Budapest - city that never sleeps
Have you ever been to Budapest? If not, you need to change it! It became one of my favorite cities in Europe and I enjoy coming back from time to time.
Slovakia and Hungary were interconnected for many centuries. Slovak minority belonged to the Hungarian Kingdom and at that time they didn't have the same rights as Hungarians, so there was a lot of tension. Even today, there is a large Hungarian minority in Slovakia, and I know that many people are not that happy about it and would like them to move to Hungary.
I have many Slovak-Hungarian friends from my university times, so don't understand these issues at all. But these issues do exist and impact everyone in the country. I hope that the young generation will forget the sins from the past and will focus on our future together. Your nationality doesn't form who you are, but many just focus on the past and can't see any further. And therefore, I have decided to take you with me on a tour of Budapest and show you the beauty of this city.
Budapest is a fascinating city that never sleeps. There are new bars, restaurants and shops popping up every day. I could take you on a tour in the busy old town, but I will show you some architecture and tell you more about the city instead. We will walk around the Buda castle and enjoy the views of Budapest from there.
On the way to the castle we can see the Liberty monument which is situated on top of the Gellért Hill. You need to visit this place in the evening, and you will fall in love with Budapest too. The views from this hill are spectacular and you can't miss them when you visit this city.
The Buda castle is situated on the castle hill and on the way up the hill you will enjoy the views of various parts of Budapest. You cannot reach the castle by car, so leave it parked somewhere else and go for a nice walk. If you don't feel like walking you can come by public transport too.
Once you reach the castle you will realize how huge this complex is. It was originally built in Gothic style, but you can see many features of the Renaissance as well.
Today, The castle gives the home to the National Széchényi Library, the Hungarian National Gallery and the Budapest History Museum. Together with the castle district it belongs to the World heritage sites. In the past, it served as a residence of the kings of Hungary.
The castle was originally built in the 13th century but it was destroyed by Mongols who invaded Hungary. It was rebuilt in the 14th century and later replaced by a palace that was supposed to reflect the fortunes of the kingdom. The castle had seen some turbulent history and had to be reconstructed several times. I must say that this is one of the most interesting palaces that I have ever visited.
Today, the interior in this castle, also known as the Royal Palace is not like it was used to be. The ornaments on the walls were destroyed and the royal apartments were not restored to their former glory.
When we visited the castle for the last time it was a hot summer day. It was more than 40 degrees Celsius if I remember correctly. Can you imagine? It was boiling hot, but we couldn't miss the opportunity to show this place to my family who was with us as well. They were not as excited as I wished but I understand them too. Who would be excited when it's so hot and you're not on the beach?
LET'S WALK AROUND THE CASTLE
Luckily, there are some trees along the pathway, so we could hide from time to time.
It's such an impressive place! You can compare those tiny people to those huge walls to get some feeling about its size. We only visited the Budapest history museum and let me tell you that it was enough.
Buda and Pest were united in 1873 and in this museum you can learn about the history before and after their unity. A lot of artifacts were lost during the World War II but you can still get an insightful glimpse into 2000 years of the history.
If you're not a museum person you will enjoy the castle exteriors as well. The castle consists of a number of wings and it is decorated with several statues and fountains. Here we have the Lion's gate which is the entrance to the Lion's courtyard which is the central courtyard of the castle.
Can you see the lions in front of the gate? They were created in 1901 by János Fadrusz and this gate is named after them.
From the courtyard you can enter the Budapest history museum where you can see the foundations of the 14th century medieval tower. In the past, in this place stood a medieval castle.
Can you see the coat of arms on top of the arch? It is the coat of arms of Hungary from the 19th century.
Here we are in the western forecourt of the palace, in front of the statue of a horse wrangler taming a wild horse which was created in 1901 by György Vastagh.
And here we have the statue of the legendary Prince Eugene of Savoy, the Habsburg prince who deflated the Turkish army in 1697. It is work of József Róna and it was bought by the city in 1900. It was supposed to be replaced when the statue of King Franz Joseph was completed but it standing in this place until today.
LET'S ENJOY SOME VIEWS FROM THE CASTLE
Have you heard of the Széchenyi Chain bridge? It was built in 1849 and it was the first stone bridge that connected Buda with Pest. The bridge is decorated with statues of lions on both ends. If you look carefully you can see two lion statues on the Buda side. They were made by János Marschalkó.
It is said that these lions don't have tongues because the sculptor forgot to create them. The legend says that when the rumor spread across the country, Marschalkó got so ashamed that he committed suicide by jumping into the river from the bridge. That however isn't true as he didn't commit suicide and died at the age of 59. The sculptor said that his statues have tongues, but he made them invisible from the ground. They are however visible from above, so if you want to see them, feel free to climb the lions and have a look 😊
This is one of the most impressive buildings that I have ever seen - the Hungarian parliament building. It is a relatively new construction as it was only finished in 1902. It is the third largest Parliament building in the world and the largest building in Hungary. Anytime we go there my husband can't believe that it's so clean. He says that it looks like it was built only yesterday.
Here we can see the typical architecture of Budapest with St. Stephen Basilica in the back. This basilica is named in honor of the first kind of Hungary Stephen. It took 54 years to complete the construction and it was finished in 1905, so it's another relatively young building. The main architect was Miklós Ybl.
I had to laugh when I saw this bus. I remember them from my childhood but didn't see them for so long. I had no idea that they've been still used in Hungary. This definitely brought me back to my childhood.
Fisherman's Bastion was built at the end of the 19th century to celebrate the 1000th birthday of Hungary. It is situated on the castle hill, so don't miss it when you visit the castle. It looks like kind of a movie set and it has a strange architecture. It offers the best panoramic views of Budapest.
It's one of the most visited places in Budapest but we didn't feel like it was more crowded than any other places.
The most interesting part of the bastion is the St. Stephen statue. It depicts the first kind of Hungary riding on a horse with a royal wand in his hand. Stephen was the first Christian king of Hungary. He divided Hungary in districts and ordered them to build a church and appoint a priest in every district. He was in power for 40 years which is a very long time for that period. There are many landmarks across Hungary carrying his name.
And we are at the end of our day in Budapest.
I hope that you have enjoyed our tour.
Thank you for visiting!
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