2010. november 29., hétfő

Hungary, Budapest (the capital), SzG3

I'm Gabriel (Gábor) from Hungary.

Budapest is the capital of Hungary. As the largest city of Hungary, it serves as the country's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centre. In 2010, Budapest had 1,721,556 inhabitants, down from its 1980 peak of 2.06 million. The Budapest Commuter Area is home to 3,271,110 people. The city covers an area of 525 square kilometres (202.7 sq mi) within the city limits. Budapest became a single city occupying both banks of the river Danube with a unification on 17 November 1873 of right (west)-bank Buda and Óbuda with left (east)-bank Pest.

Historically, Aquincum, originally a Celtic settlement, was the direct ancestor of Budapest, becoming the Roman capital of Lower Pannonia. Magyars arrived in the territory in the 9th century. Their first settlement was pillaged by the Mongolsin 1241-42. The re-established town became one of the centres of Renaissance humanist culture in the 15th century. Following the Battle of Mohács and nearly 150 years of Ottoman rule, development of the region entered a new age of prosperity in the 18th and 19th centuries, and Budapest became a global city after the 1873 unification. It also became the second capital of Austria-Hungary, a great power that dissolved in 1918. Budapest was the focal point of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, the Hungarian Soviet Republic of 1919, Operation Panzerfaust in 1944, the Battle of Budapest of 1945, and the Revolution of 1956.

Cited as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, its extensive World Heritage Site includes the banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter, Andrássy Avenue, Heroes' Square and the Millennium Underground Railway, the second oldest in the world. Other highlights include a total of 80 geothermal springs, the world's largest thermal water cave system, second largest synagogue, and third largest Parliament building. It attracts about 2.3 million tourists a year.


The 525 km2 area of Budapest lies in central Hungary surrounded by settlements of the agglomeration in Pest county. The capital extends 25 and 29 kilometers in the north-south, east-west direction respectively. The Danube enters the city from the north; later it encircles two islands, Óbuda Island and Margaret Island. The third island Csepel Island is the largest of the Budapest Danube islands, however only its northernmost tip is within city limits. The river that separates the two parts of the city is only 230 m (755 ft) wide at its narrowest point in Budapest. Pest lies on the flat terrain of the Great Plain while Buda is rather hilly. Pest's terrain rises with a slight eastward gradient, so the easternmost parts of the city lie at the same altitude as Buda's smallest hills, notably Gellért Hill and Castle Hill. The Buda hills consist mainly of limestone and dolomite, the water created speleothems, the most famous ones being the Pálvölgyi cave and the Szemlőhegyi cave. The hills were formed in the Triassic Era. The highest point of the hills and of Budapest is János hill, at 527 metres(1,729 ft) above sea level. The lowest point is the line of the Danube which is 96 metres(315 ft) above sea level. The forests of Buda hills are environmentally protected.

Main sights:

1. The Hungarian Parliament Building

The Hungarian Parliament Building is the seat of the National Assembly of Hungary, one of Europe's oldest legislative buildings, a notable landmark of Hungary and a popular tourist destination of Budapest. It lies in Lajos Kossuth Square, on the bank of the Danube, in Budapest. It is currently the largest building in Hungary, and the largest Parliament in Europe.

The main façade faces the River Danube, but the official main entrance is from the square in front of the building. Inside and outside, there are altogether 242 sculptures on the walls.

The Hungarian Parliament Building
The Hungarian Parliament Building
2. Buda Castle:

Buda Castle is the historical castle complex of the Hungarian kings in Budapest, Hungary, first completed in 1265. In the past, it was also called Royal Palace and Royal Castle.

Buda Castle was built on the southern tip of Castle Hill, surrounded by what is known as the Castle District, famous for its Medieval, Baroque and 19th century living quarters and public buildings. It is linked to Adam Clark Square and the Széchenyi Chain Bridge by the Castle Hill Funicular.

Buda Castle is part of the Budapest World Heritage Site, declared in 1987.

Buda Castle
Buda Castle
Buda Castle
Buda Castle
Buda Castle

The Budapest Castle Hill Funicular or Budavári Sikló is a funicular railway in the city of Budapest, in Hungary. It links the Adam Clark Square and the Széchenyi Chain Bridge at river level to Buda Castle above.

