlers, the plain offered few sources of metals or stone. Thus when archaeologists come upon objects of obsidian or chert, copper or gold, they have almost unparalleled opportunities to interpret ancient pathways of trade.


Pannonian Sea

:"Main article: Pannonian Sea"The precursor to the present plain was a shallow sea that reached its greatest extent during the Pliocene era, when three to four kilometres of sediments were deposited.

History of the plain

The plain was named after the Pannonians, a northern Illyrian tribe. Various different peoples inhabited the plain during its history. In the first century BC, the eastern parts of the plain belonged to the Dacian state, and in the first century AD its western parts were subsumed into the Roman Empire. The Roman province named Pannonia was established in the area, and the city of Sirmium, today Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia, became one of the four capital cities of the Roman Empire in the 3rd century.

In the Age of Migrations and the early Middle Ages, the region belonged to several realms such as the Hun Empire, the Kingdom of the Gepids, the Kingdom of the Ostrogoths, the Kingdom of the Lombards, the Avar Kingdom, the Slavic state of Samo, the Bulgarian Empire, the Frankish Empire, the Great Moravia, the Balaton Principality, the Pannonian Croatia and the Kingdom of Syrmia.

The Kingdom of Hungary established in 1000 by the Magyars was centered around the plain and included almost all of it (as did the former Avar Kingdom as well). After the Battle of Mohács in 1526, the central and eastern parts of the plain were included into the Ottoman Empire, and the remains of the Kingdom of Hungary in the north-west joined the Habsburg Monarchy, where they were called Royal Hungary. The administrative units of the Ottoman Empire organized in the plain were the Eyalet of Budim, the Eyalet of Egri, the Eyalet of Sigetvar, and the Eyalet of Temeşvar. The eastern parts of the plain belonged to semi-independent Principality of Transylvania, which was under Ottoman rule.

The two empires clashed on the Pannonian Plain. At the end of the 17th century the Habsburgs won against the Ottomans, and most of the plain became a Habsburg possession. The administrative units of the Habsburg Monarchy organized in the plain were the Kingdom of Hungary, the Banat of Temeswar, the Military Frontier, the Kingdom of Croatia, the Kingdom of Slavonia and Serbian Voivodship and Tamiš Banat.

The Habsburg Monarchy was subsequently transformed into the Austrian Empire (in 1804) and Austria-Hungary (in 1867). Most of the plain was located within the Hungarian part of Austria-Hungary, since all other Habsburg possessions in the plain were integrated into the Kingdom of Hungary until 1882. The autonomous Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia, which was one of the Lands of the Crown of St. Stephen, comprised the south-western portion of the plain.

Since 1918, the region has been divided among Hungary, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Austria, and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (renamed to Yugoslavia in 1929).


Today the plain is divided among Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine. The "peripannonian" lands are some areas around the Pannonian plain which are not elevated like the surrounding mountains (e.g. Maribor Plain in Slovenia).


The Pannonian plain is divided into two parts along the Transdanubian Medium Mountains (Hungarian: "Dunántúli-középhegység"). The northwestern part is called "Western Pannonian plain" (or "province") and the southeastern part "Eastern Pannonian plain" (or "province"). They comprise the following sections:
*Western Pannonian Plain (province):
**Vienna Basin
**Little Hungarian Plain

*Eastern Pannonian Plain (province):
**Great Hungarian Plain
**Pannonian Island Mountains ( _sr. Panonske ostrvske planine)
**Transdanubian Hills (Hungarian: "Dunántúli-dombság")
**Drava-Mura lowlands

Note: The Transylvanian Plateau and the Lučenec-Košice Depression (both parts of the Carpathians) and some other lowlands are sometimes also considered part of the Pannonian Plain in non-geomorphological or older divisions.


Relatively large or distinctive areas of the plain that do not necessarily correspond to national borders include:

*Bačka/Bácska (Serbia, Hungary)
**Šajkaška (Serbia)
**Telečka (Serbia)
**Gornji Breg (Serbia)
*Banat (Romania, Serbia, Hungary)
**Pančevački Rit (Serbia)
**Veliki Rit (Serbia)
**Gornje Livade (Serbia)
*Baranya/Baranja (Hungary, Croatia)
*Burgenland (Neusiedler Basin), Austria
*Crişana (Romania)
*Jászság (Hungary)
*Kunság (Hungary)
*Little Hungarian Plain (Kisalföld/Malá dunajská kotlina - Hungary, Slovakia)
*Mačva (Serbia)
*Međimurje (Croatia)
*Moravia (part), Czech Republic
*Moslavina (Croatia)
*Podravina (Croatia, Hungary, around Drava river)
*Podunavlje (Serbia, Croatia, around Danube river)
*Pokuplje (Croatia, around Kupa river)
*Pomoravlje (part), Serbia, around Morava river
*Pomorišje (Romania, Hungary, Serbia, around Mureş river)
*Posavina (Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, around Sava river)
*Potisje (Serbia, around Tisa river)
*Prekmurje (Slovenia)
*Semberija (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
*Slavonia (Croatia)
**Palača (Croatia)
*Srem/Srijem (Serbia, Croatia)
**Podlužje (Serbia)
**Šokadija (Croatia)
**Spačva (Croatia)
*Transdanubia (Hungary)
*Vienna Basin (part), Austria
*Vojvodina (Serbia)
*"several more inside Hungary, see: Counties of Hungary, Regions of Hungary"
*"several more inside Slovakia, see: Traditional regions of Slovakia, Regions of Slovakia"

External links

* [ Körös Regional Archaeological Project] : Neolithic and Copper Age archaeology in the Pannonian plain

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