Budapest, Hungary’s capital, on both sides of the Danube, 30 km south of the Danube Knee; 1.7 million residents (World Atlas 2015). Budapest is the country’s economic, cultural and administrative center, main railway hub and port city. International Airport (Ferihegy). Subway opened in 1896, the second oldest in Europe. At the northern tip of Csepel Island south of the center is a modern river port with free port, large yards and more. Most of Hungary’s foreign trade goes over Budapest. The city has considerable industry, and Pestis the most industrialized part of the city. North of Pest are the iron and steel plants in Újpest, even further north are large chemical and pharmaceutical factories. On Csepel Island lies a concentration of facilities for the heavy industry. From ancient times Budapest is known as a seaside resort, later as an amusement and tourist town. The oldest of the six universities was founded in 1635, moved to Buda in 1777 and to Pest in 1784. The city has many colleges, academies, rich museums and art collections, zoological and botanical gardens.
Budapest consists of Buda on the right river bank (ridge bank) and the larger district of Pest on the left bank (ridge bank), besides extensive newer areas. The two river sides are connected by six road bridges and two railway bridges. On the Buda side is the castle up on the old fortress rock, and Matthias Church, founded 1015, rebuilt in Romanesque style in the mid-1200s and completed in Gothic style in the 1400s. Here the Hungarian kings were crowned. The church is one of the few buildings left before the Turks. On the Pest side, the parliament building’s 265 m long facade faces the Danube. Here also lies the Academy of Sciences, the National Theater, the Opera and St. Stephen’s Church, built 1873-1902, the city’s largest church building. At Margareta Island there are thermal baths, park and sports facilities and open air theater. Parts of Budapest, including the Buda Castle, are on the UNESCO List of World Cultural and Natural Heritage.
Buda can be traced back to the Roman colony Aquincum, ‘the water-rich’, founded for well over 100 years or so In 1241 both Buda and the younger Pest were burned by the Tatars. Rebuilt, including by German colonists, Buda became the capital of Hungary in 1361, while Pest developed into an important trading town. The Turkish era in 1541–1686 caused a severe setback, but with the support of Maria Teresia and Joseph 2, the cities soon recovered, especially Pest, which around 1800 became the most important. In 1813 the total population was 36,000.
In 1848 the parliament was moved from Bratislava to Buda. In 1872, Buda, Ó-Buda (‘Old-Buda’) and Pest were united into one city, which in 1881 had 370 767 residents. By 1900 the figure had increased to 716 476. Before the Second World War, Buda had nearly 20 percent Jews and some Germans. Both groups had largely disappeared after the war. In 1919, Buda was in the hands of Béla Kun and then for three months occupied by the Romanians. 1944–45, the city remained in the front line for several months. Plague was consumed by the Red Army Jan. 18. 1945, Buda Feb 12 One-third of all houses were more or less destroyed, 70 percent of all buildings in Buda.