Personal Guide in Budapest

2015\12\10

TOP 10 FACTS ABOUT THE HUNGARIAN PARLIAMENT

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1) THE LARGEST BUILDING IN HUNGARY. Length: 268.32 metres, width: 118.13 metres, number of rooms: 691. 

2) EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE CONTRIBUTING TO THE CONSTRUCTION HAD TO BE HUNGARIAN. About 1000 people, the cream of Hungarian masters and artists worked on it yearly. An interesting fact: 40 kilos of 24-carat pure gold foil was used for the interior decoration.

3) IT TOOK NEARLY 20 YEARS TO COMPLETE. The construction started in 1885 and finished in 1904.

4) ITS HEIGHT IS A REFERENCE TO A HISTORICAL EVENT AND ITS DATE. The height of the cupola: 96 metres with a symbolic meaning referring to the Hungarian Conquest in 896 and the Millenium Celebrations in 1896.

5) AMAZING NUMBER OF SCULPTURES. 365 Gothic turrets, 88 statues decorate the outside of the building. Hungarian kings and rulers face the Danube from the seven conqueror tribe leaders to Ferdinand V. On the Kossuth Square facade great military leaders and princes of Transylvania can be seen.

6) ECLECTIC-STYLE BUILDING. Neo-Gothic features with traces of baroque style ground plan and interior, neo-Byzantine decoration elements and renaissance ceilings.

7) ITS OWN LIBRARY HAS THE GREATEST COLLECTION of HUNGARIAN PARLIAMENTARY DOCUMENTS. It numbers about a million volumes and is for public use also.

8) THE ARCHITECT WON A COMPETITION TO DESIGN THE HOUSE OF THE STATE. Imre Steindl (1839-1902) a professor at the University of Technology and Economics died before the Parliament officially opened.

9) 8 OUT OF THE WORLD'S 12 GIANT SWEDISH GRANITE COLUMNS DECORATE THE GRAND STAIRCASE. The gifts of the Swedish king. The other 4 can be found in the Palace of Westminster.

10) ST STEVEN'S HOLY CROWN AND THE ROYAL INSIGNIA ARE HELD HERE. For Parliament visits check availability HERE.

 

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2015\06\11

TOP 10 FACTS ABOUT MATTHIAS CHURCH

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1) THE OLDEST CHURCH IN BUDAPEST. Its construction began back in 1255 under the reign of King Béla IV, right after the Mongol Invasion in 1241-42. He originally had it built in Gothic style in the middle ages. The northern bulky tower is named after him.

2) THE OFFICIAL CORONATION CHURCH IN THE HISTORY OF HUNGARY. Charles Robert (1308), Franz Joseph I (1867) and Charles IV (1916) the last Habsburg ruler were crowned here. There also used to be a tradition to place the victory emblems and flags of important military campaigns in the church.

3) THE "CHURCH OF OUR LADY". St Stephen I, our first Christian king offered the country to the patronage of the Virgin Mary, that way she became the patron saint of Hungary and hence the wooden statue of the Madonna on the High Altar crowned with a replica of St Stephen's Holy Crown. The original one can be viewed in the Hungarian Parliament.

4) USED TO BE THE MAIN MOSQUE UNDER THE TURKISH OCCUPATION OF BUDA. Hungary used to be oppressed by the Turks for roughly 150 years and they caused enormous devastation. After the siege of Buda in 1541, they occupied the capital and the church. The furnishing was destroyed, the walls were whitewashed and covered with passages from the Koran. Later they even used it as a stable and as an arsenal.

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5) PLACE OF ETERNAL REST FOR 12th-CENTURY ROYAL COUPLE FROM HOUSE ARPAD. The mortal remains of King Béla III and his wife Anne were found during excavations in Székesfehérvár and finally rest in peace in the Holy Trinity Chapel sarcophagi.

6) NAMED AFTER OUR BELOVED AND JUST RENAISSANCE KING, MATTHIAS. He probably contributed most to the construction work of the church. The 80-metre tall southern tower is named after him since he had had it rebuilt and had his coat of arms with the raven placed there as well. Matthias (1443-90) got married here twice, to Beatrix of Naples the second time, the name Bride Gate on the southern wall reminds us of the event.

7) FRANZ LISZT'S WELL-KNOWN CORONATION MASS WAS PRESENTED IN THE CHURCH FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME. The world famous pianist and composer wrote the Mass for the coronation of Franz Joseph I who later donated a huge amount for the renovation of the royal organ. Today it has more than 7700 pipes and attract many people who wish to enjoy the sound of the city's largest instrument of its kind. A Christmas concert in Matthias Church - is something divine.

8) PRICELESS HANDMADE ROOF TILES BY OUR WORLD FAMOUS ZSOLNAY FACTORY. The ornate, colourful and handmade ceramic tiles were manufactured in the stunning Zsolnay Porcelain Manufacture.

9) SOME TREASURES SURVIVED THE DEVASTATION OF WWII. The beautiful stained glass windows designed by Károly Lotz and Bertalan Székely incredibly survived the war thanks to the fact that they had been removed and hidden during the war. Thus one can admire the original ones on the southern wall.

10) MORE FACTS OF INTEREST. Detailed and numbered church plan available ONLINE.

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2015\04\15

WINE AND DINE AT FISHERMEN'S BASTION

The recent history of the Fishermen’s Bastion Restaurant began on 23 September, 2010, when after several years of renovation, it once again opened its doors.

