by Venice Kichura,
Visiting Popular Tourist Sites in Buda and Pest
Budapest has been described the Paris of eastern Europe. When you visit this enchanting city you take a trip back into history as well as enjoy today’s Hungarian culture.
A trip to Budapest, Hungary offers everything from historical appreciation to bright red embroidery. Although tourists learn many facets of the Hungarian culture when they visit Budapest, it’s easy to forget figures and dates once home. However, the one feature they don’t forget is that Budapest is divided into two sections. The Danube River divides Buda from Pest. While Pest lies to the west and is the flat side, Buda, is the hilly side.
Visiting Budapest’s Hero’s Square
To celebrate a thousand years since the Magyar Conquest of Hungary, a large square was built in 1896 in Budapest. Hero’s Square, the most representative square in all of Budapest, shows the patriotism of the Hungarian people. It’s here where they honor famous Hungarian Kings and other figures with statues. On top of the major post stands the archangel Gabriel. The legend is that Gabriel appeared to Saint Stephen, giving him the crown. Seven other legendary figures, who occupied the Carpathian Basin, have statues in their honor.
St. Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest
The largest Roman Catholic Church in Budapest, Saint Stephen’s Basilica ranks as the second highest ecclesiastical status in Hungary. The cathedral was built in honor of St. Stephen who was Hungary’s first Christian king from around 975 A.D. – 1038 A.D. Built in 1851 by Jozsef Hild, St. Stephen’s has the state of the patron saint by Alajos Strobl on its high altar. As Budapest’s largest church it seats up to 8500 people. The dome, which is almost 315 feet high, resembles the Budapest Parliament.
Hungary’s Parliament Building
The Parliament, which is the biggest and most well known building in Hungary, was built between 1885 and 1902, according to the plans of Imre Steindi who died only a few weeks before the ribbon cutting ceremony. It’s decorated with 88 sculptures, the seven Hungarian leaders, rulers, and the courts of Transylvania, including generals.
The Museum of Ethnography
The Museum of Ethnography houses an excellent collection of pieces from Hungarian culture. The museum’s main fasçade unites renaissance, baroque and classicstyles. However, the best feature of the museum is that English is included so you don’t need to know Hungarian to learn new facts about Hungary.
Budapest’s Statue of Liberty
American tourists to Budapest are usually surprised to learn that there’s more than one statue of liberty. Budapest’s Statue of Liberty stands atop Gellert Hill and was created by Hungarian sculpture, Zsigmond Kisfaludy Strobel. It was raised in 1947 in remembrance of Hungary’s liberation. Standing almost 46 feet high, the stature’s main figure is that of woman, which resembles New York’s Statue of Liberty. Two allegoric compositions below represent the fight of good against evil.
Fisherman’s Bastion and Matthias Church
Built in 1905, the Fisherman’s Bastion, in Budapest’s Castle District, has been used for centuries in the coronations of Hungarian kings. The graceful architecture of the beautiful Matthias church is the focal point of the main square. In 1988 this part of Budapest was accepted as part of the UNESCO World Heritage.
The Holocaust Memorial
Located in the garden of the Dohany Street Synagogue, Budapest’s Holocaust Memorial stands above a mass grave from 1944 and is dedicated to the 600,000 Hungarian Jews who lost their lives to the Nazis. The names of the martyrs are engraved on each leaf.
Besides the history, crafts and architecture enjoy the beautiful Danube River and its ten bridges, especially the notable Chain Bridge and Margaret Bridge. While there, enjoy a dinner cruise down the Danube River at night so you can enjoy skyline views of both Buda and Pest in all their glory.