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Paris of the East!

Budapest

General Information

Situated on both banks of the Danube, Budapest encompasses the colorful hills of Buda and the wide boulevards of Pest. A treasure trove for architect and history lovers. The city showcases an abundance of architectural styles starting from baroque, neoclassical, Eclectic to art nouveau, enough to impress anyone.

Created by combining the towns of Buda, Obuda and Pest in 1873, the differences between the settlements on either side of the Danube are still there to be felt. Buda is defined by its hills. On the Gellert Hill the Citadel and Liberty Statue stand watch over the city visible from everywhere and defining symbols of the city despite their divisive historical significance. On the opposite hill you will find the Buda Castle, the palace we see today was completed in the eighteenth century but it is built on medieval foundations. The palace offers fantastic views of over the Danube to Pest. The Fishermen’s Bastion and Matthias Church offer breathtaking beauty and a chance to see where the last Hungarian King was crowned.


In contrast to historical Buda, Pest offers the vibrant modern energy of the city, where the action happens and where the night begins. Exploring the historic Jewish Quarter you will discover the famous ruin bars. Venues constructed in buildings partial destroyed and left abandoned after the Second World War. They are decorated in an eclectic and unique style and are a favorite with locals and visitors alike. If you are looking to relax then a day at one of Budapest famous baths is a must. The name “Buda” is said to derive from an old for water, in reference to the many thermal baths that can be found in this part of the city.

The grand Gellert Baths offer an impressive Art Nouveau style and the smaller Kiraly Baths constructed by the Ottomans offer a glimpse back to the Sixteenth Century.

It was first completed in 1265, but the massive Baroque palace today occupying most of the site was built between 1749 and 1769.

History

The Hungarians or the “Huns” are originally coming from closer to the Ural mountains (currently in the middle of Russia; above Kazakhstan). They started their journey around the 3rd century to seek for the final land for settlement. The Hungarians conquested todays Hungary between 850-900. We consider the year 896 for our state foundation and ever since to talk about the Hungarian nation.

Our language is coming for an ancient dead language Sanscrit. This is an absolutely unique language in the European Union and no one else speaks it. There’s a few similarities with the Finnish language because it’s coming from the same language tree (and we started to seek for our final land from the same area) but we don’t understand each other’s language because it evolved that much during time.

We were conquered 5 times during our history. 1st Tartars (Mongolian), 2nd Turkish (Turkish empire), 3rd Habsburgs (Austrians), 4th Nazi soldiers (Germans), 5th Soviet soldiers (Soviet Union). Because we were occupied that many times we have loads of German, Turkish and Russian related words.

During history we had 2 important revolutions. The first revolution started in 1848. March 15th which is currently a national holiday for us. The revolution started against the Habsburg occupation. It was defeated in one year although it started the negotiations to set up the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy that joint Austria and Hungary. This agreement made the basics of the current European Union.

The monarchy joined to Germany in the 1st world war and stayed with them until the very end. In 4th June, 1920 the allies and Hungary signed a peace contract. Because of this Hungary lost 2/3rd of it’s territories and ended up being a smaller country in the region. The current shape is approximately the same as it became after the peace contract.

The second revolution started in 23rd October, 1956. it was against the Soviet occupation. It was defeated in one year but after the Hungarians could have more benefits in the Soviet block than the other countries and life was relatively better. There was a mark for Hungary at these better times which was “the Happiest Barrack”.

Hungary became a democratic country in 1990 and it is ever since. Socialism last long between 1945-1990.

Art & Architecture

In Budapest there are various art and architecture in both Buda and Pest side. The main architectural styles In Hungary are Neo renaissance, Baroque, Roman and Gothic. The most beautiful Gothic styled buildings are the Parliament and the Mathias church.

In the city park the Vajdahunyad Castle is replica of 4 different buildings with the 4 different styles therefore it looks like a fairytale castle.

The grand Gellert Baths offer an impressive Art Nouveau style and the smaller Kiraly Baths constructed by the Ottomans offer a glimpse back to the Sixteenth Century.

It was first completed in 1265, but the massive Baroque palace today occupying most of the site was built between 1749 and 1769.

The brutal (Soviet) style can also be found in Budapest but there’re are way less buildings in the center than in other communist influenced capitals. Those buildings are more visible in the outscirts of Budapest which we call as concrete jungle. Exept 2 statues in the center of Budapest, all statues that were built during Nazi and Soviet occupation/communist times are braught to the Memento park. The 2 remaining statues are the Liberty statue and the Soviet memorial in the Liberty square. Both statues are built in brutal style.

For art and art galleries everyone goes to the Falk Miksa street (Peter Falk – detective Culumbo’s father) which is full with art galleries, flea markets and antique shops. More than 100 can be found in that street and in the surrounding area.

Nightlife

Budapest’s nightlife is rather concentrated to the 2 party districts 5th and 6th. The 5th district is mostly where you can find the high end clubs and more outdoor places to hang out such as the Deák Ferenc square which is kinda like a center for those who would like to drink outside.

The 6th district is where you go if you’d go to a bar first. The 6th district is famous for it’s ruin bars which usually means there are old furtnitures and bit destroyed walls inside. The first ruin bars were built into buildings that were hit by a bomb during the 1st and/or 2nd world war, this is why the „ruin” name.

Nowadays the ruin bar is Szimpla although you can find many others in the area. In the 6th district you can still find clubs though and actually the biggest one you can in this district. It’s called Fogasház/Instant. 2 different clubs merged into one with making it an insanely big club. There’s free entry but still recommended to go in earlier. After 10 PM there’s a long line to pass.

Food & Drinks

The Hungarian cuisine if internationally famous. The meals are really tasty and usually heavy as well. There’s almost no Hungarian speciality that would not include at least one of the following ingredients: meet, paprika or sour cream. Usually a speciality includes all :P

The most famous specialites that are a must to try: Goulash soup, Chichken with paprika, Lángos, sausages and kürtős kalács (chimney cake).

Lángos is the only traditionally vegetarian dish. A traditional Lángos is only about deep fried dough, sour cream, garlic souce and cheese. Delitious!

Our typical hungarian alcoholic drink is Pálinka. This is a Hungarian traditional fruit brandy that usually made out of plum, grapes, peach, pear, apple, cherry...etc. Nowadays there’s a big variety of fruits used. The really good ones are 50-60% of the alcohol so watch out it’s strong.