Budapest the capital of Hungary in the Heart of Europe

Budapest (pronounced /buːdəpɛst/ 1.8 mill inhabitants), the capital of Hungary serves as the country’s principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centre – even more: is considered an important hub in Central Europe. It covers an area of 525 square kilometres (202.7 sq mi) within the city limits. Budapest became a single city occupying both banks of the river Danube with unification on 17 November 1873 of Buda and Óbuda (left) with Pest (right):

Budapest in Hungary - The View #6

Diane and I just came back from a romantic and adventures long weekend in this beautiful city took plenty of pics and would love to share some with you. Let’s learn something too and start with the beginning as Budapest history a gripping story from the early times to present days:

Historical background
Archaeologists found evidence of human settlements as early as 500,000 BC. During the first 1000 years BC Illyrians and Celts lived in the area. Aquincum, originally a Celtic settlement, was the direct ancestor of Budapest, becoming the Roman capital of Lower Pannonia. Magyars arrived in the territory in the 9th century. Their first settlement was pillaged by the Mongols in 1241-42. The re-established town became one of the centres of Renaissance humanist culture in the 15th century. Following the Battle of Mohács and nearly 150 years of Ottoman rule, development of the region entered a new age of prosperity in the 18th and 19th centuries, and Budapest became an alpha world city after the 1873 unification. It also became the second capital of Austria-Hungary, a great power that dissolved in 1918. Budapest was the focal point of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, the Hungarian Soviet Republic of 1919, Operation Panzerfaust in 1944, the Battle of Budapest of 1945 and the Revolution of 1956.

Uprising from two World Wars:
Somehow this nation stood on the wrong sides in both world wars. Although Hungary became independent from Austria after World War I, the Treaty of Trianon deprived the country of three-fifths of its land. Trianon is still a sensitive issue in everyday-life in Hungary. Budapest and the country needed a few decades to recover from the war, but they needed a couple of centuries to get over Trianon forever.
The consequences of the Treaty resulted in the outbreak of World War II, when Hungary backed the wrong horse again. Budapest was demolished in the siege in 1944-45. The Germans blown up all the Danube bridges and it took 30 years to rebuild the Hungarian capital. This rebuild has been a preserving process and gives a breath taking architectural impression. Let me give you a glance from some of my pics (click to bigify and enjoy):

Monumentally Buildings:
Budapest in Hungary - Buildings and Architecture #2 Budapest in Hungary - Buildings and Architecture #3
Budapest in Hungary - Buildings and Architecture #8 Budapest in Hungary - Buildings and Architecture #11

Architectural streets:
Budapest in Hungary - In the Streets #1 Budapest in Hungary - In the Streets #2
Budapest in Hungary - In the Streets #4 Budapest in Hungary - In the Streets #5

Parks, fountains and statues:
Budapest in Hungary - Parks and Statues #2 Budapest in Hungary - Parks and Statues #4
Budapest in Hungary - Parks and Statues #6 Budapest in Hungary - Parks and Statues #7

Let me end this glimpse of guidance with another landmark of the city, The Parliament:
Budapest in Hungary - The Parliament #1

It’s impossible to cover a city like Budapest in one post, so there will be more stories, more adventures, more to learn and even to eat – with pictures – in the nearest future. I will take you to the Heroes Square, the Horror House, Budapest’s Champs Elysees, Margit recreational island and even to some restaurants in the posts to come – so stay tuned!

A collection of all my Budapest posts from our trip in June 2009:
#0: All pics from Budapest at my Flickr account.
#1: This post
#2: House of Terror and Dohany Great Synagogue
#3: Andrassy Avenue with Heroes Square, City Park and Millennium Underground
#4: Hungarian paradise on Margaret Island and Park
#5: New York Café and Hungarian cuisine as food traditions in Budapest

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  1. I confess I had no idea Budapest was so beautiful! Thank you for giving the historical background, it does help to understand. Looking forward to the future posts!

  2. They have Champs Elysées Too? Cool!

    I love the top picture… sums up what I remember of the city (flew through it ten years ago!). It looks very European, definitely.

    Do a lot of people speak English? I remember trying to read the signs, crazy language!

    Most people where fairly good in English – and German of course – and of course you get quite far with body language :-)

  3. Thanks Renny for this post, an interesting city, yet with a bit of a troubled history. Sounds like you enjoyed your visit though.

  4. Glad you and Diane enjoyed your visit to Hungary, and thanks for letting us see Budapest through your camera lens. :-)

    Have a great new week, Renny.

    Love and hugs,


  5. Now you can see why I love Budapest so much. Such a beautiful city. Did you get to try to Tokjai wine? It’s my favorite dessert wine!

  6. Such amazing architecture in Budapest! It’s one of the places I must visit someday. Wonderful photos, Renny … I look forward to more!

    Btw, you will be treated to many beers if you come here. :-)

  7. We have always wanted to go there and your photos doesn’t exactly tell us not to ;-)

    Amazing architecture – I know it would be!!!!

    Excellent post & Photos, sorry for being a tad bit late here, but this is the first day I can sit and move for this whole week – my back cracked again.

  8. How interesting! So beautiful, lovely photos and report! Some of the architecture I can see spilling off here in Victoria, just bits and pieces…

  9. My travels never included eastern Europe so I have not seen Budapest, but I have been told that it is a beautiful city. I did not realize how badly it was damaged in WWII.

    Have you read “The Historian” by Elizabeth Kostova? It is an exciting mystery and includes wonderful descriptions of several cities one of which is Budapest. They are described by someone who clearly has spent time there and knows the city well. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a very good read.

  10. from seeing all photos u posted i must say that they beautiful community lots. they are beautiful historic architecture. thanks for sharing. i love seeing the places you’ve been to. u captured them so well :)

  11. Thank you for an interesting tour of a city I have never visited. I learned a lot from this post that I didn’t know, and knowledge is never wasted.

    PS Thank you for the comments!

  12. Yo Renny what a wonderful post and it is amazing that after WW I & WW II the restoration is magnificent to say the least.

    Yes, more pictures please Renny and thank you for ‘bringing’ me :D

  13. Hi Rennie. What a beautiful city Budapest is. It’s one of those places one doesn’t know too much about, but your post and pictures is certainly an eye opener. I’ve read about it in various books, but this is the first time I’ve seen such lovely photos and taken from a personal perspective makes it all the more fascinating.

    More please…

  14. Very interesting, beautiful pictures! Thanks for sharing! Budapest is definitely on my to-visit-list!
    I’m in Belgium at the moment enjoying nature and realaxing on a private property of friends.

  15. It’s good to see that you enjoyed your stay here in Budapest, really. And especially good that you take the time and share historical background along with your pictures and memories.

  16. Renny,

    Indeed Hungary backed the wrong horse…but let’s not ruin the spirit of this post by reminding its dark side of history.

    Beautiful bridges and buildings (again, I am not surprised) – you captured its spirit very well :D!


    I am a young guy who just finished University. I am planning to come to this beautiful CITY Budapest. I have neither friends nor relatives there, but for Sure I’ll need some friends who can help me with adaptation in Budapest. So NEED a good friend! Thanks! amico19@mail.ru

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