Monday, 9 March 2015

Budapest I

Buda Castle
entrance to Buda Castle
Budapest is a very beautiful city but on second thought I can say that I prefer Buda the upper part of the city. This whole part of the city is beautiful, and the view of Pest from Buda is perfect.
Buda is kinda intimate. Everything is available, no traffic crowds, there're old buildings, castle, beautiful Matthias church, Fisherman's Bastion, everything is so good adapted to this area, I really have no need to go anywhere else while I am in Budapest. I could recommend several places that I enjoyed in and which I consider to be the most valuable; St. Matthias Church, Fishermans bastion and, you won't believe, in my opinion very valuable funicular which connects upper and lower parts of the city.
Buda castle
There is the imposing Buda Castle as well overlooks the city from its elevated position atop Castle Hill, rising forty eight meters above the Danube. The castle has had a tumultuous history that reflects the ups and downs of Hungary's fortunes.
But almost all castles are the same in a way, I need a break from them :).




The Matthias Church


The Matthias Church
The Matthias Church
The Matthias Church is one of Budapest's most important churches. Many of Hungary's kings were crowned here and the church there're important tombs and ecclesiastical treasures. Officially known as The Church of Our Lady Budapest's Matthias Church, like many of the city's ecclesiastical structures, has a long and complicated history.
Church was built in 1255 century along Trinity Square, in the heart of the Castle District, and was Buda's first parish church. However, the original church structure changed many times as it was constantly being renovated and refashioned in the popular architectural style of each era. The church takes its more common name from King Matthias, who ruled from 1458-90, well-known as a patron of the arts and enlightenment and revered for reconstructing the Hungarian state after years upon years of feudal anarchy.
In 1541, when the Turks captured Buda, The Church of Our Lady became a mosque.
The church was ravaged during the liberation of Budapest from the Turks in 1686. The story goes that during the bombardment of Budapest by a European alliance, a wall of the church collapsed, revealing a sculpture of the Madonna to the praying Turks. The new occupants, the Jesuits, made attempts to restore the church in the popular Baroque style of the era. Most consider the attempts a failure. Architect Schulek is credited with largely restoring St. Matthias Church to its original splendor in the late nineteenth century. Schulek, who also built the nearby Fisherman's Bastion, adhered to the original thirteenth-century plans for the church and also uncovered a number of original Gothic elements lost for centuries. He added magnificent diamond patterned roof tiles and gargoyles, which visitors can still admire today.
The reconstruction was completed in 1896.

Fisherman's Bastion


Fisherman's Bastion
Fisherman's Bastion
Fisherman's Bastion was built in 1905, mainly for decorative purposes. The bastion is located right behind the Matthias Church in the Castle District. It is one of the city's biggest tourist draws and functions as some sort of ornate viewing platform. The Fisherman's Bastion was built at the site of an old rampart that, during the Middle Ages, was defended by the guild of fishermen, who lived nearby in Vízívaros, at the foot of the hill. An old fish market also sat at this location during medieval times. The Bastion was designed by architect Frigyes Schulek and built between 1899 and 1905. The bastion is made up of seven towers - each one symbolizing one of the seven Magyar tribes that in 896 settled in the area now known as Hungary.
View from Fisherman's Bastion is one of the best in the city, a splendid view of the Danube river and over.










Castle Hill Funicular


entrance to funicular from Pest
funicular
Siklo is a funicular with wooden carriages with a history that goes back to the nineteenth century.
Construction started in 1868 and officially opened in early March, 1870. At that time it was  the second funicular in Europe. Steam engines powered the wooden carriages more than fifty meters up the hill. In World War II, a bombardment destroyed the stations and carriages. For a long time it looked like that was the end of Budapest's funicular. Fortunately the Sikló was restored in the 1980. and  reopened in June 1986.
view from funicular
The original carriages have been replaced by beautiful replicas and modern glass stations were built at the foot and top of the funicular, now powered by an electric winch. There are two different tracks leading up the hill and back.
Wonderful!




entrance to funicular from Buda
To be continued.....

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Budapest


I'm kind of confused about feelings to Budapest, I've almost forgot that I was there before I was in London and Prague, and it's only four months ago. Budapest  certainly doesn't deserve that.
The fourth time in Budapest and I still don't have right attitude to this city. It's beautiful, that's not questionable, I am thrilled with it's bridges, squares, particularly with the older part of the city Buda, but still there's a kind of a mess in my head. OMG  I'm stuck with Budapest. Well, let's start with the facts, maybe that will open my mind.

Budapest  is the capital and the largest city of Hungary, as one of the largest cities in the European Union. It is the Hungarian political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation center. Budapest has 1.74 million inhabitants.
Budapest became a single city with its unification of Buda or Obuda on the west bank of the river Danube with Pest on the east bank of Danube on 17 November 1873. The history of Budapest began with Aquincum, originally a Celtic settlement that became the Roman capital of Pannonia Inferior. Hungarians arrived in the territory in the 9th century.
Their first settlement was pillaged by the Mongols in 1241–42. The re-established town became one of the centers of Renaissance humanist culture by the 15th century. Following the Battle of Mohacs and nearly 150 years of Ottoman rule, the region entered a new age of prosperity in the 18th and 19th centuries, and Budapest became a global city after its unification in 1873. It also became the second capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a great power that dissolved in 1918, following World War I.

This was in short about the history of Budapest, and I think that's enough. I took it all from Wikipedia. Long live Wikipedia!








To be continued.....

Monday, 26 January 2015

Prague - Happy New Year



This was the sixth visit to Prague and since I've already written a lot about this beautiful city in my previous posts, I have nothing particular to add. I will keep coming back here because I love it and I consider it one of the most beautiful European cities. This time it was the first visit for the New Year and for the first time I saw how it looks like dressed in winter. Wonderful! As we did in London, we passed trough the known paths of Prague. I don't have anything new to say except that I enjoyed every moment I shared with Prague and my friends.
Enjoy the pictures!