Budapest, Hungary - The Castle District
By Rick Chapo
Towering a couple hundred feet above the Danube River, the Castle District in Budapest is a special place. Surrounded by gothic churches with stain glass, a visit to the Castle District is like stepping back into the renaissance.
Situated in the Buda section of Budapest, the Castle District sits on the eastern side of the Danube. Positioned a couple hundred feet above the Danube, the entire city of Budapest can be seen from the numerous vantage points. The view is so amazing, the Italians coined a saying, "Europe has three gems - Venice on the water, Florence in the plains and Buda in the hills." The Italians definitely got it right.
Visiting Buda Castle is like stepping back into the heights of the renaissance. The Castle is adorned with red marble stairways, gothic facades, bastions and epic statutes overlooking the Danube. The fountains around the Castle simply can't be described with words.
Holy Trinity Square
Just to the south of Buda Castle lies holy trinity square. The Church of the Holy Lady, which is also known as Matthias Church, dominates the square. The church has served as the location where Hungarian Kings undertook their rule and many famous figures are interred on the grounds.
Behind Matthias Church is the rather interesting Fishermen's Bastion. This Roman bastion has the appearance of a mini-castle at Disneyland. The views from the parapets are amazing as you take in the Danube River as it cuts through Budapest. Just outside of Bastion, however, you have to keep your eye out for something amazing.
Hungarians historically have been some of the best horsemen in the world. As part of the tradition, the horseman carried bullwhips instead of ropes. Big bull whips. And they like to crack them just outside of the bastion. If you aren't paying attention when this occurs, the world's loudest snap will send scare the "you know what out of you. The only thing I can equate it to is the sound of rolling thunder, but without the rolling. When it happens, drinks, food and cameras go flying.
If you're visiting Budapest, the Castle District is definitely worth a visit. In fact, the District is a good reason to go to Budapest.