One of the most beautiful and diverse towns of Europe was formed by the union of three cities: Obuda (the ancient city with ruins from antiquity, which gave the name to the second), Buda (the medieval capital, with its hill castles, historic churches and mountain caves) and Pesta, the vast modern city on the other bank of the Danube, ever widening with time, and where the iconic building of Parliament is.
The city is a spectacle in itself, with large cruise boats docking on it shores, with busy streets, in a city where festivals and shows happen everyday. Especially during the evening, the historic buildings and the numerous bridges over Danube are enchantingly lit. The chain bridge is one of the most photographed bridge, with its lit chains and pillars that look like triumphal arches. Depending on which side you are, behind it there is either the Buda Castle, high on the hill, or the Parliament building, one of the largest legislative buildings in the world, with its classical dome and Gothic stone masonry. The Buda Castle now hosts the art museum, with the largest paintings collection in the country. Not far from it there is the medieval Matthias Church, a Gothic cathedral that was for a brief time used as a mosque during the Ottoman occupation. In front of it there is an equestrian statue of St Stephen, the first king of the Magyars. But tourists are attracted and fascinated by the Fisherman’s Bastion, a newer building made to look like a fairytale magical castle.


Right next to the Parliament building there are several museums, like the large classical building of the Ethnographic Museum, with its Baroque interior decorations. The tallest building in Budapest is St Stephen’s Cathedral, from who’s spire you can get a panoramic view of both banks of the Danube and of the city bellow. It is the most important, but only one of the numerous catholic and protestant churches in Budapest.
Another important point of interest is the end of Andrasy Avenue, where is a plaza with the Millennium Monument that celebrates the national heroes and a thousand years since the Magyars came to Europe. On each side of the monument there are two important museums, the Palace of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts.
The Museum of Applied Arts, the National Museum (Nemzeti), the City Park, the Ferencvaros stadium, with its fanatic green and white supporters are also among the attractions of Budapest, which has too many captivating points to be enumerated here.
Budapest was sometimes destroyed, it withstood Tatar, Turkish, German or Soviet invasions, heavy bombardments and fights during the two wars. The Romanian army also conquered it twice, with different purposes: the first time to overthrow the second communist regime in Europe, in 1919, and two decades later accompanying the Red Army and imposing communism. But the ethnic diversity of the city greatly contributed to its heritage. The city used to have a German majority and benefited greatly after the alliance with the Habsburg dinasty in the middle of the 19 century. This statute as co-capital of the second largest empire of Europe of its time made Budapest overwhelmingly rich and allowed for some expensive and opulent buildings to be erected. The significant Jewish population, of one out of five people also contributed to this wealth. Even today, when the population of the city is 90% Hungarian, here there is still one of the largest synagogues in Europe.

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