Imre Nagy was Prime Minister of Hungary on two occasions. His second term was during the revolution in 1956, and it ended when his non-Soviet-backed government was brought down during the failed Hungarian Revolution. He was tried and executed in 1958, and buried in an unmarked grave. His name could not to be mentioned during Communism, but he became a symbol of freedom. In 1989, he was reburied. A crowd of 200,000 gathered at Heroes’ Square for the funeral. His statue, facing the Parliament Building, is located on a tiny square next to Kossuth Square.
The Parliament building, a magnificent example of Neo-Gothic architecture (although displaying Renaissance and Baroque characters too), is just over 100 years old. The Budapest Parliament building is the third largest Parliament building in the world. It has 691 rooms, 20 kilometres (12,5 miles) of stairs and at 96 meters (315 feet) it is the same height as the St. Stephen’s Basilica.
The Shoes on the Danube is a memorial to the Budapest Jews who were shot by Arrow Cross militiamen between 1944 and 1945. The victims were lined up and shot into the Danube River. They had to take their shoes off, since shoes were valuable belongings at the time.
The memorial was created by Gyula Pauer, Hungarian sculptor, and his friend Can Togay in 2005. It contains 60 pairs of iron shoes, forming a row along the Danube. Each pair of shoes was modeled after an original 1940’s pair.
Castle Hill funicular: it’s a short ride up to Castle Hill, about three minutes, but it offers great panoramic views and it’s also a lot of fun. The Funicular (or Sikló, as it is called in Hungarian) first opened in 1870, and it was designed to provide a cheap commute for the clerks working in the Castle District. Once you have reached the top, Castle Hill offers many nearby sights worth visiting.
Birdview of Budapest from Buda Castle.
You’ll know you’ve found Liberty Bridge (Szabadság híd) when you see the ‘Turul’ bird, the mythical bird of Hungary, on top of each of the bridge’s pillars. Also known as the shortest bridge in Budapest, the Liberty Bridge spans the Danube between Gellért tér and Fővám tér, and was built between 1894 and 1896.
The world-famous Gellért Baths, located in the same building as the Hotel Gellért, was built between 1912 and 1918 in Art Nouveau style. Ever since its opening in 1918, Gellért Baths remains one of the most beautiful baths in Budapest. References to healing waters in this location can be found from as early as the 15th century. The hot springs that feed the thermal baths rise from deep within Gellért Hill, and the Turks used them during the 16th and 17th centuries during their stay in Hungary. Today, Gellért Baths shines in its former glory after recent renovations and restorations carried out in 2006 and 2007.
Although it may look like a Baroque palace, Széchenyi Baths (Széchenyi fürdő) is the largest medicinal bath and one of the largest public baths in Europe. It is a great place to relax and enjoy the healing waters, or to take a few laps in the swimming pool. The Széchenyi is a favorite for both locals and tourists alike.
The first thermal bath in Pest opened here as a temporary establishment in 1881. As it became more and more popular, construction began to expand the bath. The medicinal baths were built in 1913, and the northern wing, with a beautiful Neo-Baroque interior, was completed in 1927. Today, there are 18 pools, of which 15 are spring fed. In one of the large outdoor pools, you can witness the surreal spectacle of men playing chess while immersed up to their chests in steaming water.
Captions taken from: Budapest’s Insider’s Guide.