In 1361 Buda became the capital of Hungary (its present name is due to its later merging with the adjacent city of Pest). The city is very rich with monuments from various epochs (including its Ottoman occupation), but the biggest part of old buildings was erected in the nineteenth century. And virtually all of this is still there. This fact makes being in Budapest one of the most breathtaking experiences Europe has to offer: There is just so much splendour there. The proportions of this are indeed incredible. People have described the feeling of seeing Budapest for the first time as virtually dream-like.
The Hungarians were the first to open the Iron Curtain separating East and West in 1989 - and in a way this is typical of their culture.
Since the introduction of democracy and capitalism to Hungary, this classic city has turned into a cutting-edge modern-day mega-city. There has been so much development that Budapest can now only be described as hyper-modern while at the same time its old-fashioned flair has been retained. The old buildings now form a perfect ensemble with post-modern ones, often built by renowned star architects.