Budapest in Budapest

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Budapest (, or ; ; ) is the capital of Hungary. As the largest city of Hungary, it is the country's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centre. In 2011, Budapest had 1,733,685 inhabitants, down from its 1989 peak of 2,113,645 due to suburbanization. The Budapest Commuter Area is home to 3,284,110 people. The city covers an area of 525 km2

The history of Budapest began with Aquincum, originally a Celtic settlement Hungarians arrived in the territory in the 9th century. Their first settlement was pillaged by the Mongols in 1241-42. The re-established town became one of the centres of Renaissance humanist culture in the 15th century. Following the Battle of Mohács and nearly 150 years of Ottoman rule, development of the region entered a new age of prosperity in the 18th and 19th centuries, and Budapest became a global city after the 1873 unification. It also became the second capital of Austria-Hungary, a great power that dissolved in 1918. Budapest was the focal point of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, the Hungarian Soviet Republic of 1919, Operation Panzerfaust in 1944, the Battle of Budapest of 1945, and the Revolution of 1956.

Cited as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, Other highlights include a total of 80 geothermal springs, the world's largest thermal water cave system, second largest synagogue, and third largest Parliament building. The city attracts about 2.7 million tourists a year, making it the 37th most popular city in the world according to Euromonitor.

Considered a financial hub in Central Europe, the city ranked 3rd (out of 65 cities) on Mastercard's Emerging Markets Index, and ranked as the most livable Central/Eastern European city on EIU's quality of life index. It is also ranked as "Europe's 7th most idyllic place to live" by Forbes, and as the 9th most beautiful city in the world by UCityGuides. It is the highest ranked Central/Eastern European city on Innovation Cities' Top 100 index.

Budapest is home to the headquarters of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), and the first foreign office of the CIPA.

The view

History

The first settlement on the territory of Budapest was built by Celts

The peace treaty of 829 added Pannonia to Bulgaria due to the victory of Bulgarian army of Omurtag over Holy Roman Empire of Louis the Pious. Budapest arose out of two Bulgarian military frontier fortresses Buda and Pest, situated on the two banks of Danube. Hungarians led by Árpád settled in the territory at the end of the 9th century, the second one was established in Óbuda in 1395.

The Ottomans pillaged Buda in 1526, besieged it in 1529, and finally occupied it in 1541. The Turkish occupation lasted for more than 140 years.

In 1944, towards the end of World War II, Budapest was partly destroyed by British and American air raids. From 24 December 1944 to 13 February 1945, the city was besieged during the Battle of Budapest. Budapest suffered major damage caused by the attacking Soviet troops and the defending German and Hungarian troops. All bridges were destroyed by the Germans. More than 38,000 civilians lost their lives during the conflict.

Between 20% and 40% of Greater Budapest's 250,000 Jewish inhabitants died through Nazi and Arrow Cross Party genocide during 1944 and early 1945.   Despite this, modern day Budapest has the highest number of Jewish citizens per capita of any European city. The Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg managed to save the lives of tens of thousands of Jews in Budapest by giving them Swedish passports and taking them under his consular protection. 

In 1949, Hungary was declared a communist People's Republic. The new Communist government considered the buildings like the Buda Castle symbols of the former regime, and during the 1950s the palace was gutted and all the interiors were destroyed.

In 1956, peaceful demonstrations in Budapest led to the outbreak of the Hungarian Revolution. The Leadership collapsed after mass demonstrations began on 23 October, but Soviet tanks entered Budapest to crush the revolt. Fighting continued until early November, leaving more than 3000 dead.

From the 1960s to the late 1980s Hungary was often satirically referred to as "the happiest barrack" within the Eastern bloc, and much of the wartime damage to the city was finally repaired. Work on Erzsébet Bridge, the last to be rebuilt, was finished in 1965. In the early 1970s, Budapest Metro's East-West M2 line was first opened, followed by the M3 line in 1982. In 1987, Buda Castle and the banks of the Danube were included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. Andrassy Avenue (including the Millennium Underground Railway, Hősök tere and Városliget) was added to the UNESCO list in 2002. In the 1980s the city's population reached 2.1 million. In recent times a significant decrease in population occurred mainly due to a massive movement to the neighbouring agglomeration in Pest county. In the last decades of the 20th century the political changes of 1989-90 concealed changes in civil society and along the streets of Budapest. The monuments of the dictatorship were taken down from public places, into Memento Park. In the first 20 years of the new democracy the development of the city was managed by Gábor Demszky.

