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View from the Gellert Hill
Gellert Hill and the Citadella is a must see thing indeed, but the thing I like the most about it is the view the Hill offers!
It's just so high above the city, offering a great overview of the structure of Budapest. From the Statue of Liberty (in front of the Citadella) you can also see, the Buda side and the southern part of Pest including the Csepel Island. From the side facing the Danube, all the Pest side, the buildings along the Danubeside, like e.g. the Parliament and also the Buda Castle is visible. Simply amazing! :)
By now you are wondering who that nut is
waving in a static way (he's a statue) with
a cross high above the road here.
Well it is mister Géllert. I already told you
that king Stefanus (Esteban) had this
missionary from Venice to help out to
Christianize the people.
When the king died in 1046 an unstable
period began. Pagans nailed the bishop
in a ton and pushed him of the hill.
In 1083 the Vatican made him holy and that is
why he is still up the hill. (It doesn't take much
to become holy , get burned , crusified ,
thorn in pieces etc. For a lot of holy people
see my Rome page)
You can walk towards him by stairs
coming from two sides
and an artificial water fall in the middle.
But we where going bathing? No?
- Budget Travel
Gellert Hill, near the Elizabeth Bridge, is some-where I hoped to return to. Unfortunately, as in many big cities, there is too much to see in the allotted time, so I missed out.
Gellért Hill is approx 140 metres high, and gets it name from Bishop Gellért Sagredo, known for spreading the word of Christianity throughout Hungary.
There is a legend to this Hill, that goes something like this......
After the first Christian king of Hungary died, rebelling insurgent pagan Magyars, sealed Bishop Gellért up in a barrel and hurled him down the side of the hill to his death. True or False?
It is a UNESCO World Heritage site as part of "the Banks of the Danube".
Gellert hill rises above the Danube River, so if your at the top, you should have a good view over Budapest city.
There was once a Citadel, built by the Austrian Habsburgs between 1850 and 1854. Originally, the fortress had walls about 200 meters long with walls about 6 meters high and up to 3 meters thick! When the Habsburgs left, they tore down parts of the walls as a symbol of victory against the Austrians, how-ever the Citadel was used again to house Hungarian soldiers. In WWII, it was from the Citadel that a German SS regiment held the city at bay.
Today, it's a Hotel.
Liberty monument is on top of Gellert Hill, erected here in 1947 in recognition of Soviet soldiers who liberated the city from the Nazis during World War II. The Soviet soldier is not there now, as after the fall of Communism, it was moved to Memento Park on the outskirts of the city. Now stands a 14 metre high statue of a palm-bearing female.
There is even a Cave church, founded in 1926.
It was used by the Pauline order until 1951, when the church was closed by the Communists. It is open once again, and the statue of St. Stephen, the first Christian king of Hungary stands by the entrance.
Near Elisabeth Bridge, is the impressive large bronze statue of Bishop Gellert, the martyr after whom the hill was named. The monument was built in 1904 at the site where Gellert was presumably killed in the 11th century.
In January 2007, a new cave was discovered under Gellért Hill. during a private construction. It's 60 m long and 18 m deep and has three rooms where white crystals composed of gypsum, calcite, and aragonite have formed. The cave was created 300,000–500,000 years ago by a thermal spring.
If you come to the parkland at night time, you may see Bats and Hedgehogs.
You can climb the Gellért Hill starting at the Elisabeth Bridge near the Gellért Monument, or you can take the (steeper) route starting at the Gellért Hotel.
If you have walking problems, take a bus or taxi.
- Hiking and Walking
- Historical Travel
Gellert Hill - A Long Climb
Gellert Hill rises high above the city of Budapest on the Buda side of the Danube River. As I mentioned in my introduction, almost every guide or internet page about Budapest mentions that it is actually a combination of three cities or villages. Up until the end of the 1800's this was the limit of the town of Buda. The hill served as an outpost and fortress for Buda Castle. From the Pest side of Budapest this hill appears to be almost cliff like in height, when actually it is only approximately 430 feet high. From the top of the hill you get an excellent view of the city. I climbed the hill on my first day in Budapest. My hotel, The Gellert, was located at the base of the hill so it was really the logical place for me to start my exploration of Budapest.
The top can be reached on foot, but it is a steep climb. It took me about a half hour to climb to the summit, but I made several stops for pictures and to enjoy the scenery on the way. There is also a road that starts from the Elizabeth Bridge which will allow cars to reach the top of the hill. There is a a bus, number 27, that will take you to the top.
Views of the Danube
Finding a wonderful place to view the Danube isn't hard. There are views from every part of Buda and Pest.
Some of the best views are when you are perched high above the city from either Gellert Hill, Royal Palace and even Fisherman's Bastion, and even from the Dome of St. Stephan's Church.
Strolling along the riverbank is a wonderful way to see the Danube as well. If you are visiting during the warmer months, a boat ride on the Danube will afford you even better views.
The Reservoir at Gellert Hill
As I was walking from Gellert Hill to the Castle District I came upon this wonderful park. The park, which is actually the resevoir, was a lovely open area. At the center of this park like setting is a sculpture by Marta Lessenyei. The sculpture is used to cover the surfure of the resevoir.
There are magnificent views of the Danube, Gellert Hill and of the Royal Palace.
This is just an example of the things you will happen upon if you just walk...
