This stretch of the Danube has been the location of human settlement since the Palaeolithic. It was the site of the Roman city of Aquincum, situated to the north of the inscribed property which comprises parts of two originally quite separate cities: Buda on the spur on the right bank and Pest on the plain on the left bank. Pest was the first medieval urban centre, devastated in 1241-2. A few years later the castle of Buda was built on a rocky spur on the right bank by King Bela IV. Thereafter, the city reflected the history of the Hungarian monarchy. After the end of the Turkish occupation, recovery did not really begin until the 18th century. In the 19th century, the city’s role as a capital was enhanced by the foundation of the Hungarian Academy, housed from 1862 in a neo-renaissance palace, and by the construction of the imposing neo-gothic Parliament building (1884–1904). W.T. Clark’s suspension bridge, finalised in 1849, symbolised the reunification of Buda and Pest, which did not actually come about until 1873. The symbol of the development of the city as a modern metropolis was the radial Andrássy Avenue, which was included in the property in 2002. From 1872, the Avenue radically transformed the urban structure of Pest, together with the construction of the European continent’s first underground railway beneath it in 1893-6.
As a centre for receiving and disseminating cultural influences, Budapest is an outstanding example of urban development in Central Europe, characterised by periods of devastation and revitalisation. Budapest has retained the separate structural characteristics of the former cities of Pest, Buda and Óbuda. One example thereof is the Buda Castle Quarter with its medieval and characteristically Baroque style, which are distinct from the extended and uniquely homogeneous architecture of Pest (with its historicising and art nouveau styles) which is characterised by outstanding public buildings and fitted into the ringed-radial city structure. All this is organized into a unity arising from the varied morphological characteristics of the landscape and the Danube, the two banks of which are linked by a number of bridges. The urban architectural ensemble of the Andrássy Avenue (‘The Avenue’) and its surroundings (Heroes’ Square, the City Park, historic inner city districts and public buildings) are high-quality architectural and artistic realisations of principles of urbanism reflecting tendencies, which became widespread in the second part of the 19th century. The scenic view of the banks of the Danube as part of the historic urban landscape is a unique example of the harmonious interaction between human society and a natural environment characterised by varied morphological conditions (Gellért Hill with the Citadel and the Buda Hills partly covered with forests, the broad Danube river with its islands and Pest’s flat terrain rising with a slight gradient).
Criterion (ii): Aquincum played an essential role in the diffusion of Roman architectural forms in Pannonia, then in Dacia. Buda Castle played an essential role in the diffusion of Gothic art in the Magyar region from the 14th century. In the reign of Matthias Corvinus, Buda was an artistic centre comparable, due to its influence, to that of Cracow. As a result of the unification of Pest, Buda and Óbuda in 1872-73, Budapest became once more a significant centre in the second part of the 19th and at the beginning of the 20th century due to the amount and quality of heritage built during those periods. It was a centre which absorbed, integrated and disseminated outstanding and progressive European influences of urbanism and of architecture as well as modern technological developments such as the Millennium Underground Railway, built under Andrássy Avenue, the first in Continental Europe, all of which was in line with its role as a metropolis.
Criterion (iv): Buda Castle is an architectural ensemble which, together with the nearby old district (the Buda Castle Quarter) illustrates two significant periods of history which were separated by an interval corresponding to the Turkish invasion. The Parliament is also an outstanding example of a great official building on a par with those of London, Munich, Vienna and Athens, exemplifying the eclectic architecture of the 19th century, whilst at the same time symbolising the political function of the second capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Andrássy Avenue (1872–1885) and the Millennium Underground Railway (1893 – 1896) are representative examples of the implementation of planning solutions associated with the latest technical facilities of the day to meet the requirements of an emerging modern society. Architecturally, the Avenue has great integrity in its eclectic, neo-renaissance buildings.
Budapest is the capital city of Hungary. With a unique, youthful atmosphere, world-class classical music scene, a pulsating nightlife increasingly appreciated among European youth, and last but not least, an exceptional offer of natural thermal baths, Budapest is one of Europe’s most delightful and enjoyable cities. Due to the exceedingly scenic setting, and its architecture it is nicknamed “Paris of the East”. The modern-day Budapest results from the amalgamation of two historic cities lying right opposite each other over the Danube river. Buda is the western (left) bank side, with the high hill atop which the Buda castle sits. Pest is the relatively flat eastern (right) bank side, with the Parliament, numerous other stately buildings, and busy streets retaining all their 19th century architectural heritage. [read more]
Kecskemet is a town in central Hungary and the county seat of Bács-Kiskun county, half way between Budapest and Szeged, almost equal distance from the two big rivers of the country, Danube and Tisza. The city is well known for its secessionist architecture, museums, and for being the birthplace of composer Zoltan Kodály. The main train and bus stations are located about 10 minutes east of downtown, where most of the attractions are and can easily be reached by foot. If you need to take the bus, Kunság Volán runs the local bus company. Besides buying pálinka or postcards, the town is wanting in any souvenirs specifics to Kecskemét. There are several places to buy folk crafts, especially during the Spring Festival in late March. The town is in the centre of a fruit growing region. Kecskemét is the home of palinka (Hungarian fruit vodka). [read more]
Szeged is the third-largest city in Hungary is a town in Hungary, located in the Southeast of the country and known as “the city of sunshine” for its brilliant weather, as well as for the imposing cathedral, a wealth of Art Nouveau and historicist buildings, and for the fish soup Halászlé. Szeged lies on Hungary’s south-eastern border, just south of the mouth of the Maros river on both banks of the river Tisza. It is about 171 km South of Budapest on the M5 highway. It is the lowest elevation city in the country and is known as the “City of Sunshine”, because it has the highest number of sunny days throughout the year. Szeged is the main city in Csongrád county and serves as a commercial and cultural center of the region. According to the 2011 data, the city’s population was around 170.000. [read more]