The City of Budapest

Hungary's capital straddles a gentle curve in the Danube. It's the administrative as well as the business and cultural centre of Hungary, and virtually everything that happens in the country starts, finishes or is taking place here. But the beauty of Budapest is what really makes it stand apart. Its broad avenues, leafy parks and harmonious blend of architectural styles has earned it the nickname the 'Paris of Eastern Europe'.
Budapest also has a turn-of-the-century feel to it, for it was then - during the industrial boom and the capital's heyday - that most of the city was built. The city is well laid-out, rarely confusing, and ideal for walking.

The walled Castle District is the premier destination for visitors, and contains some of Budapest's most important monuments and museums. It consists of two distinct parts: the Old Town, where commoners lived during medieval times; and the Royal Palace, the original site of a castle built in the 13th century. The Old Town is filled with attractively painted streets, decorative churches and the famous Fishermen's Bastion. The latter was built as a viewing platform in 1905, and named after the guild of fishermen responsible for defending this stretch of wall in the Middle Ages. It has commanding views over the city, and is dominated by seven gleaming turrets (representing the seven Magyar tribes who entered the Carpathian Basin in the 9th century), and a statue of St Stephen on horseback. Immediately south of the Old Town is the Royal Palace.
Razed, rebuilt and redesigned over the past seven centuries, the palace houses a number of museums, including the National Gallery, which has an enormous collection devoted exclusively to Hungarian art.
Razed, rebuilt and redesigned over the past seven centuries, the palace houses a number of museums, including the National Gallery, which has an enormous collection devoted exclusively to Hungarian art.
The oldest and one of the most interesting parts of the city is Óbuda. The area is remarkable for its Roman ruins, and its small, quiet neighbourhoods which seem unchanged since the turn of the century. It also has its fair share of museums, including the Kiscelli Museum, which features an impressive art collection and rooms furnished with Empire, Biedermeier and Art-Nouveau furniture. North of Óbuda is the Roman civilian town of Aquincum, the most complete in Hungary.

Established at the end of the 1st century, it was among the most developed towns on the continent with sumptuous single-storey houses, fountains and courtyards. Not much remains of that today, but you can still see their outlines as well as those of the big public baths, market and a temple devoted to the sun god Mithras.
The Aquincum Museum tries to put it all in perspective - unfortunately only in Hungarian. However, you can check out the 3rd-century water organ, pottery moulds and floor mosaics, and the sculptures and stone sarcophagi outside.
Budapest Links

Budapest Panorama

Official turistical website of Budapest
 
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