District V, the best area to stay in Budapest
If you are ever in town to visit Budapest, District V is the best place in Hungary. It has an Opera House and a bridge of chains. It has Mihaly Vorosmart and a shopping mall. This is a place of change and historic compromise.
Modern District V is full of shopping malls and upscale restaurants, this is quite a departure from the brutal war torn history of the districts past life. Scariest of all is that this is the real life home of Dracula, or as he was referred to in Hungary; “Vlad the Impaler. Believing himself to be standing on the frontlines defending his kingdom. Vladimir was a brutal ruler. The rest of the world came to know him as a blood sucking vampire but today to the denizens of Budapest he is a national hero!
Just one interesting tid bit of history that Budapest’s district V is filled to the brim with. District V is known as the historic, “inner city”, many of the old world buildings of centuries gone by still remain on these grounds. Besides scary stories of Vlad the Impaler and Dracula, you don’t have to be a horror movie buff to appreciate the architecture of the newly renovated St. Michael’s Church.
There are many historic churches and cathedrals in this district, St. Michaels and Mathias Church are among the favorites but neither one can compete with St. Stephan’s Basilica. This basilica is Budapest’s largest church and it is hard to miss during your visit to Budapest since the dome is so large you can pretty much see the church from every vantage point of the city. This iconic landmark is an ancient sky scraper and demands attention. This has always been a special place since its inception, inside the church is the mummified right hand of Hungary’s first Monarch, King Saint Stephen, he is the one the church was named after and he is the reason the church was built as a monument to this leader. It is a breathtaking and awe inspiring experience to walk the halls, a bit grandiose but you can not deny the feeling. The paintings left in tribute to this king are spectacular works of art. Gyula Benczurs famous painting of St. Stephen handing is crown to the Virgin Mary is an enthralling piece that illustrates this ancient leaders desire to commend his country to the heavens.
After taking in this piece of Budapest history you can hop on the Millinium subway and head on over to the Andrassy ut. This is an avenue in Budapest’s district V that was built partially in emulation of Paris’ Champs-Elysees. There are many sites to see in this section of the district. The first thing that might catch your eye here is the State Opera House which was built between 1875 and 1884. This opera house has been famous for its classical opera voices for going approaching 200 years.
Nearby this Opera House is another eye catcher except this one is a lot more grim in nature and content; the, “House of Terror”, a museum that commemorates the Nazi’s and Communist forces who both used the building as their headquarters. An interesting site for the history buff, but if you feel you would be a bit too depressed to see such a history, it is just as easy to pass this location by and move on to the next.
Moving on to the end of the Andrassy circuit you will find the City Park. This park is pleasant and crowd pleasing. It has numerous low-key sites to see, such as the famous castle grounds and for convenience the area is further accessible by the yellow subway line in the entry to the park.
One architectural wonder that you absolutely can not miss during your trip to district V is the Chain Bridge, or as it is called, “Szechenyi”, named after the count Istvan Szechenyi who had the bridge’s building commissioned. This was the capitals first bridge and is now a major tourist attraction. The first thing you can’t help but notice is the tremendous size of the structure itself. Built between 1832 and 1849 this monstrous structure is the biggest bridge in Budapest.