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Hungary Tours

Travel to Hungary to explore Budapest, a great 19th-century city straddling the Danube, a city of two once distinct, now unified, entities, Buda and Pest. Enjoy Budapest’s great boulevards and fine Neo-Gothic, Neo-Baroque, Eclectic and Jugendstil architecture.

From Pest’s great Neo-Renaissance Opera House, Andrassy Avenue leads to the inner city’s central Erzsebet Square. Vorosmarty Square has the renowned Gerbeaud Café. Close to Elizabeth Bridge (Erzsébet), a lovely Gothic Inner City Parish Church has a 17th-century Turkish mihrab. Nearby are remnants of Roman buildings. Páriszi Street possesses fine 19th- and 20th-century buildings. They include the exotic Moorish and Gothic Párizsi Arcade.

Budapest’s Corso follows the Danube with views of Buda’s Castle District across the river. Frigyes Feszl’s Vigadó Concert Hall (1860s) represents the Hungarian Revival style. Imre Steindl’s huge, eclectic style Parliament House (1902) has a magnificent interior. Ödön Lechner’s Post Office Savings Bank’s (1901) innovative façade blends Art Nouveau and Hungarian folk motifs. Pest’s historic subway leads to Heroes’ Square with its vast Monument of the Seven Magyar Tribes. Millennial City Park has the famous Széchenyi Baths. The Museum of Fine Arts contains fine Old Masters and French Impressionists.

Pest’s 18th-century Jewish district has many fine houses, Lajos Forster’s enormous Central Synagogue and Imre Varga’s Holocaust Memorial. Otto Wagner’s Rumbach Sebestyén utca Synagogue and Klauzal Square covered market are other local features. In St Stephen’s basilica, a chapel contains the relics of St Stephen. He was Hungary’s first Christian king and is the country’s patron saint. Zsigmond Quittner’s Gresham Palace, meanwhile, is one of Budapest’s finest commercial buildings (1906).

Across the Danube, old Buda is dominated by Castle Hill and the massive Renaissance-Baroque Royal Palace. The latter holds the Hungarian National Gallery, with a collection of medieval carved polychrome altarpieces and also huge history paintings. The Neo-Romanesque Fishermen’s Bastion offers city panoramas and the restored St Matthias Church has a spectacular 19th-century interior.

Outside Budapest, the Esterházy Palace at Fertöd was built in the 1760s for Prince Miklós Esterházy (1714-90). This Louis XVI style palace is surrounded by extensive French gardens. Its interior boasts ornate Rococo panelling with stucco decoration and frescoes. The town of Sopron never came under Turkish control. It consequently has a large number of Gothic churches and fine streetscapes with Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Rococo mansions.

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