RU  UK  EN
Articles  >  Visit  >  Underground Brilliance of the Empire: Budapest Metro

Underground Brilliance of the Empire: Budapest Metro

Author: 11.03.2018 | history, Hungary
After having spent merely an hour for a flight from Kiev, I suddenly realized I reached the city where continental Europe’s oldest subway is situated. And things that Budapest underground is famous for are not limited to this. OUTLOOK sets on a trip around metropolitan of one of the world’s most beautiful cities. Want to go down?

Many-centuries-old Budapest was considered second most important city of Austria-Hungary. And although the state only existed for slightly over 50 years, grandeur and dignity of the empire haven’t evaporated. It is suffice to take a look at the building of Hungarian Parliament. A single accidentally-casted look won’t be enough, though – there is no way you can take your eyes off of this masterpiece of architecture and will spend several hours near it.

Upon a walk beneath planetrees along Bajza Street, I decided to cross the road – to have a closer look at one of the buildings. I noticed a typical underground walkway, went down – to find subway there to my surprise. A small and cozy station almost free from people turned out to be located at a funny depth of some five-seven meters.

Photo steblina.com

This is how I got to the oldest subway in continental Europe (with prejudice to its first prototype – a 600-meters-long Tunnel or Tünel in Istanbul). First stations on current yellow line were built in 1896 – to commemorate millennium of “Conquest of the Homeland”. Local citizens are positive: a little less than 900 years prior their predecessors came to Danube to found Budapest. Ceremony of the line’s launch – and that was 10 stations at once – was honored with the presence of Emperor of Austria-Hungary Franz Joseph himself.

It is very much possible that they came up with a pompous reason to launch metropolitan later because construction of the subway began as far back as in 1870. In 19th century Budapest was one of the fastest-growing cities of Austria-Hungary and citizens were suffocating without new means of transport.

Photo s00.yaplakal.com

Everything remained just as it was in early 20th century there: for moist-protection’s sake walls are carefully decorated with tile, wood and cast iron in the style of modern. The word is that Vörösmarty Street station still has centuries-old table preserved on it. Several minutes later a tiny 30-meter long yellow train arrived at the station; it looked like a funicular tram. It can transport the maximum of 250 people at once in four cars – twice less than what we are accustomed to.

I entered it to reach the next stop in a minute: spaces between stations are very short there – 400 meters on average. Before departure train makes a sharp and loud sound – this way passengers were informed that cars were about to start moving a century ago.

Photo travelin.pl

The oldest line, yellow one, accounts for 11 stations, its length slightly exceeds four kilometers. Hungarians don’t even reckon it among metro lines and habitually call it in old-fashioned way “a földalatti” (“the underground”). The subway runs beneath central up-market avenue of the city, Andrássy Avenue, and is one of the city’s landmarks.

Against the background of touching Yellow line other three lines of Budapest Metro – blue, red and green ones –are quite something. Their construction began under socialist Hungary, in mid 20th century. On the blue line I suddenly saw cars, painfully familiar to every CIS citizen, made on Mytishchi Car-Making Factory. Born in 1970-1980 they very much look their age. Only on the inside they were slightly modernized not to clatter and also seats upholstery was changed. Truth be told, in 2012 little by little these cars, that are in fact worth becoming museum exhibits, started being replaced with modern ones.

Photo europaenfotos.com

Another distinctive of Budapest Metro – there are no ticket barriers there. Tickets are only valid an hour after you put them into a special validating punch. Basically, you can enter subway and get wherever you need just like that, nobody will stop you. But you don’t want to do that – right there in a car or by an exit from the subway you can be halted by inspectors. These intimidating men or even women with red bands on their sleeves can fine you for the amount that surpasses the cost of 65(!) trips.