Timeline of the history of Budapest

YearEvent
BC Neolithic, Chalcolithic-, bronze and iron age cultures, Celtic and Eravisci settlements on present day Budapest.
1st centuryRomans found the settlements known as Aquincum, Contra-Aquincum and Campona. Aquincum becomes the largest town of the Danubian region and one of the capitals of Pannonia.
5th centuryThe Age of Huns. King Attila builds a city for himself here according to later chronicles. After his death, the sons of his brother Mundzuk (Hungarian: Bendegúz, Turkish: Boncuk), Attila and Bleda (Hungarian:Buda), in control of the united Hun tribes.
896Following the foundation of Hungary, Árpád, leader of the Hungarians, settles in the "Town of Attila", usually identified as Aquincum.
1046Bishop Gellért dies at the hands of pagans on present-day Gellért Hill.
1241 Tatar invasions destroy both towns. King Béla IV builds the first royal castle on Castle Hill, Buda in 1248. The new town adopts the name of Buda from the earlier one (present day Óbuda). Pest is surrounded by city walls.
1270Saint Margaret of Hungary dies in a cloister on the Isle of Rabbits (present day Margaret Island).
1458The noblemen of Hungary elect Matthias Corvinus (in Latin) or Hunyadi Mátyás (in Hungarian) as king on the ice of the Danube. Under his reign Buda becomes a main hub of European Renaissance. He dies in 1490, after capturing Vienna in 1485.
1541The beginning of Ottoman occupation. The Turkish Pashas build multiple mosques and baths in Buda.
1686Buda and Pest are reconquered from the Turks with Habsburg leadership. Both towns are destroyed completely in the battles.
1690sResettlement, initially only a few hundred German settlers.
1773Election of the first Mayor of Pest.
1777Maria Theresa of Austria moves Nagyszombat University to Castle Hill.
1783Joseph II places the acting government (Helytartótanács) and Magyar Kamara on Buda.
1795 20 MayIgnác Martinovics and other Jacobin leaders are executed on Vérmező or 'The Field of Blood'.
1810A fire in the Tabán district.
1825Commencement of the Reform Era. Pest becomes the cultural and economic centre of the country. The first National Theatre is built, along with the Hungarian National Museum.
1838 The biggest flood in recent memory in March completely inundates Pest.
1848 15 MarchStart of the Revolution and War of Independence of 1848-49. Pest replaces Pozsony/Pressburg (Bratislava) as the new capital of Hungary and seat of the Batthyány government and the Parliament.
1849The Austrians occupy the city in early January, but the Hungarian Honvédsereg (Army of National Defense) reclaims it in April, taking the fortress of Buda on May 21 after an 18-day siege. In July, the Habsburg army again captures the two towns.
1849 6 OctoberLajos Batthyány, the first Hungarian Prime Minister is executed on the present-day Szabadság tér.
1849 Széchenyi Lánchíd, or Széchenyi Chain Bridge, the first permanent bridge across the Danube in Budapest was opened linking Buda (West bank) and Pest (East bank).
1867Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867, followed by unprecedented civic development, resulting in the style of present day Budapest.
1873 The former cities: Pest, Buda and Óbuda are united, and with that the Hungarian capital is established with the name of Budapest.
1874 The Budapest Cog-wheel Railway service is inaugurated.
1878 Electric public lighting installed in the city centre.
1893 Electrification of Budapest finished
1896Millennium celebrations, the Millennium Underground is inaugurated, and the Ferenc József híd (today's Freedom Bridge) is opened.
1909–1910Electric public lighting expanded to the suburbs, the nearby towns villages had Electric public lighting.
1910The census finds 880,000 people in Budapest and 55,000 in the largest suburb of Újpest (now part of Budapest). The religious make-up was 60.9% Catholic, 23.1% Jewish, 9.9% Calvinist and 5.0% Lutheran. Újpest was 65.9% Catholic, 18.4% Jewish, 9.7% Calvinist and 4.5% Lutheran. The percentage of ethnic Germans was 9.0% in Budapest and 5.7% in Újpest, while 2.3% of the population claimed to be Slovakian. (Source: Történelmi Magyarország atlasza és adattára 1914, Budapest, 2001.)
