Budapest, Hungary is a city of both historical and modern culture with elaborate architecture built from the 1700s forward. It was the 3rd stop on our May 2017 tour of Eastern Europe, and our favorite “big city” in the former Habsburg or Austro-Hungarian Empire. Budapest consists of 3 merged old cities along the picturesque Danube River: Buda, Pest, and Obuda, with fascinating, historical sites on both sides of the Danube.  This city’s architectural style, for the most part, is similar to Prague and Vienna,

because all were most part of the Habsburg Empire prior to World War I. Later, they were part of Nazi Germany, and except for Vienna, these cities were in the Soviet Bloc (of which there were still traces of ugly concrete-block buildings). Except for the Budapest Parliament, these former-Habsburg cities blend together in my mind. Again it was the Jewish section of Budapest that we remember most clearly, probably because of our wonderful guide, Gabriella, AND my emotional engagement in its history. Interestingly, the cities of Prague and Budapest have maintained their Jewish “ghettoes,” whether because they truly care or that tourists want to see these sights.