You’d think I’d take notice of those moments more often, but the world is a busy place. My hearing isn’t what it used to be, either.
But it just so happened on one special evening while in Europe, I’d stepped away from the white noise of my ordinary life and the twenty-first century into a moment so extraordinarily beautiful and unique that the world really did come to a standstill.
Okay, maybe that was the boat cutting its engines. But it only served to highlight the perfection.
The year was 1896; the Parliament Building was just one of many structures built in preparation for the celebration of the 1000 year anniversary of Hungary.
The first Hungarians, the Magyars, arrived from the plains of Central Asia and according to legend, settled in the area after the mythic bird, the Turul, dropped his sword there.
Jimmy and I arrived one morning via our Vantage Tour Riverboat. It’s the only way to see this magnificent city.
As we passed under the Liberty Bridge, one of the eight bridges that span the Danube in the Budapest area, I could make out the Turul bird atop the spires of the bridge. The bridge had also been built for the Millennium Celebration in 1896.
The Buda end of the Elizabeth Bridge runs straight into the foot of Gellert Hill directly beneath the monument to the 11th century bishop, St. Gellert. St Gellert was responsible for introducing Christianity to the Magyars. I guess their conversion wasn’t totally successful; he was thrown to his death by pagans from the hill that now bears his name. I hate when that happens!
Perched high on the hill above the Danube, the Buda Castle was the site of Budapest’s first settlement in the 13th century. The ancient city and cobblestoned streets was designated a World Heritage Site in 1987.