Budapest is the capital city of Hungary . For many years, Budapest existed as two separate cities. These cities were Buda and Pest . The history of these two cities dates back to the second millennium BC. Nomad people, who were originally from France , originally settled the area of Budapest . In the 1 st century BC, Celtic tribes traveled into the area known as Pannonia . This was a vast province that belonged to the Roman Empire. The town that governed Pannonia was called Aquincum and was located on the Danube ‘s west bank. Today you are able to visit the ruins and remnants of this city
The Romans left the area in the 5 th century AD. The Huns came to the area next along with German tribes, Lombards, Slavs and Avars during the second Age of Migrations. The Magyars arrived in 896 AD. The Clan of Arpad chose to settle on the Csepel sziget ( Csepel Island ) in the Carpathian Basin . The island was very large and was surrounded by the Danube River ‘s water. It was a defensive shelter for the many settlers. This area is now Southern Budapest . Arpad’s brother gave his name to this area and it became known as “Buda.” Arpad was the first king of this new settlement of Magyars. We now know the Magyars as Hungarians. Under this dynasty, Hungary became a Christian state.
The development of the Danube ‘s riverbanks began in the 12 th century. The French, Walloon and German settlers that had migrated here were under royal protection, however, both Buda and Pest were devastated by Mongol attacks. The Germans were mainly responsible for helping to rebuild the cities. During the 14 th century, kings from France established Buda as a royal seat and the palaces of Varhegy were built. The cities flourished under the reign of “Good King” Matyas and his Italian wife, Queen Beatrice. The area saw flourishing arts and prosperity during these Renaissance times.
Hungary was invaded by Turks in 1526 and led to the Turkish occupation of Buda and Pest. The leader of the Turks was Suleiman I, the Magnificant Sultan. For 160 years, the Turks occupied Hungary until the Pan-European Multi-National Army seiged the Buda Castle and recaptured it. Hungary once again prospered under Hasburg Rule and during the second half of the 18 th century, Budapest was known as the twin city to Vienna . The two cites of Buda and Pest joined together in 1873. A part of this reform of the cities included the construction of the Lanchid (Chain Bridge), which became the first permanent link between the two cities.
In the following centuries, Budapest would be plagued by communism and reform. The city itself had moments of prosper and growth. At the beginning of the 20 th century, Budapest rivaled Vienna and was a city of energy and well-being. World War II would also have its effects on Budapest as the Hungarian leaders chose to side with Germany . During this time, the Germans were able to begin a massacre of the Jews of Budapest. The Germans also destroyed the bridges of the Danube . The Soviets also attacked Budapest and most of the city was destroyed by Soviet bombs. The Soviet Communists were able to gain power as the Allies retreated. The once empty torture chambers of the Arrow Cross were refilled. They also put up a huge statue of the new Soviet dictator, Matyas Rakosi. Rakosi became known as Hungary ‘s “Little Stalin.” He murdered many of his own people, while his liberal successor, Imre Nagy, fought to give hope to the people of Hungary . Imre Nagy was eventually executed. The people protested the government usands of people including women and children were slaughtered if found on the streets.
Since this time and the removal of the communists, there have been many governments rule Budapest . Today, Gabor Demszky runs Budapest ‘s administration. There have also been numerous renovations throughout the city. New roads and road renovations have been taking place throughout the city and the capital.