The line was opened on March 2, 1870, and has been in municipal ownership since 1920. It was destroyed in the Second World War and reopened on June 4, 1986. A feature of the line are the two pedestrian foot bridges which cross above it. These were present when the line opened, were removed in 1900 when the castle's garden was extended, and rebuilt to the original design in 1983.

The Castle Hill Funicular
The Castle Hill Funicular

3/a. Matthias Church

Matthias Church is a church located in Budapest, Hungary, at the heart of Buda's Castle District. According to church tradition, it was originally built in Romanesque style in 1015. The current building was constructed in the florid late Gothic style in the second half of the 14th century and was extensively restored in the late 19th century. It was the second largest church of medieval Buda and the seventh largest church of medieval Hungarian Kingdom.

Matthias Church

Matthias Church

Matthias Church

3/b.  Fisherman's Bastion:

The Fisherman's Bastion is a terrace in neo-Gothic and neo-Romanesque style situated on the Buda bank of the Danube, on the Castle hill in Budapest, around Matthias Church. It was designed and built between 1895 and 1902 on the plans of Frigyes Schulek. Between 1947–48, the son of Frigyes Schulek, János Schulek, conducted the other restoration project after its near destruction during World War II.

From the towers and the terrace a panoramic view exists of Danube, Margaret Island, Pest to the east and the Gellért Hill.

Its seven towers represent the seven Magyar tribes that settled in the Carpathian Basin in 896.

The Bastion takes its name from the guild of fishermen that was responsible for defending this stretch of the city walls in the Middle Ages. It is a viewing terrace, with many stairs and walking paths.

A bronze statue of Stephen I of Hungary mounted on a horse, erected in 1906, can be seen between the Bastion and the Matthias Church. The pedestal was made by Alajos Stróbl, based on the plans of Frigyes Schulek, in Neo-Romanesque style, with episodes illustrating the King's life.

The Fisherman's Bastion
The Fisherman's Bastion
The Fisherman's Bastion
The Fisherman's Bastion
3/c. Buda Castle Hill:

Holy Trinity's square
Kapisztrán square
Vienna Gate
Buda Castle District

Buda Castle District
Buda Castle District
Buda Castle District
Buda Castle District

4. Heroes' Square:

Heroes' Square" in Hungarian) is one of the major squares of Budapest, Hungary, rich with historic and political connotations. It lies at the end of Andrássy Avenue (with which it comprises part of an extensive World Heritage site), next to City Park.
Hősök tere is surrounded by two important buildings, Museum of Fine Arts on the left and Palace of Art (or more accurately Hall of Art) on the right. On the other side it faces Andrassy Avenue which has two buildings looking at the square — one is residential and the other one is theembassy of Serbia (former Yugoslavian embassy where Imre Nagy secured sanctuary in 1956).
The central site of the hero's square, as well as a landmark of Budapest, is the Millennium Memorial (also known as Millennium Monument or Millenary Monument) with statues of the leaders of the seven tribes that founded Hungary in the 9th century and other outstanding figures of Hungarian history. The construction of the memorial was started when the one thousandth anniversary was celebrated (in 1896), but it was finished only in 1900 and the square got its name then.
When the monument was originally constructed, Hungary was a part of the Austrian Empire and thus the last five spaces for statues on the left of the colonnade were reserved for members of the ruling Habsburg dynasty. From left to right these were: Ferdinand I (relief: Defense of the Castle at Eger); Leopold I (relief: Eugene of Savoy defeats the Turks at Zenta), Charles IIIMaria Theresa(relief: The Hungarian Diet votes support "vitam et sanguinem") and Franz Joseph (relief: Franz Joseph crowned by Gyula Andrássy) The monument was damaged in World War II and when it was rebuilt the Habsburgs were replaced by the current figures.
On the 16th June 1989 a crowd of 250,000 gathered at the square for the historic reburial of Imre Nagy, who had been executed in June 1958.
It is also a station of the yellow M1 (Millennium Underground) line of the Budapest Metro.
At the front of the monument is a large stone cenotaph surrounded by an ornamental iron chain. The cenotaph is dedicated "To the memory of the heroes who gave their lives for the freedom of our people and our national independence." While some guide books refer to this as a "tomb" it is not a burial place.
Directly behind the cenotaph is a column topped by a statue of the archangel Gabriel. In his right hand the angel holds the Holy Crown of St. Stephen (Istvan), the first king of Hungary. In his left hand the angel holds a two barred apostolic cross, a symbol awarded to St. Stephen by the Pope in recognition of his efforts to convert Hungary to Christianity. In Hungarian it is referred to as the double cross or the apostolic double cross.
At the base of the column is a group of seven mounted figures representing the Magyar chieftainswho led the Hungarian people into the Carpathian basin. In the front is Árpád, considered the founder of the Hungarian nation. Behind him are the chieftains Előd, Ond, Kond, Tas, Huba, and Töhötöm (Tétény). Little survives in the historical record about these individuals and both their costumes and their horses are considered to be more fanciful than historically accurate.
The back of the monument consists of two matched colonnades, each with seven statues representing great figures of Hungarian history. Topping the outer edge of the left colonnade is a statue of a man with a scythe and a woman sowing seed representing Labor and Wealth. In the corresponding position on the right colonnade is a statue of a man holding a statue and a woman with a palm frond representing Knowledge and Glory. At the inner top edge of the left colonnade is a male figure driving a chariot using a snake as a whip representing War, while on the facing end of the right colonnade is a female figure in a chariot holding a palm frond representing Peace.
Millennium Monument
Millennium Monument by night
Millennium Monument
Museum of Fine Arts
Palace of Arts
5. The City Park:
Városliget (City Park) is a public park (302 acres or 1.2 km²; a rectangle 0.9-mile (1.4 km) by 0.6-mile (0.97 km), or 1.4 km × 900 m) in Budapest, Hungary close to the city centre. It is located in District XIV of Budapest. Its main entrance is Heroes' Square (Hősök tere), one of Hungary's World Heritage sites.
City Park proper includes the following notable sights:
  • The Vajdahunyad Castle, presenting the major art styles and housing the Agricultural Museum today (first built in 1896, in its present state finished in 1907)

