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Fom the Citadel's terraces and walls, a wonderful view opens on the city

Budapest Gellert Hill

Gellert Hill is the highest hill by the Danube in Budapest. On the very top, the Austrian Empire constructed a white-stone fortress in 1851, as a symbol of their power over the Hungarians after the 1848-49 Revolution and War of Independence. Right by the fortress, a 14-meter tall statue of a woman holding a palm leaf of victory overlooks the Danube and the city. It is a Liberation Monument, raised by the Russians in 1947. The area provides a wonderful panorama on the capital. The nearly 7 meter high bronze Statue of St Gerard (Szent Gellért-szobor) stands in the middle of a crescent-shaped arcade, on the hillside, facing the Danube. The evangelist and bishop St Gerard was once executed on this hillside. The statue raises a cross towards the sky in one hand, while a pagan warrior at his feet looks up to him and the cross. The composition was raised in 1904, based on the architectural plans of Imre Francsek. Gyula Jankovics was the sculptor of the Gerard figure, while Aladár Gárdos formed the pagan. The hill in general is a nice green spot in the middle of the city. The lower part towards Gellert Square hides a playground with a good number of long and fun slides. The upper part below the fortress includes a pretty rose garden.


The Citadel (Citadella) was built in 1851, following the suppression of the 1848-49 War of Independence, on command of the Austro-Hungarian Emperor, Franz Joseph, as part of the stronghold system (which was never completed in its entirety). Emánuel Zita and Ferenc Kasselik, Austrian war engineer-architects, designed the building, the 220 meter-long, 60 meter-wide and 4 meter-tall fortress, which housed sixty canons. It never served practical military purposes; the erection was more of an act to communicate Austrian superiority to the rebellious city of Budapest. After the 1867 Compromise (German Ausgleich), its destruction was demanded, and the garrison troops left in 1897, when the main gate was symbolically damaged (there was not enough money for the destruction of the whole building). After much debate, it was finally converted into a tourist center. From its terraces and walls, a wonderful view opens into the city.
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