- Arts and Culture
Garden of Philosophy
Located in the vicinity of the Resevoir is this sculpture called the "Garden of Philosophy". Its a fountain encircled by 5 of the world's best known philosophers of all time.
The circle starts with Abraham shown kneeling, then Ekhmaton, Szent Ferenc, Dharma and then Budha.
On the right hand side of the fountain are square stone slabs with the names of Gandhi and Jesus.
There is a marble stone slab with the following words "Garnen of Philosophy, for better mutual understanding" - Nandor Wagner (Japan) 2001
- Arts and Culture
- Historical Travel
Gellert Hill - Pause to refresh after a long climb
Great news! After the long climb up Gellert Hill to see the Liberation Monument you will find a refreshment stand! I was a little concerned. I had not done my homework very well and was not sure what to find at the top of the hill. It was a warm day and I was getting very thirsty on my climb. Then at the top I saw it. Soft drinks, water, ice cream. It looked like an oasis to me. Be prepared. They do not take credit cards at the refreshment stand. Keep some cash handy.
Gellert Hill is located on the Buda side of the city next to the Gellert Hotel. It's a nice trek to the top of the hill, but you will get some amazing panoramic pictures of the city, the parliament building and the Danube.
The hill is named after Bishop Gellért, well known for promoting Christianity in Hungary. Originally, the hill was believed to be a place where witches had held meetings. Gellert Every year on August 20, fireworks are launched from Gellért Hill, marking liberation from Nazi the army.
Gellert hill proves that Budapest is on the hilly area and this city has great panoramic views. This place named St. Gellert hill for commemorating the death of this Saint man. In 1046 he was martyred and rolled down the hill in a barrel.
There are a few famous places on Gellert hill: The Liberation monument, St. Gellert's Memorial and Citadella.
Named for a Christian martyr, Gellert Hill rises majestically above the Danube River, offering visitors a panoramic view of the city of Budapest. Gellert Hill, rising about 140 meters above sea level, is named for Bishop Gellert , known for his mission to spread Christianity throughout Hungary. After the death of Saint Stephen, the first Christian king of Hungary, legend has it that the rebelling insurgent pagan Magyars sealed Gellert up in a barrel and hurled him down the side of the hill. Atop Gellert Hill sits the Citadel, a structure built by the Austrian Habsburgs between 1850 and 1854 in order to better control the city after the suppression of the Hungarian War of Independence. This fortress, which sits at the top of the hill, was originally about 200m long with walls about 6m high and up to 3m thick. Erected atop the hill in 1947, the Liberation Monument pays homage to the Soviet soldiers that freed the city from the Nazis during World War II.
Climbing the Gellert hill for the views.
Gellert hill provides for some magnificent views across the Danube and the city in one direction, and the Buda hills in the other.
It used to be a densely populated area, but slum clearance schemes in the 1930's in the name of improving sanitation cleared the area. I suspect the real reason was that the toffs staying at the Hotel Gellert really didn't want to spend their holidays looking at the wretched peasants opposite. They (the peasants) would also be on the same sight-line as some of the guest bedrooms - and could see what they were up to as well !
The Hill nowadays contains the Castle , the Cave church and the victory monument (see other tips), outdoor venues for performances and a remnant of the Berlin wall (although we somehow missed it).
Judging by the number of 'touch-feely' couples on the slopes, I suspect the locals have a few alternative names for the place as well.
- Hiking and Walking
Central Buda: Gellert Hill
Gellert Hill can be seen from all over the city, and offers the best views in the city, and easily some views you'll see anywhere in the world. Although you get great views through the trees and from various landmarks dotted around the park on your walk up, the views from the citadella on top are the most outstanding.
The hill is named after St. Gerard, who, according to legend, was killed by pagans after being rolled down the side of the hill in a barrel. Later the hill became home to another famous Christian, St. Ivan, who lived as a hermit within Gellert cave, offering healing to the faithful through the hill's hot mineral spring water.
There's some residential buildings and embassies on the hill, and it used to be a massive vineyard, but today it's mostly parkland, with bats and other creatures more commonly seen further out in the countryside. I swear I saw a snake. I took a picture of its tail after it slid under a large branch, but I've yet to identify it...
For the best views of Budapest (better than from Castle Hill), you must have a climb up Gellert Hill. You can see nearly in all directions for many miles.
Once I made the climb the second time, I discovered that you can take a bus to the top.
For the best views overlooking Budapest go up to the Citadella on the top of Gellert Hill(Gellert Hill is the big one next to Castle Hill). At first walking up looks a little daunting but the pathways are quite gentle and there is the option of more direct steps if you feel energetic.
As you ascend the views become ever more spectacular and on reaching the Citadel you can see for miles, down or up the Danube, Pest in its entirety, most of Buda and the hills behind.
Bearing in mind that I am a forty-a-day smoker I was pleasantly surprised to find myself not too breathless on reaching the top (though I did have a couple of fag breaks on the way up!).
There is a charge, 1200 forints when I was there, to access the Citadella itself but this is worth paying purely for the views. Also in the Citadella is a bunker photo museum with some very interesting photos of wartime Budapest - though if you are claustrophobic the bunker is not a good idea!
There is also a bar and a nightclub at the top, I don't know anything about the nightclub but sitting outside the bar with the views overlooking Pest on a sunny afternoon with a cold beer (or two) seemed ample reward for having made the climb.
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