Vajdahunyad Castle, or Vajdahunyad-vár, is a castle in City Park, Budapest, Hungary, that was built between 1896 and 1908, designed by Ignác Alpár. It is a copy in part of a castle in Transylvania, Romania, that is also called Vajdahunyad, though it is also a display of different architectural styles: Romanic, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque.
Originally it was made from cardboard and wood for the millennial exhibition in 1896 but it became so popular that it was rebuilt from stone and brick.
Today it houses the Agricultural Museum.
The statue of Anonymus, also displayed in the Castle court, was a chronicler in the 12th century (probably of King Béla III). He wrote the first history books on the ancient Hungarians, mostly based on legends. Superstition says that by touching his pen you will receive good luck.
  • The Széchenyi Medicinal Baths and Swimming Pool (Széchenyi fürdő), one of Europe's largest bath complexes (1913)
  • The Municipal Zoological and Botanical Garden (Fővárosi Állat- és Növénykert, founded in 1866, built in its present state in 1912, expanded and improved since several times)
  • The Budapest Circus (Fővárosi Nagycirkusz, 1971)
  • The Budapest Amusement Park (Vidám Park) with a separate amusement park for small children
    • Its roller coaster, Hullámvasút, built in 1922 after the plans of Ervin Dragon, is 17 m in height and travels 980 m in five minutes. It is one of the ten remaining side friction roller coasters in the world, and is an ACE Coaster Classic.
    • Its merry-go-round was built in 1906 and its cave railway in 1912. Along with the roller coaster these are considered to be historic monuments.
  • The Gundel Restaurant, one of Hungary's most famous, founded in 1879 (residing in its present building since 1894)
  • The Millennium Salon (Millennium Szalon) in Olof Palme House (1885)
  • The Transport Museum of Budapest (Közlekedési Múzeum 1899)
  • The Aviation Museum of Budapest
  • City Park Pond (Városligeti-tó), used as an ice rink in winter, the largest outdoor skating-rink in Central Europe (1926), with a hall built in 1894. It hosted the Bandy World Championship for women 2007 and the B-group at the Bandy World Championship 2004 for men.
  • The Petőfi Hall (Petőfi Csarnok), a youth leisure centre (1985)
  • The Time Wheel (Időkerék, 2004)
  • The Monument of the 1956 Revolution, completed in 2006 for the 50th anniversary of the historic event
  • A spacious procession square (used for several purposes)
  • Sports grounds, playgrounds, meadows, esplanades (e.g. one named after Olof Palme), several statues (among others, of George Washington and Winston Churchill), a memorial for Anna Lindh, a botanical garden and a transport park for children.
The City Park

