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The Hungarian Parliament Building Budapest

The Hungarian Parliament Building in Budapest viewed across the Danube

Budapest – First Sights and Impressions

The Danube brought us to Budapest. Our cruise ship makes its way between Pest on the left bank, fronted by the grand Hungarian Parliament building and hilly Buda on our right to a mooring at the foot of the Chain Bridge. The view is classic; the city’s oldest bridge, iron chains dipping gracefully between stone piers, against the backdrop of the Royal Palace complex on Castle Hill. Our first foray into the city is on a tour bus – a slow drive down broad Andrássy Avenue with glimpses of designer…

Shoes on the Danube Promenade

I found this memorial to the Budapest Jews executed by the facist Arrow Cross Party during the winter of 1944 -45 particularly moving. Sixty pairs of shoes, sculptured in iron, represent the valuable footwear victims were forced to remove before being shot into the icy waters of the Danube.  You imagine the people who wore them; a lady’s shoe finely stitched and crafted,  mens boots, the small shoes of a child.  The memorial is the work of Hungarian sculptor Gyula Pauer and Can Togay.  You’ll find it near the Hungarian…

Sumptuous Style at the St George Residence

We are walking along the cobbled streets of the historic Castle District in Buda heading for the chivalrously named St George Residence and the promise of a night in a Baroque house fully restored as a luxury hotel.  It’s a well worn path, as the Fortuna Inn the building was at the heart of Buda society; the place where intellectuals and business men gathered and anyone of importance from archdukes to generals stayed. A banner depicting St George and the dragon hangs above the entrance. Stepping through the arched gateway…