I guess Bohemian Rhapsody would have been a more appropriate title and song for my Czech Czech Czech post including random facts about the Czech Republic and Prague, but contemplating what to include in my discoveries about Budapest and Hungary, the Queen album, Hungarian Rhapsody – Live in Budapest, recorded in Budapest in 1986, popped to mind. Relevant or not, Queen’s music is fantastic, so here’s the video anyway….
Now for a few interesting notes about Budapest that I discovered in various sources (please note that I can’t vouch for the accuracy of the below):
- Budapest is a hot city and has more thermal springs than any other capital city in the world. Budapest is renowned for its medicinal baths, with the bathing culture dating back to the Roman empire.
- Budapest’s Parliament Building is the third largest in the world, behind the U.S. Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and the Palace of Parliament in Bucharest, Romania. Budapest’s Parliament Building spans 18,000 square meters, contains 691 rooms, 20 kilometers of stairs and is 96 meters in height.
- Budapest’s Dohány Street Synagogue is the second largest synagogue in the world and the largest synagogue in Europe and can accommodate approximately 3,000 worshipers.
- Budapest is the largest city in Hungary and is home to 20% of the country’s population.
- Budapest was not always the capital city of Hungary. Esztergom was the capital city of Hungary until the 13th century when the Royal Seat was moved to Buda. The modern day city of Budapest wasn’t formed until 1873 when the three cities of Buda, Pest and Óbuda (Old Buda) were joined together by the Habsburg rule.
- Having opened in 1896, Budapest’s underground train system is the oldest in mainland Europe.
- Not a fun “fact” exactly, but definitely a fun part of Budapest lore: Touching the pen held by the Statue of Anonymous located in front of the Vajdahunyad Castle in the City Park in Budapest supposedly has the power to make you a better writer! While I’m most certainly not superstitious, I may have to give that a try, since it definitely can’t hurt (I don’t think it will help, either, but still….)! We’ll find out in the early part of next year if the pen’s “special powers” have any impact!