Budapest is the capital
of Hungary with almost two million inhabitants. The city flourished as a crossroads
where East meets West in the heart of Europe. It is the center of administration,
industry, trade, transport and traffic, education, culture, arts and sports.
It is situated on both banks of the Danube river: called Buda and Pest. There
are nine bridges over the Danube connecting the two sides of the river. Of the
capital cities of the world Budapest is the richest in thermal baths.
You'll first be driven
across the lovely 19th century Chain Bridge and discover the oldest part of
the city, the historic Castle District on the Buda side. The Castle Hill was
settled after the withdrawal of the Mongolian invaders in 1242. During the centuries
the castle has been destroyed and rebuilt several times. A stroll through the
castle area will take you to the mid 13th century Matthias church, one of the
most beautiful examples of gothic architecture and the Fishermen's Bastion offering
great views of the city. From here your guide will point out the palace, where
Ludwig van Beethoven, the composer used to live for six years and remains of
a medieval Synagogue from the 15th century. You'll have a chance to look at
the selection of the Herend factory store near the main square of the Castle
After visiting the Castle
Hill you'll be driven to the top of the Gellert Hill to admire the spectacular
views of the city.
Lunch in a fine Restaurant
On the Pest side you'll
be driven along the Andrassy boulevard lined with elegant late 19th century
buildings, including the State Opera House, the old Music Academy and several
elegant mansions and villas. The boulevard leads to Heroes' square built to
commemorate the millenium of Hungary in 1896. The first subway line in continental
Europe was opened under the Andrassy boulevard in the very same year.
You'll make a stop to see
the Monument of the Millennium of Hungary with statues of eminent Hungarians
in the Heroes' Square that closes the outer end of the boulevard.
There are museums on both
sides of the square: the Art Gallery and the Museum of Fine Arts. The Museum
of Fine Arts houses the second richest collection of the Spanish masters' paintings
after the Prado in Madrid, Spain. The square is actually the entrance to the
City Park with the nearby Castle of Vajdahunyad, which is a presentation of
details of architectural monuments and illustration of styles of the historic
Hungary. In the City Park one can also visit the Zoological and Botanical Garden,
the most famous Gundel restaurant, The Fun Fair and the Széchenyi Bath.
Explore the Jewish quarter
of Budapest with the largest Synagogue in the world, the Dohany Synagogue built
in romantic Byzantine and Moorish style with it's 3000 seats. The beautiful
and also modern Holocaust Memorial in the Raoul Wallenberg Memorial Park is
located behind the Synagogue, in the former ghetto area. Visit the Jewish Museum
in the adjacent building.
You'll visit the stunning
interior of the 2nd largest Parliament of Europe, with the 1000 years old crown
jewels of Hungary. The building was constructed to commemorate the 1000 year's
anniversary of the Hungarian's landtaking. It's a wonderful piece of architecture.
For a thousand years the
Hungarian National Assembly had no permanent seat. The idea of a permanent building
came at the beginning of the 19th century.
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