The city of Budapest is a fine synergy of both the distant past and the visible present. Here, you can not only live with and feel the current age but also know how it’s like before we even existed, with its intricate blend of historic and traditional landmarks and big yet friendly metropolis.
Being the capital of Hungary, Budapest is also the country’s largest city. True to its name as the capital it is also the focal point of the country’s political, cultural, commercial, industrial and transportation aspects. Within the city’s borders, Budapest covers a total area of 525 square kilometers. The city is divided into the two banks of the River Danube, which runs through it. Back then, the river did serve as a borderline between two cities, one at the right bank and the other at the left side of the Danube. These two were then unified into one last November 17, 1873.
Budapest is also known to be among Central Europe’s most significant and rapidly rising economic centers, being ranked 3rd of 65 on Mastercard’s Emerging Markets Index last 2008. Not only that, this city is also dubbed as one of the most livable cities in Central and Eastern Europe based on the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) quality of life index in 2009 and 2010. Budapest also ranks highest among 100 Central and Eastern European cities, in the Innovation Cities’ index, among other specialist rankings.
Not missing out in terms of industry, many industrial facilities can be located in Budapest. Among its main products are communication and computer appliances, electric machines, and incandescent lamps under General Electric (GE). Pharmaceutical companies also make up some of the bulk of Budapest’s economy, with Egis, Richter Gedeon and Chinoin companies being found here. Also based in this city is Malev Hungarian Airlines.
The city of Budapest, on a closing note, is well-known for being a significant hub for services, financial counseling, money transactions, commercial and estate services, and trade and logistic services. Worth mentioning are also Budapest’s tourism and catering, as it contains many restaurants, bars, coffee houses and other party places.
It is always best to get to know what kind of people you are going to deal with before, during and after going to a new place. For instance, keep in mind that people you will find in Budapest are mostly Europeans of different races and nationalities.
One very well-known personality who hails from Budapest is Jozsef Beck, a Harold H. Martin Professor of Mathematics at Rutgers University. He was awarded the Fulkerson Prize in 1985 for his paper, called “Roth’s estimate of the discrepancy of integer sequences is nearly sharp”, which exposed the idea of discrepancy on hypergraphs, and established an upper bound on the inconsistency of the family of arithmetic progressions.
His other contributions to the field of combinatorics include the partial coloring lemma and the Beck-Fiala theorem in discrepancy theory, the algorithmic version of the Lovasz local lemma, the two extremes theorem in combinatorial geometry and the second movement method in the theory of positional games.
The inhabitants of Budapest are mostly Hungarian, as expected. Hungarians make up more than half the population of Budapest. Germans, perhaps products of the German occupation of World War II or simply immigrants also live in Budapest. Rounding off the list of nationalities in Budapest are people from Rome, Slovaks, Poles, Greeks and Romanians.
Apart from the culture, you will find diverse religious practices in here. Budapest is a Roman Catholic city for the most part, with people under this religious denomination making up most of the population. Other religious denominations you will find in Budapest are Calvinists, Greek Catholics, Lutherans, Jews and of course, atheists.
When visiting a place that’s new to you, it’s never a bad idea to have a short background on its history. And the history and beginnings of the city of Budapest is not a bleak one, and is certainly one that is worth learning about.
There originally were seven to ten Hungarian tribes, and four out of these settled in what is now modern Budapest. These tribes were namely: Megyer, Keszi, Jeno and Nyek.
Its first royal castle was built by King Bela IV on Castle Hill in 1248. Not long thereafter, the town took on the name Buda (after the one before it, Obuda). Even then Pest was a bit more significant than Buda, and was surrounded by city walls. On 1873, the three former cities, Obuda, Buda and Pest were united into one, and it was called Budapest, the capital of Hungary.
During history’s murkiest age, specifically World War II, Budapest wasn’t spared as Hitler’s Nazi army occupied the city and its Jews were slaughtered as part of The Final Solution. The city was then battered again and again by war, what with the Soviets laying siege to the German fortifications that were in the city at that time. Eventually the Germans retreated, destroying the bridges of the Danube, and the Red Army completed its occupation of Budapest.
Many years after the war, though, Budapest was renowned around the world as the Andrassy Avenue, Millennium Underground railway and the Heroes’ Square was added to the list of World Heritage sites.