20 places from Budapest Hungary that will blow your mind
Budapest or boo-dah-pesht emerged as a Central-European town to a vibrant metropolis can be basically written off as as anachronisms in transition symbolizing a connection between East and West. The economic revival of the Paris of the east is nothing less than artful. A bit of a handle on Budapest leads to discover that the city is hedonistic with is Eclectic and Art Noveau vibe with a proverbial blushing awkwardness of riches.
Hungarian specialities of mangalica sausage, salami, ham, scones, goulash and baguette are must eats. Gourmet craft beer, espresso tonic, espresso fentimans, local cakes like Eszterhazy torte, Gerbeaud, Dobos torte, Pozsonyi crescents, chocolate bonbons, mulled wine, bull’s blood or Egri Bikaver in the Eger Valley of beautiful women, Craft brew in Fot, Somlo’s Wedding night wine and Juhfark or Sheep’s tail, fruit brandy palinka and Sweet Hungaian wine Tokaji pronounced toke-eye are must try and totally worth a few forint. Budapest has the best neighbourhood bar concepts.
Classic Tabrant tour in the People’ car Trabi, Double decker city tour and Budapest Helicopter tours are a must do.
The palatial Buda Castle in the Romanesque, Medieval, Baroque, Baroque Revival and Modernist style is seen across the Danube also referred to as the Royal Palace-Budavari Palota. The Matthias Fountain in the forecourt of the palace is the most photographed exceptional artwork of the palace. Buda castle had been erected atop Varhegy Castle hill on an elevation and is directly linked to Clark Adam Square and the Szechenyi Chain Bridge by the Castle Hill Funicular.
The façade, Neo-Baroque terrace, arched stone doorways, Balcony tower, Gothic Hall, palace chapel, castle wing, barrel vaulted rooms, Gothic Corbel doors, cusps, medieval trapdoor, medieval cellar, underground cistern Cisterna Regina, Renaissance garden, King’s cellar, buttress, grand throne room, Gothic altar, coronation room, King’s staircase, Diplomat’s staircase, St Stephen’s Chapel, Palatinal Crypt, ball room, Habsburg steps, Queen Elisabeth Memorial Hall, et al are the main highlights of the castle.
The Monument of Prince Eugene of Savoy, Horseherd Statue, Turulbird of the Magyars, Fishing children and Lions are some of the great artworks of the castle. Buda castle Labyrinth of about 6 miles was used as a harem and was home to the most famous prisoner Vlad Tepes or Count Dracula.
Chain Bridge in classicist style that spans the River Danube is the oldest bridge of Budapest and is officially called Szechenyi Lanchid suspension bridge. The chain-links, rivets, pillars, saddles, chain chambers, iron blocks, bridgeheads, chain ends and spans are composed of cast wrought iron and stone. On the Pest side it is fastened to Szechenyi Square and on the Buda side it clings to Adam Clark square and Zero Kilometre Stone. It is symbolic of a modern world’s engineering wonder of the Hungarian capital with extended pillar portals and abutments adorned with stone lions on either side.
In the provincial town of Buda and Pest a pedestrian subway at the Buda side and a tram subway at the Pest side with the bridge straddling in the night illumination on the dark surface of the river Danube makes it looks like a million bucks. The “Summer on the Chain Bridge” fest is a must visit.
The lookout of Fisherman’s Bastion in central Budapest also known Halaszbastya is a white stoned Neo Gothic and Neo Romanesque style inconspicuous viewing terrace like fortress with stairs, walking paths and seven gleaming silvery cone-topped and tent-like turret towers symbolizing chieftains of Magyar tribes that entered Carpathian Basin on Buda Bank of Danube in Castle District. It was built on a rampart and has a colossal double stairway. The Apostolic figurine of the king- saint looks surreal.
The Archbishopric St. Stephan’s Basilica is the largest church in Budapest in Neoclassical style and Neo renaissance was originally a theatre of Hellenistic and Classicist style at 96 metres with Greek-cross floor plan revels in ecclesiastical status of Hungary with views of streets, squares, Downtown Pest, Castle Hill, Citadel and Buda. The façade is moored by bell towers. The way to the dome has 364 stairs with a 360-degree view overlooking Budapest.
