Undoubtedly the brightest jewel on the Danube, present-day Budapest was created in 1873 from the separate towns of Buda, Pest and Obuda. Its population of two million resides in 23 districts-the central ones will be covered here.
The definitive view of Budapest is that of the Castle District located within the first district. It is an absolute must see, and can easily be accessed by a lovely funicular cable car that offers great views on the way up to the castles. It's hard to imagine that the palace and entire hill with its medieval and baroque residences were utterly flattened during World War II. More baroque splendor extends along Fo utca (Main Street) and flanks Batthyany ter, site...
Interesting Facts About Budapest:
2. Fun fact: 123 thermal springs can be found in Budapest pouring out over 80m litres of the thermal water every day.
3. Impressive fact: The world's largest panoramic image was taken in Budapest from the top of Gellért Hill. It has broken two world records, doubling the previous one.
4. Random fact: The "biro" or ballpoint pen was invented by a Hungarian, Sir Biro László József, born in Budapest. His former home under 24 Nagymező Street now houses the Thália Theatre.
5. Interesting fact: The Dohány Synagogue of Budapest is Europe's largest synagogue. It is also second largest in the world after New York's Temple Emanu-El.
6. Fun fact for the superstitious: Touching the pen held by the Statue of Anonymous makes you a better writier!
7. Exciting fact: The world's largest geothermic cave system can be found under Budapest. In addition, the largest underground lake of Europe, one of the largest in the world, has recently been discovered under Gellért Hill.
8. Interesting fact: The largest spa complex of Europe, the Széchényi Thermal Bath is located in Budapest. The city is famous for its bath culture dating back to the Romans times and later greatly influenced by the Turks.
9. Fun fact: Budapest used to be not two, but three cities before 1873: Buda, Pest, and Óbuda. These three settlements were united by the Habsburg rule.
10. Random fact: The Western Railway Station (Nyugati Pályaudvar) was built by the Eiffel Company.
11. Impressive fact: Budapest has been entitled the "Pearl of the Danube." To see why check out the view from the top of Gellért Hill.
12. Factual fact: Several world heritage sights can be found in Budapest: the Castle District, Andrássy Avenue, Hero's Square and both banks of the River Danube between the Elizabeth and Margaret Bridge.
More Budapest descriptions
If you have been here before and have attended a performance at the Erkel Theater, you will be saddened to know that it permanently closed in May 2007. Though not a pretty structure either inside or out being a lackluster communist block design, it was enormous. It could hold up to 4,000 people and was the largest entertainment venue in the city. Due to the cost of repairs, it is instead slated for destruction at some time in the future.
Transportation -- In 2006, the old trams were replaced with new more efficient trams, but to accommodate them, all tram stops had to be remodeled to raise the platform to meet the floor of the tram. This is the only wheelchair- and stroller-compliant transportation...
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