COLOURFULWORLD

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Budapest II - Fabulous monuments - Day 14

Wednesday 11th April, we had a very full day ahead with lots of walking, so we started with breakfast at Cafe Vian, at Király u. 13 (Kiraly str) in the Jewish district, with bacon, eggs and toast for most of us. The coffee shop was in a lovely plaza full of restaurants. 
After breakfast we started our walk towards St Stephens' Basilica and I spotted My little Melbourne Coffee Bar at Madách Imre út 3,(Madach square). I don't drink coffee but was curious about the name, so we crossed the street to investigate. 
The name came about when the owners visited relatives in Melbourne (Australia), enjoyed the city's coffee culture and opened up their tiny shop in Budapest serving good coffee, croissants, juices, salads and sandwiches. They specialize in the classic espresso so my husband and son in law ordered 2 espressos and the coffee got the seal of approval.

Cafe vian (top right) and My Little Melbourne Cafe (bottom left)
Not far away was the Roman Catholic St Stephen's Basilica, named after the first King of Hungary.
It is Hungary's third largest church building and one of the two tallest buildings in Budapest at 96mt (315ft), the other being the Hungarian Parliament building. Current regulations prohibit any construction over 96 metres in Budapest, so they are likely to remain the tallest buildings.
The Basilica took 54 years to be built due to the collapse of the dome in 1868 which required a demolition and complete rebuild of that part of the building. It was finally completed in 1905 and is 55mt wide (180ft) and 87,4mt long (287ft) and has the shape of a cross. On the south tower is Hungary's biggest bell with 9 tonnes.
It really is a very impressive building - lots of gold details, statues, painted ceilings, beautiful dome...

St Stephen's Basilica

















After the visit we started walking towards the Hungarian Parliament, and along the way we found beautiful buildings and a lot of public art.
A giant bronze statue of former American President Ronald Reagan was a surprise find and we posed with him. It acknowledges his efforts to end the Cold war and was unveiled in 2011, and located at Szabadság square near the American Embassy.




Beautiful architecture and lots of statues - President Ronald Reagan (bottom left) and I pose together.
Just before we came across Ronald Reagan we encountered a very controversial war monument in Freedom Square, which was unveiled in 2014 to mark the 70th anniversary of Hungary's Nazi German occupation. 
The critics say the monument of Archangel Gabriel being attacked by what appears to be the German imperial eagle (on their coat of arms) appears to absolve the Hungarian state from their role in sending 450 thousand Jews to their deaths during the occupation when Hungary was an allied of Nazi Germany during the first 5 years of the war.
Nonetheless, a lot of people have deposited personal photos, letters, flowers, etc., which makes the monument a bit more personal. Just in front there is a square water jet fountain, which seems to be a lot of fun for the kids that try to jump in and out avoiding the water.
I spotted a photo of Aristides de Sousa Mendes, a Portuguese diplomat in France who saved thousands of Jews by giving them visas out of the country - the Portuguese Schindler.

The War Memorial - a photo of Sousa Mendes, the Portuguese diplomat (top right), and personal mementos by the monument
Between Liberty Square and Parliament there was a bronze arched bridge with a statue in the middle - Imre Nagy, an Hungarian politician and Prime Minister who opposed communism during the 1956 Uprising.

Bronze arched bridge with Prime Minister Imre Nagy

Bronze arched bridge with Imre Nagy (top left), various statues around Parliament and Museum of Ethnography across from the Parliament building (bottom left), changing of the Guard
And on to the impressive Hungarian Parliament - the largest and tallest building in Budapest, located on Lajos Kossuth Square, with the main facade facing the banks of the Danube river, although the official main entrance is on the square behind. Inside and around the building there are over 200 statues!

Hungarian Parliament building

The impressive Parliament building, some of the statues around the parliament building and views of the river
Just 300 metres from Parliament and along the Danube is another memorial to the war which was created in 2005 - Shoes on the Danube bank - 60 pairs of iron shoes to honour the 3500 people (800 of them Jews) who were killed by the fascist Arrow Cross militia in Budapest in Dec 1944-Jan 45. The victims were ordered to take off their shoes and shot at the edge of the water so that their bodies fell into the river and were washed away.

Shoes on the Danube bank
And we walk a few hundred metres more and are at the Széchenyi Chain Bridge, joining Buda and Pest. The cast iron bridge was the first permanent bridge over the Danube and opened in 1849. In January 1945 it was blown up when the Germans retreated during the Siege of Budapest and only the towers remained. It was then rebuilt in 1949.

The Chain Bridge
Views of both sides of the Danube from the bridge - Pest on the top where the Parliament building is and Buda at the bottom, where the Castle and other older monuments are.

After crossing the bridge we went to the Buda Castle Hill funicular to find out how to go up the hill to visit the castle and other monuments. It was now about 1pm and we wanted to go up the hill and find a place to have lunch before visiting all we had to on that side of the city.

But this will have to remain for the next week's post.




