Finding Medieval Budapest in the 21st Century


Marilyn JonesBudapest became a city in 1872 when three separate settlements — Pest, Buda and Óbuda (Old Buda) — were united. But settlement on the shores of the Danube River dates as far as the Old Stone Age. Second millennium BC Bronze Age sites have also been uncovered.


By the time of the Renaissance era, Buda and Pest were thriving. The royal court moved to Buda in 1347 and Pest developed into a prosperous trading center. In the fifteenth century Matthias Corvinus, King of Hungary and Croatia, extended the Royal Palace and Buda, together with neighboring Visegrád, became a center of Renaissance culture.


Before boarding the Viking River Cruises Lif to embark on the Passage to Eastern Europe cruise, I first stayed at Hilton Budapest in the Buda Castle District. The area was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987. According to UNESCO, “This site has the remains of monuments such as the Roman city of Aquincum and the Gothic castle of Buda, which have had a considerable influence on the architecture of various periods. It is one of the world's outstanding urban landscapes and illustrates the great periods in the history of the Hungarian capital.”

Matthias Church

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