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The Royal Palace as seen from Gallért Hill

GALLERT HILL ..When King István converted Hungary to Christianity in 1000 A.D., he brought in Bishop Gallért, a monk from Venice, to guide his son. The locals had a different plan for the monk. They stuffed him in a barrel, hammered long spiked nails into it, and gave the guy a roll down the hill. He became the patron saint of Budapest (a small consolation in my mind) and this beautiful hill along the Danube was named for him.

Atop the hill is a fortress, the Citadella, built by the Hapsburgs in 1848 to keep an eye on the Hungarians. And, from the top of the hill, you really get a beautiful view of the city. Crowning the hill is the Liberty Monument featuring a woman holding a palm branch. It was built as a tribute to Soviet soldiers who died liberating Hungary in 1945. Apparently, locals didn't quite have the respect for it that the Soviets did. The nickname for the monument was "the great bottle opener."

MARTIN

  the Parliament Building
Copyright 2007 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.