This google map shows our walk from the Avantegarde apartments to the Cafe Vian, Basilica, Reagan's statue, Parliament, Shoes on the Danube and Chain Bridge - which was close to a 5km (3,10mile) walk.

29 comments:

  1. The Parliament and the Basilica particularly stand out- what a beautiful city!

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    1. Thanks William, yes they were both impressive buildings!

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  2. What a stunning city! You covered some territory there, Sami! How're your feet holding out?! Splendid photos.

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    1. Not bad Jeanie, I wore comfortable sneakers and of course we had a couple of stops once in a while, so it all went well.

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  3. Hmmm, sounds yummy, your brekkie!
    We only rushed through Melbourne in 1995 and an Aborigine yelled at me, so... not (good) memories, sadly.

    54 years for building? Did they hire Germans???
    OK, not funny, but if I look at the very slow work done on our roads...
    Impressive the outcome is, though!

    What can I say. It was very, very bad what the Nazis did. But what about Mao etc, etc, everybody seems to have forgotten about that.
    (And again, Jewish people get attacked in German streets. This time by muslims, though, I hope this goes around the world (correctly) as well...)

    I like that picture of the three of you on the bridge :-)

    Well, the shoes sure make a strong picture.
    Why can´t people just live side by side with respect and in peace.

    That was quite an impressive post (again), thanks for sharing, Sami!

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    1. I agree Iris, so many governments, states and people have done wrong and continue to do so nowadays and some atrocities aren't even reported! Sadly no hope of peace unfortunately.

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  4. Lindas imagens de um lindo passeio. Boa semana Sami.

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    1. Obrigada Sandra. Boa semana para si tambem.

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  5. Looks fabulous, I especially like the Basilica.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Thanks Jan, yes the Basilica was impressive.

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  6. Realmente a pedir uma visita.
    Que acontecerá de certeza.

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    1. Vale a pena uma visita ou duas Pedro, pessoalmente acho que ficou ainda bastante por conhecer.

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  7. Loving your visit to Budapest. I feel like I am back there. We saw many similar things.
    http://highriser.blogspot.com.au/2015/10/euro-cruise-day-23-may-10.html
    http://highriser.blogspot.com.au/2015/10/eurocruise-day-4-1105.html
    http://highriser.blogspot.com.au/2014/06/eurocruise-1205-budapest.html

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    1. How nice that my post brought you memories of your trip to Budapest.
      I've been reading your posts too, some of the things you mention I didn't see, neither did we use the trams or underground. We walked a lot and used one bus from Buda to return to our apartment in Pest.

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  8. Ficamos encantados com tão belo relato de viagem!

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    1. Obrigada Paula, e uma cidade que vale a pena visitar.

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  9. Budapeste uma cidade muito interessante e cheia de cultura.
    Um abraço e continuação de uma boa semana.

    Andarilhar
    Dedais de Francisco e Idalisa
    O prazer dos livros

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    1. Obrigada Francisco, gostei imenso de conhecer Budapeste.

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  10. Sorry I'm so late visiting. St Stephen's Basilica is stunning. I was overwhelmed by the height and the info on the dome.

    You look really good with the former President. Unfortunately, he won't remember you (grin). And I can see why that memorial is controversial, regardless of the letters and mementos. Personally, I think those shoes on the banks of the Danube are SO sad. I felt a deep emotion when I saw those shoes and read the story behind them.

    That's a marvelous old city and certainly filled with a great deal of history. I look forward to the next chapter.

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    1. The Basilica was impressive Elizabeth. The shoe memorial is very moving, specially with lots of kids shoes. Sadly genocide still happens in our world.

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  11. Interesting post with lots of information. I recently watch a documentary on television about WWII with people who lived in Budapest during the war. They showed the terrible place with the shoes too.

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    1. That would have been interesting, so now you know about this tragic and sad story.

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  12. So much to see Sami. The shoe sculpture is one of the saddest sculptures ever, incroyably poignant! I can't believe the world is in the state it is, people forget too quickly 🎆

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    1. Very true Grace, people seem to have forgotten all the atrocities of past wars!

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  13. Obrigado por esta brilhante reportagem fotográfica.
    Fiquei com vontade de ir conhecer.
    Bom domingo
    Beijinhos
    Maria
    Divagar Sobre Tudo um Pouco

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    1. Vale a pena Maria, muito para ver, monumentos lindos, pessoas simpáticas, vida barata e cidade muito segura.

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  14. Dearest Sami,
    Yes, history is full of beautiful statues and also filled with monuments that remind us of atrocities that happened to human kind...
    Glad you all managed to walk the 5 km walk. Guess you did it only one way!
    The weather was cloudy but for photos and walking probably better.
    Sending you hugs,
    Mariette

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    1. Unfortunately those reminders don't seem to be enough for some as atrocities are still being committed. We walked 5 km in the morning only, and a lot more in the afternoon.

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    2. Sadly so and for your walking that is quite a LOT!💗

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