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Fishermen’s Bastion, as part of the Buda Castle District, has been a World Heritage site since 1987.  Restored according to the original designs of architect Frigyes Schulek, and now outfitted with state-of-the-art gastronomic facilities, the beautifully renovated establishment covers over 1800 square meters and offers patrons an unforgettable experience in a unique setting.

The Fishermen’s Bastion Restaurant is open year-round with a variety of services. It offers comfortable seating for 120 people on two floors – each of the tables offer a magnificent view of the acclaimed Budapest panorama. There’s also an observation terrace above the restaurant, where restaurant patrons can admire the full view while sipping their drinks.

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The menu consists of innovative Hungarian dishes, such as Venison goulash with tarragon, Mangalitza spare ribs and Somló sponge cake trifle. Their mission is to revive the most beautiful traditions of Hungarian gastronomy, presenting them in their very own, distinct style. The wine list includes more than 150 types of wine, most of them from the great Hungarian wine regions, along with some excellent foreign wines. Expert sommeliers will help you in choosing the most fitting wine for your dish.

Every afternoon, guests can sit back and relax to the tunes of a Gypsy band playing international and Hungarian favourites. Whether for a full-course meal or just for sipping a glass of wine, the Fisherman’s Bastion Restaurant is the place to be.

The Danube Terrace awaits its guests from the end of March until the start of autumn with cold and hot dishes, from 10am to 10pm (depending on the weather). An excellent venue for intimate evening dinners and wine tasting, rounded out by a wonderful panorama of Budapest provides an unforgettable experience for Hungarian and foreign guests alike.  (Adapted from Funzine)

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A CIKK SZÓKINCSE:

wine and dine=borozz és étkezz/vacsorázz

World Heritage site=Világörökség helyszín

restored=helyreállítva, renoválva

outfitted=felszerelve, ellátva

state-of-the-art=legkorszerűbb

establishment=létesítmény

to cover=lefed, szétterül valamekkora területen

square meters=négyzetméter

setting=helyszín, környezet

year-round=egész évben

seating=ülőhely

to offer a magnificent view=fenséges látványt nyújt

acclaimed=híres, elismert

observation=kilátó

patrons=vendégek, kuncsaftok

to admire=csodál,gyönyörködik

sipping=szürcsölvén

to consist of=áll valamiből

Venison=szarvashús

tarragon=tárkony

spare ribs=sertésborda

Somló sponge cake trifle=somlói galuska

to revive=életre kelt

in their very own, distinct style=a maga jellegzetes módján elkészítve

to include=tartalmaz

sommelier=borszakértő

the most fitting wine for your dish=az ételedhez leginkább illő bor

to the tunes of=dallamaira, melódiáira

full-course meal=több fogásos vacsora/ebéd

to await=vár

venue=helyszín

wine tasting=borkóstoló

rounded out by=kiegészülve

to provide=nyújt

alike=egyaránt

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2015\04\15

TOP 10+1 FACTS about the ROYAL PALACE in BUDA

SCROLL DOWN FOR THE ARTICLE IN ENGLISH!

Be proud of Budapest! Légy büszke a fővárosunkra és tudj elmondani néhány dolgot a legnépszerűbb látványosságokról, ha egy turista megkérdez.

Segítségedre lehet a BUDAPEST GUIDE első része: a Budai Vár!
Összegyűjtöttem a 10+1 legfontosabb érdekességet a palotáról, íme:

(A szöveg szószedetét a cikk alján találod majd.)

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1) After the Mongol Invasion in the 13th century King Béla IV had a fortress built at the southern end of Castle Hill.

2) The first palace on its site was built in the 14th century by Prince Stephen of Anjou from the Angevin House.

3) Great period of constructions came under the reign of King Matthias (Mátyás) Hunyadi who had most of the Gothic buildings rebuilt in Italian Renaissance Style.

4) During the Turkish occupation (1541-1686) the pasha of Buda did not move into the palace, instead, he established his residence near the present Dance Theatre and used the palace building as gunpowder depot, arsenals, and barracks. As a result, gunpowder explosions devastated the palace buildings almost completely.

6) There used to be a private royal chapel built in the palace during the reign of Maria Theresa.

7) Joseph II gave part of the palace to the Mary Ward's nuns in the 18th century and then to the University of Nagyszombat, the middle-wing tower was also transformed into an observatory for the university.

8) By the end of the 18th century it became the residence of the Habsburgs, but during the siege of the Castle in 1849 it partly burnt down.

9) Miklos Ybl, the best architect of the 19th century was commissioned to enlarge the palace who built a Baroque ground-plan and construction works were finished by Alajos Hauszmann.

9) During WWII the Castle burnt to the ground.

10) In the late 1950s the Royal Palace was transformed into a cultural centre and at present it houses The Collections of the Hungarian National Gallery, The Budapest History Museum, The excavations and Gothic statues of the Medieval Castle and the National Széchenyi Library.

+1) It's been part of the WORLD HERITAGE since 1987.

 

GLOSSARY:

 

Mongol Invasion=tatárjárás

fortress=erőd

reign=uralkodás

occupation=megszállás

gunpowder depot=lőszer/puskapor raktár

explosions=robbanások

chapel=kápolna

nun=apáca

observatory=csillagvizsgáló

siege=ostrom

to be commissioned=megbízták valamivel

excavations=ásatások

statue=szobor

medieval=középkori

World Heritage=Világörökség (UNESCO)

 

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