Budapest, Hungary

Touch down Budapest, capital of Hungary!

Budapest is the tenth-largest city in the European Union by population within city limits. When I arrived, I didn’t know what to expect of Budapest! I know that it is a beautiful city and with beautiful architecture--plus the fact that it actually in my bucket list but haven’t had the chance to put it in realization; so it's about time to explore the eastern Europe!

I must say that Budapest has strengths in commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and entertainment!! 

The central area of the city along the Danube River is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has many notable monuments, including the Hungarian Parliament, Buda Castle, Fisherman's Bastion, Gresham Palace, Széchenyi Chain Bridge, Matthias Church and the Liberty Statue. Many of these will be in my next post. Another famous landmarks include Andrássy Avenue, St. Stephen's Basilica, Heroes' Square, the Great Market Hall, the Nyugati Railway Station built by the Eiffel Company of Paris in 1877 and the second-oldest metro line in the world, the Millennium Underground Railway. The city also has around 80 geothermal springs, the largest thermal water cave system, second largest synagogue, and third largest Parliament building in the world.


Fontana di Trevi

Fontana di Trevi, Trevi means ‘three-ways’; referred to the junction of three roads on Piazza dei Cruciferi and also a famous Goddess named Trivia. She protected the streets of Rome and had three heads so she could see everything going on around her. She would always stand on the corners where three streets met.

Do not drink the water from the fountain (for your own health benefits) nor throwing a coin in for a speedy return to Rome! But do pray to Lord that you'll come back someday. I did.

More about the Trevi fountain can be viewed and read in my post here, from a visit of a couple years back. 


Rome Colosseum

Although partially ruined because of damage caused by earthquakes, stone-robbers and "recycle-use" of the marble commissioned by the past Pope, the Colosseum is still an iconic symbol of Imperial Rome. It is one of Rome's most popular tourist attractions and has also links to the Roman Catholic Church, as each Good Friday the Pope leads a torchlit "Way of the Cross" procession that starts in the area around the Colosseum. The Colosseum is also depicted on the Italian version of the five-cent euro coin.

More of the picture inside the Colosseum can be viewed in my post here


Vatican Museums & St. Peter's Basilica, Rome

look at the Crepuscular rays from St. Peter's Basilica
Musei Vaticani is Italian for Vatican Museums, that is located within Vatican City. It is established in the year of 1506, north of St. Peter's Basilica.

This is my second visit, my first visit can be viewed in my post here

The Vatican Museums are Christian and art museums that display works from the immense collection amassed by Popes throughout the centuries including some of the most renowned classical sculptures and most important masterpieces of Renaissance art in the world. The museums contain roughly 70,000 works, of which 20,000 are on display, and currently employ 640 people who work in 40 different administrative, scholarly, and restoration departments.

Pope Julius II founded the museums in the early 16th century.  The Sistine Chapel, with its ceiling decorated by Michelangelo and the Stanze di Raffaello decorated by Raphael, are on the visitor route through the Vatican Museums. In 2017, they were visited by 6 million people, which combined makes it the 4th most visited art museum in the world.

There are 54 galleries /or sala (I call it chamber of display) in total, with the Sistine Chapel being the very last sala within the Museum. There is no doubt that Vatican Museum is one of the largest museums in the world.


Jardin des Tuileries, Paris

Jardin des Tuileries / The Tuileries Garden is a public garden located between the Louvre and the Place de la Concorde in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, France. Created by Catherine de' Medici as the garden of the Tuileries Palace in 1564, it was eventually opened to the public in 1667 and became a public park after the French Revolution. In the 19th and 20th centuries, it was a place where Parisians celebrated, met, strolled and relaxed.


Place de la Concorde, Paris

Place de la Concorde is one of the major public squares in Paris, France. Measuring 8.64 hectares, it is the largest square in the French capital and located in the city's eighth arrondissement.

The place was designed by Ange-Jacques Gabriel in 1755 as a moat-skirted octagon between the Champs-Elysées to the west and the Tuileries Garden to the east. Decorated with statues and fountains, the area was named the Place Louis XV to honor the king at that time. The square showcased an equestrian statue of the king, which had been commissioned in 1748 by the city of Paris, sculpted mostly by Edmé Bouchardon, and completed by Jean-Baptiste Pigalle after the death of Bouchardon.


Montmartre, Paris

Montmartre is a large hill in Paris's 18th arrondissement. It is primarily known for its artistic history, the white-domed Basilica of the Sacré-Cœur on its summit, and as a nightclub district. 

We reached the place by metro, Pigalle line!

By the 19th century, the butte was famous for its cafés, guinguettes with public dancing, and cabarets. Le Chat Noir at 84 boulevard de Rochechouart was founded in 1881 by Rodolphe Salis, and became a popular haunt for writers and poets. The Moulin Rouge at 94 boulevard de Clichy was founded in 1889 by Joseph Oller and Charles Zidler; it became the birthplace of the French cancan.

Near the end of the 19th century and at the beginning of the twentieth, during the Belle Époque, many artists had studios or worked in or around Montmartre, including Amedeo Modigliani, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Suzanne Valadon, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso, Camille Pissarro, and Vincent van Gogh.