Budapest – Hungary – Photos

Budapest - Hungary

Budapest – Hungary

Budapest has been on my list for a long time and I am delighted that I have finally managed to visit this beautiful city.  The River Danube runs right through the city, which was once the three cities of Bhuda, Obhuda and Pest (pronounced pesht).  I had always thought that Budapest was created from the two cities of Bhuda and Pest, so that was the first thing that I learned on my arrival.

Most photos of Budapest focus on the unbelievably beautiful buildings so I thought that I would open with a photo of a statue way above the city – it took me a long time and a lot of puffing and panting to climb up there but it was well worth it to see the panorama of the city spread out beneath me.




Budapest's Statue of Liberty

Budapest’s Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty Budapest

The statue above was actually a sidekick to Budapest’s very own Statue of Liberty.  This was perched on the hilltop on the Bhuda side of the river and completely dominated the skyline no matter where you were in the city.  It’s a very impressive area with magnificent views – appreciated all the more because it was such a steep climb to reach it.

It was erected in 1947 and shows Liberty holding a palm leaf aloft.  Actually, I thought it was a feather and have only just realised that it isn’t!

St Gerhard

St Gerhard

I have to confess to a senior moment here – while I was on a Danube cruise I heard the guide talking about the statue of the Archbishop while directing our attention to that side of the river.  So I thought that Liberty was the Archbishop until I climbed up the hill and realised that she couldn’t possibly be a man.

In fact the statue of St Gerhard is half way down the same hill that Liberty stands on.  He was the first bishop of Hungary.  The cruise guide told us that he was flung off the hill for his beliefs and that the waterfall beneath him signifies his death in the Danube, but I can’t find any reference to that anywhere else.

Parliament building

Parliament building

Parliament Building

The Parliament Building is best viewed from the river to get the full impact, but this is the front entrance.  They were obviously expecting someone special on this day – the red carpet was being unrolled while we watched and there was a very heavy army presence.  The following day we were allowed on to the area immediately in front of the palace so that we could see the memorial to those killed in the 1956 uprising.  I felt sad to see how open the area was – compared with our own Palace of Westminster which has to be so heavily barricaded and policed.

St Mathias church

St Mathias church

St Mathias Church

There is an area of Budapest called the Fisherman’s Bastion, built at the end of the 19th century to provide a panoramic view of the city.  This is beautiful but it was the Church of St Mathias just behind it which really caught my attention.  The roof alone dominates the area – such lovely patchwork designs created with the roof tiles.  I knew that the inside must be special and I wasn’t disappointed.

Inside the church

Inside the church

Inside, the church was breathtaking.  Every inch was decorated and the overall effect was eyewateringly beautiful.  Even with all the tourists the church managed to maintain a peaceful and calming atmosphere.

I took loads of photos of the interior – definitely lots of quilt inspiration there!

Shoes on the Danube

Shoes on the Danube

Shoes on the Danube

I had heard of the shoes on the banks of the Danube but it was still very moving to see them.

They are laid out along a stretch of at least 20 yards – sixty pairs of all shapes and sizes made in iron.  The memorial was created to remember the 3,500 people killed by the Arrow Cross militia men during the war.

The people were lined up on the banks of the Danube then ordered to take off their shoes.  When they were shot their bodies fell into the river.  The shoes are made of iron and many people have left flowers or candles in amongst the shoes.

Hungarian embroidery

Hungarian embroidery

Hungarian embroidery

Hungary embroidery is world renowned and it was a real treat to see it everywhere.

I have to admit that some of it looked mass-produced, but there were also ladies sitting in many areas embroidering the most delightful table runners and clothing.

Heroes Square

Heroes Square

Heroes Square

On our last day we visited Heroes Square.  This is a very impressive square where the Pope celebrated mass when he visited Budapest.  the figure at the top of the column is the Archangel Gabriel.

The square was laid out at the end of the 19th century to mark 1000 years of Hungary and there are magnificent museums and art galleries around it.

Museum in City Park Budapest

Museum in City Park Budapest

Behind the square lies City Park – an oasis of calm.  We didn’t go in to this museum but the architecture was a reminder of how these wonderful buildings seem to appear wherever we walked in Budapest.

Polar bears in the zoo

Polar bears in the zoo

We walked among the trees and fountains and then happened upon the zoo.  These polar bears were probably picking fish off each other’s teeth, but it was rather nice to imagine that they were kissing!

We visited so many places within the city that I haven’t been able to show you a fraction of my photos, but Budapest is a beautiful city – well worth a visit if you ever get the chance.

