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Archive : Budapest

There is a city with a gothic parliament, a baroque domed cathedral and a set of great museums next to a vast park - it can only be London, you say - but no! I speak of a sister of Vienna, on the banks of the Danube, called Budapest. We visited this fascinating city in 2009.

The Hungarian Parliament Building
The grand staircase The grand lobby The dome hall, holding the Holy Crown Of Hungary
The magnificent Hungarian Parliament Building was designed by Imre Steindl in the 1880s. Central to the plan is the sixteen-sided dome, an extremely rare feature in a gothic building.
The dome hall, with statues of monarchs (including Maria Theresa) The dome vault The dome hall
The upper house The Holy Crown Of Hungary, the Crown Of St. Stephen The north lounge
The Hungarian Parliament The Hungarian Parliament The Hungarian Parliament
The Hungarian Parliament The Hungarian Parliament
The dome hall currently houses The Holy Crown Of Hungary, protected by armed guards. This is the crown of Saint Stephen, the first King of Hungary. Traditionally, it is the crown which holds absolute power in Hungary; the monarch is only an instrument of that power. The crown found its way into Fort Knox (in the USA) after World War II and was returned to Hungary in 1978.
The Eastern Station
The Ethnographic Museum The Ethnographic Museum
The Hungarian Supreme Court Hungarian Television HQ The Hungarian National Bank
The Trinitarian Church The Postal Savings Bank The Anker Building
The Academy Of Sciences Gresham Palace
Gresham Palace is (indirectly) named after Sir Thomas Gresham, the London banker who also founded Gresham College.
The Great Synagogue St. Stephen's Basilica
St. Stephen's Basilica St. Stephen's Basilica
The apse View of the Parliament dome She's a lady!
The Holy Right, the hand of St. Stephen St. Stephen's Basilica St. Stephen's Basilica
Hidden away in St. Stephen's Basilica is the right hand of St. Stephen. It is known as The Holy Right.
The National Museum Vigadó Concert Hall The Great Market Hall
Heroes' Square St. Stephen
The Museum Of Fine Arts The Palace Of Art
Chiefs of the Seven Magyar Tribes The Museum Of Fine Arts Colonnade of kings
Surrounding the vast Heroes' Square are two monumental museums, the city park, and the Millennium Memorial which includes statues of many Hungarian kings.
The monuments of the park can be seen from the square Paparazzo Vajdahunyad Castle
The baroque wing of Vajdahunyad Castle The court of Vajdahunyad Castle
Vajdahunyad Castle A balcony The chapel
Széchenyi Baths Vajdahunyad Castle
The Western Station Vígszínház Theatre The Western Station
The 'Inner City' Church A nice bit of art deco Páriszi Udvar
St. Erszébet Church The bridge to Gellért Baths Sucking on a cock
Buda Castle
Buda Castle
Buda Castle Buda Castle Buda Castle
Budapest is in fact formed from historical Buda on one side of the Danube, and Pest on the other. The current Buda Castle is a post-war reconstruction of a baroque work, and has disappointingly sparse interiors. It is however home to the Bibliotheca Corviniana which happened to be closed during our visit.
Gazing from her balcony Turul This should a beautiful picture of Matthias Church
Matthias Church Matthias Church The raven of King Matthias Corvinus
The dark interior The arms of Matthias Corvinus, with an intriguing inscription (Greek?) A curious architectural hack, as the restorer tried to centre a window on both the interior and exterior
The interior of the Matthias Church is covered in frescos and heraldry relating to King Matthias Corvinus, who founded a famous library, the Bibliotheca Corviniana.
The Fisherman's Bastion, with another statue of St. Stephen The Fisherman's Bastion The Fisherman's Bastion
The Hungarian Culture Foundation Statue of St. Gellért on the hill of the same name The Hungarian National Archives
The infamous double-headed Gemma Quasimodo, in the rather silly labyrinth Just for comparison

We decided to go on a trip to the tiny cathedral city of Esztergom, north of Budapest and just across the Danube from Slovakia. It was a place of silence.

A former capital of Hungary, it is like Canterbury in being the seat of the church. Indeed, there is a hill there dedicated to St. Thomas Becket.

Getting off the nice train Esztergom
The hill of St. Thomas Becket St. Anne's
The view from Slovakia The Christian Museum and the Watertown area
Esztergom Cathedral
Esztergom Cathedral The Dark Gate
The skull of Saint Stephen Esztergom Cathedral