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Opera House
Opera House
#About the Opera House in Budapest

Even if you don't want to dedicate an evening to one of the classical opera's creations by Hungarian composers like Franz Liszt or Zoltán Kodály, a visit to the Opera House should not be missed. The Opera House is a main and popular attraction in Budapest, and among the most beautiful Opera Houses around the world.

Except for opera, other shows both classical and modern are shown here on an international scale, and two ballet companies, the most important ones in Budapest, and Hungary in general.

It is recommended to go on a guided tour in the Opera House or buy a ticket to an opera, there are tickets are different price levels. These operas are performed nightly and be sure to spare some time for a tour.


#The History of the Opera House

The Budapest Opera House was inaugurated in 1884 as part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Hungary of those days was very rich, and many funds and resources were allotted to the new building.

The results did not disappoint. The guests to the Opera House opening were astonished. The Opera House was luxurious and highly invested and immediately became one of the most beautiful opera houses in the world.

Somehow, this building survived World War II and was not damaged. On the surviving walls you can see the original paintings, the frescoes that were preserved without harm. Like them, hundreds of beautiful sculptures survived that are spread around the building and are a symbol of luxury in the opera hall itself.

In order to restore it to its former glory, the building was renovated in the 1980's and was cleaned up with government funds. This is how it was able to turn into such a tourist cultural attraction, among the best in Budapest.


#Archicture of the Opera House

The Opera House of Budapest opened in 1884, is considered one of the more beautiful Opera Houses in the world. This building was planned in the neo-Renaissance style, by the Hungarian architect from the 19th century Miklos Ybl. Those who love architecture should come here for a day tour.

At the exterior statues were placed of a few of the great composers in the history of Opera and classical music, including Mozart, Beethoven, Vardi, Bizet, and Tchaikovsky.

It is not only from the outside that this building is impressive. It is also impressive from the inside. On the main staircase on the building, the most famous people in Europe walked between the end of the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century. Anyone belonging to the Hungarian nobility or elite came here during those days. The ladies of Budapest's high society used to present at the operas of the times, the fashion trends and the luxury jewelry they received from their rich husbands.

In the main hall of the Opera House, there are no less than 1,200 seats available. There are hundreds of sculptures, frescoes, and golden decorations that twinkle, each weighing 7 kilos. Part of the decorations on the walls are made of golden leaves covered in 24-carat gold.



#Tips

The ticket prices here are affordable, but it is recommended to order them in advance on the website.

When buying tickets for the booths, buy the tickets for the first row in the box, the only row that you can see from.

The dress code is crucial here - women have to wear evening dresses, and men - only suits!



A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/rzyxU1kDOQk


From Outside:

https://youtu.be/xt9PM7jfwns
Szchenyi Lnchd
Széchenyi Chain Bridge
#About the Suspension Bridge in Budapest

The bridges that connect the parts of Budapest, above the romantic Danube River, turn the river into a jaw-dropping shining pearl. Without a doubt, the prettiest of these is the Széchenyi Chain Bridge (Széchenyi Lánchíd) a suspension bridge, that was built as the first permanent bridge that connects Buda and Pest. This bridge begins in Clark Adam Square, across the river, towards the inner city of Pest. There it connects to Roosevelt Square, near Gresham Palace and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

The length of the Széchenyi is 350 meters. This was a project by two 'Clarks." In 1839 the engineer William Clark designed the bridge, but he had to pack up and leave Hungary quickly due to prior commitments. So finishing the bridge in 1849 was the architect Adam Clark.

The bridge quickened the union of Buda and Pest, that were becoming one city thanks to the large growth in the 19th century.

In 1945, with the Nazis surrender from the Red Army, the German army bombed the bridge. It was restored in 1949. So it became a monumental attraction in itself. For its nice structure, especially at night when it is reflected on the Danube River. The bridge is surrounded by statues of handsome lions, that have become the commercial symbol of the bridge.

On summer weekends, the bridge becomes a wide boulevard and different performances and attractions for tourists take place.


#The Tragic Story of the Lions on the Bridge

The Suspension Bridge, established in 1849, is considered the prettiest bridge in Budapest. Among other things, it is known for the nice lion statues on its sides. Local legends says that after finishing the statues of the lions, the artist noticed that he forgot to add a tongue to one of them. And out of desperation and sadness, he committed suicide and jumped off the bridge.

However, all the lions on the bridge have their tongues! So is the legend true? Walk around the bridge and see if you can find a lion without his tongue...



A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/VX9LF3ybp_Q
The Jewish Museum in Budapest
Hungarian Jewish Museum and Archives
#About the Jewish Museum of Budapest

The Hungarian Jewish Museum and Archives (Magyar Zsidó Múzeum) was built in 1930 in the childhood home of Benjamin Ze'ev Herzl, in the neighborhood of the Big Synagogue in Budapest. The museum presents the story of the Jewish community in the city, a community that was destroyed and almost completely erased in the Holocaust.

The museum, the second largest Jewish museum in Europe, includes many display items from the daily lives of the Hungarian Jews, and in Budapest in general. It exhibits very well the wealthy community that lived here for hundreds of years.

