Budapest, the capital of Hungary, is a very exciting and historic place. Tourists can enjoy the historic beauty of the Castle District, and see how it has managed to mirror the country's past in its stones.
The Castle District rises 50 to 60 meters (165 to 200 ft.) above the Danube River, and is more than a square mile in diameter. Most of the buildings were built around the 13th century, and it is one of the most romantic pedestrian sections in Europe. The golden age of the district came during the reign of King Matthias (1458-1490) and for centuries it was the heart of the nation, with most of the offices of state located there.
After the World War II, no more than four of the 170 buildings on Castle Hill survived. Earlier the Turks had taken it over and destroyed just as many buildings. It took many years of restoration to become the historical center of Hungary, and part of the UNESCO. The historic buildings include Matthias Church, Fisherman's Bastion, The Royal Palace of Buda, King Matthias's Well, Museums, National Library, and the Courtyard.
Families have houses inside the district located on the historic streets. Every single house has specific characteristics, and most of them are designed to tell or show something about the past. Visitors rarely see white houses, since all of them are colorful with magnificent decoration around the windows. While it has a peaceful atmosphere, it is usually crowded with hundreds of tourists.
By the time the sun is rising, tourists are walking around, taking pictures, and visiting the historic landmarks, like the famous Matthias Church with its 80-meter (260 ft.) high stone-laced Gothic tower. A 14th century portrait depicting the Virgin Mary's death decorates the church's southern portal. Inside, the plastered walls are painted with colored ornamental design and at the northern part there are a series of sanctuaries.