Budapest: The Vár
During our week in Budapest we criss-crossed the Danube several times using four different bridges. On our first venture to the Buda side of the river, we walked across from Pest via the Chain Bridge (Lánchíd), the first permanent link between the two (inaugurated 1849).
On the other side, we decided to take the Sikló, a renovated 19th century funicular, up to the Vár (or Várhegy – Castle Hill). This turned out to be the only transport that we used all week other than our own two feet!
The funicular delivers you to the Royal Palace, home to the National Gallery and the Budapest History Museum. We decided to save these up for a rainy day – which never came so I can’t tell you anything about them. We just wandered around the outside, enjoying the views back across the river.
If Pest reminded me of Paris, Buda, or at least the Vár, felt much more Germanic. Enjoy the pretty streets.
Admire the details.
Feel moved by the Trinity Columns, erected in 1713 in thanksgiving for the abatement of a plague …
… and by the Mary Magdalene Tower, all that is left of a church wrecked in World War 2.
Above all, feel amazed that, despite this being early March, we could enjoy lunch outside in the sunshine!
Behind me in the picture above is Mátyás Church, officially dedicated to Our Lady but popularly named for Good King Mátyás. It’s not as old as it looks, being mainly a late 19th century recreation restored again after World War 2. Still, it’s very interesting and colourful inside and out.
Behind the church is Fisherman’s Bastion, probably the best place for views back across the Danube. It’s a fancy 19th century concoction that I’m sure no self-respecting fisherman would have anything to do with. The statue is King Stephen.
Having traversed the Vár we descended the other side of the hill and made our way back along the river bank to the Chain Bridge, taking in a last few sights on the way.
In my next Budapest post, I’ll return to the Pest side of the river.