1918–1919Revolution and the 133 days of the Hungarian Soviet Republic (March–August 1919) under the leadership of Béla Kun. It is the first Communist government to be formed in Europe after the October Revolution in Russia. In the Hungarian–Romanian War of 1919 the Romanian Army invaded Hungary. Maj.General of USA army Harry Hill Bandholtz between August 1919 and February 9, 1920,was the US representative to the Inter-Allied Supreme Command's Military Mission in Hungary. The Military Mission was charged with disarming the Hungarian military and supervising the immediate withdrawal of the Serbian and Romanian armies who were occupying the territory of Hungary. According to his own accounts, he is said to have prevented the arresting of Hungarian PM István Friedrich by the Romanians. He is also remembered for preventing Romanian soldiers from taking the Transylvanian collection of the Hungarian National Museum on 5 October 1919. His statue is standing in front of the US embassy in downtown Budapest. General Bandholtz said : "I simply carried out the instruction of my government, as I understood them, as an officer and a gentleman of the United States Army".
1924Hungarian National Bank is founded.
1925Hungarian Radio commences broadcasting.
1933Disassembly of the Tabán commences.
1944 19 MarchThe Germans occupy Budapest. At the time of the occupation, there were 184,000 Jews and between 65,000 and 80,000 Christians of Jewish descent in the town. The Arrow Cross collaborated with the Germans in murdering Jews. Fewer than half of Budapest's Jews (approximately 119,000) survived the following 11 months.
1944 26 December - 13 FebruarySoviet and Romanian troops besiege Budapest from 15 January to 18 January. The retreating Germans destroy all Danube bridges. On 18 January, the soviets complete the occupation of Pest. The Buda castle falls on 13 February. World War II took the lives of close to 200,000 Budapest residents and caused widespread damage to the buildings of the city.
1956 23 October - 4 NovemberThe Hungarian Revolution of 1956 breaks out, ending in the invasion of a large Soviet force.
1960sWartime damage is largely repaired. Work on the final bridge to be repaired, the Elizabeth Bridge is finished in 1965.
1970–1972The first phase of the East-Western Metro begins.
1982The first phase of the North-Southern Metro begins.
1987Castle Hill and the banks of the Danube are included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
1990The city is home to 2,016,100 residents.
2002Andrássy Avenue is added to the list of World heritage Sites, along with the Millennium Underground railway and Heroes' Square.
20062006 Hungarian protests.
2006200 km of the 1000 km road in capital level local government handling is reconstructed after 80 km in the former year. The world's longest trams, Siemens Combino Supras start service on Great Boulevard, by the end of the year 150 Volvo 7700 buses take part in replacing the aging BKV fleet. Reconstruction of metro line 2 finishes.
2008The Eastern part of the M0 motorway with Megyeri Bridge around the city is finished and given to public. The new Northern Railway Bridge is finished and is opened to public.
2008By this year 400 km road have been reconstructed due to the road reconstruction program paired with pipe (heating and water) replacements to modern, narrow and heat-conserving ones, and where needed sewer system expansion or replacement.
2009 The 2007-2009 complete reconstruction of Liberty Bridge finishes, along with the tracks of tramlines shared with tramline 49 which is going through it.
2009The reconstruction of Margaret Bridge begins, planned to be finished in 2011.
2010 In August the Central Wastewater Treatment Plant starts its normal operation after one year of test service. This increases biologically treated sewage from 51% to 100%. As part of the Living Danube Project, along with finishing modernizations of the other Wastewater Treatment Plants and other subcenters, and expansion of the pipe system to 100% coverage (which included building the complete 7 km Central Danube main-collector, of which only less than 1 km was built back in the Reform Era (1880s)), the city, which was the only one in Hungary with a population level larger than the range that was required to reach Western European levels of Sewage Treatment by the end of December 2008 reached it before the 2010 December 31 deadline of its range, fulfilling this obligation of the EU Accession Treaty.
2010The tunnel of Metro line 4 is finished.

