After long discussion the construction of Parliament began in 1885 according to plans by Imre Steindl. Completed in 1904 it is one of Europe’s most splendid Parliament buildings, reflecting its designer’s taste and the nation’s demands for representation. At the same time it is one of the landmarks of the capital. The neo-Gothic palace is 268 m long and its dome is 96 m high. The outer walls are decorated with statues of Hungarian monarchs and military commanders.
St. Stephens Basilica
The Basilica in Budapest or as it is officially called St. Stephen’s Basilica Budapest (In Hungarian Szent István-bazilika) is named after Stephen the first King of Hungary (975 – 1038). The church is located in the centre of Budapest and is one of the most famous attractions of Budapest among all. The Basilica is the most important church building in Hungary and also the third highest building in the country. It is equally high as the HungarianParliament in Budapest which symbolizes that religion and politics have the same importance in Hungary. The top list of the highest buildings in Hungary will stay for a while since there is a regulation that no building in Hungary is allowed to be higher than 96m, the height of the parliament and the Basilica. After 54 years of construction, in 1905, the Basilica in Budapest was finalized by József Kauser after plans from famous Hungarian architect Miklós Ybl, who also constructed the Budapest Opera building. The construction took so long because of complications with the two bell towers which collapsed. In the Southern tower is Hungary’s biggest bell weighing almost 8 tons. To access the dome visitors can take the elevator or climb up the 364 stairs to reach the top and have a beautiful view over Budapest. Today the Basilica in Budapest is an attraction that is on every sightseeing tour’s list so you almost cannot miss it; however it is worth to visit the church from inside and maybe see one of the concerts.
This was the residence of Hungarian kings. The fortification system and palace, built in the 13th century following the Mongol invasion, was destroyed and rebuilt many times, and being renewed from time to time symbolizes the country itself. Built on medieval foundations, the Renaissance structures were destroyed by the Turks. Later, the Baroque Palace burned down, then its reconstructed buildings were damaged during the War of Independence (1848). In the late 19 th century Miklós Ybl oversaw the reconstruction and enlargement of the Palace, which was completed in the neo-Baroque style by Alajos Hauszmann.
This was the coronation church of Hungarian kings since King Matthias. The records of 1247 first mention this church as the main church of Buda Castle. The originally French building in early Gothic style has been consistently enlarged and rebuilt over the centuries. In 1526, when the Turks conquered Buda, the church was transformed into a mosque. After the reconquest of the city (1686) the church belonged to the Franciscans and later to the Jesuits. Between the years 1874 and 1896, Frigyes Schulek completely reconstructed the Church of Our Lady in the neo-Gothic style.
As part of the expansive plans for the reconstruction of Castle Hill in the late 19th century was that segment of the city-wall that stands behind Matthias Church. Between 1901 and 1905 the existing parts of the fortress were connected by neo-Romanesque corridors, terraces and towers following designs by Frigyes Schulek. The Fishermen’s Bastion has become one of the capital’s landmarks, offering a panoramic view of Pest.
The Chain Bridge
In 1832, count István Széchenyi, “the greatest Hungarian” began to organize the construction of the bridge. While travelling in England, Széchenyi became personally acquainted with William Thierney Clark, who was commissioned to draft the plans for the bridge, and his namesake Adam Clark was asked to direct the construction , which was finished in 1849. The retreating German troops blew up the Chain Bridge in January 1945. This vital element of Budapests cityscape was restored on the 100 th anniversary of its inauguration.
Freedom Square sits on the site of what was once an old barracks. In 1848 and 1849, many Hungarian freedom fighters were executed at this location. The barracks was demolished just prior to the turn-of-the-20th-century.
Budapest residents, however, are much more enamored of the wonderful buildings that surround the square. Directly behind the Soviet monument stands the magnificent U.S. Embassy Building, completed in 1900 and housing U.S. diplomats since 1935. Designed by architects Aladár Kármán and Gyula Ullman, this building was first Nemzeti Bank the home of the Hungarian Hall of Commerce.
The Swiss flag flew over this Viennese-style building during World War II and it is said that its lower floors were occupied by Jewish refugees in hiding.
Hungarian National Bank (Magyar Nemzeti Bank)
Two buildings at the Freedom Square were designed by renowned Hungarian architect, Ignác Alpár. Both immense buildings, which stand opposite one another, were completed in 1905. More kudos are usually given to the National Bank building – built in the late Classical style at the east side of the Freedom Square. Relief on the National Bank, the structure includes elegant limestone reliefs by sculptor Károly Sennyei on the first level, depicting various aspects of money, commerce and trade in the years of the early 20th century.
Largest Synagogue in Europe
Built in a residential area between 1854-1859 by the Neolog Jewish community of Pest according to the plans of Ludwig Förster, the monumental synagogue has a capacity of 2,964 seats (1,492 for men and 1,472 in the women’s galleries) making it the largest in Europe and one of the largest working synagogue in the World, after the Belz Great Synagogue in Jerusalem, the Breslov Uman Synagogue in Uman, Ukraine, Temple Emanu-el in New York City, and the Yetev Lev D’Satmar synagogue in New York City. The consecration of the synagogue took place on 6 September 1859.
Standing proudly at the very top of Gellert Hill, the Budapest Citadella overlooks the city and the River Danube, which is located at mor than 200 meters below. Constructed in the mid-19th century, the Citadella was used as a lookout and fortress.
Stock Exchange Building
Ignác Alpár’s other building, located at the square’s western side is the former Stock Exchange building. Now the headquarters for Hungarian National TV, the building is clearly influenced by the Secessionist style. This is particularly noticeable at the building’s impressive entrance.
The former Post Office Savings Bank Building, built in Art Nouveau style, was designed by a favorite architect of that period, Ödön Lechner. The façade is decorated with flower and bee motifs, symbolizing the bank’s activity. The building’s cornice is stunning as is the majolica (earthenware with a white tin glaze) roof ornamentation.
Memorable visit to famous historical communist leaders with more than 40 different statues and busts.
Szentendre (Sankt Andrea)
Is a riverside town in Pest county and only 24 km from the capital city of Budapest. Szentendre is known for its museums (most notably the Open-Air Ethnographic Museum), galleries, and artists. Due to its picturesque appearance and easy rail and river access, it has become a popular destination for tourists staying in Budapest and there are many shops and restaurants catering for these visitors.
First in Europe!
Until now you could choose between touring our beautiful capital on four wheels or marvelling at the city from the deck of a pleasure boat. Now you don’t need to choose: RiverRide is a special sightseeing tour on which you can see the sights of Budapest from a comfortable seat, first along its busy streets, and then, from one second to the next – to the gasps of some of your fellow travellers – you splash into the lapping water of the river. Budapest without the Danube would not be Budapest, and whoever tries it once will never forget the magic of admiring the view while being gently rocked on the rippling waves. But taking everything in from the deck of a luxury coach makes the experience even more special. After the watery adventure, climbing back to the rivershore, you’ll find yourself once again in the hustle and bustle of the metropolis.