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The Buda Castle (Hungarian: Budai Vár) is the historical royal castle of the Hungarian kings in Budapest, Hungary.
The Castle of Buda was built on the southern tip of Castle Hill, next to the old Castle District (Hun: Várnegyed), which is famous about its medieval, Baroque and 19th century houses and public buildings. The first royal residence on the Castle Hill was built by King Béla IV of Hungary between 1247 and 1265.
"Europe has three jewelled cities: Venice on the waters, Florence on the plains, and Buda on the hill" - so claimed medieval travellers. Today, the view of both banks of the Danube and the Castle District of Buda form a World Heritage Site.
Several buildings in the Castle District are important in their own right, for example, Matthias Church; the office of the president of the republic in the Sándor Palace, in front of which there is a change of guards each midday to the accompaniment of music; and, of course, the Royal Palace, home to national collections and museums.
The Castle District's town houses with their courtyards, ground floor wings, gateways with sediles, and cellars with dried-up wells all conjure up the atmosphere of the wealthy Buda of the long-gone Middle Ages. It is well worth taking a peek into most of them. Running the length of the District's western side, Árpád Tóth Walk invites you to take a stroll with its quietness, its attractive landscaping, and its beautiful view over Buda. However, the scenery to the west cannot beat that of the eastern side, where the view over Pest and the Danube belonging to the World Heritage Site opens up from the Fishermen's Bastion and the Palace Square.
The winding caves within the belly of Castle Hill (Várhegy) were carved over the centuries by the power of the underground water; people have used them for hiding, storage and escape routes. The Labyrinth of the Buda Caste is dangerous for anyone unfamiliar with this subterranean town, famous for its legends, but everyone may visit with a guide.

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Additional Photos by George Rumpler (Budapestman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 8900 W: 3 N: 20435] (82620)
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