Places to visit in Budapest

Budapest evening of Dec 10, 2019


A short walk in the evening winter Budapest. We pass Karoli Boulevard, a monument to Empress Elizabeth, Freedom Square, monuments and a secret bunker of the Cold War, parliament square and the history of Hungarian independence. The winter is cool on the Danube but the stunning parliament building admires by its beauty and grandeur. We stopped for a minute of silence at the Danube embankment next to the chilling soul monument to the victims of the Holocaust. To the end of the walking have visited a cozy Christmas city center with its Christmas markets and have ended the tour with mystical Anchor House and the luminous synagogue.

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Polo Polotsky (author)
CTO Pinsteps
Evgeny Praisman
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5 km
2h 10 m
Places with media
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For all the cities of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, it was customary to erect monuments to Empress Elizabeth, nicknamed Sissi. She was the wife of the last Kaiser, Franz Josef, and had a tragic fate. Her son committed suicide. He shot himself with his mistress. Then Sissy said: “I would like to die like him when the soul goes to heaven from a tiny hole in my heart, away from friends and relatives. ” Her desire was destined to come true. Anarchist Luigi Lukeni waited for the Empress on the dam in Geneva, where Sissy was incognito with her maid of honor. He hurt her with a small sharp file wound in the heart. At first, Elizabeth did not even feel pain, was able to stand up and turned around, was surprised that the attacker did not even tear off her jewelry. But soon she became weak, she fell and lost consciousness.

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The Frederick Podmanitsky square received its current appearance only in 2019. Podmanitsky is a descendant of a noble Hungarian family and a famous fighter for the Hungarian self-national definition. Since the last reconstruction, they usually hold temporary photo exhibitions here. This part of the city was slightly not confident. Several trolleybus lines have had the last stop here, while the houses surrounded the area destroyed after the war stood for many years. Only the opening of the metro station in 1982 was a development for the square and the surrounding area.

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At the end of the eighteenth century, the construction of a large building, nicknamed the Budapest Bastille, began on the site of the modern square. By the way, Austro-Hungarian forces placed the captive soldiers of Napoleon in this prison. After the turbulent events of the early nineteenth century in the calm years before the Hungarian war for independence from Austria, the wife of the famous politician and reformer Istvan Secheni planted a sycamore in the garden, which still grows here. In the mid-19th century, during the years of the war for independence from Austria, the first Hungarian Prime Minister, Lajos Battiani, was executed in prison. At the end of the nineteenth century, the prison building, which underwent many different uses from the gymnasium to maritime navigation offices, was demolished. On its place, a large beautiful square arranged with beautiful buildings around. These buildings still visible today, for example, the building of the National Bank and the Stock Exchange. After the First World War, when the Austro-Hungarian Empire ceased to exist, the square was called Freedom Square for the first time. It is very symbolic that the area on which there was a large prison of the old world began to be called the freedom square of the new world.

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In 1946, the communist regime erected on the square a monument to Soviet soldiers liberating Hungary. Soon another monument appeared, which fakely expressed the grateful from the Hungarian people to the great Stalin. It was the monument to Stalin that Hungarians destroyed during the uprising against the Communists in 1956. The memorial to the Soviet soldiers was repeatedly desecrated, and a policeman was always on duty near it. An interesting fact: behind the monument, you can see a large outlet of the ventilation pipe. This pipe is the ventilation system of the underground bunker, which the Communists began to build in 1952. The construction was completed in 1963. Three years later, the shelter was connected to the Budapest metro. An air filtration system can produce four thousand cubic meters of clean air per hour. This amount is equivalent to one hundred and twenty sea containers.

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The monument to Ronald Reagan on the Freedom Square marks for the Hungarians the end of the Cold War and the fall of the communist regime. Nevertheless, it would be correct to mention Mikhail Gorbachev or designate the monument for these two leaders who put an end to the difficult period of world history called the Cold War. But the Hungarians have enough another absurdity. One of them was a memorial to the victims of the German occupation, which caused a lot of arguments among Hungarians and caused protests against the reasons and circumstances behind its creation and erection on the Liberty Square.

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The monument was first unveiled in 1934 and was dedicated to the Hungarian martyrs during the First World War. At the top of this monument is a stone coffin, and under the warrior, which symbolizes Hungary, the years 1918 - 1919 are engraved. In post-Soviet times, there was a monument to Imre Nagy - the head of the Hungarian government during the years of the anti-communist uprising. He was portrayed on a bridge leading to the parliament building. Imre Nagy was executed, and after the end of the Soviet period, he was rehabilitated. A historical monument was returned to the square, and on the flank side, it added the figure of a man defeating a dragon. The man is a symbol of the Hungarians who fought against communism. Everything is complicated in Hungarian identity.

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On the building opposite the parliament, the Hungarians retained traces of bullets from guns of Soviet soldiers who crushed the uprising in 1956. Here in the gallery, you can find many commemorative tablets and busts of people who died for Hungarian freedom and independence. In the park next to the corner of this building is a monument to Imre Nagy. Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat who saved Jews during the German occupation of Budapest, is mentioned on one of the tablets. He disappeared without a trace in Soviet Russia.

