BUDA, the historic side of the Hungarian capital is located on a territory of 173 square kms on the right side of the Danube. This part of the town is famous for its beautiful Castle district, the Gellért Hill with Citadel and also for the fact, that the richest people of Hungary live in this party of the town. The Castle district heightens approx 50-60 metres above the Danube, so from here a picturesque panorama opens for whole town.
The Castle district is the part of the 1st district and lies lenghtwise 1,5 kms in a form of acute angle. The peak of this triangle on the Southern side, at the Royal Palace, is almost at the Danube bank, but on the upper Northern side, this acute angle flares out to 400 metres wide, and shoves 1 kilometre out from the Danube.
This hilly part of the Castle district was always a strategic, and well defensible point alongside the Danube, for that reason this territory was populated continuously already from the bronze age. But the first great constructions began only after the invasion of the Mongols in 1241-42, when King Béla IV. transposed the royal court residence from Esztergom to Buda. He set up a castle on this hill and high defense walls around it, and placed here even the remaining population of Pest, who survived the invasion of Mongols.
After 1301, the extinction of Árpád dynasty, it was Charles Robert who got the Hungarian trone. But as he had a lot of enemies amoung the German immigrants who became leaders in the meantime in Buda, Charles Robert placed the royal residence to Visegrád, and Buda did not develop.
It was his son, Louis The Great ( Louis I. ) who returned to Buda and organized a double royal residence in Visegrád and in Buda, and this settlement rebegan to intensively develop. We can say without exaggeration that the ruling of three great kings in 14th and 15th centuries: Louis the Great, Sigismund and Mathias, has brought the brightest increase period into the life of Buda. These three rulers had constructed the Castle district and the Royal palace in the actual form.
After the death of King Mathias in 1490, this settlement of about 8000 inhabitants began to retrograde intensively, the Ottomans occupied it in August 1541, and they were ruling on Buda almost 150 years. They developed only the fortress lines and they disregarded all other buildings which were not important for them. They turned several buildings into djamis. The united christian troopes could retake Buda and the Castle only on September 2nd 1686, after a strong 75 day assault. The great party of the buildiings were demolished, even the Royal Palace. The population number fell down to 616 persons. After the Ottoman ruling the Palace was rebuilt in Baroque style.
In 1703, Buda had been a free royal town, but was under the control of royal resident committee, located at Pozsony ( actually Bratislava ) ( the Hungarian Parliament had its seats in Pozsony upto 1790 ). During the War of Independence of 1848-49, the Hungarian soldiers got back the Castle district from the emperor's troops in May 1849, but after the fall of the war, the Austrian oppressive army had returned to Buda.
In 1873, the 3 great neighbouring settlements, Buda, Pest and Óbuda have been fused under the name of Budapest. From this moment, BUDA, as the other parts of the new world town met a hyper development period, which lost out upto the Second World War, even Trianon's horrible tragedy of 1920 could not stop this process. During the intensive bombardments of 1944-45, fifth of the houses was completely destructed, but also the other buildings became uninhabitable. The Royal Palace burned out. After the Second World War all the Castle district was restaured in its actual form with a careful work of monument defense.
Sights of Buda:
In the Castle district:
On the Gellért hill: