Top sights in Budapest
The dimensions of the building are impressive: its maximum width is 123 metres, its length parallel to the Danube is 271 metres and its dome is 96 metres high.
Before it was built, the river could only be crossed via a temporary pontoon bridge, by boat or over the ice. However, a big city needed a real, stones and mortar bridge to match so an Invited English engineer William Tierney Clark to Hungary, as well as his (unrelated) namesake, Scottish engineer Adam Clark ended up building the bridge. Completed in 1849, it was considered a technical wonder of its time. In World War II, the bridge was destroyed, along with all the other bridges in Budapest, but was rebuilt almost in its original form, except for some necessary modernisation.
Margaret Island stretches 2800 metres long and covers an area of almost 100 hectares
Margaret Island offers a wide range of attractions for visitors. The 70-degree spring water that comes up from the ground here feeds the medicinal baths located on the island. In the shade of 200-year-old trees, you can find the former home of the island’s eponymous princess, the ruins of the Dominican convent and St Michael’s Chapel. The Water Tower, built in 1911, rises high above the old trees, offering a 360-degree panorama of Budapest. A small wooden bridge leads to the Rock Garden and Japanese Garden in the northern part of the island, from where plant-lined paths lead inland to the gently cascading waterfall. The statue of the “Little Mermaid” rises from the centre of the pond. But the most extraordinary attraction is Hungary’s largest musical fountain, 36 metres in diameter, with a central jet of water shooting up to a height of more than 25 metres. Every hour, a musical programme is played, and in the evenings there is a special laser projection on the water curtain of the fountain.
Margaret Island can be explored on foot, by bicycle or even by bike carriage and, if you want to do sports or jogging, there is a jogging track around the island.
At the end of the 19th century, a decision was made to change it radically. In keeping with the approach of the times, architect Frigyes Schulek removed everything which was not mediaeval from it and then proceeded to build the neo-Gothic church as it stands today. Its two ornamented towers are of different sizes. Characteristic elements of the church’s exterior are the Zsolnay glazed roof tiles, as well as the winding spiral staircase within the taller tower (the Matthias tower), allowing visitors to climb all the way up to the top. Visitors enter through two huge oak doors into the church, which is decorated with the works of the most distinguished painters of the time, as well as with geometrically-patterned ceramic tiles and stained glass windows. A visit to the church is rounded off with an exhibition of historic artifacts, including the church’s former weathervane. As part of recent renovations, the famous Zsolnay ceramics factory in Pécs was commissioned to supply nearly 150,000 roof tiles. It is visited by nearly one million visitors every year, and no wonder! No visit to Budapest would be complete without it.