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Budapest is the capital of Hungary and the country's economic, industrial, political and cultural center. Originally Budapest two towns on either side of the Danube, Buda and Pest (pronounced Pesjt in Hungarian). The two towns merged in 1873. With its history and ancient architecture, the city is a very interesting destination. The city has undergone much disturbance of all time - not least towards the end of World War II, when more than 80% of the buildings were more or less destroyed during the protracted fighting during the Battle of Budapest.

St. Stephen's Basilica is the largest church in Budapest, with an area of 4000 square meters, a dome that is 96 meters high and a church bell weighing 9 tons. Both outside and inside the church is decorated with works by famous painters. It was begun in 1851 and inaugurated in 1905 under the supervision of three architects during the construction period.

The State Opera is in neo-Renaissance and was built in the years 1875-1884. Both its exterior and interior decoration are typical examples of the future splendor style. On each side of the driveway is placed statues of two great personalities of Hungarian musical life in the 19th century - Franz Liszt and Ferenc Erkel (creator of the Hungarian National Opera). On the upper balustrade there are a number of statues of 16 famous opera composers.

Buda Castle was originally a medieval castle from the late 1500s. Through rebuilding the page has been developed to royal palace under King Matthias Corvinus. But after the Ottoman Suleiman the Magnificent victory of Louis II of Hungary at the Battle of Mohács who began the 150-year Turkish domination, decayed castle and the castle district. Under the Austrian Empress Maria Theresa (1740-1780) the castle was rebuilt in Baroque style castle quarter restored. During the revolution in 1848-49 burned parts of the castle, but in 1869-1903 it was rebuilt and expanded in neo-baroque style. When German soldiers in WWII finally tried to keep Budapest against the advancing Soviet troops, was at one time probably in ruins. Today the castle rebuilt and houses a number of important cultural institutions.

Parliament House is a neo-Gothic building where the interior decoration is characterized by style blend. It was listed on the Pest side, the Danube River in the years 1885 to 1904. It was at that time one of the largest buildings with a length of 268 meters. The 96 meter high dome is surrounded by two large and 20 small towers, and 88 statues of historical figures. The main entrance has two bronze lions. The symmetrical building is threefold; dome-room to which it leads a grand staircase, Congress Hall-the former over the house, and parliament hall-where the current Hungarian parliament holds its meetings. Inside, there should have been used over 40 kg of gold to decorate the parliament.

Terror house was the secret police headquarters until the Iron Curtain fell. It is now a museum that presents the political repression and political terror of the time.

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