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Szolnok (Hungarian pronunciation: [ˈsolnok]) is the county seat of Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok county in central Hungary. Its location on the banks of the Tisza river, at the heart of the Great Hungarian Plain, has made it an important cultural and economic crossroads for centuries.

Name and etymology

Szolnok was named for the first steward of the city, Szaunik or Zounok. The town was first officially mentioned under the name Zounok in 1075. In the following centuries, it was recorded as Zounok, Saunic, Zounuc, and Zawnuch. The variety of spellings likely comes from phonetic discrepancies occurring when Hungarian sounds - originally written in runic Old Hungarian script - were recorded using the Latin alphabet. Another possibility revolves around speculation that the name Szaunik was not a personal name after all, but rather a title relating to the significant salt trade (salt, Hungarian: ) in the area.

In most other languages, the city's Hungarian name is used without derivation (for example French: Szolnok, Spanish: Szolnok). The city has its own name in a few languages (for example German: Sollnock or Zolnock, Romanian: Solnoca, Russian: Сольнок), deriving from these languages' historical relationship to the city.

Location and physical geography

Szolnok is located in the heart of the Great Hungarian Plain, at the confluence of the Tisza and Zagyva rivers. It lies about 100 kilometres (62 miles) east-southeast from Budapest. The climate of the area is continental, with hot summers following relatively mild winters. The region is one of the sunniest in Europe; the average precipitation is about 490 millimetres (19 in) annually.[2]

Climate

Szolnok has a humid continental climate (Dfb).[3]