Thursday, March 31, 2011


McDonalds is known throughout the world for its big signs and very cheap-looking décor, so I always find it fascinating when it's not the case. This McD near the Western Train Station in Budapest was very stylish on the outside as it was located in this old building. Tomorrow I'll show you what the inside looked like.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A King or a Kaiser?

The Western Railway Station (Nyugati pályaudvan) in Budapest features not only an old-style set of platforms but also an underground shopping mall, a metro station and a nearby gigantic shopping mall. Sometimes the signs here do clash as these two different does; it's not the Kaiser's (the Emperor's) Burger King.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


When visiting another country you regularly come across something that you don't quite understand. This mass of candlelights was one of these moments. Situated just outside one of the main train stations in Budapest, the Western Station (Nyugati palyaudvar), there had obviously been some kind of celebration or commemoration the night before. With no signs to explain it we could only guess.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Falling Down

One of the many statues in Budapest, and a very unorthodox one as well. The Hungarians obviously like these sometimes strange statues as they are put up everywhere you look. This one is on the stairs leading down from the Fisherman's Bastion and depicts a man falling down. It's a monument to honour Peter Mansfeld, a Hungarian freedom fighter of the 1956 uprising who was executed by the authorities in 1959 at the age of only 18.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A View to Parliament

As told before the view from Castle Hill in Budapest is a fine one. Here it's possibly to see the parliament in all its glory.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Mathias Church (Mátyás templom) is the most prominent church on Budapest Castle Hill. Its Rococo spire stands tall above the hill while the church itself is a mix of Romanesque and Gothic styles. The first church was built in 1015, re-built in the 14th century and heavily restored in the 19th century.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Getting Up That Hill

Castle Hill in Budapest is no mean feat to climb if you're on foot. To get there more easily you can take one of the buses or for a different experience the Castle Hill Funicular. The Funicular is a funicular railway linking the Chain Bridge to Buda Castle. It was built in 1870 as the second such transport system in Europe.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

More Buda Castle

At Buda Castle in Budapest most of the statues and niches are lit at night, making this building stand out in grandness. The statue in the western forecourt is the Hortobágy horse wrangler taming a wild horse. It was originally in front of the riding school, but was moved here in 1983.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Light it Up, Please

In Budapest they seem to honour the idea that a building should not only look nice in full daylight but also at night, so most of the impressive buildings are lit at night. The Royal Palace or Buda Castle here on Castle Hill is one of those buildings that isn in the spotlight. The statue in front is of Prince Eugene of Savoy and was put here in 1900 as a temporary solution, until a statue of King Franz Joseph was completed. That never happened so Prince Eugene stayed. Prince Eugene (1663 - 1736) was known as one of the greatest military commanders in modern European history, having served three emperors and fighting Ottoman, French, Spanish, Polish and Italian armies.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Fisherman's Bastion

The Fisherman's Bastion on Castle Hill in Budapest is a terrace in neo-Gothic and neo-Romanesque style built in 1895 - 1902. Though it looks impressive and is one of the best known landmarks of Budapest, it's more looks than function. The name comes from the fishermen that were charged with defending this stretch of wall in the Middle Ages. The bastion is most impressive at night where you can enjoy the city lights of Budapest.

Monday, March 21, 2011

A King

Just by the Fisherman's Bastion on Castle Hill in Budapest is this statue of King Stephen the I. He was the first king of Hungary (1000 - 1038) and is considered both to be the founder of the Kingdom of Hungary and the one that established Christianity in the region. He also greatly expanded the Hungarian control of the Carpathian Basin.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A View Through a Gate

The other prominent hill in Budapest is the Castle Hill on the Buda side. This is where the old city is with the Royal Palace, the old houses and the small streets, all much sought by the tourists. And the hill offers some very fine views over the Danube and Pest.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Soviet Monument

The monument on Gellert Hill in Budapest is a very typical Soviet era monument. The style of the statues can be seen on all the monuments they raised in the Eastern Europe during their reign there. And this one is no exception.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Gellert Hill - Gellért-hegy

On top of Gellert Hill (Gellért-hegy) in Budapest is a the Liberty Statue (Szabadság Szobor in Hungarian), a monument erected by the Red Army to commemorate the end of WWII. Gellert Hill is named after Bishop Gellert who was killed here by pagans in 1046. They stuffed him in a barrel and rolled him down the hill.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Castle of Many Styles

Inside the City Park in Budapest is a castle or rather a couple of castles glued together. Vajdahunyad Castle, or Vajdahunyad-vár is a part copy of a castle in Transylvania, Romania, but it also have four different architectural styles: Romanic, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque. It was built in cardboard and wood for an exhibition in 1896 but was so popular that it was later rebuilt in brick and stone. The photo show one of the statues inside of the politician Károlyi Sándor.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

