I always promise myself that once the nice weather sets in I’ll go out more in the weekends to have fresh air and pretend that I socialize when in truth I never take my earphones off or look at people if I don’t have to. But in the end I’m always too lazy to get out of bed, dress up, wash my hair, etc. So, to motivate myself I decided to make it about blogging – if I feel like I have to write I might be able to lift my ass. And honestly, more people should know about this city! And my culture. I invite you to join me while I discover Budapest!
Well, despite my big words at the beginning, my resolve lasted for about one trip, when I showed you people the National Theatre and the Palace of Arts, which is about 2 minutes walk from my workplace… Colour me surprised that I didn’t keep it up. Not that I entirely forgot, I had one similar post planned out which I never got to write – maybe one day. Honestly, these days I’m just happy if I don’t get even more behind with stuff.
Anyway, back in October one day we had a nice – although chilly – weather, and I didn’t really feel like going home after work. I was kind of stuck in this wake up – go to work – go home – set up daily post/hang out online/read – watch tv – sleep – repeat cycle and I just had enough. I needed a bit of change, so without really thinking it through I hopped up on the tram close to my workplace and travelled to Kossuth square which is one of the main tourist places in the city. Here you can find the Parliament right on the bank of the Danube, the Museum of Ethnography (for now, and it’s closed because it’s being moved), some statues and memories of the 1956 revolution. I don’t even remember when was the last time I visited this place – probably during grade school. I didn’t go inside the Parliament this time, but I’ll show you some pictures of it.
The square was the witness of Budapest’s (and Hungary’s) history for centuries (the first plans appeared in 1804), and so there are several statues erected for politicians and memorials for October 23rd 1956 – the day Hungarians stood up against the Soviet Union and started a short lived revolution which was shut down within weeks. Today you can see several bronze balls in the walls of one of the buildings as a memento for the fights and killings that happened there. There is also an exhibition for the events that happened during that time.
There are several buildings around the square, amongst them the building of the Agrarian Ministry (with the bronz balls); the Palace of Justice which currently gives home to the Museum of Ethnography which is being moved to another building at the moment; and of course the Parliament which stands on the bank of the Danube, almost facing the Fisherman’s Bastion and the Palace of Buda.
The square was called several things during its existence, Parliament square from 1898 when the Parliament’s building was started, then Republic Square after World War I because it was this place where the country had become a republic after our connection with Austria was cut and we’ve lost huge territories. Anyway, the name only lasted for a year, then the square was called Parliament Square again until 1927, when in remembrance of Lajos Kossuth 125th birthday a statue was erected on the square and it was also renamed in honor of him.
It was the first building which was intended to be used as a ministry and was used as such. From 1887 until today it is used by the Agrarian Minsistry. It’s also the building which gives place to the 1956 memento in the form of replica bullets in the walls.
Museum of Ethnography
The building was built between 1893 and 1896 to be the Palace of Justice. It was used as such until 1949, when it was used by several museums during the next few decades. In 1979 the Museum of Ethnography moved into it and used most of the building. The museum – as I said – is currently under moving and the building will be used as before.
It was built between 1885 and 1904 based on Imre Steindl’s plan. The building is 268 m long, 123 m wide and 96 m tall, the floospace is 17 745 square meters. There are 90 statues outside and 152 inside, as well as several paintings. From 2000 the crown and the coronational jewellrey (except the mantle) can be seen here.
Source of the pictures: Wikipedia
Walk along the Danube
After spending some time walking around the square, I headed to the side of the Danube and took a nice long walk down toward Margaret Bridge, which connects Pest, Buda and Margaret Island (it’s worth another long post, so I won’t talk about it much here now). From the banks of the Danube you can see the Palace and the Fisherman’s Bastion as well as the Gellért hill at the other side. It’s definitely worth an afternon to just walk around.