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Gellérthegy and The Old City

The Ruins of Contra Aquincum 17G V. Március 15. tér ••• This open-air museum holds the remains of an old Roman fortress. The eastern border of the Roman Empire was the Danube, which means that only the Buda side was within the Roman province of Pannonia. From the end of the 3rd century this fortress – which was 84 by 86 metres wide and had walls three metres thick – served as an outpost situated opposite the nearby town of Aquincum, as the name indicates. It is documented that the Emperor Julian, and even Constantine the Great, visited the fortress. There are other, more important Roman remains in much better preserved surroundings at the Aquincum Museum in Óbuda. Piarist School (Piarista Gimnázium) 17J V. Pesti Barnabás utca 1. ••• Established in 1717, this was originally a Catholic monastery and it was the earliest catholic high school (gimnázium). The present building was designed by Dezső Hültl and built

PARK_Budapest_belivek_v065.indd 176-177

Pest Franciscan Church

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between 1915 and 1918. In the early 1950s it was confiscated and turned into the Fa­culty of Arts (where I was given a lengthy tertiary education). Péterfy Palace (Péterfy-palota) 17H V. Pesti Barnabás utca 2. ••• The Piarist School dwarfs this little house, which looks even smaller since it lies below street level. When Pest was still enclosed by walls, all houses were this size or smaller. This one was probably designed by András Mayerhoffer in 1756. The restaurant situated in the palace it is not 100 years old like its name (Százéves) indicates. It has been an operating restaurant for at least 150 years. Paris Arcade (Párisi udvar) 17M V. Ferenciek tere 5. ••• This building, designed by Henrik Schmal, was built in 1909. The bank that commissioned it had offices on the ground floor which are now used by the IBUSZ Travel Agency. The arcade was enlarged in the 1980s with a new passageway that branches off and opens into Haris köz. Because of bad design and cheap, un-cleanable materials, it has become a sort of a slum in a mere decade. Design students should be brought here to learn how to build (demonstrated by the old part of the building) and how not to build (demonstrated by the new part). Otherwise, the building is worth exploring. Franciscan Church (Pesti ferences templom) 18A V. Ferenciek tere 2. ••• This church shows the influence of Italian Baroque rather than the Austrian version which gave us yellow churches with towers that look like radish helmets. It also follows the medieval Franciscan pattern of having a separate bell tower cum vestry. A Gothic church was located on the site in the 13th century and the present building was finished in 1758. It is dedicated to St. Peter of Alcantara (1499 – 1562), who founded a branch of the Franciscan Order. His statue is in the middle niche above the choir window. On the church’s left wall, there is a large memorial tablet commemorating the catastrophic 1838 flood when the whole of the present-day inner city was under water. In some districts 90 percent of the buildings collapsed. Count Miklós Wesselényi, “the sailor of the flood”, was a hero of the rescue efforts and is portrayed here in action. Dreadful as it was, this flood made it possible to build a new and safer inner city in Pest.

Walk THREE

Walk THREE

poetic form. He introduced the vernacular into Hungarian verse, and so he inevitably acquired the title of “the Robert Burns of Hungary”. His short life was a full one: his love was requited, he took part in a victorious revolution, and he became a soldier to fight for his country. He was killed in one of the last battles of the Hungarian War of Independence. Following his death, a rumour that he was still alive circulated the country for many years. It was followed up on in the early 1990s by a self-made millionaire who sent a team to Siberia to dig up a grave. The corpse they happened to unearth later proved to be that of a young lady. Petőfi is the first poet Hungarian children study in detail at school. Despite various attempts at translation, he remains virtually unknown abroad. Today there are eighteen different streets and squares named after Petőfi in Budapest, many other things are also named after him: a museum, a bridge, an army camp and a radio channel, to mention just a few.

Gellérthegy and The Old City

Café Centrál (Centrál kávéház) 18B V. Károlyi Mihály utca 16., Tel: 266-2110, www.centralkavehaz.hu, open daily 8 a.m. to midnight. ••• In the good old days, the Centrál was the grandest of

2011.04.20. 15:49:32

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The Celebrated Insider's Guide, upgraded many times, probably the deepest and funnieast and truest portrait of any major European city. With...

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