On top of Gellért Hill stands the huge fortification known as The Citadella, which is now a popular tourist destination. Citadella, an Italian term that means 'fortress,' was formerly also used to terrorize the populace in addition to providing security.
Citadella was initially constructed by the Habsburgs during the Revolution of 1848 as a fortress to deter haughty Hungarians. Still, nowadays, we like to think of it as a symbol of freedom. Since 1987, it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Learn about the history of the Citadel:
After the unsuccessful Hungarian War of Independence (1848/49), the Habsburgs constructed it in 1854 as a warning to the Hungarians who were under Austrian rule 60 canons were installed by the Austrians in the Citadel. However, they were primarily used for show rather than for actual combat. A three-story anti-aircraft bunker was constructed inside the structure later, during the Second World War, making it the building's third usage for military purposes. In its dungeons, warehouses and hospitals for the injured were erected.
Although the fort's interior is not now accessible to the public, its ongoing exterior exhibits and stunning vista continue to draw visitors.
The Statue of Liberty at the Citadella's south-eastern bastion is visible from practically any place in Budapest, one of its unique features:
On top of the citadel is a spectacular Liberty Monument statue that honors those who gave their lives so that Hungary might gain her independence. It shows a proud woman who has been guarding Budapest since 1947.
The site of the stronghold was wise since it provided a good view of both Buda and Pest:
With stone walls ranging in height from 12 to 16 meters and 60 contemporary cannons concealed behind its portholes, they created a fort 220 meters long, 60 meters broad, and four meters thick.
Four years later, the Austrian army could already access its dungeons, while on the other side, its artillery loomed menacingly above the city of Pest.
Stroll with a stop at the Citadella:
As you ascend the twisting Szirtes road, you will see the mountainous region surrounding the Citadella, where you may stop and relax on the grass.
Feel touristy at this historical landmark: Since the 1960s, the Citadella has served as a popular tourist destination, and its former barracks have been transformed into a hotel. Also a great spot for wedding photos, it offers views of Buda Castle, Parliament, the Pest dam, and the Buda hills, in addition to the lovely bridges spanning the Danube's curve.
Citadella stny. 1, Budapest, Hungary