Geography

The 525 km2 area of Budapest lies in central Hungary surrounded by settlements of the agglomeration in Pest county. The capital extends 25 and 29 kilometers in the north-south, east-west direction respectively. The Danube enters the city from the north; later it encircles two islands, Óbuda Island and Margaret Island. |date=August 2010

Sports

City Park (Városliget) and Margit Island are perfect places to find some green area in the city. In the City Park in winter you can enjoy ice skating on one of the largest artificial ice surfaces in the world. Margaret Island offers a wide range of sports from running and cycling to tennis or swimming in the Alfréd Hajós Swimming Center where Budapest proudly hosted the LEN European Aquatics Championships in 2006 and 2010. Budapest was the host for the ITU Triathlon World Championships 2010, too. The 2011 IIHF World Championship (Division I, Group A) and Athletics - 2012 European Cross Country Championships will be held there.

The city is the proud home for many Olympic, World, and Europen Championship winners and medalists. The city's largest football stadium is named after the world famous Ferenc Puskás; top class player of Real Madrid and the Hungarian National Team, who was recognized as the top scorer of the 20th century and who the FIFA's Puskás Award (Ballon d'Or) was named after. (read more about the award {

Whilst only 1.7% of the population of Hungary in 2009 were foreigners, the company operates buses, trolleybuses, trams, suburban railway lines, the metro, a boat service, a cogwheel railway, a funicular, and a chairlift, called Libegő.

Budapest's tram network is extensive, and reliable despite poor track infrastructure and an ageing fleet. Routes 4 and 6 combined form the busiest traditional city tram line in the world, with the world's longest passenger trams (54 m long Siemens Combino) running at 60 to 90 second intervals at peak time and 3–4 minutes off-peak and usually packed with people.

Day services operate from 4:30 a.m. until 11:30 p.m. each day. Night traffic (a reduced overnight service) has a reputation for being excellent.

There are three metro lines and a fourth is currently under construction. The Yellow line, built in 1896, is one of the oldest subway lines in the world, following the London Underground built in 1863.

Railways

Hungarian main-line railways are operated by MÁV. There are three main railway termini in Budapest, Keleti (eastbound), Nyugati (westbound), and Déli (southbound), operating both domestic and international rail services. Budapest was one of the main stops of the Orient Express until 2001, when the service was cut back to Paris-Vienna. There is also a suburban rail service in and around Budapest, operated under the name HÉV.

Waterways

The river Danube flows through Budapest on its way to the Black Sea. The river is easily navigable and so Budapest has historically been a major commercial port (at Csepel). In the summer months a scheduled hydrofoil service operates up the Danube to Vienna.

Special vehicles

Beside metros, suburban rails, buses, trams and boats, there are a couple of less usual vehicles in Budapest:

  • trolleybus on several lines in Pest
  • the Castle Hill Funicular between the Chain Bridge and Buda Castle
  • cyclecar for rent in Margaret Island
  • chairlift
  • the Budapest Cog-wheel Railway
  • children's railway

|- | | Paris | Paris | 1956 |- | | Berlin | Berlin | 1992 |- | | Frankfurt am Main | Hessen | 1990 |- | | Jakarta | Jakarta Special Capital Region | 2009 |- | | Tel Aviv | Tel Aviv District | 1989 |- | | Florence | Tuscany | 2008 |- | | Warsaw | Masovian Voivodeship | 2005 |- | | Lisbon | District of Lisbon | 1992 |- | | Bucharest | Bucharest | 1991 |- | | Košice | Košice Region | 1997 |- | | Daejeon | Daejeon | 1994 |- | | Bangkok | Bangkok | 2007 |- | | Lviv | Ukraine | 1993 |- | | Fort Worth | Texas | 1990 |- | | Gaziantep | Gaziantep | 2010 |- | | New York City | New York | 1992 |}

Some of the city's districts are also twinned to small cities or districts of other big cities, for details see the article List of districts and towns in Budapest.

Partnerships

  • Kraków, Poland

See also

  • Outline of Hungary
  • List of cemeteries in Budapest
  • List of famous people of Budapest
  • Music of Budapest
  • Urban and Suburban Transit Association (most of its activity is centred around Budapest)
  • Budapest metropolitan area
  • Fort Budapest
  • List of films shot in Budapest

Sources

External links



Source en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budapest