B bábi, Tibor

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Buda Castle District – This district in Budapest is the ancient kernel of the capital city’s right-bank settlement. The Royal Castle was built at the southern end of the hill, the civic town to the north. The building of the castle began just before the Tartar-Mongol invasion (1241-1242) by King Béla IV (1235-1270). Its golden age was under the Renaissance king Mátyás I (Matthias Corvinus, 1458-1490). The Turks occupied it in 1541 by trickery and remained under their rule until 1686. The three-month long siege heavily damaged it; but from the mid 18th century it slowly recovered. During the War of Independence (1848-1849), it was under Hungarian siege to recapture it from the Austrian forces, which caused considerable damage. After the 1867 Compromise with Austria, the district developed again until the Soviet siege in 1945, when it was almost completely destroyed. It has since been slowly rebuilt. The district has been part of World Heritage since 1987. Its famous sites are the Trinity Square (Szentháromság tér), its architecture is a mixture of Neo-Gothic and Neo-Romanesque, and of the romantic baronial castle styles; the Cathedral, Our Lady Church, a.k.a. Matthias Church (Mátyás templom) gained its present form at the end of the 19th century. It was the site of the coronation of Ferenc József (Franz Joseph I) as king of Hungary in 1867, and of king Károly IV (Charles) in 1916. The Fishermen's Bastion (Halászbástya) was built in the neo-Romanesque style upon the medieval castle walls. It received its name from the Fishermen's suburb. Behind the Fishermen's Bastion stands the equestrian statue of the first Christian king and founder of the Royal Hungarian state, King István I (St Stephen, 1001-1038), by Alajos (Aloysius) Strobl. Famous buildings include the Royal Palace (Királyi vár), now housing the Széchényi Library; the Military History Museum (Hadtörténeti Múzeum), the Sándor (Alexander) Palace (Sándor Palota,) now the office of the state president, as well as the Hilton Hotel, built in the 1970s onto the ruins of the medieval Dominican monastery. The András Hess Square bears the name of the printer, who printed the first book in one of its houses. The Táncsics Street once had a military barrack, where Lajos (Louis) Kossuth, Mihály Táncsics and Count Lajos Batthyány were imprisoned in the mid 19th century. The so-called Vienna Gate (Bécsi kapu) provides access from the north. The district is a major tourist attraction and frequented by the citizens of Budapest. – B: 1213, T: 7103.→Buda Castle; Budapest, History of; Budapest Siege; Most of the persons and events have their own entry.

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