Vajdahunyad Castle by night
Vajdahunyad Castle
Vajdahunyad Castle
Vajdahunyad Castle - Ják Chapel

The Széchenyi Medicinal Baths and Swimming Pool
The Széchenyi Medicinal Baths and Swimming Pool
The Széchenyi Medicinal Baths and Swimming Pool

The Gundel Restaurant
The Municipal Zoological and Botanical Garden - the Main Entrance
The Municipal Zoological and Botanical Garden - the Big Rock
The Municipal Zoological and Botanical Garden - the Orangery
The Time Wheel
The Monument of the 1956 Revolution

6. Inner City:

The Inner City is situated on the banks of the Danube. Its borders follow the line of the old city walls.
The borders of Belváros are bounded by Vigadó tér ("Vigadó Square") in the north, Deák Ferenc utca ("Ferenc Deák Street") in the north, the Small Boulevard streets of Károly körút ("Charles Boulevard"), Múzeum körút ("Museum Boulevard") and Vámház körút ("Vámház Boulevard"), and the River Danube.
  • Hungarian Parliament Building
  • Hungarian Academy of Sciences
  • Gresham Palace
  • St Stephen's Basilica
  • Vigadó Concert Hall
  • Inner City Parish Church
  • University Church
  • Evangelical Church on Ferenc Deák Square
  • Pilvax Café
  • Váci Street
The Hungarian Parliament Building
Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Hungarian Academy of Sciences by night
Gresham Palace by night
St Stephen's Basilica
Vigadó Concert Hall
Váci Street
Vörösmarty squere
Danube promenade
Danube promenade

7. River Danube:

The Danube - Europe's most celebrated river - runs majestically through the centre of Budapest. The city has taken full advantage of this and it now offers some of the finest panoramas to be found anywhere on the continent. Starting far away in Germany (where the Breg and Brigach rivers meet), the Danube runs some 2859 kilometres before spilling into the Black Sea. On its journey, it passes through Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Romania. Incidentally, contrary to the name of the famous waltz, it is not blue.

The Szabadság híd or Liberty Bridge (sometimes Freedom Bridge) in Budapest, Hungary, connects Buda and Pest across the River Danube. It is the third southernmost public road bridge in Budapest, located at the southern end of the City Centre.
The bridge was built between 1894 and 1896 to the plans of János Feketeházy. Although radically different in structure, the bridge imitates the general outline of a chain-type bridge, which was considered an aesthetically preferable form at the time of construction. The bridge was opened in the presence of Emperor Franz Joseph; the last silver rivet on the Pest abutment was inserted into the iron structure by the Emperor himself, and the bridge was originally named after him.
It is 333.6 m in length and 20.1 m in width. The top of the four masts are decorated with large bronze statues of the Turul, a falcon-like bird, prominent in ancient Hungarian mythology.
Many trams used to cross the twin-road bridge, which was also heavily burdened with car traffic, and there is an initiative to convert it to a pedestrian-only crossing once the fourth underground metro line is completed in Budapest in the coming decade.

Liberty Bridge by night
Liberty Bridge

Elisabeth Bridge is the third newest bridge of Budapest, Hungary, connecting Buda and Pest across the River Danube. The bridge is situated at the narrowest part of the Danube in the Budapest area, spanning only 290 m. It is named after Queen Elisabeth, a popular queen and empress of Austria-Hungary, who was assassinated in 1898. Today, her large bronze statue sits by the bridge's Buda side connection in the middle of a small garden.
Its two ends are:
  • March 15 Square (with the oldest church in Pest, Inner City Parish Church, built in the 13th century) and the famous Mátyás Pince restaurant
  • Döbrentei Square in Buda with the monument of Saint Gellért on the Gellért Hill, a sculpture of Queen Elisabeth and the Rácz Baths and Rudas Baths nearby. A luxury spa hotel is currently being built in the area.
Elisabeth Bridge
Elisabeth Bridge

