Budapest: A Feast for the Eyes

Every street, every building, every touristy corner of Budapest is eye candy. Without even trying we saw some of the most beautiful Gothic and Renaissance architecture ever erected. Oh, sure, we went to the museums and the churches, but suffice it to say that a fair portion of our week was spent wandering around with ice cream cones and staring at the architecture.

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These buildings were around the corner from the place we stayed. Photo by Tricia.
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The whole building was one big fresco. Photo by Ryan.

It was crazy beautiful everywhere we went. We’d often walk around a building looking for more information about it, but there was almost never any indication about who built it or what it’s original use was.

Since Budapest was already built up by the time the Nazis and the Fascists came through it was blessedly spared the depressing Communist architecture that haunts many of the Balkan nations.

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The place never stops impressing. Photo by Tricia.
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The streets are clean, quiet, and gorgeous. Photo by Tricia.

While the architecture was spared the horrors of the Nazis and Fascists, the people were not. A tour of the old Jewish Quarter is a must, as is a visit to the House of Terror.

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The Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter is a beautiful structure built in the Moorish design. Photo by Tricia.
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Inside the Synagogue just as beautiful. Tours are free and in just about every language; just take a seat next to your flag and someone will come along. Photo by Tricia.

The churches are magnificent, and rivaled (in my opinion) only by Italy’s. We were very impressed by the Matthias Church in particular.

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The Gothic style Matthias Church in the Buda Castle district. Photo by Tricia.
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Detail from the roof of Matthias Church. Photo by Tricia.
Inside the Matthias Church was even more impressive than the outside. Every inch is painted. Photo by Ryan.
Detail of the ceiling in the Matthias Church. Photo by Ryan.

The masterpiece of Budapest is definitely Parliament, a building that has been heralded as the “Cathedral of Democracy.”

The view of Parliament from the Buda side of the river. Photo by Ryan.
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Detail of the dome. It’s a massive structure and sumptuously decorated. Photo by Tricia.
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Inside, the Grand Staircase took our breath away. Access is by timed tour only. Photo by Tricia.

I loved Budapest. It’s one of those rare gems where the commute from place to place is just as beautiful as the big attractions. I would return in a heartbeat.

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