Matthias Church

Matthias Church Budapest

Matthias Church, also known as the Coronation Church of Buda Castle, is a monumental church situated in the first district, at Saint Trinity Square (Szentháromság tér) in the Buda castle area.

It is the best-known religious building in the city together with St. Stephen’s Basilica. It is a veritable gem of the capital city with its beautifuls lace- stone towers and the high bell-tower, with the Maria-gate as well as the gorgeous interior. The time of its foundation is not certain: some say it was establéished by Saint Stephen, the founder of the Hungarian state and Church in 1015, others believe it was built after the Mongol regime between 1255-1269. It was built into a Gothic  church, and King Matthias, whose name the church bears, also continued building it in Gothic style. It was turned into a mosque during the Turkish reign. It was then in the hands of the Jesuits during the XVII-XVIII. centuries when it was reconstructed in Baroque style. The final shape was reached in the XIXth century after a huge-scale restoration of its state both inside and outside. The damages caused by the Second World War and then a bomb outrage in 1999 are still being healed.


Parliament Budapest

The Parliament had had numerous seats during the past millennium when the idea came in the second half of the 1800’s that it should be moved to Pest-Buda as the city was called at the time.

The tender in 1882 was won by Imre Steindl, whose plan was born under the egis of historic eclectics, with a baroque delineation, baroque measures and neo-Gothic style regarding its details. Its style with its richly ornamented walls covered by decorative stones that form a stone lace when looked at from a distance can be linked to the Gothic Revival started at the 1830’s in England. This was the style in which the Parliament in London was also built. The Hungarian architect was not scared of innovations: He placed a dome in the focus of his creation, an element virtually unknown in Gothic style. The main façade is from the riverside, while the official entrance opens from Kossuth square. There are altogether 242 statues inside and on the building, the walls and ceilings are decorated by frescos and paintings of significant artists. The Holy Crown and the other Crown jewels (except for the royal mantle) are kept and exhibited in the Parliament. Other things to see here:

Decorative staircase hall, dome foyer, Glass paintings and mosaics made by Miksa Róth, and paintings by Hungarian painters. Some impressive numbers: its floorspace is 18 000 m2, it has 27 gates, 29 stairhalls within, 13 elevators, over 200 offices.

Citadel Budapest

Citadel Budapest

Citadel is a fortress built under the rule of Franz Joseph I. after the Hungarian Revolution of 1848-49, in order to deter with its guns the rebellious city.

Thus it once was a much-hated symbol of repression. However, it went into Hungarian hands following the Austro-Hungaria Compromise of 1867, and people started to deconstruct its walls, signaling its loss of martial role. Most of the damage caused under World war II. was finally repaired in the 1950-60’s, mainly through voluntary social work. Budapest’s chief symbol, the Statue of Liberty stands here. Citadel is now part of the World Heritage within the Buda Castle District.

Széchenyi Spa Budapest

Széchenyi Spa Budapest

Széchenyi Spa, aka “Szecska”, is one of Europe’s greatest spa complexes.

The institution is not simply a medical resort, but a fascinating building reminiscent of the antique Roman and Greek baths. Already since 1881 it was in use in the form of an artesian bath, while the spa itself opened in 1913. It has a swimming pool section as well as a thermal bath section, with over 20 pools altogether. Anyone aiming for total relaxation can choose from and indulge in services such as various types of massage and beauty treatments. Moreover, the spa is not only there for bathing but you can consume its water and have curative water treatments.

Chain-Bridge Budapest

Chain-Bridge Budapest

Chain-Bridge, or officially Széchenyi Chain-Bridge, was named after the famous statesman Earl István Széchenyi, who initiated and supported the construction of this bridge over the River Danube.

He participated in its construction so actively that he himself fell into the river in an accident. This bridge was the first permanent bridge over the Danube south of Regensburg. The work began in 1839 and the bridge was inaugurated ten years later in 1849. Adam Clark lead the construction works based on William Tierney Clarks’s plans. The bridge was exploded during World War II, but its reconstruction was finished by the centennial anniversary. Chain-Bridge has become a major symbol of Budapest, it has also been imprinted on coins, such as the silver 200-HUF coin, which has been withdrawn by today. Every summer it is closed down from car traffic for one or two weekends, when pedestrians and various vendors selling handicrafts are allowed to take over the bridge.

Evangelical Church at Deák Square

The oldest Evangelical Church to be found in Budapest is situated at Deak tér. This is a so-called room church as it doesn’t have towers.

It was built in 1799-1808 according to classicist rules, following the plans of Mihály Pollack. At first the building served as a storage hall for soldier clothing, and was finally consecrated in 1911. It doesn’t have a tower, so it is not supposed to have a bell either. However, at the turn of the 21st century the church was given a set of bells operated by computer, which plays a tune several times a day. Numerous surrounding institutions belong to the church: an evangelical grammar school, an office of ministry, ministry apartments, a bookshop, a museum and a kindergarten.

Hungarian National Museum

Hungarian National Museum Budapest

Earl István Széchenyi, the iconic Hungarian statesman asked and was granted permission from Joseph Franz I. to donate his collection related to Hungary to the Hungarian people.

This happened in 1802, which year can be considered as the foundation of the National Museum. In 1847 the institute got its housing building when the museum with columns and a tympanon in the front was built based on the plans of Mihály Pollack, the eminent figure of Hungarian classicist architecture. The museum played a great role in the revolution and war of independence of 1848-49. On March 15 in 1848, a mass gathering and Sándor Petőfi – poet of the nation- reading out his National Song (Nemzeti Dal) said to have been the starting event of the revolution. From that time on, the National Museum has been not only the house of the main Hungarian collection, but also the symbol of national freedom and of social changes in the eye of the Hungarian people.

