BUDAPEST - Beautiful city by the Danube

This is a beautiful city. The Danube, which passed through the heart of the city, `blended' well with the imposing Castle Hill (Várhegy, with the famous Fishermen's Bastion), the Gothic and Baroque monuments in Buda and Pest (two of the three constituent parts of the city ; the third is Obuda). I enjoyed strolling on the streets of Budapest, visiting the museums and the hot baths of this famous spa city.

It was a pity that the National Museum (Magyar Nemzeti Múzeum) was closed for renovations. Only the crown jewels were displayed when I was there. But seeing the legendary St Stephen's Crown (which is shown on the national coat of arms, stamps, public buildings, etc) itself was sufficient justification for a visit to the Museum.

Click here to learn more about the St Stephen's crown.

Other museums worth mentioning include the Ethnological Museum (Néprajzi Múzeum - with great insight into Hungarian culture & folk life), the Philatelic Museum (where I was greeted with warmth by the curator) and the Hungarian National Gallery (with its terrace cafe overlooking the Danube River) at the Castle Hill (Várhegy).

Beside the Danube (Duna) ; behind is the Hungarian National Gallery
Monuments abound in Budapest - the magnificent Parliament Building (which once housed representatives from the various parts of the pre-Trianon kingdom) ; the famous Chain Bridge (officially named after Count István Széchenyi (1791-1860), one of Hungary's greatest statesman, who having gone through the madness of the ill-fated Hungarian revolution of 1848, died in an asylum) ; and the Millenary Monument at Heroes' Square (Hösok tére) which was built to commemorate 1000 years of the Magyar Conquest in 1896.

The Fishermen's Bastion ; Parliament ; Chain Bridge at night

Hungarian food is the spiciest of the European cuisines. I had an enjoyable Hungarian meal at an expensive downtown restaurant. The chef warned me about the praprika (the legendary Hungarian chili) but it's nothing to a typical Southeast Asian. I poured so much Praprika into my meal that the chef commented I was a real Hungarian !

After four days in Budapest (including a cruise up the Danube to the little Hungarian-Serb town of Szentendre), I took the Corona Express eastwards, across the endless Hungarian Plain, to Brasov in Translyvania, Romania.

Links to Hungary :

Hungarian National Tourism Office with useful tourist info on Hungary

Hungary Homepage, with facts about this great nation (caution : this site is in Hungary and is a little slow)

HIR - Hungarian Information Resources

Visit Budapest !

Visit Mississipi State University's great Hungarian history site

Hungarian Mille-centenary Celebration (896-1996) - excellent site on origins of the Hungarian people & customs of the first Magyars.

Welcome to Land of Dracula, Romania

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