Thursday, January 24

Walking the Rakpart and Andrassy Boulevard

Budapest is a wonderful walking city.  Along the Danube you can walk along the rakpart (quay) for miles where numerous riverboats and barges pull up.  You'll find folks taking their lunch break on the steps, lovers walking hand in hand at sunset, and tourists taking a break to read their maps or having a bite to eat.  




One of the things I found very noticeable for most of our trip was the cleanliness of the cities, towns and roads we traveled.  

There are bronze statues throughout Budapest.  My favorites were those that were playful and in unexpected places.  The contrast between these and those at Hero's Square was wonderful.  The Hungarian people wanted to let go of their tough past under communism and removed the bronzes of Lenin, Marx, etc.  Both of these modern bronzes are located on the Pest side near the Chain Bridge with Castle Hill in the background.


Girl with Dog by David Raffay

The Little Princess by Laszlo Marton
(inspired by his daughter playing dress-up)

As I mentioned in the first post, Andrassy Boulevard is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  This is Budapest's version of the Champ-Elysses in Paris.  It is lined with palaces that were designed by the leading architects of the last quarter of the 19th century.  It is the main shopping and dining area for Budapest today.  It connects St. Stephens Basilica square to Hero's Square so what I'd consider an all day walking adventure.



St. Stephens Basilica


Andrassy Boulevard

Here are some photos of some wonderful palaces that are still being renovated today.  My guess is that most of them are being turned in to apartments.  I'd love to check out the inside!



Patina or not to patina, that is the question!





Lukacs - tea house, patisserie
(if not here, somewhere you must!)

My two favorite palaces we passed were the Art Nouveau one below and the gold highlighted one!



Check out the wrought iron!
The touches of red are genius!



Fixer upper?




The drama that greeted us at Heroes' Square surprised me.  




Heroes' Square was originally completed in 1900.   It was built to honor the millennium and has statues of the leaders of the seven founding tribes (9th century) of Hungary  and other important people in Hungary's history.  Five of the statues were of the Habsbergs, the family that ruled the Austrian-Hungarian Empire at that time.  WWII damaged the memorial and when it was rebuilt they used figures from earlier in Hungary's history to replace the royal family.  (During the short period of communism after WWI [1919] the statues were torn down and the pillar areas were covered with red tapestry.  A statue of Marx with a peasant and worker was placed in the center.)

If you want to see a timeline of the turbulent and long history of Budapest check out this link.


Archangel Gabriel holding the
Hungarian Royal Crown


Peace statue


Three of the Seven Magyar Chieftans
that led the Hungarian people to the
Carpathian Basin
(I love the antler bridle!)

St Stephen I, First King of Hungary
(It has been argued that Attila the Hun was
the first King of Hungary.
)

St Ladislaus I, King of Hungary (1077-1095)
(most beloved by the people)

Colomon I, King of Hungary and Croatia (1095-1116)
Known as the Book Lover - the most educated in
literary sciences for any King of his time.


Andrew II, King of Hungary and Croatia (1205-1235)
St. Elizabeth of Hungary was his daughter.
Charles I, King of Hungary and Croatia (1308-1342)
Born in Naples and considered one of the most
successful rulers of Hungary.

Banking each side of Heroes' Square are the Greek inspired Museum of Fine Arts and Palace of Art.


Museum of Fine Arts

Under the Soviets after WWII places like Buda Castle and other institutions that were considered symbols of the previous regime were gutted.  In the 1960's to 1980's much of the damage from WWII was finally repaired and the city restored to much of its former glory.  To save the mural above the Palace of Art that depicted Hungarian history, some enterprising Hungarians white washed it.  The Soviets supposedly never found out and it was uncovered during renovations!


Palace of Art

Enough?  I thought so.  Time for dessert.




2 comments:

Kim Stevens said...

I always love traveling with you Janet, so many beautiful architectural buildings, and love the statues, and why yes, I think I'll just have dessert before dinner...thanks for asking!! :)

AntiquityTravelers said...

I am absolutely loving your series on Budapest! I sent the links to my husband as encouragement to go!!! Boy - all those kings ... a game of thrones :) and booooo on Samsung - their sign is so out of place with all this amazing architecture!

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