In the museum there are 4 wings. Each focuses on a different aspect of the daily lives of the Jews in the community. The themes are; daily Jewish lives, Jewish holidays, the Hungarian Jew's Holocaust and Judaica items used for the Sabbath. The Judaica items on display were collected from all around the former Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Like in the next-door synagogue, the Jewish Museum also took on itself the job of preserving and commemorating. It includes a dark memorial room with many photos from World War II, like the Hungarian Jewish community experienced it. There is a column that tells the tale and commemorates the poet Hannah Szenes. In the courtyard of the building is an impressive monument for the Jews of Budapest, to the diplomat and Righteous Among Nations Raoul Wallenberg, and others who helped the Hungarian Jews hide from the Nazis.



#History of the Museum

The museum, built in 1930 in the childhood home of Theodore Herzl, and filled an important and brave job in the years when antisemitism in Hungary grew, and prevented Jewish artists from showcasing their work. This is when the museum stood strong, who back then didn't even have to do with art. The museum began displaying exhibits by Jewish artists, whose religion prevented them from displaying in other museums or galleries around Budapest.

In the tough years of the war, the National Museum employees helped hide displays from the Jewish Museum in the basement of the National Museum. This is how items were saved from the tough bombings of the allied air raids and from the hands of the Nazis themselves.
Hungarian National Museum
Hungarian National Museum
#About the Museum that has a Temple

The Hungarian National Museum in Budapest is a museum for archeology and Hungarian history. It resides in one of the prettiest and most impressive buildings in the city. Even if Hungarian history does not call you, this museum is worth a visit to see the wonderful and magnificent building.

The museum was established in 1802 as a library and a public place to display the collection of natural artifacts that were collected by the Hungarian Baron Franz Széchényi. In the 1830's the government allocated half a million forint to establish a permanent location for the collection. The architect Mihály Pollack designed the building you are standing in now in the neo-Classical style, a very impressive and large building, a sort of temple for history, that was inaugurated in 1846.

Beyond its responsibilities as a museum, the building became a symbol of Hungarian nationalism. This happened in 1848, the era of the "Spring of Nations" when the museum was the center of the Hungarian revolutionary uprising of 1848. This formative event took place when the Hungarian national poet Sándor Petőfi, read the "12 Points" to a crowd and his national song, which is called exactly that, "the National Song." The event became a symbol of revolution and the museum gained a symbolic place in the renewal of Hungarian nationalism. In memory of the event, the poets who were part of the uprising and the memorial ceremonies for the revolution are commemorated in front of the museum.



#What Can Be Seen Here?

In the archeology wing, you can see the life of what today is called Hungary, from the prehistoric period. In a display of historical findings from different areas around Hungary, Transylvania, Slovenia, and Croatia.

In a permanent and central display in the museum is the development of the history of Hungary. The exhibition focuses on the rule of the Mediars and the conquests from the period of Roman rule to the Ottoman Turks. The amount of maps, charts, coins, jewelry, artwork and everyday objects displayed here is huge. In addition, videos are presented here and there is an experiment with computerized illustrations of the periods and historical changes that have taken place in Hungary over the years.

There are special displays here for modern Hungarian history, since the Revolution of 1848 and the showcasing of prominent personalities, especially in the past few centuries in the themes of music, literature, science, and medicine.

A special section is held for the Hungarian history of the threatening police, the Communist and Fascist forces from the 20th century until the release and freedom of democracy.



A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/h3j8LWOoOlY

Pest

Orszghz
Hungarian Parliament Building
#About the Luxurious Parliament Building of Budapest

The Hungarian Parliament Building (Országház) is located on the eastern bank of the Danube River, and is one of the largest Parliament Buildings in the world, and the largest building in Hungary. With almost 700 rooms, hundreds of statues and endless prestigious and luxury, the building, built in the neo-Gothic style, is considered not only huge and impressive, but also beautiful. It is located on the banks of the Danube River and is a symbol of Hungarian Democracy and for the city of Budapest.

20 years and huge sums of money were invested by the Hungarians in the Hungarian Parliament Building, which used to be considered the most expensive building in Europe. Its building began in 1885, before the 1000 years celebration for the Hungarian Empire, that was set for 1896. Hungary, who longed for an impressive symbol to respect this honor, appointed the Jewish architect Imre Steindl to plan the building. Steindl would never get to see the impressive building he designed. He became blind during the construction, and was not at the inauguration ceremony, because he passed away only a few months prior.

The building, which took about 20 years to finish, was worked on by over 1,000 men. About 40 million bricks were used in the construction of the huge and impressive building, from which about half a million are gemstones. About 40 kilos of gold was invested in the decorations.

So for the celebrations of the millennium, the construction was not finalized and continued until 1904, but the Hungarians tend to say that even now construction is never-ending. They mean the expensive restorations and preservations that take place here all the time.



#Some Numbers

The parliament building has 691 rooms and giant halls.

The total length of the staircases in the building equals 20 kilometers.

The impressive dome at the head of the building is 96 meters tall.

