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BUDAPEST, HUNGARY














I traveled to Budapest by myself with a interrail ticket, was the second time that I bought this ticket and I traveled with my backpack again.













Budapest is the capital city of Hungary and the country's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial and transportation centre. In 2007 Budapest had 1,696,128 inhabitants with an official agglomeration of 2,451,418 , down from a mid-1980s peak of 2.1 million.













Budapest became a single city occupying both banks of the river Danube (Hungarians call it the Duna river) with the amalgamation on 17 November 1873 of right-bank (west) Buda and Óbuda (Old Buda) together with Pest on the left (east) bank.

Widely regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Budapest is considered an important Central European hub for business, culture and tourism. Its World Heritage Sites include the banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter, Andrássy Avenue and the Millennium Underground railway, the first on the European continent.

Budapest attracts over 20 million visitors a year, making it one of the top destinations in Europe. The city ranks 74th on Mercer Consulting's 'World's Top 100 Most Livable Cities' list.
The first settlement on the territory of Budapest was Ak-Ink built by Celts. before 1 AD. It was later occupied by the Romans. The Roman settlement - Aquincum - became the main city of Lower Pannonia in 106 AD. The Romans constructed roads, amphitheaters, baths and houses with heated floors in this fortified military camp

The peace treaty of 829 added Pannonia to Bulgaria due to the victory of Bulgarian army of Omurtag over Holy Roman Empire of Louis the Pious. Budapest arose out of two Bulgarian military frontier fortresses Buda and Pest, situated on the two banks of Danube. Hungarians led by Árpád settled in the territory at the end of the 9th century, and a century later officially founded the Kingdom of Hungary. Research places the probable residence of the Árpáds as an early place of central power near what became Budapest. The Tatar invasion in the 13th century quickly proved that defence is difficult on a plain. King Béla IV of Hungary therefore ordered the construction of reinforced stone walls around the towns and set his own royal palace on the top of the protecting hills of Buda. In 1361 it became the capital of Hungary.

The Ottomans pillaged Buda in 1526, besieged it in 1529, and finally occupied it in 1541. The Turkish occupation lasted for more than 140 years. The Turks constructed some fine bathing facilities here. The unoccupied western part of the country became part of the Habsburg Empire as Royal Hungary.

The cultural role of Buda was particularly significant during the reign of Matthias Corvinus of Hungary. The Italian Renaissance had a great influence on the city. His library, the Bibliotheca Corviniana, was Europe's greatest collection of historical chronicles and philosophic and scientific works in the 15th century, and second only in size to the Vatican Library. After the foundation of the first Hungarian university in Pécs in 1367 the second one was established in Óbuda in 1395. The first Hungarian book was printed in Buda in 1473.

The city was destroyed during the battle. Hungary was then incorporated into the Habsburg Empire.

The nineteenth century was dominated by the Hungarians' struggle for independence and modernization. The national insurrection against the Habsburgs began in the Hungarian capital in 1848 and was defeated a little more than a year later.

In 1686, two years after the unsuccessful siege of Buda, a renewed campaign was started to enter the Hungarian capital. This time, the Holy League's army was twice as large, containing over 74,000 men, including German, Croat, Dutch, Hungarian, English, Spanish, Czech, Italian, French, Burgundian, Danish and Swedish soldiers, along with other Europeans as volunteers, artilleryman, and officers, the Christian forces reconquered Buda, and in the next few years, all of the former Hungarian lands, except areas near Timişoara (Temesvár), were taken from the Turks. In the 1699 Treaty of Karlowitz these territorial changes were officially recognized, and in 1718 the entire Kingdom of Hungary was removed from Ottoman rule.

This made Budapest the twin capital of a dual monarchy. It was this compromise which opened the second great phase of development in the history of Budapest, lasting until World War I. In 1873 Buda and Pest were officially merged with the third part, Óbuda (Ancient Buda), thus creating the new metropolis of Budapest. The dynamic Pest grew into the country's administrative, political, economic,
trade and cultural hub. Budapest went from about 80% German-speaking in 1848 to about 80% Hungarian-speaking in 1880. World War I brought the Golden Age to an end. In 1918 Austria-Hungary lost the war and collapsed; Hungary declared itself an independent republic. In 1920 the Treaty of Trianon finalized the country's partition, as a result, Hungary lost over two-thirds of its territory, about two-thirds of its inhabitants under the treaty including 3.3 million out of 10 million ethnic Hungarians.

In 1949, Hungary was declared a communist People's Republic. The new Communist government considered the
buildings like the Buda Castle symbols of the former regime, and during the 1950s the palace
was gutted and all the interiors were destroyed.

