OLD BUDA AND CASTLE - APRIL 2006
Just before Easter 2006, we profited from the opportunity of having some friends living in Budapest and decided to visit them. The photo result is not outstanding (in many places, like the Buda Hills for example, I was still using the video camera), but anyhow here are some pictures from the trip (to see some outstanding pictures of Budapest, check the blogs from Zsolt and Isadora)! My first set was taken in Óbuda and at the Buda Castle.
ÓBUDA (OLD BUDA)
Óbuda is a treasure of well-preserved remains since the Roman period to Baroque mansions. This part of town was united with Buda and Pest in 1873 to form today's Budapest.
"FÖ TER (MAIN SQUARE) in Obuda is a secluded square from the 17th-18th centuries. The town hall is a beautiful building constructed in the 18th century"
"MUSEUM - Óbuda is home to several museums, including The Lajos Kassak, The Óbuda and The Victor Vasarely"
"UMBRELLAS - At Szentlélek tér there is a group of sculptures by Imre Varga - «The Women with Umbrella» - an artwork which became a symbol of Óbuda. An amazing sculpture on a sunny day"
"HOLY TRINITY STATUE"
The Castle, located at the place where Budapest was founded, is the historical home of the Hungarian kings and is part of the Budapest World Heritage Site declared by the UNESCO in 1987. It rises 48 meters above the Danube, dominating the city.
The foundations of the castle were laid in the 13th century, as King Béla IV built the first royal residence surrounded by walls on a site which was previously occupied by a small farming community. Around the residence, a small town called Buda started to grow. During the Reign of King Lajos the Great, the residence was fortified and later, during the reign of Sigismundus of Luxembourg (1387-1437), the castle was expanded to become one of the largest palaces in Europe. It has, however, an incredible history of destruction and reconstruction... The current Castle with its 203 rooms houses several museums, among them the Budapest Historical Museum, the National Gallery and the National Széchényi Library.
"COUR D'HONNEUR - The Hillebrandt façade covers the entrance to the Historical Museum of Budapest"
"THE HUNGARIAN NATIONAL GALLERY opened in Budapest on October 5th, 1957 and shows the development of Hungarian art. The statue of the Hortobágy horse wrangler taming a wild horse was moved here in 1983"
"MATTHIAS FOUNTAIN, made by Alajos Stróbl, is decorating the western court of the palace. It shows a group of hunters lead by King Matthias Corvinus together with hounds, a killed deer and (not seen on this picture) Galeotto Marzio with a hawk and Szép Ilonka with a doe"
"IRON, STONES AND LAMPS"
"CASTLE THEATRE - The building was initially built as a Carmelite church in 1736, but following the dissolution of the Order in 1784, it was redesigned as a theatre. It retained its baroque façade and was renovated to re-open to the public in 1978"
"RESTAURANT - If you're strolling around in the Castle area, you'll need a place to eat; that won't be a problem..."
"FOUNTAIN AND MATTHIAS CHURCH (The Church of Our Lady) - The church, which takes its common name from King Matthias, who ruled from 1458 through 1490, was built in the 13th century and was Budapest’s first parish church. In 1541, when the Ottomans captured Buda, The Church of Our Lady became a mosque, but it returned to the former use in 1686, when the Ottomans were overthrown. However, it was only in the late 19th century that Matthias Church was restored to its original splendour by the architect Frigyes Schulek"
"BAPTISMAL FONT - The round window above the Neo-Roman font shows a scene from the Apocalypse of St John: the Lamb of God and the sealed book. The interesting shape of the window was also invented in order to position the round window to the centre of the wall section both in the inside and outside"
"MAIN ALTAR - Above the tabernacle there is a cross created by Schulek. The higher section of the altar is dominated by Our Lady with the crown, floating in a wreath of light"
"HALL - The wide hall area was created during the building works by King Louis the Great in the 14th century. Arches of the side aisles were raised up to the level of the main aisle at that time, and a column head with the portraits of the royal couple was also put up, on the inner side of the Mary Gate"
"ROYAL CROWN (REPLICA) - At the Ecclesiastical Art Museum guests find replicas of the Hungarian Royal Crown and other coronation jewels, medieval stone carvings, and a number of beautiful chalices and vestments"