The Blue Danube
The Danube – a river that flows majestically across half a continent, gave rise to magnificent civilisations, unites countries and nourishes art wherever it appears. It was the famous Austrian composer, Johann Strauss who composed an entire waltz dedicated to the everblue Danube – and with it, he conjured all our devotion and admiration for this river into melody. Originating in the Black Forest in Germany, she rushes across ten countries before she joins the Black Sea on the eastern coasts of Romania. Since the dawn of time, her banks have been the pride of a thousand wondrous cities but only one of them has ever been called the Pearl of the Danube – Budapest. Here in the north-western part of Hungary, not only one but two cities have been built. The Danube separates the ancient, noble town of Buda from Pest, the buzzing social centre of the capital. But she also divides the country into two sections whose geographical attributes are very different – the western part of the country is packed with hills and mountains whereas the eastern part is home to the Hungarian Lowlands.
The people of Budapest have managed to create a harmonious co-existence with the Danube over the centuries – the breathtaking architectural heritage clearly echoes their affection and respect for her on both sides of the river. Even the local expressions and proverbs have preserved the marks of a thousand-year old affiliation between man and water. Given the fact that ferry boats were the only way to cross the river between the two cities until the 19th century, there had always been a pressing need for a permanent connection that would connect Buda and Pest. The first bridge in Budapest, the Chain Bridge was inaugurated in 1849, to be gradually followed by the construction of eight other bridges stretching over the Danube, each a marvellous piece of traditional or contemporary architecture in its own right..
You can pay a visit to the beautiful Danube Promenade on our Absolute Walking Tour, admire the spectacular view from the Fishermen’s Bastion on our Castle Walk Tour or immerse yourself in the magical nocturnal atmosphere of Budapest on our Night Stroll Tour. Be it night or day, the mind-blowing atmosphere that the Danube creates in the Hungarian capital will give you an experience worth remembering in later years.
BLUE DANUBE INFO
Including the industrial bridges in the outskirts of the city, Budapest has 9 bridges, of which 7 can be found in and around the downtown area (Árpád Bridge, Elizabeth Bridge, Chain Bridge, Liberty Bridge, Margaret Bridge, Petőfi Bridge, Rákóczi Bridge)
- Chain Bridge – from the Pest side (Map ref: 47.504066, 19.044809 to 47.493614, 19.049313 )
- Fishermen’s Bastion – Castle District (Map ref: 47.502017, 19.034962)
- Top of Gellért Hill – at the Citadel (Map ref: 47.487727, 19.043745)