We have visited Budapest
We were here in this fantastic city in the summer of 2005. We focused on two important items when planning the holiday. Beside spending our vacation in a city we wanted to enjoy a thermal-water holiday. Budapest is an absolutely perfect solution!
Budapest is the capital of Hungary or as it is often referred to “the Paris of the East”. The city can be found on the two sides of the Danube and was born in 1873 when the two cities of Buda and Pest were united. The green hills and historical monuments of Buda offer plenty of sites to visit. Constructions on the Buda Castle begun in 1243. Because of the several attacks through out history, it gained its present appearance after several re-buildings and additions, preserving the stamps of the renaissance era beside the distinctive marks of the gothic style. The Palace of the Buda Castle is the most visited attraction of the tourists visiting Hungary, which gives place for the Hungarian Historical Museum, the Hungarian National Gallery and the National (Széchenyi) Library. The walls surrounding the castle gives place to the Castle Town, where the population moved seeking protection from the attacks of the Mongols and from the following attacks throughout history. The Castle District today is a little city with a great ambient full of tales of the past, a real tourist paradise. The center of it is Trinity Square with the baroque style Statue of Trinity. One can also find here the Mathias Church (its original name is Nagyboldogasszony-főtemplom), the Fishermen’s Bastion, and the Incline Railway. The Buda Castle is a part of the World Heritage. Besides these attractions the Castle District offers a lively atmosphere with its continuous programs, intimate restaurants, coffee shops, marketplaces and a casino.
The jewel of Buda is the 235 m high Gellért Mountain. According to the old myths it was a homestead for witches. It was named after Gellért Bishop who was forced into a barrel and thrown down from the top. His statue can be found on the side looking at the Danube above the waterfall. The Citadel was built on the top of the mountain and its terraces offer a beautiful vista of Budapest. That is where a woman representing the Statue of Liberty stands, which was raised in 1947 as a memorial for the downfall of Nazism.
Before we turn to the Pest side, it is important to mention that today the two parts of the city are connected by nine bridges. Among these we can find some real spectacles. A lot of people’s favorite is the Chain Bridge. Its building was started in 1842 on István Széchenyi’s proposal. Its name was inspired by the iron chains that are holding the tracks. These are held by two classicist style pillars. The bridge’s entrances are guarded by four lions design by the sculptor, János Marschalkó. According to popular belief the tongues of these lions are missing. However they are there. But one has to have the courage to look inside the mouth of the lions from the top. The view of the bridge is breathtaking in the night when it is all lit up.
Pest is located on flat land. This is the centre of Hungary’s business and political life. Nevertheless it is not short in historical sights either.
Not far away from the parliament, the shore of the Danube offers excellent entertainment for the promenaders. From its pedestrianized street we can take pleasure in the smiling face of Buda, we can refresh ourselves in one of its many coffee shops and restaurants with a drink or a meal. Váci street can be also found here, which is always visited by every tourist, which with its newly renovated section leads as far as the building of the Marketplace. Váci streets and its surrounding streets are the main shopping area, where a lot of high-end shops, restaurants and coffee shops are located. Everybody will have a good time here among its colorful swirl and friendly buildings.
As we continue our tour of the Pest side, we have to stop and admire the St. Stephen’s Cathedral. It is Budapest biggest church as it is able to hold 8500 people at one time. Hungary’s first king’s, St. Stephen’s right hand is treasured here, the St. Right. The building started on 4 October, 1851 and it was designed by Miklós Ybl. However in 1868 the dome collapsed. Miklós Ybl led the construction until his seath, so the finishing touches and the inside were done by József Kauser. Renovations, which took 20 years were just finished. According to most its more beatiful then ever. The attractive dome is 96 meters high and the visitors can walk around it and can look down on the city from 65 meters high. We can find the pictures and sculptures of Hungary’s best artists from Árpád Feszty, Gyula Benczúr, János Fadrusz, Alajos Stróbl and so on.
Just a few steps away from the Cathedral is the starting point of Budapest most beautiful avenue, the Andrássy road, which after running across the city finishes in the Heroes Square. This graceful avenue is part of the World Heritage and a lot of Budapest’s sights, cultural institutions, entertainment places and cozy coffee shops can be found on and around it.
Heroes Square is the biggest square of the country and it might be even the most beautiful. Looking at it from the Andrássy road, the ”arms” of the Millennium Memorial welcome us. On the monument important historical figures remind us to the 1000 years old history of Hungary. On its top, at 36 meters high the figure of Archangel Gabriel can be seen, who appearing in King Stephens dream, brought him the crown. At the bottom of the statue stand the seven chiefs, who led the nomad Hungarians home and on statues along the two sides the nation’s favorite kings and emperors can be found. On the two sides of the square, facing each other stand two of Budapest most important museums, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Arts Museum. The Heroes Square holds together the Andrássy road and the City Park.
I could continue listing the sights and curiosities but I let you do the discovery.