Before accepting the invitation to go Hungary to participate in the Figyelö 2012 CIO Forum (read about it on The Practical CIO website), I did not know that Budapest was in reality two cities in one. Buda in one side of the Danube and Pest on the other. Actually Budapest consists of three cities, but nobody talks about the third one Óbuda (literally old Buda), which is located a little further north. Buda and Pest mean oven in two different languages, this is due to the fact that they sit on top of a thin crust of earth above thermal springs. As a result you can find in Budapest thermal baths that date from the Roman time. The Turks also built bath houses in Budapest during their long stay in Hungary. Buda is more than 2,000 years old while Pest was built in the last 200 years.
In my short visit, I became fascinated by this beautiful city, its history and the friendly people of Budapest.
Hungary, prior to world war I, was three times bigger than it is today and in the late 1800s early 1900s experienced major construction growth. Because of that and due to a law requiring 40% of a building cost to be spent in the façade, all buildings in Budapest, some renovated, some in need of repair, look magnificent. The city has several parks and plazas all filled with huge bronze statues. You can even find a seven foot bronze statue of Ronald Reagan in a charming plaza, named Freedom Square, which probably on purpose, also features one of the few remaining monuments left by the soviets.
Budapest was the second city in the world to build a subway. Subway Line one, that goes from the center of the city to the hero’s park, was constructed in 1896 behind London and ahead of Paris for more than 4 years.
Hungary was created after the fall of the Roman Empire, by nomadic tribes arriving from Central Asia. History says that seven chieftains of these tribes got together and formed Hungary. Hungarians say that the nomadic tribes are Huns (remember Attila the Hun?) and that is why the country is called Hun-gary. I read however that the tribes were called Magyars and that nobody knows exactly who they were and were they came from. A mystery that makes Budapest and Hungary even more fascinating.
|Parliament Building||Sunday Tango on the street||Terror Building||Seven Chieftains|
If you have a chance, visit Budapest. Bring your camera. I am sure you will love it, as I did.