Széchenyi lánchíd or Széchenyi Chain Bridge is a suspension bridge that spans the River Danube between Buda and Pest, the western and eastern sides of Budapest, the capital of Hungary. It was the first permanent bridge across the Danube in Budapest, and was opened in 1849.
It is anchored on the Pest side of the river to Roosevelt Square, adjacent to the Gresham Palace and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and on the Buda side to Adam Clark Square, near the Zero Kilometer Stone and the lower end of the Castle Hill Funicular, leading to Buda Castle.
The bridge is named after István Széchenyi, a major supporter of its construction. At the time of its construction, it counted as a wonder of the world. It had an enormous significance in the country's economics and life. Its decorations made of cast iron, and its construction, radiating calm dignity and balance, raised it among the most beautiful industrial monuments in Europe. It became a symbol of advancement, national awakening, and the linkage between East and West.

Széchenyi Chain Bridge
Széchenyi Chain Bridge

Margit híd or Margaret Bridge (sometimes Margit Bridge) is a bridge in Budapest, Hungary, connecting Buda and Pest across the Danube. It is the second northernmost and second oldest public bridge in Budapest.
It was designed by French engineer Ernest Goüin and built by his construction company, Maison Èmile Gouin (at present ‘’Société de constructions de Batignolles’’) between 1872–1876, the engineer in charge being Émile Nouguier. Margaret Bridge is the second permanent bridge in Budapest after Széchenyi Chain Bridge. This bridge leads up to Margaret Island, its two parts enclosing 165 degrees with each other at the embranchment towards the island. The reason for this unusual geometry is the fact the small extension to connect to Margaret Island was hastily inserted into the original design but not built until two decades later due to lack of funds.

Margaret Bridge

Petőfi híd or Petőfi Bridge (named after Sándor Petőfi, old name is Horthy Miklós Bridge, named after governor Miklós Horthy) is a bridge in Budapest, connecting Pest and Buda across the Danube. It is the second southernmost public bridge in Budapest.
Its two ends are
  • Boráros tér (southern end of Grand Boulevard and terminus of the Csepel HÉV)
  • Goldmann György tér (next to the campuses of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics)
The bridge was built between 1933-1937, according to the plans of Pál Álgyai Hubert. It is 514 m in length (along with the sections leading up) and 25.6 m in width.

Petőfi Bridge
River Danube with the Danube Promenade

8.  Margaret Island:

Margaret Island (Hungarian: Margit-sziget) is a 2.5 km (1.4 miles) long island, 500 meters (550 yards) wide, (0.965 km² (225 acres) in area) in the middle of the Danube in central Budapest, Hungary. It belongs administratively to the 13th district. The island is mostly covered by landscape parks, and is a popular recreational area. Its medieval ruins are reminders of its importance in the Middle Ages as a religious center. The island spans the area between the Margaret Bridge (south) and the Árpád Bridge (north).
Today's appearance was developed through the connection of three separate islands, the Festő, the Fürdő and the Nyulak, during the end of the 19th century, to control the flow of the Danube. Originally, the island was 102.5 meters above sea level, but now has been built up to 104.85 meters above sea level to control flooding.
The Knights of St. John settled on the island in the 12th century. Among the present historical monuments of the island are the 13th century ruins of a Franciscan church and a Dominican church and convent, as well as a Premonstratensian church from the 12th century. Members of the Augustinian order also lived on the island.
The island was dominated by nunneries, churches and cloisters until the 16th century. During the Ottoman wars the monks and nuns fled and the buildings were destroyed. In the 18th century it was chosen to be the resort of palatines. It was declared a public garden in 1908.
Since the 1980s, entry by cars has been limited to special cases; only a single bus line and taxis, alongside the service traffic of local stores and restaurants are allowed to enter. On the northern end of the island a car park houses the cars of hotel guests.
There is an excellent rubber-coated jogging track going around the island (5350 meters, marked by every 500 meters).
  • the Centennial Memorial of 1973 (pictured), commemorating the hundredth anniversary of the city's unification;
  • a small Japanese Garden with a mildly thermal fish pond;
  • a tiny zoo featuring a wide range of exotic waterfowl among other animals;
  • the "Music Well" (Zenélő kút), a small pavilion, which was originally built for open-air concerts (it is close to Árpád bridge);
  • the "Music Fountain" (Zenélő szökőkút), a fountain near which music is played and light shows are performed in summer (it is close to Margaret bridge). The water springs out according to music, so that the fountain seems to dance at the various classical themes reproduced. The last piece played is Con te partirò sung by Andrea Bocelli;
  • an octagonal Water Tower of 57 m (built in Art Nouveau style in 1911, today functioning as a lookout tower and an exhibition hall, see picture).
The Music Fountain and the Water Tower are protected UNESCO sites.
The island houses various sports establishments, like the Palatinus water park (the largest open-air swimming complex in Budapest), the Alfréd Hajós sports pool (where the European LC Championships 1958, 2006 and 2010 took place), a tennis stadium and an athletics centre.
Two hotels provide accommodation: the fin de siècle Grand Hotel Margitsziget, and the modern Thermal Hotel Margitsziget with thermal spa and various medical services. There is also an open-air theatre accommodating an audience of 3500, and several clubs and restaurants. For exploration and pastime, four-person cycle cars or small electric cars can be rented for use on the area of the island.