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Against the beautiful background of the building of the Budapest Parliament, a memorial to a whole group of people is visible in the parliamentary park. Although it is called the Kossuth memorial, it is dedicated to the events of the first Hungarian revolution and the war for independence from Austria in the middle of the nineteenth century. Miklós Horthy opened the first monument on this site in 1927. This monument caused a lot of controversies, including disputing Lajos Kossuth as the leading political figure of these events. It is noteworthy that Lajos Batthyány, the first prime minister who was executed in prison on the site of the current Freedom Square, was depicted only among the other figures of the strugglers of freedom. The monument did not survive more than fifty years, and the Soviet rulers of Hungary decided to replace it. The new communist monument depicted Lajos Kossuth pointing his hand into the distance - in the brightening communist future. It is not at all obvious for Hungarians that a historical monument replaced the entire sculptural composition, and this also causes quite a bit of controversy.

Budapest unites three cities: Buda, Obuda, and Pest. Buda is located on the left bank of the Danube, while Obuda and Pest met on the left one. By the way, the place for the construction of parliament is symbolical - the place where the cities meet. An interesting fact: the Danube is the only river where ships sail under different flags. Thus, it is the only river in the world that can be called a neutral navigable river.

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Noble Hungarians advocated the construction of the parliament building even before the events of the war against Austria for Hungarian independence of the mid-nineteenth century. But only after the founding of Budapest in 1873, work began on the planning of the building. The Budapest Parliament is an excellent example of neo-Gothic architecture. About forty kilograms of gold and forty thousand tons of bricks were used in its construction. Construction took place twenty-one years, but the architect Imre Steindal died five weeks before the grand opening of his masterpiece.

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This is one of the most powerful and piercing monuments in the world - This is how the international press described the memorial to the victims of the Holocaust on the Danube embankment opened in 2005. At this place, militants from the Nazi Hungarian Party "Crossed Arrows" were murdering Budapest Jews. The killings took place from the summer of 1944 to the winter of 1945. At the same time, Adolf Eichmann came to Budapest to organize the sending of transports with Jews to Auschwitz. The exact number of victims killed on the embarkment is not known. In less than a year, the Nazis and their Hungarian collaborationists liquidated about half a million Hungarian Jews. Hungarian militias were transporting Jews by trucks from the ghetto to the embankment. The victims took off their shoes and then have been shot. The bodies fell on the barge or directly into the river. The barge was driven away down the river, and the bodies were thrown into the water. The Soviet troops liberated Budapest and the Jewish ghetto on January 18, 1945. The most significant action took place on the night before the liberation. The shoes are made of cast iron, according to the models of shoe magazines in Budapest in 1940.

Interesting fact: The Soviet-made sea trams still run along the Danube.

The Secheni Chain Bridge is one of the most recognizable symbols of Budapest. It was built in 1849 during the Hungarian War of Independence. The bridge's engineer was Adam Clark, who created the suspension chain bridge across the Thames. The Count of Secheni initiated the construction of this bridge, which have had connected the two cities of Buda and Pest.

The Christmas market in Budapest is one of the most beautiful events of the year when it is pleasant to visit the capital of Hungary. Many pedestrian streets and squares occupy market ranks where they sell all sorts of goodies and traditional Christmas hot wine. A bust of Franz Liszt, one of the most romantic Hungarian composers, has been installed on the corner of Nabor and Pedestrian Zrinyi Street.

On the corner of the street on October 6th, in 2008, a bronze cast statue by Andras Illies was installed. It depicts a policeman in a gala uniform used in Budapest from 1909 to 1945. In the context of the Christmas market, it seems like this brave policeman came to us from the past to have fun.

The square of St. Stephen is beautiful before Christmas. City governor arranged animated Christmas stories on the basilica of St. Stephen. The basilica was built for 51 years, and construction began even before Buda connected with Pest. An interesting fact: the basilica dome collapsed during construction due to incorrect calculations. The new cupule helped build Eiffel - the architect and engineer of the Eiffel Tower.

Traditional Hungarian goodies include Pick sausage, plum tincture, and goose liver. Leather and ceramics are also trendy.

We came to Elizabeth Square. It was located outside the fortress wall of the city of Pest and was named in honor of Elizabeth (Sissi) in 1858. In 1948 it was called Stalin's Square, then Engels Square in 1953, and in 1990 its historical name was returned to it. The longitudinal building along the New Year's stalls was built by Hausmann, the great architect of Paris. It had a cafe on the first floor and a dance hall on the second.

This street today is the most popular in the city for shopping. It is named after the famous and very beloved "sage" of the city - the "master of the compromise" Ferenc Deak. The street was planned back in 1789 when the building of the Budapest Bastille on Freedom Square was also planned. This street connected Pest and Danube embankment. Ferenc Deak lived here.

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The dark, unlit old building in the very center of the city has an interesting history. It was ordered by the Vienna insurance company Angkor as a Budapest headquarters in the early nineteenth century. Everyone who has been to Vienna is familiar with the famous anchor watches in the old city that were created to popularize this insurance company. The building in Budapest was transformed into a residential building during the communists. It had communal apartments in the former offices of clerks. To this day, the building has not been restored and poses a threat to life.

The most popular grocery store in the city center. Here tourists are bought with all sorts of goodies before flying home.

The building of the great synagogue in Budapest is significantly illuminated in the evening. It rises with its Moorish domes and recalls that Budapest is one of the few European cities in which the history of the Jewish community has never been cut down. Even seventy thousand ghetto prisoners and shootings on the embankment have not halted the history of Jews in the city, as well as the account of the synagogue.

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