When Nobel Prize winner Enrico Fermi was asked if he believed in extraterrestrials, he replied: “They are among us, but they call themselves Hungarians”

This small country is one of the oldest European countries, situated in the middle of the continent in Central Europe.

Hungarians speak a language and form a culture unlike any other in the region: this distinctiveness has been both a source of pride and an obstacle for more than 1100 years.

The country’s capital and largest city is Budapest and sometimes is called the Paris of Middle Europe. Probably because of the beautiful Parliament building. It lies in Lajos Kossuth Square (Governor-President of the Kingdom of Hungary during the revolution of 1848–49.), on the bank of the Danube.

parliament_budapest

Budapest became a single city occupying both banks of the river Danube with the unification of Budim on the west bank, with Pest on the east bank on in 1873. The origins of the names Buda and Pest are obscure. According to chronicles from the Middle Ages, the name Buda comes from the name of its founder, Buda, brother of the Hunnic ruler Attila.

For long time under Ottoman rule, the city entered a new age of prosperity in the 18th and 19th centuries, and Budapest became a global city after its unification. It also became the second capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a great power that dissolved in 1918, following World War I.

On the opposite side of the Parliament is Budim castle settled. The historical castle and palace complex of the Hungarian kings dating from 13 century.

budapestcastle

The bridge that connects both sides of the city is called Széchenyi Chain Bridge  and it was the first permanent bridge across the Danube in Hungary and an icon of the city’s 19th century development. The bridge leads to the building of Corvinus University.

I visited the city twice and each time I found another corner or the building of interest, as it is rich with the late baroque architecture.

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