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January 24th 2021
Published: January 24th 2021
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http://www.heygo.com 23rd January



Our tour commenced at The Citadel in Budapest high above the city & the Danube River on top of Gellert Hill. To the left Buda and to the right Pest.



The Citadel is a U-shaped 19th century fortress of about 220 metres long, 60 metres wide, and 4 metres tall, part of the UNESCO World Heritage site, the fortress was turned into a lookout tower / stronghold.



We took in the magnificent views and then stopped at the Statue of Liberty, erected by the communists to celebrate Budapest’s liberation from the Nazi troops – and then its suppression by the Soviets?

The strong female figure of the Statue of Liberty – characteristically of the Socialist-realist art – is also a woman of hard work and strong muscles rather than the Greek – Roman heritage of grace and elegance.



After the change of regime in 1989, when the Soviet troops finally left Hungary, the Hungarians decided to keep the Statue of Liberty (The woman on the hill).

Most of the communist statues were destroyed or moved to the Communist Statue Park.



There
was a lot of people walking out today, taking exercise, walking up or down the hill. We set off DOWN the hill, stopping at the various lookout points along the way.



The green Freedom or Liberty Bridge spanning the river has an interesting history.

The thirds and shortest bridge of Budapest, built in 1896, its original name being Francis Joseph Bridge.

Construction was started in June 1894. It was inaugurated by Francis Joseph I, who hammered in the last silver rivet on the Pest side on 4 October 1896, at the festivities held for the thousand-year jubilee of Hungary. The bridge was named Francis Joseph after the Emperor. Two years later, in 1898 tramway traffic was started on the bridge.



During World War II, on 16 January 1945, Francis Joseph Bridge, as every other bridge in Budapest, was blown up by retreating German troops. After the end of the war, it would be the first bridge to be reconstructed, only its central parts had to be rebuilt. It was reopened for traffic on 20 August 1946, its new name being Liberty Bridge. It meant also the first time after the liberation of
Hungary that a tram connecting Buda and Pest crossed the bridge.



As we made our way down the hill we passed Hotel Gellért, famous for its Thermal Baths.



Our final stop was at The Gellért Hill Cave Church, part of a network of caves within the hill.

The cave is also referred to as "Saint Ivan's Cave", regarding a hermit who lived there and is believed to have used the natural thermal water of a muddy lake next to the cave to heal the sick.



Another interesting tour with amazing panoramic views even in a cloudy day.


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