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Budai Varnegyed
Castle Hill
#Aboput the Hill on the City of Buda

Castle Hill (Budai várnegyed) is an ancient site, of the important and interesting in the city Budapest. The hill is located in the area of old Buda. The Citadel, or castle, is built on a plateau whose length is a kilometer, and is mostly surrounded by a wall. Though this is not really a citadel, the complex does include the royal palace, as well as caves and ancient roads and many historical and important sites that are really interesting.

To Buda Hill, Castle Hill, the citadel (Budai várnegyed) you ascend by train from Clark Adam Square. Many people live on the hill, and is a lively and vibrant and very interesting residential place - over most of the city. Next to the houses there are many luxury hotels and not any less luxurious chef restaurants.

The street on the Castle Hill, located at the center of Buda, is in the Middle Age style, the Baroque. There are many different styles of architecture, of buildings from different periods in the city and different design and architecture techniques.

In 1987 the citadel was declared as a World Heritage Site. Most of the famous attractions of Budapest are located on Castle Hill on the Buda side: the popular royal palace and inside the National Gallery, the Fishermen's Bastion, Matthias Church, Lion Court, Honday Garden, Savoy Terrace, History Museum of Budapest, Music Museum, Military Museum, Marzipan Museum, Pharmacy Museum and the Museum for Middle Age Jewry.


#History of the Hill

The story of the hill and the story of the royal palace on it is the story of the history of all of Hungary. The settlement began during the 13th century, after the Mongolian army invaded the city of Pest, that was built along the Danube River.

The Mongols destroyed and caused major havoc to the city. To prevent future damage to that extent, the residents of the city decided to wall the city and build a palace and citadel on the nearby hill, with strategic viewpoints, to protect the city. So they crossed the Danube River and built the citadel on the hill, assuming that the river would make it hard for intruders to attack the city, and that the height of the hill would guarantee its protection.

In the 15th century, the palace was expanded into a castle by King Sigismund, and was the largest Gothic castle in Europe. Later on in the century King Matthias made sure to expand it further.

When the Turks conquered Buda in the 16th century, they turned all the churches to Mosques, as they did with all the Christian areas they took over.

At the end of the 17trh century, after the area was conquered again by the Hapsburgs, Christians from Austria, began a surge of impressive reconstruction. During the rule of the Austro-Hungarian Empire public houses were built here, homes and roads that were impressive and full of glory.

In the 19th century was the Hungarian Independence War, during the period called the "Spring of Nations," in 1848. During the revival against the Austrian Emperor, the Buda Castle was once again damaged. After the war, when the Emperor united Austria and Hungary, the palace was renovated and enlarged, where Franz Joseph was crowned King of Hungary.

After World War I and the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Horthy Miklós lived in the castle, the ruler of Hungary. The palace then became the political center of the country.

At the end of World War II, the Castle on Buda Hill was the last standing hold of the Nazis. During the fighting between then and the Red Army the Castle incurred a lot of damages.



#Tips

As in any place with a big crowd, watch for pickpocketers


A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/4fZeT1Ps3p4
Hilton Budapest
Hilton Budapest Hotel
#About the Hotel that Combined Historical Remains and a Modern Building

In Hesz Andras ter you can see the Hilton Budapest Hotel, that was built over the remains of a Dominican monastery on Citadel Hill in Buda.

The architecture of the building combines in a special way between the modern and renovated building between the ancient remains of the historic monastery, instead of hiding and destroying it, and was actually incorporated by the architects very beautifully.

In retrospect, the combination between the ancient and modern is so successful, that the hotel became a tourist destination in itself. Many tourists that are not staying at the hotel come here to gamble at the great casino, or come to see the genius and respectful architecture, that stirs that new and the old.



A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/_VuI4pipHX8
Clark Adam square
Clark Adam Square
#The Square Where Distances in Hungary are Measured

Like the Notre Dame Square in Paris is the place where distances are measured for all of France, from the Clark Adam Square (Clark Ádám tér) in Budapest distances are measured for all of Hungary.

Notice the stone in the shape of the number zero, placed in the square. This stone is used at the official location where distances are measured from - from Budapest around Hungary and Europe.



#Who was Clark Adam?

Clark Adam was a British engineer who built the Széchenyi Chain Bridge nearby, and the tunnel under the Buda hill, the Castel Hill.

