Budapest City Park - Varosliget
A Green Oasis in the Heart of Budapest
Every city has it's tranquil suburbs, places to meet and routes to wander in, but few cities have a location where this is encompassed under one auspice. City Park is a perfect example of urban city planning dating back to the 1800's and a visit to this green expanse is a must whilst you are in Budapest. A few trivia points about the park include that the Varosliget was the first public park in the world, it has played host to the Bandy
World Championships and up until 1985 was going to be the location of the Hungarian Formula One championship races.
Stretching across the centre of Pest and measuring 302 acres this World Heritage site offers visitors and locals something of everything. Offering a home to a castle, thermal baths, a zoological garden, amusement park, lake, outdoor arena and numerous walkways shows just what is on offer whilst in the heart of a vibrant city.
What also makes this park stand out is the beautiful entrance via Heroes Square
(Hosok Tere); I don't think there is a park in the world which boasts such a grand and beautiful entrance. The archangel Gabriel will watch as you approach from either the Metro line One or Andrassy Avenue
. Flanked by the sumptious Museum of Fine Art and the Palace of Art you will continue your way into the heart of the park via Vajdahunyad Castle. In winter this grand setting will offer you an opportunity to ice skate and in summer to row across the lake amongst various art installations. Continuing north along the main road will take you past the world famous Szechenyi Furdo
(thermal baths) and out towards the small but cute amusement park of Vidam Park.
Whilst exploring Vajdahunyad Castle be sure to stop by the impressive statue of Anonymous. The story goes that this unknown individual document the origins of Budapest. Resembling something from the fantasy worlds of Rowling or Tolkien this hooded figure will surely get you thinking about the early history of the city you are in and it is amazing to think of what has happened in Budapest since the days of Anonymous.
Key photographic opportunities within the park include the Furdo, Vidam Park and of course the numerous sculptures and statues including the Timewheel (a huge hourglass commemorating Hungary's entrance into the EU) and the Memorial to the 1956 Revolution which literally tears through the ground towards you. (Photos and article by Phil Watkins)
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