Budapest, the capital city of Hungary and the country's principal political, industrial, commercial and transportation centre, has more than 1.7 million inhabitants, down from a mid-1980s peak of 2.07 million.
It became a single city occupying both banks of the river Danube with the amalgamation in 1873 of right-bank Buda (Ofen in German) and Óbuda (Old Buda or Alt-Ofen) together with Pest on the left (east) bank.
It is the sixth largest city in the European Union.
Budapest's recorded history begins with the Roman town of Aquincum, founded around 89 AD on the site of an earlier Celtic settlement near what was to become Óbuda, and from 106 until the end of the 4th century the capital of the province of lower Pannonia.
Aquincum was the base camp of Legio II Adiutrix.
Today's Pest became the site of Contra Aquincum (or Trans Aquincum).
The area was occupied around the year 900 by the Magyars, the ancestors of today's ethnic Hungarians, who a century later founded the kingdom of Hungary.
Already a place of some significance, Pest recovered rapidly from its destruction by Mongol invaders in 1241, but it was Buda, the seat of a royal castle since 1247, which in 1361 became the capital of Hungary.
The Ottoman Empire's conquest of most of Hungary in the 16th century interrupted the cities' growth: Pest fell to the invaders from the south in 1526 and Buda 15 years later.
While Buda remained the seat of a Turkish governor, Pest was largely derelict by the time of their recapture in 1686 by Austria's Habsburg rulers, since 1526 kings of Hungary despite their loss of most of the country.
This page was retrieved and condensed from (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budapest) in July 2005.
All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License (see Copyrights for details).
Aquincum is an integral part of Budapest and I have been through it, around it and near it many, many times, but here are photos of two occasions when I photograph it.
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