House of Terror

House of Terror Budapest

There’s an infamous building at 60 Andrássy Street, which houses the House of Terror Museum. Opened in 2002, it commemorates the eras and victims of two terror regimes in Hungary.

The address is an infamous one because in 1944 this was the nest of the Arrow Cross Party members, who tortured Jews, and then from ‘45 onwards it served as the headquarters of the communists, who tortured those who were deemed as the enemies of the communist regime. Not only were these people tortured in order to make a confession, but many of them were also killed.

The neo-renaissant building was renovated inside-out, and has become a monument. The black passepartout running around the facade with the caption ‘Terror’ makes the building stand out of its surroundings and at the same time, the building still befits the adjacent houses.

Kopaszi dike

Kopaszi dike Budapest

A new, modern green park in the capital city is the new source of entertainment and regeneration lately: this is the Kopaszi dike in Újbuda.

What can you do in the ten-acre area surrounded by the River Danube? You can go for a picnic, read, lie in the grass, play badminton, play with frisbee, play tag, walk your dog (in the selected areas). There’s a running track, sports fields and a canoe dock. Kids’ Bay, a high-standard Playhouse is recommended for children, where there are kids’ programs as well. The ascending rows of terraces at the northern part offer a magnificent view of the city and the river. Also, you won’t suffer from hunger if you forget to take sandwiches with you: there’s a row of restaurants awaiting the visitors, with a few bistros among them.

Parisian Hall – Brudern-house

Parisian Hall Budapest

The building was first built in the 1800’s on the order made by Baron József Brudern, in the fashion of a contemporary Parisian building – hence the two names.

The eye-catching masterpiece at Ferenciek Square (Ferenciek tere) was probably finished in 1912 and praises the hands of Henrik Schmal and Pál Lipták. The house is decorated by maiolica and eosin – made by the famous Zsolnay porcelain producer manufacture-, raw brick and a crystal glass dome. It is indeed rich in ornamentation: the somewhat oriental facade is in part covered in red copper and glass mosaic, there are French balconies with cast-iron or stone bars, and statues. Inside you will find mosaic tile floors, colored leaded glass windows. The building used to house a bank, shops, a travel agency and a few flats on the top floors. By today, all the shops, banks are gone, and the building is for sale.


Megyeri-bridge Budapest

The second-longest bridge in the country is Megyeri-bridge in Northern-Pest, has a length of 1862 meters and was opened in 2008.

The best-known part is 591 meters long, stretches above the Big-Danube-branch, and it’s deck was built of 12-meter long prefabricated steel elements. Its highest point at the pillars reaches 120 meters. The two pillars form letters ‘A’, whose upper third can be visited: there’s a glass visitor’s center. The legs of the pillars are cavernal, their wall depth is 1 meter at the bottom and it decreases upwards until 0.4 m. A vote was started on the Internet to designate the bridge, and for a while the name Chuck Norris was in leading position. Stephen Colbert, the American comedian learned this and he advocated the bridge in his show. In the end, the name Megyeri-bridge won and got into public knowledge, referring to the fact that it connects Békásmegyer and Káposztásmegyer, two regions in Pest.

Liberty Bridge

Liberty Bridge Budapest

Liberty Bridge formerly called Franz Joseph Bridge was built btw 1894-1896 based on the plans of János Feketeházy.

The bridge, spanning over the Danube from the Gellért Hill in Buda to Market Hall (Vásárcsarnok) in the Pest side, is the shortest one among the bridges in Budapest. A special feature of the bridge is its double gate-like element reminiscent of lace decorations of Gothic towers, only these forms are cast in iron. 1.5 years after the bridge was opened, a tram line was started that crosses it. The bridge was ruined during World War II and was reconstructed in its original form already in 1946, and then it was renovated during 2007-2008.

City Park Ice Rink

City Park Ice Rink Budapest

City Park Ice Rink has been open for the public since 1870 already.

Its establishment is linked to the Skaters Union of Pest who achieved that the skaters may occupy part of the City Park Lake every year. At first there was only a wooden hut but it burnt down. Following this, a magnificent skate rink building was erected, which is standing today. It has been renovated and modernized recently, therefore there’s a long line of people queuing in front of the entrance in wintertime. But it’s surely well-worth the waiting since we can circle the ice rink at a beautiful setting: next to the Vajdahunyad Castle in the City Park, in the vicinity of Heroes’ Square and the Palace of Arts. When dusk approaches, giant reflectors are switched on to light the rink. You can eat and drink here, or have a little rest next to some hot tea or mulled wine. This great rink is not only available for the public, it also hosts various sports events: The European Championship of Speed skating in 2012 was held here, then there were the “speed skating “ weeks ending with a national combined championship, followed by “World Bandy Championship Week”, an event promoting this sport in Hungary.


Millenáris Budapest

The internationally-known factory unit was developed from the iron-foundry founded in the territory of the Roller Mill of Pest.

The reconstruction of the monumental factory buildings, that is the architectural works of the  Millenaris Park was awarded with the Europa Nostra Award in 2002. The Millenaris is to be founded in the second district, just behind Mammut shopping center. It has entrances also from Lövőház Street, Fény Street and Marcibányi Square. There are many programs and concerts here, especially for children, but also exhibitions such as the Invisible Exhibitions open all year.