What many do not know is that Budapest was originally three separate cities. Buda, Pest, and Óbuda flourished together along the Danube River - each with their own distinct charm. In November of 1873, they merged to create the city we currently know as Budapest. After they united, the city grew at a pace that was unlike any other in Europe.
Belle Époque (Happy Peacetime)
Before WWI, Budapest was thriving. Parks were built, an underground railway and bridges were constructed, and the Parliament Building was erected. This rapid growth brought in a surge of new travelers and citizens, meaning local and neighboring businesses were doing exceptionally well.
Unfortunately, WWII and the Revolution of 1956 left the city destroyed. You can still see the imprint of this tumultuous past in the bullet holes in some of the buildings throughout Budapest. However, the city found its life again and reconstructed many of the destroyed buildings. If you are a lover of architecture, you will take delight in the diversity of the city’s castles, homes, and various buildings.
Budapest is the perfect blend of history and relaxation. It IS known as the “Capital of Spas and Thermal Baths” after all (which is something we will be exploring in our next email)! Here are a few of our favorite spots and sites for you to visit if you are looking to take in the history of this beautiful city!
- Rudas Bath - Since Budapest lies on a fault line, it has over 100 natural hot springs beneath it. During Ottoman rule, the Turks brought their love of hammam baths and built many bathhouses. One of those is the Rudas Baths, constructed in 1550 and claims to have medicinal properties. There is even a rooftop pool that allows you to get a fabulous view of the city - try going a little before sunset for a magical experience.
- Buda Castle - Located on Castle Hill (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) is one of Budapest’s most known and visited monuments. Even though this 200-room palace was damaged during WWII, this 18th-century wonder has been mostly restored to its former glory. It is now home to some of the city’s most important museums like the Hungarian National Gallery and the Budapest History Museum. When you’re done touring the castle, you can spend tons of time walking around Castle Hill and taking in the eclectic architecture.
- Hungarian Parliament - When members of the government are not sitting, you can take a guided tour of this impressive building. With almost 700 rooms and about 19km of hallways and stairs, the Hungarian Parliament Building is the third-largest parliament building in the world. During your 45-minute tour, you’ll even get a glimpse of the Hungarian Crown Jewels!
If you’re ready to explore more of Budapest’s incredible history, why not do it in person? Click here to schedule a call and let us help you “Seymour” of Budapest and the rest of the world!