Water tower
  the "Music Well"
Margaret Island (Thermal Hotel Margitsziget )
Margaret Island
 Grand Hotel Margitsziget
a small Japanese Garden with a mildly thermal fish pond
a little zoo
a little zoo
ruins (Dominican Church)
ruins (Dominican Church)

9. Gellért Hill, St. Gellért square:

Gellért Hill is a 235 m (771 ft) high hill overlooking the Danube in Budapest, Hungary. It is part of the 1st and 11th Districts. Gellért Hill was named after Saint Gerard who was thrown to death from the hill. The famous Hotel Gellért and the Gellért Baths can be found in Gellért Square at the foot of the hill, next to Liberty Bridge. The Gellért Hill Cave is located within the hill, facing toward Hotel Gellért and the Danube River.
At the top of the hill is the Citadella (Citadel), from which a view is available down both directions of the Danube.
The first recorded names of the hill in the Middle Ages were Kelen-hegy, Pesti-hegy and Blocksberg. It was called Szent Gellért hegye (lit. the hill of St. Gerard) from the 15th century onwards, referring to the legend about the death of St. Gerard. The saintly bishop was killed by the pagans during the great pagan rebellion in 1046. He was put in a barrel and rolled down into the deep from the top of the hill.
The former name, Pesti-hegy referred the large cave (now Gellért Hill Cave) in the hillside. The word is of Slavic origin and means oven or cave.
The Ottoman Turks called the hill Gürz Elyas bayiri. Gürz Elyas was a holy man from the Bektashi order whose shrine and grave on top of the hill was a place of pilgrimage in the 17th century.
In the 18th century the hillsides of Gellért Hill were covered with vineyards. The Tabán district at the foot of the hill was an important centre of wine-making in Buda. According to the 1789 land register vineyards covered 128 hectares (316 ac) on the hill (only 7.62 hectares or 18.8 ac were used as pastures). 
In the 18th century a small calvary was built on the top of the hill which was rebuilt around 1820. On Easter Mondays a procession climbed the steep road leading to the calvary to celebrate the resurrection of Christ. Many tents and vendors were erected on the nearby meadow. The emmausjárás (Emmaus-walk) or tojásbúcsú (egg feast) was one of the most popular Catholic holidays of the year during the 18th–19th centuries.
The Citadel was built after the 1848–49 Hungarian uprising by the ruling Habsburg Austrians, as it was a prime, strategic site for shelling both Buda and Pest in the event of a future revolt.
Gellért Hill also saw action in the Second World War and the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, when Soviet tanks fired down into the city from the hill. Indeed, battle scars still pockmark some buildings in Budapest. There is a small military museum in the Citadel’s grounds. At the end of Citadella is the Liberty Statue (Szabadság Szobor in Hungarian), a large monument erected by the Soviet Red Army to commemorate their victory in World War II.
Now an affluent residential area, a number of embassies and ambassadorial residences line the streets which wind up the hill. Since 1987, the area is listed as a world heritage site as part of "the Banks of the Danube".
A large proportion of the hill consists of parkland. Bats and hedgehogs are commonly observed on summer nights.
In January 2007 a new cave was discovered under Gellért Hill during a private construction. The cave is 60 m long and 18 m deep with 3 rooms. The interior is covered with dazzling white crystals composed of gypsum, calcite and aragonite. The cave was created 300,000–500,000 years ago by a now disappeared thermal spring. The crystal cave was immediately placed under legal protection.

