First Impressions Continued

(Continued from the last posting.) After my dinner at DiVino, I set off to explore a little bit of the city.

Just steps from DiVino is St. Stephen’s Basilica. The Roman Catholic basilica is named in honor of Stephen I, the first king of Hungary. I learned later that St. Stephen’s mummified right hand is kept in the basilica and paraded around the city streets to share with the masses on August 20, the national holiday of St. Stephen’s Day.

While walking along a pedestrian-friendly zone toward the Danube, I was greeted by this jolly statue. There’s no story behind him; he’s just there for people’s delight (and clearly a rub of his belly).

Buildings along the Danube are dramatically lit at night, but my idiot proof camera couldn’t capture the magical views. Or maybe it was user error. Right away, I was reminded of the DC monuments at night. I felt right at home.

And then I found the understated and poignant memorial along the river that’s unfortunately easy to miss: Shoes on the Danube. The bronze shoes represent the Jews of all ages who were massacred by the Arrow Cross Militia from 1944-1945. The people were ordered to take off their shoes and then shot so their bodies fell into the river. It was a heart breaking site. It also was a reminder of the current anti-Semitic sentiment in Hungary. I continued my walk a little more reflective and somber.

And then came Parliament. The magnificent building is the third largest Parliament building in the world. And extremely difficult to capture close up.

At that point, it was around 10:00 pm. I marveled at how comfortable I already felt in Budapest. And safe. And, all of a sudden, tired. I walked back to my hotel to get some sleep for my interview the next day.

Coming up: Budapest explained?

This entry was published on August 27, 2013 at 10:18 pm and is filed under Budapest, Sights. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

3 thoughts on “First Impressions Continued

  1. What a poignant memorial. The simplest ones always hit me the hardest. In Cologne, they have placed golden plaques in the streets in front of houses where those taken by the Nazis once lived. The process of places the plaques started many years ago, but from what I understand, they are still placing new ones throughout the area.

    Good to see you are enjoying Budapest. It is a gorgeous city with so much to do. I had no idea their parliament building was so huge too!

  2. Well, that’s not creepy at all…parading a dead dude’s hand around the city.

  3. dalila on said:

    It looks like a great place.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: