Countries Visited:

Flag of Hungary

Flag of Romania

Flag of United Kingdom

Flag of Ireland

Dates of visit:
October 14, 2002 -
November 15, 2002

We rate this trip a:

Trip Segment

 4 day visit
 Lousy weather
 Great attractions
 Excellent food
 Attend festival
 See Royal Palace
 Tour Parliament
 Tour Matyas Church
 Climb Gellert Hill
 Heroes Square

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Trip Introduction
Our 2002 European Odyssey (part 2) was to experience parts of eastern Europe that is rarely seen by American visitors. In this segment of our trip our intention was to visit Budapest, Hungary in the off-season. This is one European capital city that was on our "hit list" to visit on a previous European odyssey.
Budapest - The Little Paris of Middle Europe
Calvinist Church on the DanubeOften described as the “Little Paris of Middle Europe”, Budapest is famous not only for the monuments reflecting its own 1,000 year culture, but also for the relics of others who settled here.

Remains from both Roman occupations, and, much alter, rule by the Turks can still be seen in the city. After Turkish rule, union with Austria had a particular influence on the city’s form and style.

Budapest was founded in 1873 after the unification of three separate towns: Buda, Obuda and Pest. The western part of the city stands on nine hills, the highest of which is Janos (St. John’s) Hill.

Greater Budapest is divided into 23 districts numbered in the Roman numeral system.

Sites Visited

Budapest City - Hungary’s Parliament is the country’s largest building and has become a symbol of Budapest. Built in 1884-1902 and based on the Houses of Parliament in London, it is 268 m (880 feet) long and 96 m (315 feet) high; it comprises 691 rooms. The Art Museum at Heroes Square is a must-see attractions as well as St. Stephens Church; the Vajdahunyad Castle and its nearby baths are impressive as well.
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Royal Palace - The Royal Palace has borne many incarnations during its long life. Even now it is not known exactly where King Bela IV began building his castle, though it is thought to he nearer the site of Matyas Church. The Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund of Luxembourg built a Gothic palace on the present site, from which today's castle began to evolve. In the 18th century, the Habsburgs built their monumental palace here. The current form dates from the rebuilding of the 19th-century palace after its destruction in February 1945.
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Matyas Church - The Parish Church of Our Lady Mary was built on this site between the 13th and 14th centuries. Some of the existing architectural style dates from the reign of Sigismund and of Luxembourg, but its name refers to King Matyas Corvinus, who greatly enlarged and embellished the church. Much of the original detail was lost when the Turks converted the church into the Great Mosque in 1541. During the liberation of Buda the church was almost totally destroyed, but was rebuilt in the baroque style by Franciscan Friars. The church sustained more damage in 1723, and was restored in the Neo-Gothic style by Frigyes Schulek in 1873-96.
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Central Market - An imposing Budapest landmark, this 180-stall market is a popular place to shop for locals and visitors alike.
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Gellert Hill - The hill to the south of castle Hill was long regarded as a notorious spot. In the 11th century, Prince Vata, brother of King Istvan, incited a heathen rebellion here that resulted in the death of Bishop Gellert. In 1851, the Austrians placed their own bleak and intimidating Citadel at the summit. Not until the end of the 19th century did the popular image of Gellert Hill begin to change, when it became a venue for picnicking parties. The Liberation Monument may be seen from all corners of Budapest.
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Trip Gallery - Touring Budapest
Budapest - General Tour
Parliament St. Stephens Church Highlights of Budapest
Palace Heroes Square At the park
Royal palace
At the Royal Palace At the Royal Palace At the Royal Palace
Matyas Church
At the Matyas Church At the Matyas Church At the Matyas Church
Central Market
At the Central Market At the Central Market At the Central Market
Gellert Hill
Climbing Gellert Hill Climbing Gellert Hill Climbing Gellert Hill
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