Whenever I visit a new city I like to find the highest point in which to view it from. More often than not, it usually mean paying to climb the many stairs of a cathedral, castle or clock tower. However, Budapest’s natural landscape of low, rolling hills bordering the Danube, on the Buda side of the city, affords it some spectacular views. A maze of different pathways lead to the top of Géllert Hill with the Citadella taking pride of place at the top.
The Citadella or ‘fortification’ as it is sometimes known, was bulit in 1851 and held strategic importance in the city’s military history. Immediately occupied by Austrian troops until late 1899, when Budapest took over rightful possession of the fortified structure, it is now a symbol of freedom and peace, as the Liberty Statue stands as an ever-prominent figure over the city. The statue serves to commemorate those who lost their lives fighting for Hungary’s independence, freedom and prosperity.
History aside, the plateaued hilltop provides 360• views of Buda and Pest with several significant buildings standing out, such as St. Stephen’s Basilica and Budapest’s Parliament building. I would definitely recommend the walk up there and the obligatory photos upon arrival, but more than that, I would recommend just taking some time to sit and watch a city at work. It really makes you realise that a city – the buildings, the river, the hills knows no time; time is just a mere way for humans to measure the ever-changing span between a sun rise and a sunset. Yet, time has become the very thing in which we base our daily lives around, of which often weighs heaviest on our conscience and is something in which can be greatly feared by many. We can’t pause it, rewind it or live without it, we can only learn how to best make use of it and that, is different for everyone.