Budapest, the Banks of the Danube and the Buda Castle Quarter
At the crossroads of continental routes, Budapest
Location and site
At the crossroads of continental routes, Budapest is located at the point of contact between the Hungarian plain and the Carpathian hills. A riverside city on the Danube, Buda was built on a rocky outcrop on the south bank, while Pest was constructed at the level of the plain on the north bank.
In the 13th century the network of streets had already been established and was well adapted to the heights of Buda, a 1.5 km. x 0.5 km. site. The four streets that cross the space get narrower and closer together, and eventually join, as they approach the Castle and the hill. The urban squares are located at these points of encounter. A series of short streets, connecting one block to another, cross the four longer streets, usually at right angles. The Danube’s shores, which are joined by a series of bridges, offers a harmonious balance of built and natural landscape. The most important landmarks of Budapest are the Neo-Gothic parliament building (1884-1904), located on the north bank, and, especially, the quarter around the Buda Castle, which dominates the south bank. Stretching along an elongated plateau, the Castle quarter, which possesses within its medieval walls a series of Gothic buildings (a church, a palace, and rows of houses), is without questions a site of imposing Baroque monuments. The Castle itself is Gothic in inspiration; during its heyday, it was transformed into a Renaissance monument, and in the 19th century, the Empress Maria-Teresa refurbished it as a Baroque building.
Aquincum played a major role in the dissemination of Roman architectural forms in Pannonia, then in Dacie. The Buda Castle played an essential role in the dissemination of Gothic art in the Magyar countries. (II) The Buda Castle illustrates, with the old quarters around it, two significant historical periods that were separated by a haitus that corresponded the Turkish occupation. (IV).
- The Romans established Aquincum, capital of Panonia (a border province of the Roman Empire) on a major passage of the Danube and in the proximity of a small Celtic town.
- During the settling process of the Hungarians in the 9th century, a first settlement was established close to the ancient sites, on the present-day site of Budapest.
- The destruction of this settlement by the Mongolians in 1241 led King Bela IV to construct, in 1247, castle strongholds on the heights of Buda.
- In the 14th century, the city rose to national importance, and in the 15th century it attained prominence within Europe. During the reign of King Mathias, it enjoyed a golden age and was one of the most important European Renaissance centres outside Italy.
- In 1526, Buda and Pest were devastated by the Turks, who ruled them until 1686.
- In the 18th century, with the return of the Habsburg, Buda experienced another heyday, during which a large number of Baroque and Neoclassical works of architecture were built. In 1872, the two sides of the city, Buda and Pest, were officially united to form Budapest.
Mr. István Tarlós
City Hall of Budapest
Városház utca 9-11
+361 327 1023
Ms. Szabina Nagyváradi
Foreign Relations Officer
Municipality of the City of Budapest
+36 1 327 15 12
Ms. Adrienn Magyar
Head of Office of International Relations
Municipality of the City of Budapest - The Mayor’s Office Office of International Relations
Városház u. 9-11
+36 1 327 1075