The attractions of Budapest, Hungary
My absolute favorite side of Budapest is the Gellert Hill and the Citadel:Rising steeply above the capital, Gellért Hill (Gellért- hegy) seems from the Danube to be a huge cliff, al- though it is only 140 metres (430 ft.) above the level of the river. Owing to its exceptional situation, it offers a peerless panorama of the entire city. Up to the end of the nineteenth century this was the limit of the town of Buda, and the hill served as an outpost and fortress of Buda Castle. The plateau is still not fully built over: only on the southern and western slopes can we find villas. The top can be reached on foot in a good quarter of an hour from the Buda end of either Elizabeth or Liberty Bridge. The motor road starts from Elizabeth bridge, but bus 27 starting at Móricz Zsigmond körtér will also take you to the summit.
The Citadel, the fortress on top of the hill, was built between 1850 and 1854 by the despotic Habsburg authorities to control the city after the suppression of the Hungarian War of Independence. The walls in the east-west direction are 200 metres (220 yds.) long, 4 to 6 metres (13-20 ft.) high and at some points 3 metres (10 ft.) thick. In 1897 the Austrian troops left the fortress, and in 1899 the city of Budapest, which bought it, had the walls symbolically demolished -as can still be seen next to the main gate-but then it was again used to house Hungarian soldiers. During the 1944-45 siege it was from the Citadel (and from Castle Hill) that the encircled German troops kept the city under gunfire until their final surrender. Today the Citadel serves as a look-out terrace and has a restaurant. The former barracks have been converted into a tourist hostel. The Liberation Monument (the work of Zsigmond Kisfaludi Strobl) was erected in 1947 to commemorate the liberation of the country and in honour of the soldiers of the liberating Soviet Army (today we call it occupation). The female figure holding the palm of victory together with the pedestal is 40 metres (132 ft.) high. In front of it is the statue of a Soviet soldier; of the two accessory figures one vanquishes the symbolic figure of destruction and devastation, the other one raises high the torch of progress. The names of fallen Soviet soldiers are carved on the pedestal. On the. southern and western slopes below the Citadel the Jubilee Park was completed in 1965-66; from here the view extends to the semicircle of the Buda hills. Of the statues in the park mention must be made of István Kiss's relief "Budapest" and of Ferenc Medgyessy's work "St. Gerard's (Gellért's) Fountain" standing in the lower end of the park.
Things about Budapest you may be interested in
Read about Budapest in our travel-guide
A trip to the Budapest ZooThe best things to do in Budapest
Recommended Budapest Guide
After the invasion of Tatars, significant fortification work began all over the country. During this period, the royal castle and the walled city were built on Castle Hill. In the middle ages, Budapest emerged as the economic and cultural center of the country and at the beginning of the sixteenth century the city reached its peak. During this period, Hungary extended over a large territory and united with Poland and Lithuania. The rule of Hungarian crown extended from the Baltic to the Adriatic Sea. A strong Hungarian empire came into existence in Eastern Europe and Buda became the economical, political and cultural hub of the country.... Read more »
Recent reviews for Budapest
Must see the Palace of Miracles in Budapest - Jun 22, 2009, by angel
Last summer we spent some days in Budapest with a friend from California. We tried to do and see as many things in this capital city as we could. We heard about this place 'The Mansion of Miracles' (Csodak Palotaja in hungarian) and we... Read more »
Sailing on the Danube in Budapest - Jun 22, 2009, by angel
Szentendre is a little city very close to Budapest. We found on the internet that there are little ships or pleasure-boats which depart from Budapest and travel to Szentendre. We decided to buy tickets to one of them but only one-way,... Read more »
One Night in Budapest - Sep 12, 2006, by MadSuh
Budapest is a cool town. I had to get back to Germany as my sister had a motorcycle accident (she is ok now!). I had to go back to Germany to take care of my family's house. I heard from a friend that he would be in Budapest for a... Read more »
The best things to do in Budapest - May 30, 2009, by diana_ciocoiu
Budapest, called the "The bride of Danube" or "The pearl of Danube", is one of the cities with the most beautiful location in the world. Nowadays, the capital of Hungary shows a city full of ancient monuments and... Read more »
Budapest is a nice capital, woth visiting - Jun 30, 2009, by angel
Budapest is the capital of Hungary. This is a city where everyday happens something interesting - there are festivals, cultural events, concerts, interesting expositions and many more. The traffic in this city is quite bad, so if you... Read more »
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