Alföld ôl´föld [key], Hun. Nagy-Alföld [Great Alföld], great central plain of Hungary extending into Serbia and W Romania. The level region is drained by the Tisza and Danube rivers. Formerly wooded, the Alföld gradually became a steppe region as the Magyar and then the Mongol invaders (13th cent.) cut down many trees, exposing the soil to dry winds. Grasslands covered most of the Alföld until the late 19th cent., when extensive irrigation and drainage projects transformed parts of it into fertile farmland; grains, vegetables, feed crops, and livestock are now raised. The Alföld, on a primary invasion route to Europe, has been the scene of many major battles. The Little Alföld (Hun. Kis-Alföld) is located in NW Hungary and extends into S Slovakia and Austria.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Hungarian Political Geography