Do you know how Budapest got its name? The city that exists now is pretty young as cities go – it is 146 years old. Before that, there were three towns here – Buda, Obuda, and Pest – which were unified in 1873. Today, although unified in name, the city is divided into two halves by the River Danube. The western side of the Danube is known as Buda – quiet and residential – where you will find historic sites like the Buda Castle and Fisherman’s Bastion. The Eastern side is known as Pest – it is lively and modern. It is the hub of Budapest’s economy and culture – home to the Hungarian parliament, some of Budapest’s most famous thermal baths, ruin bars, and everything in between.
Széchenyi Chain Bridge is designed by Englishman William Tierney Clark. It was opened in 1849 and was the first permanent bridge across the Danube in all of Hungary. In World War II, it was destroyed by retreating German forces during the siege of Budapest, and only the towers remained. However, it was rebuilt, and it was opened again in 1949 – exactly 100 years after its inauguration.
Fisherman’s Bastion, built around the Mathias Church, is a Neo-Gothic terrace. It is called Fisherman’s Bastion because it looks over the Water Town, and, in medieval times, it mostly housed fishermen. Once completed in 1902, the bastion was put under the protection of the Fisherman’s Guild. The seven towers at the Bastion signify the seven Magyar tribes that settled in Hungary. The grand statue at the Bastion is of St. Stephen who became the first king of Hungary.
The Parliament is the largest building in Hungary and the tallest in Budapest. Due to its architectural intricacies, the building is constantly undergoing construction to retain its beauty. It was inaugurated in 1896 on the 1000th anniversary of the country, but the architect that built the parliament went blind before the project was completed, and unfortunately, he never got to see the building.
The Great Market Hall is the brainchild of the first Mayor of Budapest who was influenced by similar structures in Paris and London and believed that such markets were important in sustaining a rapidly growing population. It was built in 1897, and today, it is a busy hub for souvenir hunting tourists and local grocery shoppers looking for things like paprika, which is a staple ingredient in most Hungarian dishes, used for its colour and flavour. Hungarians eat half a kilogramme of paprika per person per year, which is way more than an average European.
Budapest is known as the city of spas and boasts of over 100 spas. Széchenyi is the largest, oldest, most popular bath in Budapest. The water is considered to be medicinal, helpful in treating joint pains, arthritis, and post-traumatic injuries.
Hősök Tere serves as a memorial for the seven Magyar tribes, St. Stephen, and the giant millennial monument that was built to commemorate the 1000-year anniversary of Hungary. It serves as a venue for events, and it is a meeting point and a tourist attraction today.
Szimpla Kert is the oldest ruin bar in the city. Ruin bars are a relatively recent addition to Budapest. They first popped in the early 2000s as a temporary location for bars. In fact, Szimpla Kert relocated to its current spot in 2004. The place is haphazardly decorated, characteristic of bars found in Brooklyn, London, or some parts of Berlin.
The city always has something new to offer, so step outside, take the wrong turn, and you are bound to stumble across something amazing.
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Source: Youtube/ Holiday Extras Travel Guides