|Capital City of Budapest
|Nickname(s): Heart of Europe, Pearl of Danube, Capital of Freedom, Capital of Spas and Thermal Baths, Capital of Festivals|
|Unification of Buda, Pest and Óbuda||17 November 1873|
|• Type||Mayor – Council|
|• Body||General Assembly of Budapest|
|• Mayor||István Tarlós (Independent, supported by Fidesz)|
|• City||525.2 km2 (202.8 sq mi)|
|• Urban||2,538 km2 (980 sq mi)|
|• Metro||7,626 km2 (2,944 sq mi)|
|Elevation||Lowest (Danube) 96 metres (315 feet)
Highest (János hill) 527 m (315 to 1,729 ft)
|• Rank||1st (9th in EU)|
|• Density||3,348/km2 (8,670/sq mi)|
|Demonym(s)||Budapester, budapesti (Hungarian)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|ISO 3166 code||HU-BU|
|GDP per capita PPS||€37,632 ($52,770)|
|Official name||Budapest, including the Banks of the Danube(1), the Buda Castle Quarter and (2)Andrássy Avenue|
|Designated||1987 (11th session)|
|UNESCO region||Europe and North America|
Budapest (Hungarian: [ˈbudɒpɛʃt] ( listen(10))) is the capital and most populous city of Hungary, one of the largest cities in the European Union and sometimes described as the primate city of Hungary. It has an area of 525 square kilometres (203 square miles) and a population of about 1.8 million within the administrative limits in 2016.(11) It is both a city and county, and forms the centre of the Budapest Metropolitan Area, which has an area of 7,626 square kilometres (2,944 square miles) and a population of 3.3 million, comprising 33 percent of the population of Hungary. Budapest became a single city occupying both banks of the Danube(12) river with the unification of Buda and Óbuda on the west bank, with Pest on the east bank on November 17, 1873.(15)(13)
The history of Budapest began with(16) Aquincum(2)(17), (14)originally a (1)Celtic settlement that became the Roman capital of Lower Pannonia. Hungarians(3) arrived in the territory in the 9th century. Their first settlement was pillaged by the Mongols in 1241–42. (4)The re-established town became one of the centres of Renaissance humanist culture(5) by the 15th century. Following the Battle of Mohács and nearly 150 years of Ottoman rule, the region entered a new age of prosperity in the 18th and 19th centuries, and Budapest became a (6)global city after its unification in 1873. It also became the co-capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a great power that dissolved in 1918, following World War I. Budapest was the focal point of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, the Hungarian Republic of Councils in 1919, the Battle of Budapest in 1945, and the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.(7)
Budapest is an Alpha- global city, with strengths in the arts, commerce, design, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, services, research, and tourism. Its business district hosts the Budapest Stock Exchange and the headquarters of the largest national and international banks and companies. Budapest is a leading R&D and financial centre in Central and Eastern Europe, and the city has a gross metropolitan product more than $100 billion in 2015, making it one of the largest regional economies in the European Union. It is the highest ranked Central and Eastern Europe city on Innovation Cities Top 100 index. Budapest attracts 4.4 million international tourists per year, making it the 25th most popular city in the world, the 6th in Europe, and is also known for its fashion, particularly the twice-yearly Budapest Fashion Week and Michelin stars restaurants.
Among Budapest’s important museums and cultural institutions, the most visited art museum is the Museum of Fine Arts, as well as the Hungarian National Gallery, which is noted for one of the largest collections of all periods of European art and comprises more than 100,000 pieces. The central area of the city along the Danube River is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has many notable monuments, including the Hungarian Parliament, Buda Castle, Fisherman’s Bastion, Gresham Palace, Széchenyi Chain Bridge, Matthias Church and the Liberty Statue. Further famous landmarks include Andrássy Avenue, St. Stephen’s Basilica, Heroes’ Square, the Great Market Hall, the Nyugati Railway Station built by the Eiffel Company of Paris in 1877 and the second-oldest metro line in the world, the Millennium Underground Railway. Budapest is home to numerous museums, galleries, libraries, sporting events and other cultural institutions, including the Hungarian National Museum, House of Terror, Franz Liszt Academy of Music, Hungarian State Opera House, National Széchényi Library and Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
“Budapest” is the combination of the city names Buda and Pest, which were (together with Óbuda) united into a single city in 1873. One of the first documented occurrences of the combined name “Buda-Pest” was in 1831 in the book “Világ” (“World” / “Light”), written by Count István Széchenyi.
The origins of the names Buda and Pest are obscure. According to chronicles from the Middle Ages, the name Buda comes from the name of its founder, Bleda (Buda), brother of the Hunnic ruler Attila. The theory that “Buda” was named after a person is also supported by modern scholars. An alternative explanation suggests that Buda derives from the Slavic word вода, voda (“water”), a translation of the Latin name Aquincum, which was the main Roman settlement in the region.
There are also several theories about the origin of the name Pest. One of the theories states that the word “Pest” comes from the Roman times, since there was a fortress (“Contra-Aquincum“) in this region that was referred to as “Pession” (“Πέσσιον”, iii.7.§ 2) by Ptolemaios. According to another theory, Pest originates from the Slavic word for cave (пещера, peștera), or oven (пещ, peșt), in reference either to a cave where fires burned or to a local limekiln.
The first settlement on the territory of Budapest was built by Celts before 1 AD. It was later occupied by the Romans. The Roman settlement – Aquincum – became the main city of Pannonia Inferior in 106 AD. At first it was a military settlement, and gradually the city rose around it, making it the focal point of the city’s commercial life. Today this area corresponds to the Óbuda district within Budapest. The Romans constructed roads, amphitheaters, baths and houses with heated floors in this fortified military camp. The Roman city of Aquincum is the best-conserved of the Roman sites in Hungary. The archaeological site was turned into a museum with inside and open-air sections.
The Magyar tribes led by Árpád, forced out of their original homeland north of Bulgaria by Tsar Simeon after the Battle of Southern Buh, settled in the territory at the end of the 9th century displacing the founding Bulgarian settlers of the towns of Buda and Pest, and a century later officially founded the Kingdom of Hungary. Research places the probable residence of the Árpáds as an early place of central power near what became Budapest. The Tatar invasion in the 13th century quickly proved that it is difficult to mount a defence on a plain. King Béla IV of Hungary therefore ordered the construction of reinforced stone walls around the towns and set his own royal palace on the top of the protecting hills of Buda. In 1361 it became the capital of Hungary.