Between 20% and 40% of Greater Budapest's 250,000 Jewish inhabitants died through Nazi and Arrow Cross Party genocide during 1944 and early 1945. Despite this, modern day Budapest has the highest number of Jewish citizens per capita of any European city.

In 1944, towards the end of World War II, Budapest was partly destroyed by British and American air raids. From 24 December 1944 to 13 February 1945, the city was besieged during the Battle of Budapest. Budapest suffered major damage caused by the attacking Soviet troops and the defending German and Hungarian troops. All bridges were destroyed by the Germans. More than 38,000 civilians lost their lives during the conflict.

In 1956, peaceful demonstrations in Budapest led to the outbreak of the Hungarian Revolution. The Leadership collapsed after mass demonstrations began on 23 October, but Soviet tanks entered Budapest to crush the revolt. Fighting continued until early November, leaving more than 3000 dead.

From the 1960s to the late 1980s Hungary was often satirically referred to as "the happiest barrack" within the Eastern bloc, and much of the wartime damage to the city was finally repaired. Work on Erzsébet Bridge, the last to be rebuilt, was finished in 1965. In the early 1970s, Budapest Metro's East-West M2 line was first opened, followed by the M3 line in 1982. In 1987, Buda Castle and the banks of the Danube were included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. Andrassy Avenue (including the Millennium Underground Railway, Hősök tere and Városliget) was added to the UNESCO list in 2002. In the 1980s the city's population reached 2.1 million. In recent times a significant decrease in habitants occurred mainly due to a massive movement to the neighbouring agglomeration in Pest county. In the last decades of the 20th century the political changes of 1989-90 concealed changes in civil society and along the streets of Budapest. The monuments of the dictatorship were taken down from public places, into Memento Park.
You can find seven islands on the Danube.

Panoramic view points

Naphegy panoramic view to Gellért Hill, best near view to south side of Buda Castle, historic district Krisztinaváros

The Fisherman's Bastion panoramic view across the Danube to Pest, in the heart of the Castle District.

Tabán historic site, near panoramic view to Buda Castle, Danube Promenade, Erzsébet
Bridge, park and 1956 Hungarian Revolution Memorial

Gellért Hill best far view to the Danube Bridges, Danube Promenade and Gellért Baths

Danube Promenade view to Buda Castle, Gellért Hill

Sashegy impressive, far view from the top of the Natural Reserve Park to: Gellérthegy, Naphegy, Buda Castle, Danube Promenade.

Széchenyi-hegy, far view from the end of the bus-line 112 to: Gellérthegy, Naphegy, Sashegy, Buda Castle, Danube Promenade.

Sights and historic places

• Andrássy Avenue with its several sights including the Hungarian State Opera, the Pest Broadway and the House of Terror

• Bauhaus in Budapest: walk in Napraforgó Street, row of 22 Bauhaus villas, Pasarét and Újlipótváros

• Buda Castle with the Royal Palace, the Funicular, Hungarian National Gallery and National Széchényi Library, Matthias Church, Holy Trinity Column (a plague column) and Fisherman's Bastion

• City Park with Széchenyi Medicinal Bath, Vajdahunyad Castle, the Timewheel, the Zoo, the Municipal Grand Circus and the Amusement Park

• Danube Promenade or Dunakorzó with Vigadó Concert Hall

• Ferenciek tere with Paris Courtyard and Erzsébet Bridge with Inner City Parish Church nearby

• Franz Liszt Academy of Music

• Gellért Baths, Gellért Hill with Gellért Statue, Cave Church and Citadel with Liberty Statue

• Geological Museum

• Great Market Hall and Liberty Bridge

• Heroes' Square with the Millenary Monument, the Palace of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts

• Margaret Island with the Centennial Memorial, a Japanese garden, a Musical Fountain, several recreation facilities and Franciscan, Dominican and Premonstratensian ruins from the Middle Ages













• Museum of Applied Arts

• National Museum

• Szabadság tér One of the most beautiful squares in downtown Budapest

• Corvin tér Beautifully restored square at the foot of Castle Hill

• Dohány Street Synagogue, the largest synagogue in Europe with the Holocaust Memorial (weeping willow statue)
• Palace of Arts and National Theatre













• Parliament Building with the Holy Crown of Hungary and sceptre, Kossuth Memorial, Ethnographical Museum, Attila József statue, Imre Nagy statue

• Saint Stephen's Basilica

• Sashegy The largest Natural Reserve Park of Budapest

• Shoes on the Danube Promenade Gyula Pauer - Holocaust Memorial

• Statue Park

• Széchenyi Chain Bridge, Academy of Sciences and Gresham Palace













• Tomb of Gül Baba

• Váci Street and Vörösmarty Square

• Western Railway Station

• Erzsébetváros District VII, the former Jewish quarter

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