From Clark Adam Square board the funicular train (Budavari Siklo) to the top of Buda Hill, or Castle Hill, where the King's Castle is located. This is an easy way to climb the 260 meters to the top of the hill, instead of taking the stairs. Don't want to use the electric train? You can catch the bus, number 26, to the top of the hill.



Not the Most Normal Visit:

https://youtu.be/q-Lap0tu-zA
Buda Castle
Buda Castle
#About the Large Castle Built on a Hill

Buda is a city on a hill, that has maintained its look from the Middle Ages. At that time cities were built with protective walls, against invaders. Buda Castle is a beautiful and protective castle, at a height of 50 meters above the Danube River. It is located on a hill, from where Budapest was created, west to the river. The location of the castle has a good reason - protection against enemies.

The history of the castle begins in the 13th century, when Mongolian tribes conquered Hungary and destroyed Pest, that was built on the opposite side of the Danube River. At first, a dungeon was built here by King Béla, and later the rest of the castle was built.

For a wonderful lookout over the city, come to the see the complex of the castle day or night. Recommended lookout points are without a doubt the Fisherman's Bastion (Halaszbastya), near the Matthias Church (Matyas Templom) - two must-see sites on the hill.

In the castle area there are many interesting buildings, including museums, a Military History Museum, Museum for Music History and Museum of Trade. In the King's Castle, you can see the National Gallery and the Museum for the History of the city. You can enter a system of underground tunnels, and the tomb of the Turkish slave, Rahman Ali. More interesting sites are the recreated Castle Theater, and the Eagle Statue, Turul Statue, the legendary protector of Hungary.


#Tips

You can get to the castle by stairs and also by the funicular, a cable car that brings people to the top of the hill - a little spendy but a nice an experience.

If you are interested in the history of Budapest, enter the museum of history in the castle.



A Closer Look Around the Castle:

https://youtu.be/FbvsWnAUfIc

Budai Varnegyed

Szent Istvn Szobra
Saint Stephen Statue
#About the Large Statue of the Kings of Hungary

The Saint Stephen Statue, located between the Fisherman's Bastion and Matthias Church, is an impressive bronze statue, placed on a multi-level stone base, with four marble lions carved at each edge.

In the statue, Stephen (István), the first king of Hungary, is seen riding on a horse and carrying a royal wand in his right hand. St. Stephen, the first Hungarian Christian king, was crowned in 1001. He was born a pagan, but was baptized at the age of ten, as part of an alliance his father had made with the neighboring Christian states.

Stephen was the first Christian king of Hungary. When he received the monarchy, he was fought by pagan nobles, including his uncle, who was supposed to take power and felt deceived. But Stephen succeeded in uniting all the Midian tribes and was assisted by the Christian nobles of Slovakia.

When Stephen asked Pope Sylvester II to recognize him as a Christian king and allow him to appoint bishops, the latter refused. But one night later, in the dream of the Pope, the angel Gabriel appeared and ordered him to agree to the request of the Hungarian king. This dream, by the way, is commemorated in the statue of the Archangel Gabriel, which was placed on a post at the Heroes' Square in Budapest. The Pope fulfilled the angel's decree and sent a golden crown to Stephen, which had since become the symbol of Hungary. The crown was attached to an apostolic cross and a letter that recognized him as a Christian king.

From here, St. Stephen divided Hungary into districts and duchies, and ordered every ten villages to build a church and appoint a priest. He himself used to visit secretly and in disguise, the churches and cities, and donated money to the needy and the people he met. Legend has it that even when he was robbed by a bunch of beggars, he was exposed as the king, but spared their lives.


A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/xMa0k7MKSM0
Statue of Andreas Hadik
Statue of Andreas Hadik
#About the Statue of the Horse with the Shiny Balls

The statue of Andras Hadik is a nice statue placed on a small street on Buda Hill. You can see an important man riding a horse, not an unusual sight in European cities like Budapest. But look closely, this statue has something interesting about it.

Notice the contrast of the color of the horse, to the horses' balls, on Castle Hill in Buda. For whoever saw the statue of Juliet in the city of Verona, Italy, knows that the shiny part of a statue is the one that is usually touched by endless amounts of people. While the one who touches for Juliet are by tourists, the ones to touch the balls of the horse are...students!

Every year, in May, when the students in Budapest begin finals, students come to shine the balls of the horse, as a good luck charm on their exams.

If you thought that maybe these actions are embarrassing, think again. This is a real ceremony - the Ceremony of Shining of the Balls.
Matthias Church
Matthias Church
#About the Beautiful Church on the Citadel Hill

Matthias Church (Matyas Templom) bears the name of King Matthias, who married the love of his life, Queen Beatrice. Previously it was called "Our Lady's Church."

