We arrived in Budapest, transferred to the hotel, went across the street for a quick bite and then we were on our way for a tour of Budapest with our guide Zoltan Horvath. First stop was Heroes Square. Zoltan gave us a brief history of Hungary starting with the seven tribes that first settled the area around 896 AD, through all the kings, the wars and Soviet days. As Zoltan said, Hungary is the only country that is surrounded by itself. At one time or another, the land on all sides of current Hungary belonged to Hungary.
Here we are in Heroe's Square. The figures on the right represent the seven tribes. Below are 8 of the 14 key figures in Hunagary's history that are honored in Heroe's Square.
This next building looks like one of the many castles that we have visited during the trip. What else would this imposing structure be?
It's the Szechenyi thermal baths. The baths are driven by two thermal springs with water about 75 degrees Farenheit. The original building was built in 1913.
There are two major parts to Budapest - one on each side of the Danube. We started on the Pest side which is flatter and is where more of the industry is located. It is also where the Parliament and other government offices are located. The Buda side is more hilly and is more residential. It is also the side where the castle is located.
All the sights seen so far are on the Pest side. We continued on the Pest side and saw a few more sights including St. Stephens Cathedral. We'll return there a little later to attend a concert.
We then went to the Buda side, stopped for a little refreshment and then proceeded to the Church of Our Lady which is commonly called the the Matthias or Matyas Church. It is quite an imposing building both outside and inside.
These two buildings are on the Pest side of the Danube but the pictures were taken from the Buda side. On the left is the Parliament and on the right is St. Stephens Cathedral. Seen from this side you can see how they dominate the skyline. More on both of these a little later. Below is a picture of our guide, Zoltan, and Granny.