What does Buda mean in Hungarian

The history of Budapest

Budapest, the capital of Hungary, was first mentioned in 89 BC with the establishment of the first settlement called Aquincum, which was located directly on the Danube. Benefiting from this good location, Aquincum played an important role and was declared the seat of the Roman governor and also owned a fortress and a palace, which was not common at the time.

With the migration of peoples after the fall of the Roman Empire, the Huns, among others, came to what was then Hungary at the end of the 4th century and this was accompanied by destruction and devastation. The Huns took the land and settled large parts of it.

However, this was quickly stopped after the Christianization by the Hungarians brought a little peace and order back into the country. Church villages emerged and the agricultural progress made itself felt through the development of agriculture and animal husbandry.


At that time there were two districts separated from the Danube. One was called the plague. This is out of date Hungarian and means something like "oven". The name is derived from the hot springs on the east side of the Danube and the lime kilns located there. The Buda was on the western side, although the origin of the name is only based on assumptions and it is therefore not certain where this name really comes from.

In 1361 there was the first capital of Hungary. This fact was a miracle, as there were many enemy attacks, such as the Mongol storm in 1241, which almost destroyed the country several times. The height of the destruction came in 1526. The plague fell due to attacks by the Ottomans and 15 years later Buda also fell. The latter was quickly rebuilt with the help of a Turkish governor who chose this place as his seat. Since Pest did not receive any development aid, there was a decline in the number of inhabitants.

This generally poor condition at the time went on for several years. Even when the Habsburgs finally drove out the Ottomans, nothing improved. Hungary was still run by strangers and taxes grew immeasurably.

The history of Budapest © iStockphoto / Modfos

But after a few centuries there were successes to be recorded again. Despite the poor economic conditions of Pest, this city grew very quickly.
Another reason for the boom was the chain bridge. It was the first Danube bridge south of Regensburg. This bridge was also the first permanent bridge. It consisted of moored boats. The reason for the construction was as follows: A count had to come across the Danube to attend his father's funeral. But since there was no bridge, this count had to wait a week before he finally reached the other bank. The Chain Bridge was named after him in his honor. It was inaugurated in 1849 and made the city famous.

After every upswing, there is always a fall. It came with the Hungarian Revolution in 1848. The Hungarians wanted to break away from the rule of the Habsburgs. They did not succeed immediately. For example, an application was made to merge Buda and Pest, but the Habsburgs initially prevented this. Budapest was not founded until 1867, with the help of the settlement with Austria. Hungary was now largely independent. This balance was made clear by the occasional stays of the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph. The reasons for the amalgamation of the two halves of the town were the stronger character of a "whole city" and structural and infrastructural planning was easier to do.

With the millennium of the conquest in 1896, some innovations were made. Larger projects were set up, such as the “Heldenplatz” and the first subway. These were attractions for the people and thus Budapest became a point of attraction for immigrants and the population increased enormously.

The First World War claimed many lives and the country also suffered losses of territory. Then there was a communist government and Béla Kun. However, this was not simply accepted. An opposition formed with the conservative Miklós Horthy as its leader. He then took over the government of Hungary in 1919.

In the course of the Second World War, the country was again occupied. This time by the Germans. Due to various disputes between the Allies among themselves, the city was devastated and the population in particular suffered this time. The siege claimed 38,000 civilian lives, including a third of the Jews living there.

After the end of the war, the "People's Republic of Hungary" was proclaimed, but this was acknowledged with the "Hungarian uprising" of the citizens. This was bloodily suppressed. But a few years later the "Republic of Hungary" was proclaimed in 1989. In that year one speaks today of the collapse of the Eastern bloc.
However, this was not mourned for long, because Hungary was admitted to the EU in 2004. This fact was especially celebrated in the new, embellished and interesting capital Budapest.