09 April 2009

Budapessht - Fisherman's Bastion and Budavar Castle

There is so much to do in Budapest, and the sites are all within relatively easy walking distance -- if you don't mind walking for 8 miles a day and carrying a 2 seater stroller up a couple hundred stairs...

This is the famous Chain bridge. It looks like a small version of the Brooklyn bridge. It linked the two halves of the city and Elora was always excited to see it. The bridge crossed the Danube and Elora would say, "This river goes all the way to Vienna!"

This is the Fishermans Bastion and St. Matthias cathedral in the background (of course under scaffolding). It wouldn't be a vacation if something wasn't under construction.

After walking up several hundred stairs, we made it to the top, with a nice courtyard and a man in medieval costume selling falcon or eagle demonstrations. For a fee he'd let you hold the bird. We let Elora look at it for free...

Elora was really excited to run around at the top and look out over the rest of the city. She said "there is a beautiful view". The building in the background is the Parliment building...more on that later.

This is part of the Fishermans Bastion (or Halászbástya as it is called in Hungarian...) It was named after the place where the Fishermen could look out over the river and defend it in medieval times.

The architecture is very beautiful. We read that the walls have seven large spires to represent the seven original tribes that settled in the Budapest area in 896. It interesting to be in an area with history that goes back so far that people still remember.

The inside was packed with people playing music or kids running around doing art projects. The art teacher was scolding a couple kids for not working on their drawings and listening to the musicians instead. What a neat opportunity. We were lucky enough to get a picture without all the crowds, but within a minute or two it was filled up again.

This is part of the Budai var castle. It was an old defensive castle that looked out over the valley. It was destroyed and rebuilt several times by the Muslims then the Christians then the Communists and these fortifications were uncovered during excavation after WW2. It dates back to the 1200s or earlier.

Behind the castle walls was a palace with a large museum inside. We didn't go inside because we had so much walking to do and Oliver was getting upset at being confined to the stroller for so long (although he giggled the entire way as we carried the stroller up the stairs).

Part of the castle walls, it winds all the way down to the river.

The kids being silly. Oliver still didn't want to be put back in the stroller...

Not sure what this mosaic painting is for but it is very beautifully done. If you look at the big picture the entire thing is little painted mosaic tiles. Pretty cool.

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