Budapest – City Park

Vajdahunyad Castle

At the end of Andrassy Avenue, behind Heroe’s square, you will find a large green park.  It is simply named City Park.  This park seemingly brings you to a new country, with a new, slower rhythm.  It is hard to believe you are in the city center at all.

As you enter the park, there is a beautiful castle.  The Vajdahunyad Castle was built in 1896. Despite its antique appearance, this castle is just over 100 years old.  It was built in honor of the 1000th anniversary of the city.  The mandate of its construction was to take inspiration from different architectural landmarks and present the history of the Hungarians “Magyars”.  Influenced by different style from around the country, the structure looks ancient.

For those wondering, it was never a royal or noble residence, but built as an exhibition piece only.  It is currently home to the museum of agriculture. There is a larger one in Europe which presents exhibitions on wine making, gardening, fishing and more.

Its original structure was meant to be temporary for the event. It was therefore made of cardboard and wood. However, it became so popular that between 1904 and 1908 that is was rebuilt with stone and brick to last beyond the original timeframe. 

A statue Anonymus sits in front.  With a pencil in the hand, it represents a chronicler.  I was charmed by this statue, I don’t know why, but it makes you think.

The Vajdahunyad Castle is on a very small island called Szechenyi and is surrounded by water.  The access from behind Heroe’s Square is nice.

Szechenyi baths and pools

A full review if this place has been the subject of other posts.

This 1913 yellow dome building is gorgeous and stands out in the City Park.  It contains 18 pools of different temperatures, saunas and as well as offering beauty treatments including massages.

Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden

I had such a beautiful souvenir of this zoo when we were here the first time a few years ago (2011) but my opinion has completely changed now. It looked neglected and the enclosure did not seem quite adequate. Currently, I would say skip the visit.

This is the reason I’m not so keen in revisiting the same place twice.  I sometimes believe that if you have a nice memory of one place, it might not be the same the next time.

The Budapest zoo is the oldest zoo in Hungary and one of the oldest in the world, having opened its door in 1866. However, only 15 specimens survived second world war and it was closed for some time. It was seriously damaged when it was reopened in 1945. It is expanding and new developments are coming.

For an overview of Budapest click here.

For all posts on Budapest/Hungary click here.


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