István Maróthy in Persepolis

Persepolis is one of the most popular tourist sights in Iran, the loss of the once prosperous city was caused by the conquests of Alexander the Great. Its name means “Persian”. The city has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979, thanks to its unique architectural monuments. One of the city’s most prominent buildings is the palace of King Darius I. There is an engraving of István Maróthy on one of the western windows of the palace.

István Maróthy’s engraving was discovered by Ármin Vámbéry on the side of the palace. Maróthy visited the ruins of the city in 1838/39 and wrote his name on the palace wall. István Maróthy was born in Szeged in 1799, where he studied medicine, but also paid special attention to language learning. By the end of his studies, he was fluent in Turkish, Persian and Greek. During his first trip he established a medical institute in Constantinople, which was even visited by the Sultan himself.

He came to Persepolis as a doctor of the Persian army when he was in the Persian Shah’ s service with the army during the Afghan campaign, when he was the chief medical officer of the army. The first listed Hungarian traveler to arrive in Persepolis, and this is also evidenced by the material memory. Finally, due to his illness, he had to return to his home country, where he died in 1845.

Ármin Vámbéry discovery of Xiva

Xiva is a small town in western Uzbekistan. It has been a World Heritage Site since 1991 with its stunning buildings. The city was founded in the 6th century BC, but the town and its surroundings remained hidden for a long time for European travelers.

Few would think that the “discovery”; of the city was related to a Hungarian. Ármin Vámbéry arrived here in 1863 and explored the city and its surroundings during an expedition to the east. Vámbéry made the first description, which is still used by researchers and scientists working in the area.

The memorial plaque commemorating the expedition and Vámbéry on Xiva’s main square commemorates a Hungarian researcher. Vámbéry was born in 1832 in Szentgyörgy, Hungary, one of the most prominent orientalists and oriental researchers. After graduating from Piarist High School, he continued his studies in Sopron and Bratislava, and by the age of 20 he spoke more than 8 languages. After completing his studies, he first arrived in Istanbul in 1857, where his first work, a German-Turkish dictionary, was published. From 1860 he was a correspondent member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and a year later, with the support of the Academy, set out on his eastern journey to search for traces of Hungarians.

During his trip, he explored several settlements in that is now Uzbekistan that were unknown to Europeans. He returned to Hungary in 1865, where he became a lecturer at the Budapest University, where he established the world's first department of turcology. On his eastern journey, he reached the ruin town of Persepolis, where, to this day, the name of the palace and the inscription: "long live the Hungarians" are on the wall of the palace.