Friday 7 September 2018

Hungary: Getting To Know Budapest

Travelling in Eastern Europe, I moved from country to country visiting one city after another. They are all so unbelievably stunning I can only envy those who are able to call these beautiful cities "home". Blessed indeed are those who live in this region as they have inherited such priceless legacy from their forefathers who toiled to build so many majestic, intricate, imposing and magnificent structures in their land. Budapest is no exception. It is a city endowed with an abundance of phenomenal sights so much so it has been nominated by many as one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

Budapest, the capital and the most populous city of Hungary is the only city in Hungary that I visited. This city is built around Danube River which happens to be the second longest river in Europe snaking 2860 km across 9 countries. The city is divided into 2 parts. Towards the west of the river is the district of Buda and towards the east, the district of Pest. In 1873 these two districts which were formerly cities were yoked together to form a single city called Budapest. That's a pretty cool story on how Budapest got its name.  

While Buda is located on a hilly terrain Pest lies on a plain. These two parts are separated but connected by a series of bridges crossing River Danube. This topography works out to be an attribute of a charming landscape the best of which can be seen from the hills of Buda and from a boat cruise along the river.

Budapest boasts of many UNESCO World Heritage Sites and though it may take days to explore all of it I managed to cover a fair bit in a short stint.

Glimpses Of The City
My first memory of Budapest is Széchenyi Chain Bridge (Lánchíd) which spans the Danube River. This historic bridge links Clark Ádám tér in Buda and Roosevelt tér in Pest and is the first bridge in Budapest built to link the two parts of the city. When it was first constructed (in 1849) it was  considered to be one of the wonders of the world. It was described as "the road which hangs on iron chains", hence its name. 

Chain Bridge is still spectacular and beautiful despite its age. It is one of the sites listed in UNESCO World Heritage list.

Any random building you look at may awe you as they look like architectural masterpieces. Just as you think "this" is a beautiful one, you'll soon be saying "wow" to another one. The whole city is filled with intricately designed classic buildings, many of which have entered the UNESCO World Heritage List. 

Beautiful buildings, pretty parks, thought evoking monuments and statues... there're lots to see in Budapest.

Trinity Square & Matthias Church
Trinity Square forms the heart of Buda's Castle District and is the most popular tourist destination in Budapest.  At its center stands Trinity column (Szentháromság oszlop), a large column that was built between 1710 and 1713 to commemorate the end of a deadly plague. The sculpture at the top represents the Holy Trinity. Just adjacent to the column is the Hungarian Culture Foundation building. 

Trinity Square is dominated by Matthias Church, a 700 year old Roman Catholic Church that looks very grand and imposing. This church is one of the oldest buildings in Buda and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Fisherman's Bastion
The Fisherman's Bastion was built at the site of an old rampart that was defended by the guild of fishermen during the Middle Ages. Though the bastion was built just over a hundred years ago, the site has been added to the UNESCO World Heritage list. 

Fishermen's Bastion is apparently one of the most popular tourist attraction in Budapest as the structure built is not only impressive but is one of the best viewpoints over the city of Budapest. You can get fantastic views of the city from the bastion. This bastion features turrets, rampart, colonnades, balconies and numerous statues set along a white stone staircase leading up to platforms where you get breathtaking views. 

A bronze statue of Stephen I of Hungary mounted on a horse, erected in 1906, can be seen in the courtyard of the bastion.

Heroes's Square
Heroes’ Square is the largest square in Budapest. This square which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site is surrounded by two important buildings, Museum of Fine Arts on the left and Kunsthalle (Hall of Art) on the right. The Millennium Monument stands in the middle of the square and statues of kings and other important historical figures stand on top of the colonnades on either side of the center pillar.

Gellért Hill
Gellert Hill, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site is another viewpoint that offers an enchanting view of Danube River and the city of Budapest.

There are a number of historic monument on this 235 meter hill but I just saw the Citadel which is of great historical significance to the city. 

The City (Random Photos)
Budapest is a robust city. The buildings that line its streets are beautiful even though they may not be prominent landmarks.

Related Post: Click To View
Budapest: Danube River Sightseeing Cruise

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

It's nice to view the historic monument of Budapest and other special attractions.

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