How Old Was Elizabeth 1 When She Was Crowned Queen Budapest – "The City of Statues"

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Budapest – "The City of Statues"

Following the M-1 highway in our rented Opel Vectra station wagon, my mother, brother, sister and I poured into Budapest, the “Paris of the East”, a bustling metropolis of 2 million people.

With the “Latino driving technique” described in the “Need to Know” section of the Budapest Visitor’s Guide, “driving in Budapest is never to be taken lightly, and certainly not for the faint of heart. There is a traffic law, although few seem to pay much attention to it.” Armed with this important clue, we followed the small blue signs with a white “i” (the tourist information center symbol). Winding across the Danube, which separates the flat “Pest” (pronounced pesht) side of the city from the hilly “Buda” area, which was officially incorporated as Budapest in 1872, we arrived at a typical house in a quiet residential area. in the neighborhood.

After a short wait inside the crowded tourist office, the gentleman at the gate greeted us. He preferred to serve us in German as he spoke little English. He showed us what accommodation was available and we chose a small two bedroom apartment in the heart of the city. For an additional 19.90 euros (about 1 euro = 1 USD) we bought the recommended two-hour city tour.

We found our boring gray apartment building on a narrow one-lane street. There was no elevator. Our dark, dingy third floor apartment had very high ceilings but was amazingly quiet, even overlooking the open courtyard. The two bedrooms had more beds than we needed and the kitchen had a separate dining area. The small bathroom had the necessary bath and shower arrangement, which was sufficient for our needs.

Our next priority was to find a safe parking place to keep our car off the street for two nights. We had been warned that car thefts are common here. After checking several official high-wall parking lots marked with a white “P”, we found one near our apartments and paid the owner for two nights ($6.00 USD per day). As with many privately owned businesses or small businesses in Budapest, cash is the only method of payment.

In the evening, we explored the restaurant area near the opera house and came across Svejk Restaurant and Grill at 1072 Kiraly Ut 59/b. The server who greeted us as we entered declared, “You can eat as much as you want and as often as you want.” Yes, my kind of eatery! We tasted a delightful smorgasbord of grilled meat, seafood, vegetarian dishes, pasta and various cakes for dessert. Wine, beer, juice, pop and coffee were all included.

We woke up to a beautiful warm and gorgeous day and went out for breakfast. We stopped at the Unio Hotel, several doors down the street from our apartment, and ordered a breakfast buffet of scrambled eggs, cold meats, yogurt, orange juice, and coffee that tasted awfully muddy.

At 10:00 we crowded into a small taxi that was included in the city tour, and our taxi driver drove his taxi through the crowded alleys to the sightseeing bus waiting for us on Andrassy Street. This main street is Budapest’s answer to the grand boulevard in Paris. Along its route are impressive consulate buildings and the royal mansions of Budapest’s wealthy.

The city of Budapest is full of statues commemorating many famous Hungarians, from Emperor Franz Josef, who was crowned King of Hungary in 1867, to Hungarian composer Franz Liszt and other notable Hungarian artists, architects and political figures. Statues are everywhere planted in giant squares, on hills, hidden from the road in courtyards with barely enough space to mount one.

Heroes’ square at the end stop of Andrassy Ut is one of the city’s most famous landmarks. This huge granite-tiled square, dominated by a 36-meter (118-foot) column called the Millenary Monument, was built to celebrate Hungary’s millennium in 1896, although the project was not completed until 1929. Scholars arbitrarily chose 896 as the year when Arpad led the victor. Magyar hoards in the Carpathian Basin. The statues that make up the monument were restored in time for the 2001 celebration of Szt Istvan Day, Hungary’s national holiday marking the founding of the state. The two colonnades feature various Hungarian rulers and princes. On top of them are sculptures representing work, war, peace and knowledge. In the center are Arpad and six other leading Hungarian chiefs grouped around the base of the column. On top of the pillar is Gabriel, holding the apostolic cross and the Hungarian crown, which signifies an archangel, supposedly appearing to Istvan in a dream, urging him to convert the pagan Hungarians to Christianity. Adjacent to this square are two of Budapest’s leading museums, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Palace of Arts.

Budapest has more than 40 museums and galleries, from agricultural, beer and military history museums to postal and telecommunications, banknotes, flags and saddle museums. There’s even a House of Terror museum for those who like the macabre.

