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Budapest

Budapest (bōō´dəpĕst´), city (1990 pop. 2,016,100), capital of Hungary, N central Hungary, on both banks of the Danube. The largest city of Hungary and its industrial, cultural, and transportation center, Budapest has varied manufactures, notably textiles, instruments, and electronics. Budapest has well-developed commercial, transport, and communication services as well. Educational and cultural institutions in the city include Loránd Eötvös Univ. (1635), Central European Univ., the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the National Széchenyi Library, the National Museum, the National Theater, and the State Opera House.

Budapest was formed in 1873 by the union of Buda (Ger. Ofen) and Óbuda (Ger. Alt-Ofen) on the right bank of the Danube River with Pest on the left bank. Buda, situated among a series of hills, was traditionally the center of government buildings, palaces, and villas belonging to the landed gentry. Pest, a flat area, has long been a commercial and industrial center.

History

The area around Budapest may have been settled as early as the Neolithic era. Aquincum, the Roman capital of Lower Pannonia, was near the modern Óbuda, and Pest developed around another Roman town. Both cities were destroyed by Mongols in 1241, but in the 13th cent. King Béla IV built a fortress (Buda) on a hill around there, and in the 14th cent. Emperor Sigismund built a palace for the Hungarian rulers. Buda became the capital of Hungary in 1361, reaching its height as a cultural center under Matthias Corvinus. Pest fell to the Turks in 1526, Buda in 1541.

When Charles V of Lorraine conquered them for the Hapsburgs in 1686, both Buda and Pest were in ruins. They were resettled, Buda with Germans, Pest with Serbs and Hungarians. Buda, a free royal town after 1703, had a renaissance under Maria Theresa, who built a royal palace and in 1777 transferred to Buda the university founded in 1635 by Peter Pazmany at Nagyzombat. The university was later moved (1784) to Pest. In the 19th cent. Pest flourished as an intellectual and commercial center; after the flood of 1838, it was rebuilt on modern lines. Buda became largely a residential sector.

After the union of Buda and Pest in 1873, the united city grew rapidly as one of the two capitals of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. The city was by 1917 Hungary's leading commercial center and was already ringed by industrial suburbs. Also a beautiful city, Budapest became famed for its literary, theatrical, and musical life and attracted tourists with its mineral springs, its historic buildings, and its parks. Especially notable is the large municipal park and the showplace of Margaret Island (Hung. Margit Sziget), in the Danube, where St. Margaret, daughter of Béla IV, had lived in a convent.

With the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy (Oct., 1918), Hungary, under Count Michael Karolyi, was proclaimed an independent republic. Budapest became its capital. When Karolyi resigned (Mar., 1919) the Communists, led by Béla Kun, gained temporary control of the city and established a Soviet republic in Hungary; but his troops were defeated in July, and Budapest was occupied and looted by Romanian forces. In Nov., 1919, Budapest was seized by forces of Admiral Horthy, who in Mar., 1920, was proclaimed regent of Hungary.

Horthy allied Hungary with Germany in World War II until Oct., 1944, and that same month German troops occupied Budapest. After a 14-week siege the city fell (Feb., 1945) to Soviet troops. Almost 70% of Buda was destroyed or heavily damaged, including the royal palace and the Romanesque Coronation Church. When Hungary was proclaimed a republic (Jan., 1946), Budapest became its capital. In 1948 the Hungarian Communists, backed by Soviet troops, seized control of Hungary and proclaimed it (Aug., 1949) a people's republic. Budapest was the center of a popular uprising against the Hungarian Communist regime in Oct.–Nov., 1956 (see Hungary).

