Gellért Hill

  District XI     more than a year ago
Best approached from beside the Hotel Gellért on the Buda side of Szabadság Bridge, the Gellért hill, named after Hungary’s first Christian martyr St Gerard (who was rolled down it in a barrel lined with spikes!), is crisscrossed by secluded paths with turret-like lookout posts which provide dramatic views of Pest and the Danube. Close to the centre of town, Gellert is home of the Citadella and boasts a wonderful labyrinth of different trails. All paths eventually lead to the summit from where the Statue of Liberty watches over the city. Behind the Statue of Liberty is the Citadella (see Essential Budapest). The views of a 360 degree panorama of Budapest and beyond its borders are spectacular. Many people like to take a break from the city life and hike the area, which is just about big enough to get lost in.

Within the hill there is the Gellért Hill Cave, part of a network of caves within Gellért which now serves as a chapel. The Cave chapel is where the anti-Communist cardinal Jozsef Mindszenty preached to thousands of followers before being arrested and imprisoned in 1948 by the authorities. In 1951 the cave chapel was bricked up and was not reopened until 1989. A World Heritage site, Géllert houses three traditional thermal baths at its foot: Gellért, Rudas and Rác. Take the 18 Tram from Battányi tér or from Deák tér the 47 or 49 to the Gellért hotel stop. Walks can start from the Freedom bridge or Elisabeth Bridge.


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