If we talk about the best-loved aims of tourists in Budapest, Gellért Hill mustn’t be missed. It offers both cultural and natural treasures so provides several facilities for spending free time. There isn’t too much area of the untouched nature but they serve some rare carnivorous birds and other animals and even a kind of carnation which can be found nowhere else in the country. The hill received its name from Gellért bishop who converted lots of Hungarians but finally, he was killed in a pagan rebellion in 1046. Nowadays, you can visit his statue on the hill.
The Citadel Budapest was built in the 19th century. In 1848/49, the Hungarians fought their freedom against the army of the Habsburg emperor. The Hungarians lost this war, and the emperor ordered that a system of fortresses had to be built in order to control the inhabitants of Pest-Buda. However, only one element became ready: this is called the Citadel. The designer was Emmanuel Zitta, and the work was led by Ferenc Kasselik and Mátyás Zitterbarth architects under the control of marshal Haynau. The fortress was built on the place of an observatory (which was destroyed during the war for freedom), vineyards, and gardens. From the military aspect, it was old-fashioned from the beginning; it absolutely not satisfied the requirements of the modern ages.
The Hungarians considered the building the symbol of the oppression; the local newspaper named it the ’Bastille of Gellért Hill’. 60 cannons were placed there! The walls are 12-16 m high and the whole building is 220 m long and 40-60 m wide.
Finally, the bombardiers of the fortress got task only once: they had to perform salutes on the birthday of the emperor Franz Joseph. In 1867, the Hungarians and the Habsburg emperor made their Compromise, and the Citadella Budapest lost its military role. Anyway, until 897, there were Austrian soldiers in the building. After that, the inhabitants of the city started to destroy the hateful building from stone to stone. The procedure was symbolic and spectacular, but – thanks to the lack of money – a major part of the building was escaped.
The dark year: 1944
The Citadella Budapest played a great role in the siege of the city during the 2nd world war. German and Hungarian soldiers used the building for antiaircraft aims, while stores and military hospital were in the dungeons.
This monumental fortress has been closed since 2014. On the top of the building, multiple radio stations broadcast their program. In the late 20th century, the Citadel provided lots of programs. Tourists could visit a collection of waxworks about the second world war, more exactly, about the siege in 1944. An outdoor exhibition showed some Soviet weapons. Another collection tells about a more peaceful period: these photos portray the improving metropolis until the end of the 19th century. A restaurant and a hotel also waited for their guests.
Unfortunately, it’s not in too good condition nowadays. Only the view is eternal: tourists can enjoy one of the best panoramas to the city from the Citadella. Every visitors in Hungary should see this!
Liberty of Statue
This monument created by Zsigmond Kisfaludi Stróbl in 1947 can be found near the budapest citadella. The main character is a woman who holds a palm branch while her hair and dress seem to be blown by the wind. There are minor statues, too: the left one is holding a torch and the right one is killing a dragon. Originally, the monument greeted the Soviets but after the end of the Communist regime, the inscription was changed. Now it expresses the thankfulness of the Hungarian Nation for everyone who worked or died for this country.
The building at the foot of the hill is worth visiting even you are not really interested in baths because it’s wonderful. The bath and the hotel which belongs to it were designed in the style of the Art Noveau. It lived its heyday at the very early 20th century. Even foreign rich people loved this place so much that a separated harbor was created for their hydroplanes! Unfortunately, the major part of the last century was not a too bright period, but the building was renovated in the recent past, and this thermal bath is very popular nowadays.