Castle District (Varhegy), Budapest
Fondest memory: It was a legendary nightclub in 60s and 70s, later important place for hungarian rock culture. It was open from 1961 to 1984. The building is situated under Buda Castle in the bazaar line. Today closed and need reconstruction.
I could of gone inside the Buda Castle, instead I was quite content walking around its grounds. I enjoyed the grand views over Budapest and Gellert Hill. I enjoyed sitting in its gardens and people watching. I tried my hand at archery for 500HUF. But most of all I enjoyed the many statues situated around the grounds. Like the Matthias Fountain which depicts a hunting party led by King Matthias Corvinus together with bloodhounds and a killed deer. I thought it was visually stunning. The Turulbird perched high above the Danube with the Sword of Attila firmly clasped in its talons was also magnificent. There are also many other statues on the grounds and lining the facade of the Castle that one can enjoy.
There are two museums inside the Castle. The first is the Budapest History Museum which presents Budapest from its beginning up until the end of the Communist era. The second is the Hungarian National Gallery and it presents Hungarian art from all genres. The Hungarian National Library is also found in Buda Castle. It has all the works of the Hungarian chronicler Anonymus.
The Buda Castle had been destroyed and gutted many times over by the Christians, the Allied bombing of Budapest during WW2 and the Communists. The Ottomans left the palace in a decayed state. But today it still stands while those that perpetuated the damage have long gone. That is a testament to the Hungarian people.
If you have visited any of my VT pages you will find that I always am fascinated by equestrian statues when I visit a city. I found this beautiful statue at the castle on the Buda side of the city. I wrote down a couple of hasty notes and then did some research when I got home. The statue is a memorial to Prince Eugene of Savoy. When I started my research I found some fascinating information about Prince Eugene that might be interesting to anyone who visits Budapest and finds the memorial. Prince Eugene was known for cross dressing, was slight of build and part of the circle of the transvestite Abbe de Choisy. He was known for opposing French ambition in Euorpe, battling the Ottoman Turks on the battlefield in Vienna in 1683, and for becoming the principal Austrian commander during the War of the Spanish Succession. He is known as one of the most brilliant generals in Hapsburg Empire. He died one of the wealthiest men in Europe. You never know what you will learn when you take a picture of a statue and then research it later.
There is a similiar equestrian memorial to Prince Eugene in Vienna.
The castle area is a walled complex consisting of the Old Town (Var) and the Royal Palace (Budavari palota).
The Royal Palace is located South of Castle Hill. It stands now on the site of a medieval palace destroyed by the Turkish invaders. Today, there is a grand palace Baroque style which unfortunately does not keep much of its lavish interiores as it was looted during the WWII . Today, it houses someof the most important museums of the city : , the Hungarian National Gallery, the National Széchényi Library, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Budapest History Museum.
Not to miss if the painting and sculpture is your cup of tea.
If it is not you will still enjoy the beauty of the exterior facades of the buildings and the very special medieval atmosphere of the Var.
If you like funiculars you are lucky because the Siklo funs from Clark Adam ter to Szent Gyorgy ter giving you a short ride uphill and allowing you to enjoy the views over the Danube.
If you prefer to walk in the forest or you are missing the gym you might want to access the Hill and the Old town by climbing trhe Kiraly lepcso or Royal Steps, running from Hunyadi Janos ut to the Royal Palace.
This second option is my favourite route if you allow me because of the very diffent perspectives you see of the river and the urban landscapes. Worth the effort, believe me.
Favorite thing: In ancient times the Celts recognized how important the location of Budapest was. Much later, Bela IV, the 13th century Hungarian king, realized the importance of the Castle Hill. A surviving record tells us that Bela IV declared that a fortress was to be built here in 1255.
This place deserves all day in your itinerary. Palaces, churches, gardens, museums galore. It has restaurants, bookshops, curio shops, artists, street performers, tourists, locals. It has a lot of what you are looking for ina cultural and historical area.
I spent the better part of two days exploring here. There was a surprise around every corner and a smile on every face. I drank beer at an outdoor pub overlooking the Danube. I bought a painting. I listened to a guitarist sing a sad song in a language I did not understand. I had a wonderful lunch sitting in the grass behind the castle.
I will return here, hopefully with my wife and son. I want them to experience some old world charm that has not been commercialized.
and creates with that its unique mix....
But these stairs were one of the things that did remind me a bit of Paris. And it gives you also an idea of the steepness of thehill you'll be climbing if you decide to go to the Mathias church. We decended these stairs just below the walls that surround castle hill
Favorite thing: The walled castle District is the premier destination for visitors , and contains some of Budapest's most important monuments and museums. It consists of two district parts: the Old Town , where commoners lived during medieval times, and the Royal Palace , the original site of a castle built in the 13th century.
Favorite thing: Fishermen's Bastion, in a bend of the road, stands the statue of Hunyadi (the work of István Tóth). János Hunyadi-the future King Matthias' father-was a famous military commander who in 1456 repulsed the Turkish attack at Nándorfehérvár (today's Belgrade); it was to commemorate his victory that Pope Calixtus III ordered that church bells should be sounded every noon. Not far away stands a replica of the famous statue of Saint George, by the Kolozsvári brothers. (The 1373 original can be seen in Prague.) In the upper court of the Fishermen's Bastion stands an equestrian statue of (Saint) Stephen I (by Alajos Stróbl, 1906), the first king of Hungary (1001-1038) and founder of the State.
Hill of kings is the best place in Budapest where you can spend your time in this town. A lot of people, a lot of museums, monuments, galleries and restauranst are realy pretty.
Fondest memory: Nice girls and sight from Buda to Pest, with all that bridges, Danube and chapels from the other side of the river.
Even if a lot of monuments are concentrated in Buda castle you can find all around Budapest (downtown :) ). You can make great shots at them
Fondest memory: yes ... budapest is really about art
Favorite thing: The Old Town is filled with attractively painted streets ,decorative churches and the famous Fishemen's Bastion.