The beauty of Budapest

The beauty of Budapest

We travelled around on trams and buses.  Each journey cost the equivalent of about £1 although if I had been a year older I would have travelled for free.  All EU citizens over 65 travel free on Budapest’s extensive public transport system.  Food and wine are cheap and around every corner you can find a magnificent building to gaze at in awe.

 

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Comments

  1. Rose, I am not seeing the comment I left yesterday. I’ve been having problems with Safari and Google and will try to find out why this is happening.

    • Hi Claire. I’m so sorry – your last comment arrived safely, but I was away from the computer yesterday and couldn’t reply to comments or emails. My fingers are too thick for me to be comfortable replying on my phone so I tend to wait until I’m home and use my desk computer.

  2. Vivien Clements says:

    Rose, you are such a honey! Another beautiful quilt to inspire us and…a journey to another beautiful part of the world with it’s history and pictures as well!
    Sharing is caring and you are such a carer!
    All blessings to you in abundance!
    Viv x

    • Hi Viv. Thanks for those kind comments. Glad you like the quilt pattern. I was blown away by Budapest so I was glad to be able to share some of the photos with you.

  3. Sandra Barnett says:

    oh Rose,
    Thank you for taking me along your travels. Thank you for the history lesson. Never knew some of the things you explained. Glad you had a friend with you I think it makes it much more interesting and exciting. I am sure you have all kinds of ideas for quilts from the pictures you took. I loved the embroderiry so beautiful and delicate.
    You seem to have enjoyed your holiday. Good for you you deserve it.
    Thanks again.
    Sandra

    • Thanks, Sandra. I hadn’t intended the article to be a history lesson, but I’m glad you enjoyed it. Yes, I certainly found quilt inspiration round every corner.

  4. Estelle Greenberg says:

    Hi Rose, I have a friend I travel with and I was wondering if you do all of your traveling solo or are you lucky enough to have a partner or friend to go on all of these adventures with you. My friend only travels with me once in a while, but I wonder how I would enjoy it if I went solo.
    Would love to hear how you do it.
    Estelle

    • Hi Estelle. Good question. I have travelled by myself a lot but recently I have been going with a friend. When on my own I had total freedom to do what I wanted when I wanted. I usually carried a book so that I could read if I felt slightly uncomfortable on my own in a restaurant. Now that I am going with a friend I find that I have more confidence – it doesn’t matter if we get lost somewhere whereas on my own I might feel a bit insecure if I was lost. It’s also more fun having someone to discuss places with. When I travelled on my own I felt strongly that I wasn’t going to miss out on visiting places just because I was on my own. It’s actually quite surprising how many women on their own I do see. Your best bet is to book yourself a short trip somewhere and see how you get on. Good luck.

  5. Thank you Rose for not only sharing your time teaching and showing us quilt designs and instructions but we also get hsitory lessons as well. You are such a delightful person and one I would one day like to meet. Be continually blessed.

  6. J Welbourne says:

    Dear Rose thank you for sharing your trip with us. It seems o be a fascinating place to visit and I am sure you saw so much more than just these highlights.

    So glad you had such a good time and expect you have now got your breath back from all your exertions. A lovely holiday.
    all best Janny

    • Hi Janny. You’re right – there were so many places to visit in Budapest. A real sensory overload. It took my poor feet a few days to recover.

  7. Colleen McKinlay says:

    I learned so many interesting facts from your visit. Thank you Rose for another detailed and informative travel log. Love the pics. Must admit that the cement shoes pic and story was quite emotional.
    Colleen

    • Hi Colleen. Just inland from the shoes there is another memorial dominated by the Archangel Gabriel where people have left lots of messages telling their tales of the war and thanking Gabriel. That one moved me to tears.

  8. Thank you for sharing your photos. So pleased you enjoyed your holiday. You work so hard bringing us new quilt blocks. You deserve a break.

    • Oh thanks, Irena. What a nice thing to say. It was lovely having a break although I felt exhausted by the end of the week – we walked miles because there was so much to see.

  9. Carole Manuel says:

    Lovely photographs, Rose. It’s many years since I paid an all too brief visit to Budapest. We camped at a site on the banks of the Danube and I remember the beautiful buildings and several delicious meals we had there. Your article has made me want to pay a longer visit.

    • Hi Carole. Camping on the banks of the Danube sounds like heaven. The river has such romantic connotations, doesn’t it. We found the food was great as long as we didn’t eat in the middle of the touristy areas.

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