Budapest - The Capital of Architecture
The Parliament Building
This impressive work of art built at the end of the 19th century is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the third largest parliament building in the world and the largest building in Hungary. The Parliament is a place everyone must see (at least once from the Margaret Bridge in the evening when illuminated, and once from up close, both inside and out). It is a blend of many different styles: the base layout is Baroque-style, the facade is neo-Gothic and the ceiling is Renaissance-style. The architects spared nothing, using 40 kg (appr. 88 Ib) of 22-23 karat gold in its ornaments. However, that is not the only reason to visit the building. It is also the place where the Holy Crown, from the 12th century, (according to some sources even earlier) one of Europe's oldest coronation relics and symbol of the State, is on exhibit.
Buda Castle Quartet
Although almost all the architectural masterpieces of the past centuries remain untouched, the Castle District is not only a monument, but also a living and thriving complex of buildings.The tall medieval houses in the cobbled streets are still visible in this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The view from the neo-Romanesque terraces of the Buda Castle Quarter across the Danube and the Parliament is spectacular. The Fisherman's Bastion was named after the fishermen's quarter that once spread out below it and the Fish Market where fishermen would sell their catch, located next to the Matthias Church.
The Church of Our Lady, the Coronation Church of Buda Castle, (also known as the Matthias Church) stands on Holy Trinity Square. The church, founded in 1015, received its neo-Gothic form at the end of the 1800s during a largescale construction. Two reigning couples have been crowned in its walls: Franz Joseph I and Elizabeth, as well as Charles IV and Zita, the last emperor and empress of the Habsburg dynasty.
St. Stephen's Basilica
The monumental Basilica is the country's second tallest building. It can hold up to eight thousand people, so it might be of interest if you would like to have a large wedding! This is where the mummified right hand of Saint Stephen is kept, after being found more than nine hundred years ago during an exhumation. A climb up to the dome (where the country's largest bell chimes) is well worth the effort, from which point there is a spectacular panoramic view of the city.
Dohány Street Synagogue
Europe's largest Synagogue in the centre of Budapest is situated in the old Jewish quarter, which is one of the liveliest parts of the city today. The Synagogue is not only an important symbol for Hungarian Jews, but also plays an active role in the capital's cultural life and hosts a range of outstanding concerts and festivals. The building was constructed in the Moorish style, with a special stone plaiting running across its exterior facade, while its dome is covered with fabulous ornamental decoration. The building's beautiful architecture and its magnificent dimensions attract hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.
The Buildings along Andrássy avenue
The more than two-kilometre long elegant avenue is also known as the ‘Champs-Élysées of Budapest'. On one end of the avenue, there is a row of famous brand shops around the Opera House and the ‘Broadway of Pest', while on the way to Heroes' Square, walking under the rows of trees, we can find the iconic House of Terror Museum and some of the most beautiful Art Nouveau villas and palaces in the city. Many of these palaces are now the embassies of various countries. Built at the end of the 19th century, the avenue is a World Heritage Site, as is the Millennium Underground Railway that runs beneath it (the continent's oldest metro line still carrying passengers).
Városliget (City Park)
What Central Park is for New York and Hyde Park is for London, that is what Városliget is for Budapest (though ours is older than the former two). The park was used as far back as the Middle Ages, and it began to take its current form at the beginning of the 1800s. The huge park is not only family and pet friendly, but is also popular with sports enthusiasts. The park is dominated by the Széchenyi Thermal Bath on one side and Vajdahunyad Castle on he other. The latter is one of the most beautiful examples of romantic architectural history and presents the thousand-year-old history of Hungarian architecture in a single building. The castle, presenting the Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque styles, sits alongside a lake on which you can go boating in the summer or skating in the winter. The more than 150-year-old Zoo, partially built in the Art Nouveau style, is also located on the edge of the park and is interesting from an architectural perspective as well. It houses animal species in a richly decorated, historical building that is unique in the world.