Budapest Sights

BUDA

The city has a vast number of historic buildings and monuments.

              Gellért Mountain
      

One of the nicest views of Budapest is to be seen from this mountain. It was named after Bishop Gellért, who played a great role in the spreading of Christianity within Hungary. The Citadel was built at the top of the mountain in the 19th century in order to observe the city underneath. From the terraces of this fortress a wonderful view opens to the city, which is further enhanced by the stationary telescopes installed along the walls of the terraces’ balustrades. The Statue of Liberty commemorates the liberation of the country from the Nazis’ rule. There are several thermal baths operating at the foot the Gellért Mountain, e.g. Rác Bath, Rudas Bath and Gellért Bath.

 

 

Buda Castle - Royal Palace    

The Royal Palace is situated on the southern side of the Castle Hill. The palace originally built during the Middle Ages was almost completely ruined under the Turkish conquest. The baroque style palace reached its present form during the 17th-19th centuries. The Palace accommodates several cultural institutions and museums (Széchenyi Library, Hungarian National Gallery, Contemporary Art Museum - Ludwig Collection, Budapest History Museum).

      

 

 

              Buda Castle - Castle District
      

Buda Castle District is considered to be the most characteristic esplanade area of Budapest owing to its charming streets, old buildings, gas-lamps and wonderful monuments. The area located between the Dísz Square and the Matthias Church is populated with medieval buildings, 17th century baroque and copf-style palaces. A unique characteristic of the district is provided by the ’sitting bays’ at the gateway of the houses, which were most probably used by the attendants of guests visiting the house. The Castle District has countless interesting exhibitions too, such as the Museum of Military History, Golden Eagle Pharmacy Museum, Medieval Jewish Tabernacle, Museum of Telephony and Museum of the History of Music. Ruszwurm Confectioner’s established in the 19th century is to be highlighted out of the many other excellent restaurants, where guests are surrounded by contemporary and authentic furniture, and served with famous desserts prepared according to original recipes.

 

 

Buda Castle - Trinity (Szentháromság) Square    

The Statue of the Holy Trinity, the old Townhall of Buda and the Matthias Church, as well as the House of Hungarian Wines are situated in this square that is the centre of the Castle District.

      

 

 

              Buda Castle - Fishermen's Bastion
      

The bastion located next to Matthias Church was built in 1905 in the place of a former medieval fish market. The purpose was to close the Castle District and to ornament the panorama to be viewed from the Pest side. This famous cityscape was registered on the World Heritage List by UNESCO in 1988.

 

 

Buda Castle - Matthias Church    

The church is almost of the same age as the Royal Palace. The church that was originally built in the 13th century was reconstructed many times during the centuries. The Turks occupied Buda in 1541 and transformed the church into a jami mosque, as a consequence of which its original frescos were whitewashed. Matthias Church reached its current form in the 19th century, when it was last reconstructed in neo-Gothic style. Its interior walls are covered by biblical scenes and by paintings of the most important events of Hungarian history. The acoustics of the church is remarkable; therefore it often serves as the location of concerts.

      

 

 

              Buda Castle - Mary Magdalene Tower
      

The former presidial church was ruined during World War II, only the church tower survived, which is operated today as a miradore. Carrillon is played in the tower every half hour of the day.

 

 

Buda Castle - Labyrinth Caves    

Under Buda Castle District there are several kilometre long labyrinths and labyrinth systems to be found. Currently, visitors are admitted to the section called Buda Castle Labyrinth, which invokes the spirit of historic times.

      

 

 

BETWEEN BUDA AND PEST

 

 

              The most spectacular bridges of Budapest:
      

Chain Bridge (Lánchíd), Elisabeth Bridge (Erzsébet híd), Liberty Bridge (Szabadság híd), Margaret Bridge (Margit híd)

 

 

Margaret Island    

The green spot of Margaret Island is located in the middle of River Danube, between Margaret Bridge and Árpád Bridge. The peaceful environment of its park makes the island a pleasant location for walks, sports and spare time activities. The visitors of Margaret Island are to find a rich diversified flora, ruins of monasteries, a water tower, a well-known open-air swimming pool (called Palatinus), an outdoor theatre and sports grounds. Cars are admitted to the parking at the northern end of the island only. Scheduled buses provide the means of transportation on the island.

      

 

 

PEST

 

 

              Downtown
      

The centre of downtown Budapest is comprised by Vörösmarty Square and Váci Street. The illustrious Confectionary Gerbaud and the fashionable Art Café are also located in this square, which are both very popular with foreign visitors. Váci Street is the most well-known pedestrian precinct in Budapest dotted by cafés, restaurants and boutiques. Another popular pedestrian precinct is the Duna promenade extending from the Chain Bridge to the Elisabeth Bridge on the Pest side. Another famous show-place located in downtown Budapest is the Vigadó Concert Hall, where once artists like Franz Liszt, Wagner, Richard Strauss, Bartók and Kodály gave concerts.

 

 

Saint Stephen's Basilica    

The capital’s largest church (accommodating 8500 persons) was built for 60 years starting from the middle of the 19th century. The construction of the church was influenced by two artistic periods, classicism and eclecticism. The memory of the eponym, King Stephen, who founded the Hungarian State and converted the country to Christianity, is captured in the church by many exceptional works of art. The dome of the basilica offers a unique, 360 degree panorama of Budapest at the height of 65 metres. Access to the dome is mainly facilitated by elevators.

