Gellert Hill, Budapest
Gellert Hill is one of the most famous tourist places in Budapest. It is correct to call it a hill, since the height is only 235 m, but, nevertheless, it is also one of the highest points of the capital of Hungary. Here are some very interesting and significant sights. In addition, the top offers a beautiful view of the whole city and all the bridges across the Danube.
History of the area
Since ancient times, this place was an important winemaking area of Buda. Earlier, in the Middle Ages, the mountain was called Kelen-hegy. It received the modern name in the 15th century, in honor of Gellért Sagredo. He was a Catholic missionary who brought Christianity in Hungary in the 11th century.
In the 18th century, all the slopes of the hill were planted with grapes. At the same time a small chapel was built on top. On Easter holidays, people rose to the top in the solemn procession. Thanks to the thermal springs that are under the mountain, 2 swimming pools have been built near the foot, which have a rich history. In the middle of the 19th century a powerful fortress was built on the mountain. Already in the 20th century, several monuments and a monastery were established here, thanks to which the Pauline Order still exists. Now on the hill there are numerous excursions, there are several observation platforms, restaurants and cafes.
Attractions of the Gellert Hill
To see all the beauty with your own eyes, it's worthwhile to climb here on foot. Fortunately, the slope is not steep. It is worth to visit Gellért Hill not only for panoramic contemplation of the city, but also for the sake of a large concentration of interesting objects here. They will be discussed below.
- Statue of St Gellért. Monk and Catholic missionary, in honor of whom the hill was named. He was invited by the King of Hungary István I and preached Christianity throughout the country. After the death of the monarch, persecution of Christians began. On September 24, 1046, the preacher was placed in a barrel filled with nails and dropped from the mountain to the Danube, where he was stoned. At the end of the 11th century he was canonized. The monument was installed on the site of the death of the Saint in 1904. Gellért is captured, holding a crucifix. Nearby there is a small fountain and a waterfall.
- Citadella. This is a huge fortress built by the Habsburg dynasty in 1854. Its construction began in 1850. The reason for it was the revolution of 1848-1849. The Citadel was created with a fortification purpose, for the defense of the city in the event of the following riots. Since then, it was possible to fire in different directions with 60 guns. During the 1956 uprising, Soviet tanks fired from here. Now this is an observation point. There is also a bunker museum dedicated to World War II. On the territory of the observation platform there is an object, which will be discussed further.
- The Statue of Liberty. A huge monument can be seen from all over the city. On a pedestal 26 m high there is a woman (14 m) with a palm branch, which is a symbol of peace. The monument was established in 1947 in honor of the liberation of Budapest from the German troops. Another 2 smaller monuments, which were near him, were transferred to the Memory Park in 1990, where statues not only of the times of socialism were collected.
- The Garden of Philosophy. In fact, this is not a garden, but a sculptural composition, established in 2001. Author – Wagner Nandor. But not exactly philosophers are depicted here. At the foot there are statues of the founders of the five world religions: Jesus Christ, the Jewish patriarch Abraham, the Buddha, the Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten, the ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu. Behind them there are three more statues: the Indian reformer Mahatma Gandhi, the founder of one of the branches of Buddhism Bodhidharma, and the founder of the Catholic order of the Franciscans, St Francis of Assisi.
- Monument "King Buda and Queen Pest". It is dedicated to two parts of Budapest. It was installed in 1982 by the architect Márta Lesenyei. Under its base there is an underground water reservoir.
- The Cave Church. It is located in a natural cave below the mountain. Here people lived for a long time already. In 1924, the monks of the Order of Saint Paul created a church and their own monastery here. The cave was expanded with explosives. During the Second World War there was a hospital here. After it, the Communists blew up the church and immured the entrance. In 1992, the divine services were resumed and restored.
To the South of the Citadel, on the slopes of the hill there is a park, in which there are playgrounds and several small monuments. On the Southern and Eastern sides of the mountain there is the Gellért Baths and the Rudas Baths, respectively.
How to get there
Gellért Hill in Budapest is located on the West bank of the Danube, between the Elisabeth bridge and the Liberty bridge. You can climb on the hill itself on foot. It is best to begin near the Gellért Bath. You can get here by the following transport:
- Metro, line M4. Get off at the stop Szent Gellért tér.
- Bus, routes 7, 907, 973, 133E, go to Szent Gellért tér M.
- Trams of routes 19, 41, 47, 48, 49, 56, 56A, the stop is the same – Szent Gellért tér M.