I feel quite unique in having been to Budapest. Not very many of my circle have been to, or plan to ever visit, this lovely city. In fact, a few friends have no clue where Budapest is in the world...which surprised me because I thought everyone my age would have learned the mnemonic "Butter passed hungry" to remember Hungary's capital. I was sure I learned it in school, but on second thought, it may have come from my Aunt Phyllis (a brilliant woman from whom we learned a great deal, including a few things about which our mom may have preferred we'd remained in blissful ignorance!)
It's a bit of a lame mnemonic, but memorable - although not, I admit, as memorable as the method Coach, from the old TV show Cheers, used to remember facts about Albania.
(To this day, I remember that Albania's chief export is chrome!)
But back to Budapest...
One of my favourite sites was Matthias Church on the Buda hill overlooking the Danube. Aside from the stunning panaromic vista seen from the adjoining Fishermen's Bastian, the church itself is fascinating. The walls are gorgeously, intricately, colourful as you can see from this photo of me standing on a little platform gazing in awe at the church's interior:
Two of the (many) features that struck my fancy were an old column and a really cool spiral window. The photos are mine, taken on our March 2006 trip, the "blurbs" are from the church website .
"You can find the oldest column heads in the church at the bottom of the Béla tower: two short column heads from 1260 showing monks reading a book and demonic animals fighting each other. These carvings are the oldest pieces of stonework which can be found in situ (in their original place) in Budapest."
(I just love these guys!!!)
"The round window behind the Neo-Roman baptising fountain designed by Schulek shows a scene from the Apocalypse of St John: the Lamb of God and the sealed book, while the deer running to springs, lower, illustrate an allegory with psalms - imagery associated with baptising. The interesting shape of the window was also invented by Schulek, in order to position the round window to the centre of the wall section both in the inside and outside."