11/30/13 Budapest, Hungary
Here is a view of the Budapest Parliament building from the Buda side of the Danube River. It is the seat of the National Assembly of Hungary, one of Europe's oldest legislative buildings, and currently the largest building in Hungary.
St Stephen's Basilica was built in 1905 AD. It is named in honor of Stephen, the first King of Hungary (c 975–1038).
Matthias Church located in front of the Fisherman's Bastion at the heart of Buda's Castle District. It was originally built in 1015 AD, rebuilt in 14th century in a Gothic style and restored in the 19th century.
In the midst of the Budapest City Park is the Szechenyi Bath, which is the largest medicinal bath in Europe.
Here we are in front of the Fisherman’s Bastion. Fisherman's Bastion is a terrace situated on the Buda bank of the Danube, on the Castle hill, near Matthias Church. Its seven towers represent the seven Magyar tribes that settled here in 896 AD. The Bastion takes its name from the guild of fishermen that was responsible for defending this stretch of the city walls in the Middle Ages.
Laid out in 1896 to mark the 1000th anniversary of Hungary, Heroes' Square is the largest and most impressive square of the city. The Millennium Monument in the middle of the square was erected to commemorate the 1000-year-old history of the Magyars. Archangel Gabriel stands on top of the center pillar, holding the holy crown and the double cross of Christianity.
The seven chieftains who led the Magyar tribes to Hungary can be seen on the stand below.
Statues of kings and other important historical figures stand on top of the colonnades on either side of the center pillar.
Heroes’ Square is surrounded by two important buildings, Museum of Fine Arts on the left and Kunsthalle (Hall of Art) on the right.
Royal Palace (also called Buda Castle) is the historical castle and palace complex of the Hungarian kings in Budapest, and was constructed between the years of 1410 and 1437 AD. It was extensively damaged in the wars with the Ottoman Turks in the 1500’s and was restored to its present form in the 1700’s and 1800’s. During the WW II fighting between the Soviets and Nazis, it was again severely damaged and extensively restored in the 1950’s.
We visited the Great Market Hall. On the upper floor were countless small restaurants and small craft and souvenir shops.
Downstairs it was like a gigantic farmers’ market with numerous stalls selling fresh fruits, vegetables, bakery goods and fresh meat.
Looking across the Danube River, we could see the Statue of Liberty on Gellért Hill behind Liberty Bridge. It was first erected in 1947 in remembrance of the Soviet occupation of Hungary during World War II which ended the occupation by Nazi Germany.
Near the Hungarian Parliament buildings, we saw a memorial of the victory of the Soviet Army over Nazi Germany and liberation of Hungary.
After spending a week of rest and relaxation on the Danube, we somewhat reluctantly headed to the Budapest airport to catch our flight back to London. Affordable flights back to England from Budapest are not plentiful on Sundays, so we took a Norwegian Air flight which had a stopover in Helsinki Finland. We had hoped to see some of Finland, but it gets dark before 3pm in Finland during December.