The area around Budapest was already inhabited around 2000 BC. At 10 BC The area west of the Danube, today’s Óbuda district, was settled by the Romans, who built the Aquincum fortress there in 19 BC. The new province was named Pannonia Inferior. The fortress became the seat of the Roman governor. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Huns invaded the province from the east and took over Aquincum by treaty. A few years later, the Huns began their bloody campaigns of conquest and established the Hunnic empire under King Attila(395-453). After his death it disintegrated and other tribes such as the Ostrogoths, Lombards, Avars and Slavs colonized the area.
At the end of the 9th century, seven Hungarian tribes came to the country and settled in the area around Óbuda. They undertook campaigns of conquest to western and southern Europe. The first Hungarian king became Stephen I (969-1038) in the year 1000. The Christianization of the country began under him. The residences of the kings were in Esztergom and Székesfehérvár. In the 12th century, merchants settled in Buda and Pest and the cities gained economic importance. In 1241 the Mongols invaded the area and almost completely destroyed the city. In the course of the reconstruction, under King Béla IV(1206-1270), king from 1235, also built the castle and fortifications. After the Arpáden line died out in 1301, the throne was ascended by the Anjou dynasty.
According to themotorcyclers, Hungary experienced a political and economic boom in the following years. At the beginning of the 16th century Buda and Pest fell into the hands of the Turks. During the 150 years of Ottoman rule, the churches were converted into mosques and many healing springs were turned into baths. In 1686 the House of Habsburg managed to recapture the city under Charles of Lorraine. In gratitude for the liberation from the Turks, the Habsburgs received the right of succession to the throne from the Hungarians. Resistance from the population was put down. In 1740 the Austrian Maria Theresa (1717-1780) ascended the throne and a new royal palace was built. Forty years later, German was declared the official language and Buda and Pest became university towns. In 1873 the cities of Buda, Pest and Óbuda were united to form the provincial capital Budapest.
A few years later, the first subway line on the European continent opened in Budapest. Many new buildings and monuments, such as the Millennium Monument on Heldenplatz and the Fisherman’s Bastion, were erected to mark the millennium of the Hungarians’ conquest of the land.
During the First World War Austria- Hungary fought on the German side. After the defeat and collapse of the Austrian monarchy, a Soviet republic was established in Hungary in March 1919, although it only existed for a few months. In November 1919, the ultra-conservative Miklós Horthy (1868-1957) moved into Budapest and took power. Thousands of supporters of the Soviet Republic were murdered in the course of the White Terror. Economically, Budapest and the rest of Hungary went downhill in the post-war years, but Hungary also took part in World War II as an ally of Germany. The Hungarian Jews were deported and murdered. At the end of 1944 the Red Army besieged Budapest and street fighting broke out in the city. After the liberation in February 1945, three quarters of the city were destroyed.
After Hungary was declared a People’s Republic in 1949, the “Stalinist system” was introduced in the country. Budapest expanded over the years through the incorporation of further urban areas and the expansion of heavy industry was promoted. In October 1956 the Hungarian popular uprising broke out in the city, which was bloodily crushed, leaving tens of thousands dead and a heavily devastated inner city. 200,000 Hungarians then left the country. In the 1970s, the old city centers of Budapest were redeveloped in order to stimulate tourism, which was also successful. On October 23, 1989, Hungary was declared a republic and the socialist monuments and emblems, such as the red star on the parliament, were removed. In 2000, to mark the 1000th anniversary of the founding of the state, several new buildings were erected and Budapest embellished. In addition, the coronation insignia was transferred from the National Museum to Parliament.
On May 1, 2004, Hungary became a member of the EU, which was especially celebrated in Budapest.
The very scenic region between Szentendre and Esztergom stretches along the Danube. The Pilis Mountains are on the right bank, the Börzsöny Mountains rise in the north and the Viségrad Hills in the south. The mountain regions are good for hiking. The following picturesque towns are also located in the 60 km long section of the Danube Bend:
The small town is located about 60 km northwest of Budapest. The cathedral and the royal palace are worth seeing.
The pretty little baroque town, in which a lot of handicrafts are offered, is located about 20 km northeast of Budapest. The Szentendre open-air museum is 3 km north of the town. There you can visit original replicas of ancient Hungarian settlements and villages.
(Opening times: Tue-Sun 9 am-5pm, www.sznm.hu)
The historic center of the small baroque town, 30 km north of Budapest, is particularly worth seeing.
The village is a good 40 km north of Budapest above the Danube. The main attractions are the Royal Palace and the Citadel.