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Buda Castle and Gellert hill ブダ城とゲラート丘

October 7, 2010

The Buda castle town is recommended as the first stop to go to in Budapest so that’s exactly what we did.  It is a UNESCO world heritage site and contains so much more than the castle.


The castle itself has had quite a turbulent history.  The original was built in the 13th century and didn’t last very long.  It’s been rebuilt and destroyed several times over the centuries and the current castle dates back only as far as the early part of the 20th Century and in fact, since neither the Fascists nor the Communists were overly interested in maintaining it, it was only fairly recently refurbished to what tourists now see.


It seems like everywhere I travel, there’s always some important monument that’s being renovated and as a result, is at least partially covered by scaffolding and green netting.  So why should this trip be any different?  Matthias church is certainly one of the highlights of the Castle hill area but a reconstruction that was supposed to be finished in 2007 was still going on.  Also, the view from the Fisherman’s bastion was somewhat hampered by the upper viewing platform not being open due to construction.  I may need to begin a new photo project detailing monuments under construction.


Still, the town is very much worth the visit and the views of Buda and Pest are pretty spectacular.  The catacombs under the palace aren’t a must-see but during the heat wave we were enduring, it was nice to go into a naturally air-conditioned place for a while.


We went up Gellert hill on a separate day and really, there’s not much to see there.  One of the most spectacular of the many hot spring/ spa houses is at the base but we opted for a different one (which I will get to in a later post).  The best thing about the hike up the hill was the amazing lunch at the restaurant at the top which overlooks the Danube and all of Pest.  It shows you really how nice a city it is.  Interestingly, Gellert hill was named after St. Gerard, a bishop who, in the 11th century pagan uprising was stuffed into a spiked barrel and then rolled down the several hundred metre hill.


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