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Buda in the Middle Ages (Nuremberg Chronicle, 1493)

Buda (Hungarian pronunciation: [ˈbudɒ])[1] was the historic capital of the Kingdom of Hungary and, since 1873, has been the western part of the Hungarian capital Budapest, on the west bank of the Danube. Buda comprises a third of Budapest's total territory and is mostly wooded. Landmarks include Buda Castle, the Citadella, and the president of Hungary's residence, Sándor Palace.


According to a legend recorded in chronicles from the Middle Ages, the name "Buda" comes from the name of Bleda (Hungarian: Buda), brother of Hunnic ruler Attila.

Attila went in the city of Sicambria in Pannonia, where he killed Buda, his brother, and he threw his corpse into the Danube. For while Attila was in the west, his brother crossed the boundaries in his reign, because he named Sicambria after his own name Buda's Castle. And though King Attila forbade the Huns and the other peoples to call that city Buda's Castle, but he called it Attila's Capital, the Germans who were terrified by the prohibition named the city as Eccylburg, which means Attila Castle, however, the Hungarians did not care about the ban and call it Óbuda [Old Buda] and call it to this day.

The Scythians are certainly an ancient people and the strength of Scythia lies in the east, as we said above. And the first king of Scythia was Magog, son of Japhet, and his people were called Magyars [Hungarians] after their King Magog, from whose royal line the most renowned and mighty King Attila descended, who, in the 451st year of Our Lord’s birth, coming down from Scythia, entered Pannonia with a mighty force and, putting the Romans to flight, took the realm and made a royal residence for himself beside the Danube above the hot springs, and he ordered all the old buildings that he found there to be restored and he built them in a circular and very strong wall that in the Hungarian language is now called Budavár [Buda Castle] and by the Germans Etzelburg [Attila Castle]


Flag of Buda before 1873.[4]
Historical coat of arms of Buda, used between 1703 and 1873.[4]

The Buda fortress and palace were built by King Béla IV of Hungary in 1247, and were the nucleus around which the town of Buda was built, which soon gained great importance, and became in 1361 the capital of Hungary.[5]

While Pest was mostly Hungarian in the 15th century, Buda had a German majority;[6] however according to the Hungarian Royal Treasury, it had a Hungarian majority with a sizeable German minority in 1495.[7] In 1432, Bertrandon de la Broquière wrote that Buda "is governed by Germans, as well in respect to police as commerce, and what regards the different professions". He noted a significant Jewish population in the city, proficient in French, many of whom were descendants of Jews previously expelled from France.[8]

Buda became part of Ottoman-ruled central Hungary from 1541 to 1686. It was the capital of the province of Budin during the Ottoman era. By the middle of the seventeenth century Buda had become majority Muslim, largely resulting from an influx of Balkan Muslims.[9]

In 1686, two years after the unsuccessful siege of Buda, a renewed European campaign was started to enter Buda, which was formerly the capital of medieval Hungary. This time, the Holy League's army was twice as large, containing over 74,000 men, including German, Dutch, Hungarian, English, Spanish, Czech, French, Croat, Burgundian, Danish and Swedish soldiers, along with other Europeans as volunteers, artillerymen, and officers, the Christian forces reconquered Buda (see Siege of Buda).

After the reconquest of Buda, bourgeoisie from different parts of southern Germany moved into the almost deserted city. Germans — also clinging to their language — partly crowded out, partly assimilated the Hungarians and Serbians they had found here.[6] As the rural population moved into Buda, in the 19th century Hungarians slowly became the majority there.

Notable residents[edit]

Portrait of King Louis II of Hungary ca.1526

Twin cities[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ German: Ofen, Serbo-Croatian: Budim / Будим, Czech and Slovak: Budín, Ottoman Turkish: بودین, romanizedBudin
  2. ^ Mark of Kalt: Chronicon Pictum https://mek.oszk.hu/10600/10642/10642.htm
  3. ^ Anonymus, Notary of King Béla: The Deeds of the Hungarians https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/18975/1/18975.pdf
  4. ^ a b Nyerges, András, ed. (1998). Pest-Buda, Budapest szimbólumai [Budapest arms & colours: throughout the centuries]. Budapest: Budapest Főváros Levéltára. p. 2.
  5. ^  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainBriliant, Oscar (1911). "Budapest". In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 04 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 734–737, see page 737, first two lines. This fortress and palace were built by King Bela IV. in 1247, and were the nucleus round which the town of Buda was built, which soon gained significant importance, and became in 1361 the capital of Hungary
  6. ^ a b "Budapest". A Pallas Nagy Lexikona (in Hungarian). Retrieved 2009-11-03.
  7. ^ Károly Kocsis (DSc, University of Miskolc) – Zsolt Bottlik (PhD, Budapest University) – Patrik Tátrai: Etnikai térfolyamatok a Kárpát-medence határon túli régióiban, Magyar Tudományos Akadémia (Hungarian Academy of Sciences) – Földrajtudományi Kutatóintézet (Academy of Geographical Studies); Budapest; 2006.; ISBN 963-9545-10-4, CD Atlas
  8. ^ de la Brocquière, Bertrandon; Rossabi, Morris (2019). A mission to the medieval Middle East: the travels of Bertrandon de la Brocquière to Jerusalem and Constantinople. Translated by Johnes, Thomas. London New York Oxford New Delhi Sydney: I.B. Tauris. pp. 309–310. ISBN 978-1-83860-794-4.
  9. ^ Faroqhi, Suraiya (1994). "Crisis and Change, 1590–1699". In İnalcık, Halil; Donald Quataert (eds.). An Economic and Social History of the Ottoman Empire, 1300–1914. Vol. 2. Cambridge University Press. p. 440. ISBN 0-521-57456-0.
  10. ^ Bain, Robert Nisbet (1911). "Corvinus, János" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 7 (11th ed.). p. 210.
  11. ^ Bain, Robert Nisbet (1911). "Louis II. of Hungary" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 17 (11th ed.). pp. 49–50.
  12. ^ "Szalay, Ladislas" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 26 (11th ed.). 1911. p. 318.
  13. ^ Bain, Robert Nisbet (1911). "Eötvös, József, Baron" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 9 (11th ed.). p. 665.
  14. ^ Allbutt, Thomas Clifford (1911). "Semmelweiss, Ignatz Philipp" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 24 (11th ed.). p. 631.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

47°28′N 19°03′E / 47.467°N 19.050°E / 47.467; 19.050