If you like to travel the world, then there will come a time in your “career” when you’ll long to visit Budapest, the scintillating capital city of Hungary. Situated in Central Europe, Hungary is one of the most historically-rich countries in the world as countless cultures and sovereign states have interacted or clashed upon its grounds. This, of course, means one thing for you, the traveller: sights, and brilliant ones at that! So, without further ado, let us see what Budapest has to offer us in terms of historical beauty!
1. Hungarian Parliament Building:
Quite possibly one of the most recognisable landmarks of Budapest (along with the Chain Bridge), the Hungarian Parliament building (known officially as the “Országház” meaning “The House of the Country”), is something that you should definitely take a good look at (and photograph). Being one of the oldest legislative buildings of Europe, it is heavily guarded and you should not try your luck with dithering about aimlessly or you will be stopped. Standing proudly upon Lajos Kossuth Square and overlooking the Danube, it is the seat of the National Assembly of Hungary.
Presenting the standards of the Gothic Revival architectural style and boasting with a Renaissance Revival dome, it is 268 metres long, 123 metres wide, and 96 metres tall (thus becoming one of the two tallest buildings in Budapest with St. Stephen’s Basilica). And did you known that the number 96 is intentional as it signifies the conquest of the Kingdom of Hungary of 896 and its 1000-year anniversary of 1896? With 691 rooms (among which are over 200 offices), 29 staircases and 27 gates, it is unquestionably also one of the most majestic sights one can lay eyes upon at night (the lighting is just fascinating).
2. The Citadella:
If you hadn’t suspected that Budapest was one of the most sight-rich cities in the world, then you’ll probably do so now. Its Citadella (Hungarian word for citadel) directly reflects this characteristic in the most pristine fashion as it overlooks the city in such a way that it becomes a feast for the eyes. Situated majestically on the apex of Gellért Hill at 235 metres, the fortress was designed by Emmanuel Zitta and Ferenc Kasselik following the Revolution of 1848. Taken over (the construction) by Julius Jacob von Haynau between 1851 and 1854 and built by Hungarian forced labourers, it used to be a stalwart symbol and a demonstration of power. Of course, this stirred the Hungarians to demand its demolition after the year 1867 (the year of the establishment of the dual-monarchy of Austria-Hungary). In spite of this, military units only left the citadel in 1897 (30 years later) and it was only after that that its gate were symbolically damaged and the walls demolished (in 1900).
Another historically significant fact about the Citadella is that during the Revolution of 1956, Soviet troops occupied it to fire down at the city from there. If you want to see more after its exquisite yet functional architectural design, then you can take a thorough glance at the weapons pertaining to the Red Army upon its grounds. If you are a fan of cannons, you are going to love this place.
3. Buda Castle:
Perched atop the southern tip of the Castle hill of Budapest, Buda Castle is one of the most visited and photographed landmarks of its parent city. Known officially as the “Budavári Palota” (“Budin Kalesi or Kızılhisar” in Turkish and “Burgpalast” in German), the palace complex covers a staggering total of 4.72 square kilometres of land area. Renowned for its houses, churches and public structures adhering to the standards of the Medieval, Baroque and 19th century epochs, the site is directly connected with the Clark Ádám Square and, of course, the world-famous Széchenyi Chain Bridge via the Castle Hill Funicular (people unafraid of heights must try this one out). Erected between the 14th and the 20th centuries, it possesses countless awe-inspiring and grandiose rooms, some of which can be visited by tourists. Notable interior points of interest include the Gothic Hall, the Ball Room, the Small Throne Room, the Writing Room, the King’s Staircase, the Albrecht Cellar and many others. If you happen to run across locally printed guides, then we recommend that you pick them up as they often offer unparalleled insight about it.
Did you enjoy our list? Which of the aforementioned historical landmarks have you visited in the proud capital of Hungary and what lasting impressions have they left you with? Hit the comment section below and leave nothing out! Safe travels and see you on our next adventure!