Budapest: Gellért-hegy

Budapest from Gellért-hegy

Another day, another bridge! This time we crossed the Danube from Pest to Buda via the Szabadság Bridge to Gellért-hegy (Gellért Hill).

Ahead of us, we could see our two destinations: the Cave Church and the Liberation Monument on top of the hill.

Outside the Cave Church is another statue of the ubiquitous St Stephen and a great view back to the bridge we had just walked across.

The Cave Church, created in the 1930s, is a higgledy-piggledy warren of passages and small chapels where masses are conducted by monks of the Pauline Order.

Climbing beyond the church, the views became even better.

At the top, we admired the Liberation Monument from all angles. It was originally erected to commemorate the Soviet soldiers who liberated Budapest from the Nazis, but after the fall of communism its inscription was rewritten to honour all those who died for Hungary’s prosperity.

The Citadella, which you can just glimpse behind the monument in one of the pictures, was built to reassert Hapsburg dominance after the revolution of 1848-9. After walking round it to admire the views on all sides, we set off down the other side of the hill.

This took us past the statue of St Gellért, after whom the hill is named.  Gellért was a Christian missionary in the time of St Stephen and, after Stephen died, pagans apparently threw him off the hill at this very point. Today, he brandishes his crucifix at all comers.

The path down the hill deposits you at a complicated road system leading to the Erzsébet (Elizabeth) Bridge which we would use to cross back to Pest later. A statue of Empress Elizabeth (1837-98) sits on a central island.

Navigating our way across the road, we arrived in the Tabán district. Large figures were advertising an exhibition about the First World War, but we headed next door to the Semmelweis Medical Museum.

Dr Ignác Semmelweis (1818-65) discovered the cause of puerperal fever, which was usually fatal, thus saving the lives of many women in childbirth. Good man! I also liked the Holy Ghost Pharmacy which dates from 1786 (though not on this site), the opium pillow (how comfortable could that be? Don’t you mind if you’re taking opium?) and the portrait of Zsuzsanna Kossuth, sister of the revolutionary leader and National Head Nurse during the 1848-9 War of Independence.

After a final stroll around the area, we headed back to our hotel for our last night in Budapest.

Just one more post to complete my Budapest holiday diary!


31 thoughts on “Budapest: Gellért-hegy

  1. catbird in japan June 12, 2017 / 12:41

    That bridge and those cave churches are fabulous, Anabel. It seems you found some strange and interesting things in the medical museum. The views of the Danube are fabulous too. It seems you had wonderful weather. 🙂

    I really need to start reading up on our upcoming trip, but all my guidebooks are at home.


    • Anabel Marsh June 12, 2017 / 13:16

      We didn’t do much research beforehand – just decided it on a daily basis where we fancied going. There’s so much choice!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. restlessjo June 12, 2017 / 15:23

    Impossible to dislike a city with so many bridges, Anabel 🙂 🙂 But if they didn’t have the bridges it would be 2 cities, wouldn’t it?


    • Anabel Marsh June 12, 2017 / 15:39

      Well, indeed! Though Newcastle and Gateshead haven’t merged yet, have they, despite their bridges? 😉


  3. Jemima Pett June 12, 2017 / 19:47

    I’m losing track – how long did you stay there? You seem to have been a whole load of places. A really thorough exploration, and it all looks great 🙂


  4. Liesbet June 12, 2017 / 21:36

    We enjoyed the views of Gellert Hill the most! Thanks for the glimpse inside the Cave Church, another site we did not manage to visit. How many steps did you collect after this day of walking and climbing, Anabel?? 🙂


    • Anabel Marsh June 12, 2017 / 23:36

      Just over 18000 – not bad, but less than other days (the record was over 30000).

      Liked by 1 person

    • Anabel Marsh June 13, 2017 / 07:35

      I’ve never seen anything like the Cave church before. And Budapest certainly knows how to do bridges!


  5. Donna June 13, 2017 / 04:05

    I absolutely LOVE the cave Church. It would be amazing to attend a Mass there! I greatly enjoy tagging along with you virtually!


    • Anabel Marsh June 13, 2017 / 07:37

      Thanks – the Cave church seems to be the biggest hit in the comments.


  6. Birgit June 13, 2017 / 05:03

    I would have loved to have seen that cave church so I will just have to go back. Seeing the pictures of the Liberation Monument brings back memories of being there back in 1982. I remember it being more in memory of Communism and of the sleazy bus driver who was making the eyes at me and the 16 year old. The 16 year old was loving the attention a bit too much as the bus driver was in his 40’s and over-weight and red in the face. He was asking me why I didn’t like him and I told him that he should never have knocked on our hotel room door at midnight! I told some of the older people what was happening and he didn’t bother us again….or at least me.


    • Anabel Marsh June 13, 2017 / 07:43

      Ugh, sleazy! The Cave church was sealed up under communism, so yes, you’ll just have to go back.


    • Anabel Marsh June 13, 2017 / 12:31

      I think they were specifically a Hungarian Order. Glad you found it interesting!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ann Coleman June 13, 2017 / 19:23

    Thanks for sharing your visit to Budapest! I’m enjoying the photos and descriptions.


  8. hilarymb June 14, 2017 / 08:59

    Hi Anabel – your photos are so good and the history … fascinating – I keep hearing about Budapest, apart from Patrick Leigh Fermor!, I really have to get over and see it … cheers Hilary


  9. Blue Sky Scotland June 14, 2017 / 12:13

    An extra gold star for any city for me is one with a major river flowing through its centre, urban hills for views over the districts, interesting bridges and history… so Budapest seems to tick all the boxes.


  10. Jessica (Diverting Journeys) June 14, 2017 / 14:08

    I’ve always felt bad for Semmelweis, because no one listened to him about the importance of handwashing, and he died in an asylum shortly after being committed. There are probably so many thousands of lives that could have been saved in the interim between Semmelweis and Lister if doctors had just washed their damn hands. I’d love to visit his museum though!


    • Anabel Marsh June 14, 2017 / 15:06

      For some reason I thought of you when writing this! And that you’d be disappointed not to see any grisly photos.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. HelsinkiBudapest June 20, 2017 / 21:20

    Was just idly scrolling around on WordPress, when I found your post. Really glad you enjoyed it here, and yes, Budapest – and especially Gellért Hill – is a truly magical place.


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