Budai, Simon (16th century) – Writer of poems at the beginning of the century. As an exiled minstrel, he and his lute were also known in Spain, where he performed his poems at the royal court, written in seven different languages (Hungarian, Latin, Greek, German, Polish, French and Turkish) and enjoyed an enthusiastic reception. – B: 0942, T: 7659.
Budapest – The Capital City of Hungary with 2 million inhabitants spreads on both banks of the River Danube with Buda on its right and Pest on its left bank. The two towns and Óbuda were united under the name of Budapest in 1873. This is the largest city in the Carpathian Basin. The area has been populated since prehistoric times. The first town was built by the Celts along the slopes of Gellért Hill. It was called Ak Ink, meaning spring rich in water. Romans occupied the town at the beginning of the 1st century. In 106 AD Aquincum (nearby Óbuda) became the capital of the province Pannonia Inferior. The headquarters of the governor and important military forces were stationed there and its population increased to about 20,000. The city was frequently involved in wars on the border of the Roman Empire. In the early 5th century the Huns replaced the Goths, who broke the Roman limes (defense lines); and after the collapse of their empire, Gepids, Longobards and Avars occupied it, the latter for 200 years. The Franks followed the Avars. The Hungarians (Magyars) appeared in 895; however proto-Magyars were there much earlier. The Magyars established the seat of their Ruling Prince (Leader) Árpád at the nearby Csepel Island. The princely seat was moved to Esztergom in 973, and returned to Obuda only in the thirteenth century. After the Tartar-Mongol invasion (1241-1242) significant fortification work began by King Béla IV (1235-1270) all over the country, including Buda, and a walled city was built on Castle Hill. In the Middle Ages Buda gradually emerged from among the Hungarian towns and it reached its peak during the rule of the Renaissance King Mátyás I (Matthias Corvinus, 1458-1490). At that time the rule of the Hungarian Crown extended from the Baltic to the Adriatic Sea, with Buda as the center of the Kingdom. At the turn of the 15-16th centuries the population of the present Hungarian Capital stood at roughly 25,000-30,000 – a big city in Central Europe in those days, ranking with Vienna, Prague and Krakow. At that time on the Balkans there was no city of comparable size that had a population over 5,000. A long decline followed the city’s prosperity when it came under Turkish occupation for 145 years. When Buda was liberated from Turkish rule in 1686, it became a provincial center. Even the Diet moved to Pozsony (now Bratislava, Slovakia) and stayed there until 1848. During the18th century the city slowly recovered and the population began to grow. The 19th century was dominated by the nation’s struggle for independence. Its culmination was the Revolution and War of Independence against the Habsburgs that began in the Capital in 1848; but was defeated with Russian help a year later. Compromise was reached in 1867. This made the city the twin capital of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. With it a new phase of development started, lasting until World War I. This was the period of rapid industrialization, urban growth and cultural enrichment. After World War I, as a result of the Versailles-Trianon Dictated Peace Treaty (1920), Budapest was the capital of a country one-third of its former size. Despite this, the city developed until World War II. Following the heavy aerial bombardments by the Allied forces, it suffered the siege of the Soviet army from Christmas 1944 to 13 February 1945, leaving the city in ruins. No sooner had the city recovered than an uprising broke out against the oppressive Communist regime on 23 October 1956, developing into a revolution and freedom fight. It was crushed by the Soviet military on 4 November 1956, causing heavy damage. During the ensuing Kádár era the city recovered and improved. Since 1990, the Capital City is having a moderate development under democratic governments. – B: 1216, 7103, T: 7103.→Aquincum; Attila; Mátyás I, King; Buda Castle; Buda Castle District; Budapest Siege.