Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Budapest: The City Of Lights




Architecturally, Budapest is a gem, with enough baroque, neoclassical, eclectic and art novae buildings to satisfy anyone’s appetite and thus, making Budapest is the most beautiful city in central Europe. Although founded, more than 800 years ago, its beauty still stands unparalleled, despite earthquakes, fires, sieges and world wars. The buildings themselves in Budapest bear tell-tale signs of recent and ancient history.
The Hungarian capital is a delight both by day and by night, with its parks, brimming with attractions, museums filled with treasures, pleasure boats sailing up and down the scenic Danube and Turkish-era thermal baths, and of course its food and wine.





The capital has two sides, Buda and Pest, stretching along the banks of the Danube, representing two different characters of the city. Suburban Buda and its historic castle district offer medieval streets and houses, museums, caves and Roman ruins. The dynamic Pest side boasts the largest parliament building in Europe, riverside promenades, flea markets, bookstores, antique stores and café houses.




The most visited site is Trinity Square, dominated by one of Budapest's most characteristic building, the Mathias Church, which is over 700 years old. Multicolored roof tiles cover the building some of which retained its original Gothic style.

Castle Hill (old town)- has been a cultural and strategic focal point of the city for centuries and was also the site of over 30 sieges. The inevitable damage resulted in several episodes of rebuilding, often re-using stones from the rubble and giving the district a fascinating mix of architectural styles. The showpieces are the spectacular Mátyás Church and the Buda Royal Palace to the south.

The views over Pest from the Fishermen's Bastion is simply breath taking.The Fishermen's Bastion (Halászbástya) is often the first stop for tourists visiting Budapest, the fairytale turrets offering an elevated vantage point from which to view the city. The minarets and walls look medieval, but they were actually built in 1902 by Frigyes Schulek to complement Mátyás Church.



The name of the church refers to King Matthias Corvinus who expanded and embellished the building in Renaissance style. He also added the southern high tower (60 m high) called Matthias bell tower that bears the Hunyadi-s coat of arms a raven holding a golden ring in its beak.
Matthias was a much revered ruler of the era and was one of the greatest kings of Hungary. He was very fond of the arts and sciences and invited famous artists from abroad to help establish Renaissance enlightenment in Hungary. His royal court was famous even in Western Europe and visitors often praised the magnificence of his royal palace.Visible from almost everywhere in Budapest, Gellért Hill (Gellért hegy), with the impressive Freedom Monument on its peak, is one of the city's memorable landmarks.
The royal castle visible  from the bridge,and from the river Danube  
After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989, Hungary was fully independent, and since then there has been no obstacle in its flowering into one of most beautiful and romantic country.
And what could be more romantic than an evening cruise on the blue river Danube. 
As the sun goes down, and as we sip our Champagne, and feast on the mighty bridges linking Buda and Pest, the mesmerising castle, the views of the glittering Parliament, the monuments of freedom, soaking into the Buda, soaking into the Pest, the "City of lights".................


The two B&W pictures were taken by me.



There is more to come about Budapest, stay tuned.

11 comments:

  1. I guess you could compile a travelogue on your East European travel. A pictorial one of course.

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    1. I wish I could just post pictures and leave the writeups, but somehow I feel I would not be doing justice to the photos and to the readers if some basic information is not given.
      I myself hate going through a travelogue which has no description of the places photographed. Pictures without descriptions is like leaving something incomplete. Of course it makes a blog too long.

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  2. I envy you,Rama.You have taken us with you to numerous countries.Thank you for all these write-ups.

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    1. I am happy to take you along with me to the places I have travelled, just as many others before me had been kind enough to take me with them, and made me see through their eyes, some of the beautiful places in this world. Some I may get the chance to see in person and some I too would have to see through their eyes , and I am always grateful that at least I can do that.
      Thanks for appreciating my efforts.

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  3. Your narration is one of a kind, takes me always to where you enjoyed. Feels as if you maintained a journal, never to miss any minute detail!

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    1. Padmaja it also helps me to remember the places I have visited and cherish them. If I don't document them, I might not remember anything, as time passes they may become very hazy. I never visit places just to forget them after few years. Photos and little write ups helps in keeping these pleasant travels and their memories very much alive for a long, long time.
      Thanks for your appreciation.

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  4. Fantastic photos and excellent narration. A treat for the eyes. I enjoyed reading this post. Best wishes

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    1. I am so glad to see you here after a long, long time. I am so happy to know that you enjoyed reading about Budapest, and liked the photographs. Thanks Joseph.

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  5. Wow. This places looks brilliant. Dazzling!

    How do you manage to remember the little details so well Rama? I noticed that even in the Poland series. Perhaps, its the attention to details that makes your narration absolutely interesting :-)

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    1. When we travel with groups, we always have a tour director with us, who is also our guide throughout the journey. We are also provided with nice little notebooks to jot down all the interesting things that are said / seen throughout our trips. The tour guides are very knowledgeable and they keep telling interesting things, not that everybody has to write , but if some wants to jot down certain things, they can do it.They won't be boring talking
      just about the places, they would also tell us other unrelated things about the places, and make these tours more interesting. And when in doubt about certain dates or certain information, we can always google it.
      I have come across some travelogues , where they just put pictures, and don't write anything much, to inspire others to also to visit such places. I know it makes the blogs too long, and people who are not into it might get bored, but what about people like me who like the details and also the pictures?
      Finally, since it is my blog, I decide to write the way I like to write.
      I am glad you find it interesting. Thanks Ashwini.

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  6. I love Budapest, the wonderful city which is only 4-5 hours drive from my home:) Your photos are very nice, Rama. I like especially the first ones, those of the Parliament. I have been more times in Budapest and every time I look for something new there. If you like, you may look for my posts about Budapest, to see other places too.

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