Time Required : An Entire Day
A lovely esplanade by the shores of the Danube in Hungary, the Danube Promenade covers the area between Szechenyi Chain Bridge and the Elizabeth Bridge (Erzsebet hid) on the Pest side. Historically significant and pleasant for strolls, this walkway offers stunning views across the Danube with upscale restaurants and cafes highlighting the skyline.
Leisure strolling on the beautiful Danube Promenade, also known as the Dunakorzo walkway, has been a tradition for locals and tourists alike since the 19th Century. This promenade once served popular hotels like the Ritz, the Hungaria and the Carlton on its scene and at present hosts a line of five-star luxury hotels, restaurants, bars, casinos and cafes. Bordering the promenade and overlooking the Danube are the mesmerizing views of the Buda Castle, Vigado Concert Hall, Hungarian Academy of Sciences and Gellert Hill. Along with this, the line of sculptures – which include William Shakespeare, Istvan Szechenyi, Jozsef baron Eotvos de Vasarosnameny, the Little Princess (Kiskiralylany) and Sándor Petofi on the walkway are another treat.
If you plan a walk on the promenade from the Elizabeth Bridge towards the Chain Bridge, first to grab your attention will be the Elizabeth Bridge itself. This white bridge is thought to be one of the most beautiful bridges in the country and connects the districts of Buda and Pest. It fell victim to the destructions during World War II but was rebuilt later in the 1960s using its original pillars.
Next on the promenade is Belvaros, the Inner City of the historic town of Pest which has the oldest church of the area, the Inner City Parish Church. Located close to this are the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Aquincum.
A popular spot along the walkway, the Gerbeaud Coffee House is a renowned coffe shop and confectionary.
The Vigado ter (Vigado Square) which was destroyed during World War II and at present hosts the famed Vigado theatre and hotel along with the statue of the Little Princess on the railings.
Further along the promenade are the shoe sculptures built as a memorial to honour the Jews who were shot by the fascist Arrow Cross militiamen. This composition honours the victims with sixty pairs of iron sculptured shoes, as a mark to the ones who were forced to remove their shoes before being shot. The ‘Shoes on the Danube Promenade’ attracts a vast number of tourists each year who come to pay their respects.
Further down the promenade is the Szechenyi Istvan Square, a tribute to the Chain Bridge’s founder, which hosts the famed Gresham Palace and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
Dunakorzo or the Danube promenade also forms the perfect spot to watch over the firework shows on New Year’s Eve and August 20th, the foundation day of Hungary.
The Danube Promenade had a row of hotels like the Hungaria, the Bristol and the Ritz which were built around the late 1860s and were later destroyed in World War II, with only the Ritz left standing. The Ritz was also later demolished in 1969. This promenade was a common spot for the upper-class section of the society who frequented it often during the summers prior to the World Wars. A lot of the promenade was destroyed at the time of World War II but was reconstructed in the 1970s and have since retained its former glory.
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