Liberty Statue
Gellért Hill from  the Margaret Island
Gellért Hill
 Rock Chapel 
Rock Chapel
St. Stephan's statue
Hotel Gellért
Hotel Gellért and the spa source

10./a The New Nathional Theatre:

The National Theatre is the main theatre of Budapest, and the largest such institution in Hungary, opening originally in 1837. Its company used several locations since then, including the original building at the Kerepesi street, and the People's Theatre at the Blaha Lujza Square. Their current home, the new National Theatre opened in 14 September 2000.

After the demolition of the People's Theatre a proposal was made to build the new theater in the City Park, at the Felvonulási square. A tender was held in 1965, but no first prizes were given. The second prize was shared between plans of Miklós Hofer and Jan Boguslawski - Bogdan Gniewiewski. The next two decades dragged on with the planning at the Company for Public Building Planning led by Miklós Hofer. The building permit was finally given in 1985, but the construction went no further than chopping out a few trees. In 1988 a tender was held for a new location and the Engels (today Erzsébet) square was chosen.
A decade passed without any progress. In 1996 the parliament finally agreed to move on the next phase, but the project became severely entangled by political quarrels in the next few years. After tendering the plans (won by Ferenc Bán), the construction began in 1998, but the new government elected in the same year stopped the work, finding it too costly. In 1999 ministry commissioner György Schwajda entrusted Mária Siklós to make plans for a building at a new location, the bank of the Danube, but following the rage of the architect scene, a tender was held, resulting in György Vadász's victory. As he was not willing to tailor Siklós's plans any further, the construction began with her plans on September 14 2000. The new National Theatre opened on the National holiday, March 15 2002.
The building lies on the bank of the Danube, in the Ferencváros district, between the Soroksári road, the Grand Boulevard and the Lágymányosi Bridge, and is a five-minute walk from the Csepel HÉV. The area of the theatre, along with an open air stage is 20 844 square meters, and can be functionally separated into three parts. The central part is the nearly round building of the auditorium and stage, surrounded by corridors and public areas. The second is the U-shaped industrial section around the main stage. The third section is the park that surrounds the area, containing numerous memorials commemorating the Hungarian drama and film industry. The nearby Palace of Arts was opened in 2005.
The Nathional Theatre by night
The Nathional Theatre by night
The Nathional Theatre
The Nathional Theatre - "The Lost World"

10./b  The Palace of Arts:

The Palace of Arts (Művészetek Palotája in Hungarian) is a building in Ferencváros, Budapest, Hungary, officially opened in March 2005. It is located near Lágymányosi Bridge, accessible from the southern end of Grand Boulevard with a ten-minute walk or by HÉV, or by No.1, No.2, and No.24 streetcars. The National Theatre, which opened in 2002, is located next to it.
The imposing structure of the Palace of Arts covers a ground area of 10,000 m² and the total floor space of the building is 70,000 m², meaning that if all the areas were occupied simultaneously, it would house about 4,500 people - the population of a medium-sized village.
Under the common roof, the impressive lobby is shared by three main venues in addition to service areas and areas offering facilities open all day such as snack-bars, a restaurant, a café, an Internet café, a breath-taking panorama terrace, plus giftshop and bookshops.
  • Bartók National Concert Hall is 25 m high, 25 m wide and 52 m long, providing a total capacity for 1,699 people. The concert hall features variable acoustics. The organ of the concert hall, inaugurated in 2006, has 92 stops and 5 manuals as well as 470 wooden pipes, 5028 tin pipes and 1214 reed pipes. It is one of the largest organs in Europe. A fully playable virtual version of this pipe organ named Palace of Arts Budapest Pipe Organ Samples was developed in 2008.
  • Ludwig Museum This is a state of the art Contemporary Art Museum with paintings by;Picasso("Musketeer With Sword"), David Hockney, Tom Wesselman, Richard Estes ("Rappaport Pharmacy") plus paintings by these Modern Hungarian Masters; Imre Bukta ("Officers at Pig Feast"). Laszlo Feher, and Imre Bak.There are also creations by; Claes Oldenburg ("Lingerie Counter"), Yoko Ono, and Markus Lupertz.
  • Festival Theater
The Palace of Arts by night
The Palace of Arts
The Palace of Arts

10./C The Zikkurat:

The Zikkurat
The Zikkurat with the Labirynth
The Labirynth
The Nathional Theatre

11.  The Children's Railway:

The Children's Railway is located in the west of the city of Budapest, the capital city of Hungary. Its eleven-kilometre-long, narrow gauge line runs through the woods of the hills of the city on the Buda side.