At the length of 268 meters and the width of 118 meters, the area of the building is 17,700 square meters.



#Tips

The entrance to the building is only with organized tour groups.

Try getting to the tours in the building as early as possible.

Each day there are tours in the Parliament Building. See the link below the times for the tours in many different languages.



A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/qjLb8DhiCKk?t=19s


A View from Above:

https://youtu.be/xspwTs2cY1M?t=1m44s



Photos of the Luxurious Parliament Building:

https://youtu.be/fmAeAZUJNPc
Szpmvszeti Mzeum
Museum of Fine Arts
#About the Beautiful Art Museum of Budapest

The Museum of Fine Arts (Szépművészeti Múzeum) is an impressive art museum, with huge collections of art by non-Hungarians, pieces by the greatest creators in history.

The museum is located at the Heroes' Square, right at the entrance to the public park of Budapest, and was established between the years 1900-1906. The impressive Neo-classical building reminds of a Roman or Greek ancient temple.


#About the 6 Main Museum Collections

Ancient Egyptian Art - a huge collection of Egyptian art.

Classic and Ancient Greek Art - Mostly marble statues, among them the "The Budapest Dancer," a marble statue from the 3rd century, as well as tools from ceramics and bronze.

The "Masters" - thousands of drawings from the history of European paintings between the 13th and 18th century. Look for Giorgione's "Portrait of a Young Man," Raphael's "Esterhazy Madonna," Dürer's "Portrait of a Young Man," Pieter Bruegel "St John the Baptist Preaching," and pieces by Titian, Tintoretto, Rubens, El Greco, Velázquez and Goya.

Statues from Middle Ages to 17th Century - Italian statues including a statue of a small bronze Horseman of Leonardo Di Vinci, and wooden statues from Germany and Austria.

Art from the 19th and Beginning of the 20th Centuries - Romantic art pieces include statues by Auguste Rodin, pieces by Delacroix and Gustave Courbet, and paintings by the Impressionists Manet, Pissarro, and Renoir, and painted posters by the famous Toulouse-Lautrec.

Graphic Art - over 10,000 sketches and 100,000 prints from traditional graphic European art. The most impressive here are by Rembrandt and Goya, and a collection of notes from Di Vinci regarding "The Battle of Anghiari."


A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/vD12CnuLQ0I


Screening on the Museum's Building:

https://youtu.be/GeOBXzRW5q4
Szent Istvan Bazilika
St. Stephen's Basilica
#About the Biggest Basilica in Budapest

The St. Stephen's Basilica (Szent István Bazilika) is the largest church in Budapest. It is named after Saint Stephen, whose holy hand is preserved and secured at the basilica for many years. About 8,000 people come to the basilica daily to pray. In the basilica are art pieces and beautiful decorations.

The church began being built in 1851, and was finalized in 1906. During World War II it was bombed and badly damaged, however during the years it was renovated and returned to its former glory. In the renovations of 1870, the architect Joseph Metzger gave it a Gothic look, as he did to many buildings he renovated.

During World War II, art pieces and documents were hidden at the basement of the basilica of great historical importance. However, the basilica was badly damaged during the war. It was completely renovated only between the years 1983 and 2003.

In the past decade, it has also undergone renovations, deep internal and external renovations, that renovated and returned the basilica to its original beauty. The building combines different architectural styles, including neo-Classical and the neo-Renaissance style.



#What Can Be Seen Here?

Notice that in the basilica are beautiful mosaics that decorate the dome and the ceiling of the church. Look for the Baroque decorations around the interior of the basilica. Like in every church, there are many paintings and motifs of Christianity, however, when you will see the painting on the wall of Madonna, know that this painting is from 1472, and its importance is bigger than all of the rest of the paintings.

The basilica is 96 meters tall, and if you succeed in climbing the 323, you will reach the balcony at a height of 65 meters, with the incredible breath stopping view of all of Budapest.

From the balcony, you will see different sites around Budapest worth a visit. Notice that places like the Big Synagogue of Budapest, Heroe's Square, with the arches behind the main statue, or the pretty Museum of Art that in itself is beautiful, even from far away.


#Why Was the Building of the Basilica Prolonged?

This was in 1851 when the construction of the tallest Catholic basilica in Budapest, and the largest in Hungary, began. A strange chain of events and disasters disturbed the construction. This began with the death of the architects who planned the church, and continued in the collapse of the church dome in 1867. All these lead to huge delays and endless pushing of the finishing date, until it was complete in 1905.

However, it is not only the dates that were affected by the events that haunted the project. The look of the church was hurt quite a bit from the change of architectures and their styles. Maybe this is the reason that the exterior of the St. Stephen's Basilica is not less impressive than its size.




#Who Was the Stephen I?

Stephen I, who the basilica is named after, was the king of Hungary in 1000. He was the king who changed the official religion of Hungary to Christianity. Hungary owes Stephen I a lot, for he fortified the standing of Hungary as a significant country, between eastern and western Europe.

A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/4x68DGwI77Q?t=19s


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בואו לגלות, לחקור, ולקבל השראה!

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