The capital of Hungary consists of three sites with over two thousand years of history. These three locations for a long time were separate municipalities, which became one city only some two hundred years ago.
The Roman town has been the important outpost protecting the empire along the great river of Danube until 2nd century, where Goth raids finally succeded.
Th barbarians did not destroyed the city, jet under their rule it is hard to find any traces of development. Soon the town has been forgotten for as long as till 19th century, when archaeologists found remains of Aquincium in surprisingly good shape. Visitors today can see the remains of amphitheatre and of many different public and private houses, some of them feture interesting ancient mosaics.
Although known already by Romans, the sources of mineral waters were utilised by the Turks, who built numerous baths here, may of them still functioning, like about 400 years old Rudas baths and Kiraly Baths. Today there are 21 spa centres, one of the most popular is Gelert Baths hidden inside splendid 19th century interiors.
19th century brings the development of Pest and new buildings in modern style Secession. Visitor to Budapest can admire facades of numerous buildings in the centre, entrance to the ZOO, Gelert Bathsa and Gresham Palace to name just a few. Secession was the base for development of Hungarian National Style, artifacts of these two styles are on display in National Gallery.
The powerful river that flows almost through half of European countries bringing the prosperity to the towns and cities founded along her run. Here was so wide, that for a long time two locations on the opposite river banks were separate towns of Buda and Pest. There were united in 1864 forming one organism, that became Hungarian capital in 1873.
The boat cruise is a convenient and relaxing way to see most of these two towns.
268 m long and 96 m high the biggest building in Hungary preserves the crown of St.Stephen yje most important national icon. The Neo-Gothic structure resembles London;s Houses of Parliament and is easy spotted from the river.
During over two centuries of occupation Turks destroyed most of the churches and replaced them with mosques, which in turn were demolished in 19th century. Hence Budapest features no historical churches unlike other European capitals. One of important sacred buildings is the biggest Synagogue in Europe.
Although this building is only from late 1`9th century, still is worth visiting, especially its tower with interesting panoramic views of the city.
An oasis of the green vegetation in the middle of the city the Island features the nicest part in Budapest with interesting remains of convents and churches.
The patron Saint of Budapest from 11th century did not have an easy life. He was presumely murdered during the rebellion and as the story goes put into the barrel that was thrown from the hill into the waters of Danube. THe saint is quite popular, features the hotel and baths named after him, and illuminated statue on the hill clearly visible from various parts of the city.
[photo courtesy of Huzhead]