Hungary - Budapest and the Danube

Author: Sue Rogers
Date: 15th August 1999

Budapest, Capital of Hungary

Budapest, Hungary’s capital, straddles the River Danube. Its 19th-century Chain Bridge connects the hilly old town of Buda with flat modern  Pest. Trinity Square in Buda is home to the iconic sights of gold roofed thirteenth century Matthias Church and the turrets of the Fishermen’s Bastion terrace serving up views across the city.  The Matthias Church. with its diamond patterned roof has been heavily restored in a style described as 'florid' on Wikipedia. The Hungarian parliament in Budapest is the world’s third largest parliamentary building and is the tallest building in the capital city, as well. It is also counted among the oldest legislative buildings in Europe. Pest is overflowing with little restaurants, every one of of them serving goulash.  Budapest has the highest number of thermal springs in the world. 70 million litres of thermal water rise to the earth’s surface daily.

The Danube Bend

A scenic boat trip up the Danube. First stop Visegrád,  a small castle town, north of Budapest. (It had a population of 1,864 in 2010.) Visegrád is famous for the remains of the Early Renaissance summer palace of King Matthias Corvinus of Hungary and the medieval citadel. That's me, going in the entrance. Next, the city of Esztergom, the capital of Hungary between 10th and 13th century. The basilica is the seat of the Catholic Church of Hungary, and the largest church and tallest building in the country. This neo-classical building  is the predecessor of several earlier churches, the earliest of which was   the first cathedral in Hungary. It 's stately rather than beautiful , possessing  three impressive domes  with an  altarpiece reputed to be the largest painting in the world  on a single piece of canvas. It also houses a fascinating museum of church treasures, plate, reliquaries, vestments, chasubles, mitres etc.

Next stop, on the train, Prague, via Vienna

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