The bell towers have bells namely the Szent Istvan bell or Great St. Stephen bell of 9.5 tons being the largest bell, Blessed Virgin Mary bell, St. Henry bell, Blessed Gizella bell, Saint Emeric bell and Saint Erzsebet or Elizabeth bell. The highlights of the Sistine Chapel tour are sanctuary and altar, stained windows of St. Margaret and St. Elizabeth, Statue of St. Elizabeth, chapel, Baptismal font, Cupola, staircase, dome, dome ceiling, relief figures, tympanum, hanging scaffolding, mosaics, elevator shafts and evangelist shrine with St. Stephen’s allegories relics in the under croft with rococo reliquary.
Andrassy ut is a boulevard of Budapest façade lined with Neo-Renaissance mansions and townhouses, Embassies, art galleries, theatres and luxury brands and haute couture boutiques. Andrassy Avenue is a world heritage site and is a connecting link between Erzsebet Square and Varosliget.
Budapest Operetta Theatre, Ballet institute, Miniversum, Pesti Broadway, Fonciere Palace, Dreschler Palace, House of terror, Liszt Ferenc Square, Hero’s Square, Palace of Art, Fine Arts Museum and City Park are some of the vantage points of the main thoroughfare. The Avenue is made up of four parts: Erzsebet ter to Oktogon, Oktogon to Kodaly Korond, Kodaly Korond to Bajza utca and Bajza utca to Varosliget. It is regarded as Hungarian Champs-Elysees made as part of resurgence of Pest and Buda.
The Millernary Underground subway is one of its kind in entire continental Europe was created to preserve this masterpiece of city planning with stops at the intersection of Grand Boulevard Nagykorut. Millennium Walking Tour is a must do.
Hungarian Parliament Building or Orszaghaz which means House of the nation is a unicameral legislative building hosting protocol events stretching between Chain Bridge and Margaret Bridge overlooking Danube in a Danube Cruise in Baroque, Gothic Revival and Renaissance revival architectural style replete with the Hungarian Crown Jewels and treasures and the old House of Lords being the tallest structure in Budapest.
Main Hall, Assembly Hall of House of Magnates, the Coat of Arms of Hungary and Hungarian Coronation Regalia the Holy Crown of Hungary, the orb, the sceptre and a Renaissance sword and Hunter’s Hall in the central hall are its core physiognomies apart from entrance gates, façade and cupola with the statuettes of Hungarian Kings and Transylvanian rulers, stained glass, glass mosaics, dome, lounge, roof, silhouette, courtyard, elevators, staircases, busts, lobbies, rooms and wall niche sculptures and frescoes. A guided tour to the third largest Parliament in the world is a must do which is at a walking distance from Kossuth Square.
Hungarian State Opera House or Magyar Allami Operahaz is in Neo-Renaissance style with Baroque essentials in horseshoe shape located in Central Budapest is the second largest Opera House in Budapest and in Hungary. The Budapest Opera Ball and Hungarian National ballet are grand events undertaken here. It is considered to be an architect’s masterpiece making it the one of the finest Opera Houses in the world for its enhancing appeals like Royal marble staircase, acoustics, musical theme symmetrical façade with statuettes of the likes of Beethoven, Mozart and Verdi, foyer, marble columns, vaulted ceiling, murals, friezes, frescoes, motifs, wrought-iron lamps, stone sphinxes, floor level statues of muses, wide stone staircase, mosaic floors, entrance, mail hall, Bronze gilded chandeliers, frescoes, central revolving stage proscenium arch and the royal box.
House of Terror or Terror Haza at the former headquarters of the Secret Police is a harrowing memorial to commemorate the people who routinely and sequentially lost their lives in the sham trials and executions during the Cold war in the bloody communist and fascist regimes in the sin city of Budapest. It has a black exterior with entablature and blade walls apart from the granite sidewalk.
This building of Hungary’s Stalinist and Leninist past stands in sharp contrast to other avenues of Andrassy Ut. The easiest way to reach this place is to take the Millennium underground to Vorosmarty Utca. The atrium of the museum covers the rigged election that led to the Gulag life in the prison cells, killing fields and concentration camps and Social Realism on its walls. A labyrinth built of pork fat, grease and tallow bricks are moving. The windowless basement chambers are ghastly.