The church was built in the 15th century on the ruins of an ancient church built here in the 13th century. King Charles Rover arrived here from Anjou after his official coronation at Skaschfuhrer and was crowned in another religious ceremony.

The Matthias Church was built in the 13th century, but what we see today is mostly reconstruction from the 19th century. Then the church was built in the neo-Gothic style we see today. In the magnificent church space, there are wonderful stained-glass windows. As is customary in such churches, the magnificent 19th-century stained-glass windows depict events from the lives of Christian saints.

If you look to the right of the apse, you will see steps leading to the church museum. Here are religious artifacts, Christian icons and a hint of the treasures of the past by the kings of Hungary.

There is also a reconstruction of a medieval crypt, that holds remains of ancient graves.


A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/NKaob1-BgGY
Kirlyi Palota
Kiralyi Palota
#About the Royal Palace of Hungary

The Royal Palace, Kiralyi Palota (Királyi Palota), on the Citadel Hill is a large and magnificent palace, which has been destroyed five times throughout history. It has caves, ancient streets and palaces, all part of the Old Town Buda and the complex of its old castle.

In recent years, the ceremony of changing the guard (Sandor Palota), which the Hungarians began to hold at the entrance to the presidential residence, became a kind of tourist attraction. The ceremonies can be seen every hour on the western entrance to the palace.

The palace was built in the 13th century and has since undergone periods of many renovations and innovations, the destruction of foreign armies and wars and many political changes.

Today the palace hosts two of Hungary's most important museums - the National Gallery (Galeria Nemzeti), which presents some of the country's most beautiful collections of art and displays Hungarian art at its best, from the Middle Ages to the present.

More in the Palace is the Museum of the History of Budapest, where you can learn about the city's twisting and changing history.

The Hungarian National Library is also located in the palace.


A View from Above:

https://youtu.be/6YSmQ_QH70s



A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/MZ9w-nbSk9w


Fishermen's Bastion
Fishermen's Bastion
#About the Citadel That did Not Protect Anything.

Fishermen's Bastion (Halaszbastya) is a sort of Romantic monument is a kind of monument to the Fisherman's Guild which has seven towers that symbolize the seven tribes from which the Hungarian people were born. It is an ornate building and even a little "kitschy", which will be explored in a lot of surprises, steps and amusing corners.

The special building was erected at the end of the 19th century in honor of the thousandth anniversary of the settlement of the city. From here you can look out over the city and the river and see St. Stephen's Church, the beautiful Parliament, Margaret Island and the Suspension Bridge.

In fact, the fort was built with no real defensive intentions and seemed to be mainly for beauty. Its seven turrets symbolize the seven tribes that settled here for the first time more than 1,000 years ago.

The architecture of this magnificent building is a fascinating combination of neo-Roman style and neo-Gothic style. You can see this by mixing the tall turrets, with large windows, that bring a lot of light into the building, arched windows and more.

There is some ambiguity about the origins of the Fisherman's Bastion. One conjecture is that the name was given to it from a fish market, which existed in the area in the distant past. Another conjecture connects the name to a local tradition that tells us that in the Middle Ages the members of the local fishermen's guild protected this side of the hill.



#Why is This Citadel Good?

The answer to this question is, of course, symbolic, since this fort was erected for the city's celebrations at the end of the 19th century. But for anyone, this fortress is the most spectacular observation point and spot in the city of Budapest.

From the second floor of the fortress you can take photos comfortably that will come out great. There is an entrance fee. If you want just a nice photo and do not want to go up, then grab a little corner near the lower floor, where the restaurant is located.




#Tips

Be aware of pickpocketers that tend to roam this area.

Next to the restaurants and cafes in this area are many souvenir shops. These are substantially more expensive than the souvenir shops in town.

A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/TAC5zQ-9mFg?t=19s
Budavari Siklo
#About Budapest's Funicular

The funicular train that brings people from the hillside to the hilltop, and returns them to the bottom, is called the funicular Budavari Siklo. The nice part of the funicular is that during the entire way it affords travelers a glance to the breathtaking view around.

In Budapest, mostly tourists use this funicular, from the Clark Adam Square to the King's Castle on Citadel Hill (Budai Várnegyed).

Of course, there is a way to get to the castle on foot, with many stairs, but most tourists prefer the more expensive and faster option.



A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/CL8STGVddsc


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