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250px-BudapestMap23.gifOf all of the places we visited in Europe, Hungary, Czeck Republic, Italy, France, Ireland, Germany, & Switzerland, Budapest was the most depressing. The people are still extremely upset about World War II, they are not friendly, and they aren't interested in tourists. They don't smile very much, and when they talk it is very short, sharp and matter-of-fact. Eighty percent of the city was blown up in World War II and has had to be rebuilt. Even though most of the city is failry new, it has a nice location with a river through the city and a hill where you can go to overlook the city, it isn't pretty like Paris. They consider Buda and Pest (said: 'pesht') to be two different cities - divided by the river.


The building that is lit on the left is the parliament building and there is a replica of the building made from 2000 matchsticks. The couple who made the model couldn't get it out of their apartment after they completed it so they tore out a wall and the government put them in a new house afterwards. Half of the Parliament building is rented out to people as living spaces - like apartments.
The thing that impressed me the most was a church we went to that was huge. The Ottoman Empire conquered the area and thought the church was too beautiful to destroy, so they buried it. The entire church was buried and then was excavated in the 1920's. There was a tremendous organ inside and if I hadn't seen the pictures of them digging the church out of the ground, I would never have believed it. There was also a castle next to the church which was buried also.

Kevin C.