City Park - Városliget

Just east of Heroes' Square is the world's oldest public park, the City Park or Városliget. The big park is home to a castle, public baths, an amusement park, a zoo, a botanical garden and a couple of museums. And it's home to the largest artificial ice surface. This winter it wasn't in use as it was under renovation.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Silhouette of a Horse

At Heroes' Square there's ample opportunity to get some nice silhuets of the statues, like this one of one of the horses of the seven tribal leaders.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Heroes' Square - Hősök tere

One of the major squares in Budapest is Heroes' Square or Hősök tere as it's called in Hungarian. In the centre of the square is the Millennium Monument with statues of the seven tribal leaders that founded Hungary in the 9th Century and a half-circle of statues of other important Hungarian figures. The square is flanked by two museums; the Palace of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts. Behind it is the big City Park. The square and Andrássey Avenue, which leads to it, is a World Heritage site.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Old Style Arcade

Budapest has it's fair share of modern malls but these old style arcades in Pest on Josef Attila utca have a lot more charm, even though quite a few of them seemed to be out of business.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Night in Budapest

The view from Castle Hill in Budapest on the Buda side of the River Danube is magnificent, especially at night as the city and the Chain Bridge is lit.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Chaining Buda and Pest

One of the main sights in Budapest is this, the Chain Bridge lit at night. The suspension bridge from 1849 was the first permanent bridge to span the River Danube in Budapest and its official name is Széchenyi Lánchíd after one of its main backers, István Széchenyi. Tomorrow I'll show you another photo of this beautiful bridge from the Castle Hill on the Buda side.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

On a Pedestal

On a pedestal just by the Hotel Intercontinental stands this statue of Baron Eötvös Jozsef (in Hungarian the first name is the last name and the surname the first). He was a Hungarian writer and statesman who lived 1813 - 1871. He was twice the Minister of Education and once the Minister of Religion. His greatest achievements was the National School Act and the emancipation of the Jews.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

House of the Nation

The Hungarian Parliament in Budapest is the largest building in Hungary and the largest parliament in Europe. It's also one of the oldest legislative buildings in Europe.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Looking at the Parliament

The statue of Imre Nagy stands on a little bridge over a small pond facing the Hungarian Parliament in Budapest. Imre Nagy was a communist politician who twice was Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the People's Republic of Hungary. His second term ended as the Soviets invaded Hungary and toppled his government during the Hungarian Revolution in 1956. He was arrested, tried for treason and executed two years later.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Under the Arch

Budapest is awash with modern statues like this one of important Hungarian figures. The statue is of the former president Károlyi Mihály, who was Hungary's leader 1918-19 for four months during a short-lived democracy.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

On Both Road and Water

Whenever I get to a new city, I try the local hop-on-hop-off sightseeing buses if they have them. The same in Budapest where it was a traditional type with a recorded guided in multiple languages. Often the tickets also include a river cruise, but then you have to change into boat at some stage. Not so for the sightseeing bus on the photo though, it's an amphibian bus, so it'll take you on both a road trip around the city and on a river cruise on the Danube as well without you having to change vehicle. Next time that'll be on my list.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Looking over the Danube

The Danube River divides the city of Budapest into two parts, Buda on the western bank and Pest on the eastern bank. The walks along this great river cries out for these quiet moments where you can just stand and look into the distance, contemplating life's ups and downs.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Going Retro XIII

My last retro post for now is also the first of a series of pics from a weekend-get-away in Budapest. This one is of the Margaret Bridge which spans the Danube and connects Buda and Pest with Margaret Island. The bridge is under heavy restoration so it's covered in scaffolding and half blocked off. Nevertheless the beauty of this bridge is obvious.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Going Retro XII

This photo of the newest bridge in Copenhagen, the Teglholmsbroen between Teglholmen and Sluseholmen in South Harbour, shows how difficult it can be to control the Hipstamatic for iPhone when what you see on the screen is not what you get. Remember to turn that on in the settings or face the consequences.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Going Retro XI

Some of the graffiti on the walls at H.C. Ørsted Power Plant is pretty good, even though I'm not exactly thrilled about this idea of painting on other peoples walls. Here I forgive the rascals as these walls are not in use anymore and will probably be torn down in the near future.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Going Retro X

Like the post of yesterday this one is taken at the old coal storage at H.C. Ørsted power plant, but showing the bigger picture. As you can see the car matches the walls perfectly, almost like it's camouflaged.