Budapest, Hungary: The Contrasting Influences Part 2

Budapest, the former capital of the Roman province, which includes most of the Balkan countries along the Danube River. Interestingly, the Hungarian Magyar tribes arrived in the area, which was attacked by the barbaric Mongol tribes in the 12th century. The city was reestablished and fortified after the Mongol invasion, which became one of the center of Renaissance, but shortly after it was under the Islamic Ottoman rule for over 140 years. However, even the Ottomans occupied Budapest, they were unable to annex the western part of the country, which remained under the Habsburg Rule, which successfully regained the city with the help of the European’s Holy League. This Medieval history has added on the colorful past of the Hungarian capital. All of these influences has contributed to make Budapest an interesting place for tourists to visit.

This is the second part of my short trip in Budapest. In this blogpost, I will attempt to shed light more on the interesting Medieval past. Click here for the First Part and Third Part.

1.   Szabadság hid

The Liberty Bridge is the third southernmost road bridge in Budapest. It was named originally from Franz Josef, the longest-running Emperor of the dual monarchy of Austria and Hungary.

2.    Pálosok, Sziklakápolna

This Rock Temple was established by the Paulines after getting an idea of establishing church on a rock after visiting the miraculous Lourdes in France.

3.    Új Budapest Galéria

The New Budapest Gallery features outstanding domestic and international artworks following contemporary art.

4.    Szent Gellért tér

This is a district located along the Danube River under the Hill of Gellert, which is considered a World Heritage site.

5.    Gellérthegyi Barlang

The Gellert Hill Cave also known as the Saint Ivan’s Cave was used to be a residence of a hermit and natural thermal water of a muddy lake, which is believed to heal the sick.

6.    Csúszdapark

This is park on top of the Gellert Hill. There are slides between the Citadella and the Gellert ter.

7.    Szabadság szobor

The Statue of Liberty in Budapest features a female figure holding a palm branch. This statue has reminded the freedom of Hungary from the Soviet influence during the Post Second World War period.

8.    Citadella

This fortification is located on top of the Gellert Hill, which has a strategic importance in Budapest’s military history. The fortress was built to protect the Habsburg monarchy in the 18th century, and used by the Soviet troops to fire down into the city during the Russian assault to overthrow the Hungarian government.

9.    Erzsébet hid

The Elizabeth Bridge is one of the newest bridges in Budapest connecting both banks of the Danube. It is situated in the narrowest part of the Danube and named after Queen Elizabeth of Bavaria and Empress of the dual monarchy of Austria and Hungary.

10. Szent Gellért Szobor

Saint Gerard memorial statue is a sculptural ensemble with a semi-circular arcade with a waterfall. The area commemorates the martyrdom of Gellert, who killed by the pagans in an attempt to spread Christianity.

11. Döbrentei tér

One of the most busiest transportation meeting points in Budapest. It has a beautiful view of the Danube River, the castle and the Gellert Hill. It was where the demolished Serbian Church used to stand.

12. Semmelweis Orvostörténeti Múzeum

The Semmelweis Medical History Museum has one of the richest medical and chemical historical collections. One of its permanent exhibition features the development of Western medicine from the prehistoric age to the twentieth century.

13. Várkert Bazár

The Castle Garden Bazaar is located at the foot of the castle. It has a good view of the Old Town and the Danube River.

14. Ybl Miklós tér

This is a small public place dedicated to the Hungarian master architect Miklos Ybl, who designed the Hungarian State Opera House, and was responsible for the construction of the St. Stephen’s Basilica.

15. Várkert Zrt

The Castle Garden is World Heritage Site. It is newly renovated and decorated with ornate edifice in its entrance. Previously, there were shops in the area during the 18th century, and was severely damaged during the Second World War.

16. Budavári Palota

The Buda Royal Castle is one of the major cultural and tourist center. It is considered a World Heritage Site siting on the Buda Hill.  It was the Medieval residence of the Hungarian Kings, but has been severely dilapidated during the occupation of the Turks in the 15th century, and bombed during the Second World War.

17. Statue of Prince Eugene of Savoy

This is the statue remembering the French-born Prince Eugene of Savoy, who served as a general and statesman of the Holy Roman Empire. He was considered controversial after been rejected by the French king to serve the army, which led him to move to Austria and pledged loyalty to the Habsburg Monarchy.

18. Széchenyi Lánchid

This suspension bridge across the banks of the Danube River. It was named after the person who was a major supporter of its construction during the 18th century.

19. Magyar Könyvtárosok Egyesülete

This is considered the Hungarian Library, which was run by the Association of Hungarian Librarians, which aims to spearhead professional development among its members.

20. Szent György u.

The St. George Streey is considered very unique for its Baroque buildings, which dates back from the 14th and 15th centuries.

21. Honvéd-szobor

The Soldier Statue in Buda Castle is great reminder of the freedom fighters who served the country. On the pedestal trunks are found bronze laurel branches with inscriptions “anonymous heroes.”

22. Tárnok u.

This pedestrian leads from the square where the Soldier Statue is located and the Matthias Church. Many shops and stores line this pedestrian.

23. Mátyás Templom

The Matthias Church or the Buda Castle Coronation Church is almost over a thousand years old. It was said to be established by St. Stephen and was transformed as a mosque during the Turks invasion.

24. Szentháromság tér

The Trinity Square is one of the city’s oldest and beautiful squares. There is a column of Holy Trinity which reminds the plague that ravaged most of Central and Eastern Europe in the Medieval times.

25. Szent István szobra

The equestrian statue of St. Stephen was inaugurated at the start of the 19th century. St. Stephen was the first Christian king of Hungary, who helped spread Christianity in the entire Carpathian Basin. Hungary celebrates the day of King Stephen I every 20th day of August of every year.

The Medieval past of the Hungarian capital is colorful from the invasion of the Turks, the reign of the Habsburg which established the dual monarchy of Austria and Hungary and the resurgence of Christianity in the country. Much more interesting is how Budapest played a significant role during the Cold War in the modern times. All these events have shaped the contrasting influences on the capital city.


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