My long-time friend (whom I will call A), a native of Hungary, and her American husband (I’ll call him B) invited me to join them in Budapest recently. They have the apartment that A’s family has owned for 70 years. It’s located a short walk from the Danube in a very interesting and attractive neighborhood. While we were there the temperature passed 100 degrees Fahrenheit one day and 96 degrees another. We wandered around the city through the heat each day until this blogger could go no farther.

The delightful Parliament building, the Danube and one of the towers of the famous Chain Bridge.

Budapest is sometimes called the “Paris of the East.” I think, given the number of truly spectacular buildings, that it may be even more beautiful than Paris. Most of the famous buildings were constructed during the Austro-Hungarian empire when Vienna and Budapest served as joint capitals. A monumental palace stands on a hill overlooking both sides of the city, Buda and Pest. Two magnificent churches – one the cathedral on the Buda side of the river and the other a basilica on the Pest side – are crowning jewels. The parliament seems to be made of spun sugar. Three bridges with tall towers overhead cross the Danube just blocks apart. Parks abound, including on one an island in the middle of the river. The architecture, mostly late 19th and early 20th century, consists primarily of highly decorated office and apartment buildings of fewer than ten stories.

The castle glowing in the dark. Look closely to see a river cruise ship docked just under the palace. Many river cruises begin or end in Budapest, on the Danube.

Because there’s so much to see and photograph in Budapest I plan to write several posts and to share many photos to allow you to see more of this fascinating city, beginning with some of the best known places along the Danube.

Located near the palace at the top of the Castle Hill, the cathedral is graced by a very tall tower and a multi-color tile roof, much like the cathedral in Vienna.



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