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"Budapest." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Feb. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Budapest

BUDAPEST

BUDAPEST. Buda and Pest, which along with the rural borough of Óbuda (Old Buda) united in 1873 to form the modern Hungarian capital Budapest, were Hungary's geographical and economic centers in the early modern era. By the mid-fifteenth century Buda had become an economically and culturally vibrant royal city and seat of government. In 1541 it was conquered by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent (ruled 15201566), and until its reconquest by the allied forces of the Holy League in 1686 it remained the center of the Ottoman Empire's northernmost province. From 1686 until 1703 Buda and Pest were under the jurisdiction of the Viennese Court Chamber (Hofkammer). In 1703 they regained their status as royal free cities, opening the way for their spectacular development within the Habsburg Monarchy. Buda, however, never regained its former status as the royal seat, for the Habsburgs ruled Hungary from Vienna, their imperial capital situated over 150 miles to the west.

The population of Buda at the end of the fifteenth century is estimated at twelve thousand, while that of Pest was around ten thousand; under Ottoman rule (15411686) Buda and Pest had, respectively, about eight thousand and twelve thousand inhabitants. As a result of Habsburg policy and immigration, the eighteenth century saw a spectacular population surge. By 1820 Pest had become Hungary's largest city, with more than fifty thousand inhabitants as compared to Buda's thirty thousand. In the fifteenth century the majority of Buda's inhabitants were Hungarians, and there were significant German and Jewish minorities. Under the Ottomans, Muslim Turks and Orthodox Slavs made up 50 to 75 percent of the population. By 1714 Germans constituted 52 percent of the population, followed by the Serbs (41 percent) and a tiny minority of Hungarians (5 percent). The relative proportions did not change significantly during the remainder of the century. Although at the beginning of the eighteenth century Hungarians had a plurality in Pest (40 percent), by mid-century Pest, too, had become a German city; in 1746, 67 percent of its population was German, while Serbs and Hungarians made up 17 and 16 percent, respectively.

The administration and economic life of Buda from the 1420s until the Ottoman conquest was regulated by the Ofner Stadtrecht (Buda book of statutes). Under King Matthias I Corvinus (ruled 14581490) Buda became the center of the Hungarian Renaissance, contributing significantly to education and culture. The king's library, the Bibliotheca Corviniana, housed some three thousand volumes and was one of the richest libraries in Europe, equaled only by that of the Vatican. Under Ottoman rule, Buda and Pest acquired a clear Oriental character, with mosques and Turkish baths, several of which were still in use at the beginning of the twenty-first century. In the eighteenth century Buda and Pest regained their status as the country's political and cultural centers. New churches, monasteries, and schools were built by various religious ordersJesuits, Franciscans, Poor Clares, Carmelites, Capuchins, and Augustinians. These new edifices, along with the baroque palace erected by Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI (ruled 17111740; king of Hungary as Charles III) and Maria Theresa (queen of Hungary, 17401780), gave the twin cities their distinct baroque look.

See also Austro-Ottoman Wars ; Habsburg Territories ; Hungary.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Balázs, Éva H. Hungary and the Habsburgs, 17651800: An Experiment in Enlightened Absolutism. Translated by Tim Wilkinson. Budapest, 1997.

Fekete, Lajos. Buda and Pest under Turkish Rule. Budapest, 1976.

Gerő, András, and János Poór, eds. Budapest: A History from its Beginnings to 1998. Translated by Judit Zinner, Cecil D. Eby, and Nóra Arató. Boulder, Colo., 1997.

GÁbor Ágoston

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"Budapest." Europe, 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Feb. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Budapest

Budapest Capital of Hungary, on the River Danube. It was created in 1873 by uniting the towns of Buda (capital of Hungary since the 14th century) and Pest on the opposite bank. It became one of the two capitals of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In 1918, it was declared capital of an independent Hungary. Budapest was the scene of a popular uprising against the Soviet Union in 1956. The old town contains a remarkable collection of buildings, including Buda Castle, the 13th-century Matthias Church, the parliament building, the National Museum, and Roman remains. Industries: iron and steel, chemicals, textiles. Pop. (2001) 1,775,203.

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"Budapest." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Feb. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Budapest

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