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)
|St. Stephens Basilica|
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!|
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  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
|Three of the Seven Magyar Chieftans|
that led the Hungarian people to the
(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.