1902 Encyclopedia > Buda, Hungary

Buda, Hungary

BUDA (German, OFEN), a royal free town of the king-dom of Hungary, is situated in 47° 29' 10" N. lat. and 19° 2' 55" E. long., on the right bank of the Danube, opposite the capital Pesth, with which it has been united since 1849 by a suspension bridge of much beauty, 1227 feet long and 39 feet wide. The nucleus of the town is the " fortress," which occupies an oblong elevation of por-phyry rock, not unlike the Acropolis of Athens. It contains the royal palace, the mansions of Counts Sandor, Teleki, and Erdod}r, the residence of the governor in command, the arsenal, and several buildings for official purposes. The palace includes the court church—where the regalia of Hungary are preserved, a picture gallery, and a library. Around this central portion there have grown up various suburbs, known respectively as the Wassorstadt, the Land-strasse, the Neustift, the Christinenstadt, and the Taban or Rascian town, the last of which derives its name from its Servian inhabitants, who are mainly vineyard owners. In the Wasserstadt are the church of St Anne and Elizabeth, and the military hospital ; in Christinenstadt, the Horvath gardens, with the summer theatre, and the large mansion-house of Count Caracsonyi ; and in Old Buda are the royal barracks, part of which was once the monastery of Mariazell. There are in the town upwards of fifteen churches, as well as several convents, and a Jewish syna-gogue. The educational establishments include a gymna-sium of the highest class, an upper commercial school, five normal institutions, a school of design, a school of music, and about sixteen schools of lower grade. There is also an observatory in the town. Buda has long been celebrated for its mineral baths, which are five in number. The Bruckbad and the Kaiserbad were both founded by the Turks, and the buildings retain traces of Turkish occupation. The temperature of the water is about 118° Fahr. The town is commanded by the eminences known as the Spiessberg or Nap Hegy, and the Blocksberg or Gellert Hegy, the latter of which is crowned by a citadel. The industry of Buda comprises the making of cannon, type-founding, silk-weaving, coach-building, and the manufacture of majolica, copper wares, and gunpowder. A somewhat active trade is carried on in the red wine produced in the neighbouring vineyards, and Old Buda is the seat of a good deal of river traffic. The Danube Steam-Navigation Company have a consider-able establishment there, in which a number of their vessels are built. In 1869 the population of the commune was 53,988. Old Buda was known to the Romans for its mineral springs ; but the modern town dates only from the Middle Ages. In 1247 King Bela built a castle, which was originally regarded as belonging to Pesth; but the town which gradually gathered round it soon acquired an independent importance. In 1526 it was captured by the Turks, and in their hands became a place of pilgrimage, as well as an important military post. In 1686 it was wrested from them by Charles of Lorraine. During the Hungarian wars of the present century it played a distinguished part. In January 1849 the fortress was seized by the Austrian general Windischgratz ; but in May it was taken by storm by the Hungarians under Gorgey. On their departure the Russians took possession, but shortly afterwards handed the place over to the Austrian forces.

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