Above are the Royal Palace with the Szechenyi (Chain) Bridge across the Danube River, from the top of the Viking Gefjon river boat, the first night of the cruise up the Danube.
Bascilica of St. Stephen
One of the most visible landmarks in Budapest, and arguably the most important Catholic Church in Hungary. Built between 1851 and 1905 in the neoclassical style. The painted walls made me think of a carnival!
The chair would be for the Bishop (note the double cross), but this mainly historical church is not "the Cathedral" in Budapest.
World War II
This section is "modern history." The experience of the Jewish populations and others persecuted in the Holocaust is far more visible now in Europe than when I lived in Germany. In former Communist countries -- in this case, Hungary and Slovakia -- there are additional experiences to add that stemmed from WWII, such as the "Liberty Statue" memorial below to Soviet troops that liberated Budapest in WWII, which has been changed since the wall came down...as the Soviets "overstayed their welcome" as one tour guide described it. "Memento Park" was created in 1992 to be the home to all kinds of Soviet memorabilia, including statues of soldiers that were around the Liberty Statue. You will also read delicately written background of the Gresham Palace further below. The Grand Synagogue testifies to the large Jewish community that remains in Budapest - I didn't get a photo of the whole building, and because it was Saturday, we weren't able to tour it.
The Gresham Palace
We had a good tip that the bar at the Gresham Palace was a great place to go, so we did for our first night in Budapest. The history is on the plaque in the photo below - completed in 1904, nearly destroyed in WWII, and then, nationalized...and in serious disrepair until 1999, when renovated to become a Four Seasons hotel. The pictures show that wonderful Art Nouveau / Beaux Arts style. What a fun place!
The Hungarian National Museum
We did not tour the Museum, but the towering statues of "WAR" (left) and "PEACE" (right) were so elaborate that I had to include it here. The zoom lens removes the appreciation of the enormous height, but lets you see the detail.
Many of the following photos were shot out a bus window, but I was so drawn to the gorgeous buildings in Budapest! I've tried to show details - almost no full building shots are here...and I don't know the names of any of the structures...I just loved them!
Budapest at Night and the Danube River Bend
It was finally the day the ship embarked on our cruise, and we started with an "up and back" tour of Budapest from the Danube at night, so up on the roof we went with the camera. It was fabulous! Then we left Budapest behind, and headed soon into the Danube Bend, where I got a few shots of the beauty of the hills and winding river.
Margaret and her namesake, the Margaret Bridge!