It is often called "the greatest child toy of the world," but it is not entirely true. Children aged 10 to 14 control the traffic and commercial services provided but strictly according to regulations of any other railway line of the State Railways of Hungary (MAV Zrt).

The engines are driven by adult engineers, and children on duty, are continuously supervised by adult railway employees. Apart from that, children do their jobs, operate the switches and signals, print tickets and keep passengers informed, on their own.

The Children's Railway in Budapest is not a unique institution of its kind. But it has always been by far the largest, most popular and serious one of them all in the world.

The railway operates throughout the year, except for Mondays from September to April. Trains run from 9 o'clock in the morning until 5 o'clock in the winter and until 7 o'clock in the summer.

Szépjuhászné station
The Children's Railway's track
Heritage railway
Heritage railway
The Children's Railway
The Children's Railway - video

12. the Hungarian Railway Museum:

The foundation-stone of the Hungarian Railway Museum was laid on 22 November 1999, on the site of the former Budapest North Depot of the Hungarian State Railways (MÁV). The first phase of the project was completed in less than eight months, funded by the Ministry of Transport and Waterways, MÁV and MÁV Nosztalgia Ltd, the heritage division of MÁV. After many months of effort, Europe's first interactive railway museum opened on 14 July 2000, displaying over a hundred railway vehicles and equipment of varying ages on a site of over 70,000 m2.

Fortunately the North Depot's 1911 roundhouse remained intact and its 34 bays provided an ideal home for the operational vintage fleet. This includes a steam engine built in 1870 and the legendary Árpád railcar, built in 1934, which sped from Budapest to Vienna in just under three hours. The gem of the vintage fleet is the elegant teak dining car built for the Orient Express in 1912.
The fleet is comprised of fifty engines, twelve operational and thirty-eight cosmetically restored, plus a wide range of rolling stock: railcars, self-powered rail cars and hand-carts, inspection cars, steam cranes, snow ploughs and other curiosities. The exhibits take visitors through the entire history of the railways from the steam engines of the 1870s to the powerful electric engines of today. Many of the vehicles are still in working order and used on the nostalgic train trips organised by MÁV Nosztalgia Ltd. in Hungary and abroad.

Visitors can not only admire the old machines: they can also try them out. They can drive a steam engine, travel in a car converted for rails, operate a hand-cart, ride on the turntable and on the horse tram. The engine simulator offers a virtual experience of driving the most powerful Hungarian electric railway engine, using the original equipment, while the rail-cycle challenges one's sense of balance. There is also a model railway that visitors can admire and even operate in the maroon postal wagon.
The beautifully landscaped park is ideal for relaxation, and refreshments are available in the Buffet or on the terrace of the Nostalgia Café.

the Hungarian Railway Museum
the Hungarian Railway Museum
the Hungarian Railway Museum
the Hungarian Railway Museum
the Hungarian Railway Museum
the Hungarian Railway Museum
the Hungarian Railway Museum
the Hungarian Railway Museum
Steam Locomotive Festival, 2011.

13. Szabadság square:

In the downtown region of Pest, close to the Kossuth tér is the spacious, almost oval shaped park of the Szabadság tér. From the square, roads take off in radials, aligned with grand mansions. The buildings with their eclectic fassade were erected in the second half of the 19th Century in bourgeois style, so typical to this entire district. In the centre you may find the last remaining Soviet memorial (which is now protected by a cordon due to its repeated damaging). From among the surrounding buildings the most significants are the National Bank's Palace (Nemzeti Bank palotája) and the building of the American Embassy. Due to the many offices in this district one can find pleasant cafés in the centre and around the park along with many restaurants, moreover numerous well equipped playgrounds await the children. If you wish only to lay down in the grass, that is also possible here.

Szabadság square (video)

Copyright: text by Wikipedia
                photos and videos by szalay3

Other blogs:

Hungary, Hollókő (skanzen village)
Szentendre, Open Air Museum

1 megjegyzés:

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