Next, our bus climbed the steep Palota Ut in the Castle Hill district after crossing the Erzsebet Hid (Elizabeth Bridge) to the Buda side. We passed the Fishermen’s Bastion, which was part of the walls of a medieval castle assigned to the defense of the Fishermen’s Guild. Although it looks ancient, it was designed by Frigyes Schulek and built in the early 20th century.

The tour bus stopped in front of an impressive fortress built by the Austrians in 1851 as a public symbol of their authority over the Hungarians after the suppression of the 1848-49 revolution and the War of Independence. In front stands the 14-metre (46 ft) Liberation Monument, depicting a woman holding a victory palm frond above her head as a symbol of the “liberation” by Soviet forces in 1945.

As I got off the bus, I took pictures of the amazing panoramic view overlooking Budapest, the Danube and its many bridges. I tried to negotiate a good price for a handmade magnetic chess with one of the sellers, but before he and I could agree on a price, it was time to get on the bus and continue the tour.

Adjacent to the citadel is the pastoral Jubileumi Park, one of several large green spaces in this city. The driver skilfully steered the bus through the narrow steep curves, often braking the cars as we descended Gellert Hill. This hill and the monument on the eastern slope of the hill are named after Gellert, a Benedictine abbot who served St. Stephen. According to legend, he was thrown to his death from this hill into a barrel of nails during a pagan revolt in 1046.

We passed through the castle tunnel, Count Istvan Szechenyi’s idea and recognized by his countrymen as the greatest Hungarian. After going around the roundabout, our bus drove past the famous Chain Bridge, which was also envisioned by Count Istvan Szechenyi. The chain bridge, designed by Englishman William Tierney Clark and designed by Scotsman Adam Clark, was originally built in 1838-1849.

The Margit (Margaret) Island Bridge runs around the corner in the center of Margitsaari. This 2.5 kilometers (about 1.5 miles) long and 500 meters (1,650 feet) wide green area in the middle of the Danube is off-limits to vehicular traffic. The island serves as a recreation area for joggers and cyclists, there is a stadium, a sports field, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, an adventure park and even a Franciscan church.

Our tour ended after a fun ride in the area of ​​the impressive parliament building. Imre Steindl’s design won a public competition to build a home for the Hungarian Parliament. Work on this massive structure began in 1884 and was finally completed in 1902. As expected, the project was well over budget.

We walked to St. Stephen’s Basilica, named after Hungary’s first Roman Catholic king, saint and founder of the state. Work began in 1851, and the original 96-metre (315 ft) dome collapsed in 1868. The cathedral was finally dedicated in 1905. The famous “Chapel of the Holy Right Hand” is said to contain the shrunken remains of the king’s saintly hand. .

Walking in the flat “Pest” area is easy with good walking shoes, and Andrassy Ut is particularly pedestrian-friendly. After arriving at Heroes’ Square, an Australian student in front of the Palace of Arts sold us tickets to a 3D video about Hungary. The informative 25-minute presentation featured several historical sites in Hungary and focused on the mineral springs, spas and caves that this country is known for.

That evening we dined in the royal elegance of the Rococo Danu Theater restaurant. A small linguist band accompanied by a pianist performed Viennese waltzes and other popular classical pieces for the patrons. The atmosphere set the mood for the evening’s lively performance by the 30-piece Danube Ensemble and the 5-piece folk orchestra, which presented authentic Hungarian choreography and music. The folk dancers showed amazing stamina and frenetic energy as they high-kicked, boot-slapped, twirled, clapped and whistled in their costumes.

After the show and we still had to walk from the big meal, we walked across the Chain Bridge and lit up the golden yellow. A crescent moon hung above it and the Citadel Museum, also bathed in a yellow glow, as a visible background.

We walked along the tram line that runs next to the Danube, the amber glow of the Parliament building shone like a beacon on the Pest side. We stopped for cool refreshments at a Belgian pub. This popular nightspot was a meeting place for mostly younger people. The couples chatted lively and enjoyed a nightcap after a night out on the town.

It was midnight when we finally opened the iron gate in front of our building and wearily rushed up the wide stone stairs to our suite. Tired, but satisfied with the day’s achievements, we realized that two days are not enough to see everything in this beautiful and diverse city. Maybe one day we will return… to the city of statues.

For more information about Hungary, email [email protected]

If you want to know more about the city of Budapest, take a virtual city tour, check the program calendar, book your hotel online, check the city’s photo album, etc. visit Budapest’s official website at: http://www. .budapestinfo.hu

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