A large part of the hill consists of parkland — keeps your eyes peeled for bats and hedgehogs during the summer nights
Gellért Hill is 235m high, and towers over the Danube. It only started to be called Gellért Hill from the 15th century onwards, in honour of St Gerard, a bishop who was killed by pagans during their rebellion against Christianity in 1046. They put him in a barrel and rolled him off the top and straight into history.
War and peace
The citadel at the top was built by the ruling Habsburgs after the 1849 Hungarian uprising as it offered a perfect site for shelling either Buda or Pest if there was a future revolt. It was used for similar purposes by the Russians after the Second World War: Soviet tanks bombarded the city from Gellért Hill to put down the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. The Citadel has since been a prison and an anti-aircraft missile launchpad, but is now a tourist attraction.
The Statue of Liberty celebrates Hungary’s more free and peaceful recent history. Standing atop Gellért Hill, this lovely monument can be seen from all parts of the city. Although erected during the Communist era, the statue became a symbol of the city and was spared during the purge of other Communist icons in the 90s.
Up and down
Although it is quite a hike to the top, the view is worth it. Many consider it to be the finest panorama of Budapest and the Danube, but it can be quite crowded, so it is best to come on weekday afternoon if possible. Then on the way down you can give your feet a well-earned rest at the Gellért Baths, by Liberty Bridge.
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