Main photo c1.staticflickr.com

It will be interesting:
Thermal baths: Another reason to visit Budapest
Owing to its majestic beauty and luxury, many people do not hesitate to refer to Budapest as "Eastern European Paris". In this city, literally drenched in bronze and granite, hours of walks and excursions fly quickly, echoing in the evening with tired and buzzing legs. In order to get a recharge after a few busy days and to go on active acquaintance with the Hungarian capital.
Forgotten art: Chinese ceremony in South Korea
After the walking along the boisterous streets of Seoul one wants to take it easy in a café drinking a cup of flavored tea, however, it never happens like that. Good teahouses are found out only near Buddhist monasteries or at the bohemian pedestrian street Insadon. Chinese ceremony in Korea that is incomparable with the rough schedule of offices and remaining the joy of wise people and privilege of the masters.
Rice fields: Grains of unbelievable beauty
- Do you want to try some rice? - such a question is greeted by guests in China. And if the owners are also farmers, they can invite you on an unusual excursion and show you the masterpiece of natural art. The grass which we often eat without thinking about its aesthetics, at the time of growing resembles a blanket woven from multi-colored rags ...
Antique guide: European flea markets
Despite a wide-spread belief, European flea markets have little in common with both second-hand and ordinary trade rows on traditional merchandise markets. These places per se are unique due to a one-of-a-kind reflection of the country’s spirit and what at first glance seems like plain goods may tell you about its past and help feel a spirit of an era.
"So sorry for the bird!". Feathered Mauritius symbol
Figurines of dodo bird “invaded” all souvenir shops of Mauritius and its image even managed to become a national symbol complementing to the country’s emblem. But the most grievous thing of all is that all this glory came to Raphus cucullatus after it was completely extinct from the face of Earth – and it took it less then a hundred years…
Hajdúszoboszló: To take an aath in gold
Local citizens must have known what they were doing when they decided to suffuse hectares of their land with weird-colored and odd-smelling water. Today Hajdúszoboszló bathes millions of tourists in “boiling gold” thus earning real one.
Táncház. The Embassy of Hungary holds dancing workshop
Cultural interaction is among priority lines of developing cooperation between countries. The Embassy of Hungary in Ukraine launched year 2019 with a chain of educational events about Hungarian folk heritage and believe us or not because of its drive energy you should definitely dance on your best at the floor!
VIDEO: Majestic heritage of Uzbekistan
Thanks to the Embassy of Uzbekistan in Ukraine and personally Ambassador extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Alisher Abdualiev OUTLOOK was lucky enough to visit this hospitable country. And today we will tell about a unique place - the Mausoleum of the prominent military leader and political figure of Amir Temur.
Don’t break the tongue: The hardest languages in the world
It is said, the easier it is, the better we feel, however, is it always like that? We know that not all the nations follow this principle. Outlook has found out the strangest, toughest and hard in articulation international languages and would like to share it with the readers.
Sculpture of the Vatican: history and philosophy
"A small territory with a great mission" is the motto under which on February 11, 1929 Lateran Treaty between the Kingdom of Italy and the Holy See recognized Vatican as a sovereign territory. It was an agreement which opened doors for curious patrons who for centuries had been trading gossip about "What is kept inside Vatican castles?". Evil tongues grumbled that the walled enclave protected magic books of how to seize the world, the castle’s cellars hide torture chambers for sinners, and after liturgies alchemists are busy inventing the Philosopher's Stone. But when museums welcomed visitors, both guests and the Romans gasped with delight. Collectors estimated that the cost of all the works of art featured by almost the smallest country in the world, is 150 times more than the world's GDP.
György Oravecz. Interview with Hungarian piano player whose hands floats above the key-buttons
During seven years autumn Kyiv is full of the sounds of breath-taking melodies and touching etudes of the prominent Hungarian composer Ferencz Liszt. It has become a kind tradition for the Embassy of Hungary to invite the best musicians in Ukraine as well as the loyal students of maestro before his birthday. This year the famous piano player György Oravecz came to the capital of Ukraine to perform the legendary plays of Liszt…The project OUTLOOK has been lucky to speak to the famous musician.
The Ambassador of Hungary to Ukraine organized diplomatic reception
Hungary celebrates two national holidays, such as Memory Day of Hungarian Rebellion (dated back to the 23-rd of October, 1956) and Hungary Republic Announcement Day (that happened in 1989). The capital of Ukraine also joins the celebrations. Beforehand, it was a diplomatic reception in the Embassy of Hungary to Ukraine.
VIDEO: the mystery in the South of France - Chauvet cave
Today, OUTLOOK will give you a tour at the place where it is impossible to get an ordinary person!
A word spoken is past recalling
Words we vocalize every day seem ordinary and familiar to us. We even get the feeling that, for instance, the word “chauffeur” existed forever. There is only this slight nuance: cars themselves re a little over hundred years old… Hence, things aren’t that simple when it comes to our day-to-day vocabulary. Well then, why not recollect interesting stories of other words origin?
If you have 10 dollars and you are in Budapest
We continue our one of the most practical and useful sections on city prices on how you spend $ 10 worth. Today's story is about Budapest - one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe
Peacekeeping Is Power: United Nations Day
United Nations Organization was created in order to cease global violence, protect human rights and eradicate poverty. On October, 24, 1945 founding states ratified the treaty on creation of global body that acquired the name the UN.
Pompeii: Life under ashes
Human history remembers Dresden, Hiroshima, Nagasaki. The list goes on and it includes Pompeii where residents turned into stoned monuments against their will. Located near modern Naples, the city with views of Mount Vesuvius was one of the most developed cities not only in the Roman Empire, but also in Europe. Once thriving community it flourished in many spheres: painting...
THEIR HUNGARIAN HEARTS. THE MOST PROMINENT REPRESENTATIVES OF THE COUNTRY.
You probably know, or certainly heard about Calvin Klein and his contribution to the world of fashion. However, less known is the fact that Kelvin’s parents and grandmother came from Hungary. So, today we are telling our readers about people with real Hungarian hearts...
Le Grand Louvre
First exhibition of paintings in the world’s most visited museum the Louvre was opened on 1793. But its building was well-known far beyond France, though the edifice was not used with such lofty cultural purposes.
Everyone Needs Money
They are referred to differently in every other place but are loved, probably, in the same way everywhere. Sure enough, we talk about money or more precisely their “second names” because alongside official ones currencies have common nicknames.
Close
Outlook facebook page