      

 

 

              Parliament
      

The construction of the eclectic-style building of the Parliament was finished at the turn of the 20th century, and it soon became the symbol of Budapest and the Duna panorama. Its countless little towers and the jagged stone ornaments make the building one of the most attractive structures of the city. This is one of the largest parliament buildings in the world. Visitors enter the buildings between commanding statues of stone lions, and may access the dome hall by ornamental staircases, which is the venue of the highest level governmental receptions. The two symmetrical side-wings of the building start from this point, and used to accommodate the Lower and the Upper Houses of Parliament. The interiors of the Parliament and its exquisite decoration guarantee that the visit to the building will become a long-lasting experience. The Holly Crown of Hungary and the crown jewels are kept in the Parliament. Visitors are admitted to the building.

 

 

Great Market-Hall    

Budapest's largest and most imposing covered market was built at the end of the 19th century. It is a very busy and buzzing market even today, which is worth visiting, as it provides an actual snapshot of everyday life in Hungary.

      

 

 

              Synagogue
      

With its capacity of 3,000 persons it is the largest active synagogue in Europe and the second largest in the world. It was built in the middle of the 19th century in romantic style for the Pest congregation of some 30,000 members, most of whom lived in this area of the city. Its enormous hall is supported by cast iron pillars and arches, the use of which was considered an extraordinary innovation at the time. The Jewish Museum is to be found next door.

 

 

Hungarian National Museum    

The museum constitutes the most significant scientific repository of Hungary. The history of the Hungarian people is exhibited in the museum in two sections; the first is until the Hungarian conquest, and the second from the Hungarian conquest to 1990. The museum's permanent exhibitions include the following: mineral and stone collection, plant, animal and palaeontological collections, as well as Roman and medieval remains found at different parts of the country. The museum building has significant historical importance, as during the war of independence in 1848 the proclamation of the young revolutionists was read out on the stairs of the museum, followed by Sándor Petofi reciting his poem called National Anthem. The museum is the centre of the commemorations of the 1848 war of independence on March 15.

      

 

 

              Hungarian State Opera House
      

Budapest may take pride in having one of the nicest opera houses of the world, where the first performance was given in 1884, after nine years of construction. The staircases and the theatre of the palace designed by Miklós Ybl are decorated by the frescos of the greatest artists of the age. Its first director was Ferenc Erkel, but Gustav Mahler also spent some years in this position, and Puccini also directed the performance of two of his operas here. Amongst its most significant visiting conductors were Otto Klemperer, Sergio Failoni and Lamberto Gardelli. The building has a distinguished place amongst the European opera houses. A visit to the building is a unique experience, even for the ones who are not regular opera-goers.

 

 

The Pest Broadway (Stretches between the Opera and the Oktogon Square)    

Theatres, bars, night-clubs and museums offer colourful program sin the neighbouring streets. Traditionally, Nagymezo Street was called as the Pest Broadway owing to its many theatres, such as Operetta Theatre, Tivoli Theatre, Microscope Cabaret Theatre and Thália Theatre, the latter operating without a permanent theatrical company. However, recently the Academy of Music and the area of Franz Liszt Square have become increasingly popular as venues for evening entertainment.

      

 

 

              Academy of Music
      

The Academy of Music founded in 1875 is located in the vicinity of Andrássy Street and Oktogon Square, and today its official name is Franz Liszt College of Music. Its first president was Franz Liszt, its future eponym, who played a very significant role in the foundation of the institution, while its first director was Ferenc Erkel. The institution does not only provide higher level musical and artist training, but at the same time it is the centre of the concert programs organized in Budapest. Its great concert hall of outstanding acoustics can accommodate 1200 person, while the small concert hall can accommodate 400 persons.

 

 

Heroes' Square    

Heroes' Square capturing the memories of significant events in Hungarian history is located at the end of Andrássy Street. In the middle of the square the statue of Archangel Gabriel rises on a 36 metre high pillar. According to the legend the Archangel appeared in a dream for King Saint Stephen and handed him the crown. At the pedestal of the pillar stands the statue of the legendary 7 conquering chiefs of the Magyar tribes, while the figures of the portico comprised of two semi-circles exhibits the legendary kings, rulers and great figures of Hungarian history. The elegance of the group of statues and the augustusness of the square are further enhanced by the antique-style buildings of the Museum of Fine Arts and the Gallery.

      

 

 

              Budapest Zoo
      

The ancient monument zoo evoking the ambience of the turn of the 20th century is one of the most ancient zoological gardens of the world accommodating over 500 species of animals and 4,000 species of plants. www.zoobudapest.com

 

 

Vajdahunyad Castle    

Probably it is the most peculiar building structure of the ’Városliget’. Originally it was erected for an exhibition of architectural history in celebration of the millenary of the Hungarian conquest, and it was built from wood and cardboard. Its elements are the duplications of certain parts of the most characteristic buildings of various styles found in the country, on a small scale. The works of Hungarian architecture of a thousand years are standing in front of us integrated in a single structure, which was received with such enthusiasm at the time that the castle was demanded to be built from stone as well. This building accommodates the Hungarian Agricultural Museum.

      

 

 

              Western Railway Station
      

It was built in the place of a smaller railway station according to the designs of the famous Eiffel Firm in Paris at the same time, when the adjoining boulevard was constructed. The imposing, constructional ironwork hall and building was considered one of the most advanced railway stations and became one of the nicest buildings of Budapest (in 1877). A shopping moll adjoins the back of the railway station including a movie centre, parks, a mini Niagara-fall and cultural and office facilities.

 

 

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