Shoes on the Danube is a haunting memorial of the Jews who were stripped down at gunpoint and shot en masse in broad daylight by the firing squad of the anti-Semitic Arrow Cross Militia and tossed in the waters of the Danube throughout Holocaust atrocities. It is on the Pest side of the Danube Promenade between Roosevelt Square and Kossuth Square. These are sixty pairs of corporeal and rusted period-appropriate true to life shoes affixed to the stone embankment.
Liberty Bridge or Szabadsag hid is a pedestrian only cantilever truss road bridge in a wind-tie structure on just two pillars with a suspended middle span girder and masts with Parisian style lampposts, mythical falcon clad bronze statues, spires and crest topped with a gilded crown on its either side and public squares Gellert ter and Fovam ter on its ends. It is was the first bridge reconstructed in accordance to the original plan after World War II and also the shortest bridge of Budapest with embedded plaques on its façade and pillar columns. It is at the heart of the city where Buda and Pest meet evenly lightening up the roadway and skyline of Budapest.
Memento Park originally called Statue Park Szobor park is a historical representation with a mock façade of Neoclassical style depicting Hungarian history until fall of communist manifesto celebrating the demise and liberation of the and from the regime of the Iron Curtain with the likes of colossal and monumental cubist statues of Vladimir Lenin, Karl Marx, Stalin’s Grandstand, Friedrich Engels, Dimitrov, Ostapenko, Steinmetz, Bela Kun, Hungary’s Heroes Stakhanovites, Hungarian-Soviet Frienship, proletarian hero cloakroom attendant and sculpted plaques from Hungary’s totalitarian Dictatorial Period divided into sections namely Northern Barrack, Statue Park “A Sentence About Tyranny” and “Witness Square” also called “Neverwas Square”.
Citadella is a sprawling fortress atop Gellert Hill with an overview of Buda and Pest spread across on 235 metres high plateau with an open air display of wax dioramas of Red Army weaponry from the Second World War. It was used as an anti-aircraft, bunker and a surveillance position taking advantage of its promising views of the vantage points of the city such as Parliament, Castle and all bridges. The liberation statue perched high on a pedestal- lady with olive branch, the Progress statue-lady with torch and fight against evil statue- headed dragons symbolising the Axis Powers are the iconic pieces of work. The easiest way to reach the citadel is by bus from Moricz Zsigmond korter.
Szechenyi Thermal bath or Szechenyi gyogyfurdo originally referred to Artesian spa or Artezi furdo is the spa complex in the green park of City Park with streaming, whirlpool and massaging water in Neo-baroque style is the creation of Gyozo Czigler with water supplied by thermal springs. Aqua Therapies in the natural waters is very popular in the City of Baths of Budapest because of the waters’ healing powers and therapeutic potentials. It is also considered to be the world’s best cure for hangover what Hungarians call macskajaj. The easiest way to reach is from Vorosmarty square by Millennium Underground.
Gellert Hill Cave or Gellerthegyi-barlang is a network of caves ideal for caving also referred to as Saint Ivan’s Cave or Szent Ivan-barlang are rumoured to be connected to a system of underground passageways and shafts and has the striking grotto chapel with Papal features of a Rock church also called Sziklatemplom with neo-gothic turrets, statuettes of Black Madonnas black countenance of Virgin Mary, altars and the walls of the cave formed of all-natural living rock of a natural cave system formed by thermal springs and hardwood carvings by the Pauline order follower. The Pauline is supposed to be the only monastery order of Hungarian origin in the dolomite rock hills.
Ethnographic Museum or Neprajzi Muzeum was established for reminding about the disappearing values and vernaculars of the ethnic Hungarian ethos with well curated exhibits of Hungarian ways of life which include peasantry, social hierarchies, habitats, nutrition and celebrations. The history of minstrels and parables of the goat are worth it. The ceiling fresco and gold leaf arched walkways exude grandiose.
The newest addition is the Megyeri Bridge or Megyeri Hid which is the longest arcing the northernmost point of the capital and is the first of its kind cable stayed bridges.
Szabadsag ter or Liberty square is a short walk to the south east part and Falk Miksa utca to the north with the newest addition of Columbo Statue of the Parliament.
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