Experience Fisherman’s Bastion

Experience Fisherman’s Bastion
Fisherman’s Bastion is one of Budapest’s most popular destinations for travellers. Fisherman’s Bastion, or Halászbástya, is a lookout tower that quite literally looks like someone tore a picture out of a fairy-tale. With 7 tall turrets jutting out from the Buda hillside, it presents like a castle – but it was actually intended to be a decorative lookout station. For many travellers the initial attraction to visit is for the fabulous views, which overlook Pest, but the architecture and grandeur of it can take your breath away too!
Fisherman's Bastion
Fisherman's Bastion Statues
“Going for walks in Budapest became my hobby, I spent eight weeks in Budapest, there wasn’t a single day when I didn’t walk over to Buda to the Castle. ” Anthony Hopkins, WeloveBudapest website, 2015.

Unique Things to See and Do Near Fisherman’s Bastion

  • Visit the Matyas  (Matthias) Church
  • Explore the Buda Castle
  • Walk over the Chain Bridge
  • Take the Funicular up to Fisherman’s Bastion

A Brief History on Fisherman’s Bastion

Not your typical defensive outpost, Fisherman’s Bastion was constructed to commemorate 1000 years of statehood. Fisherman’s Bastion was built over many years, from 1885 to 1905, by Frigyes Schulek. He was known for his Neo-Romanesque style which can be seen in several reconstructions around Hungary. Most notably, he also rebuilt the Church of Our Lady in the Buda Castle which is now known as the Matthias Church. At Fisherman’s Bastion, the whole complex is a layering of terraces, 7 turrets, and corridors.

So what makes Fisherman’s Bastion a hot spot to visit?
As we already mentioned, the views at Fisherman’s Bastion are the best in the city. The whole castle district is bigger than you’d expect. There are still parts of the original castle but only very little. The original stonework provided the outline for the reconstruction, however, Schulek introduced some new lines with the reconstruction. Had this been an actual fortified castle wall there would not have been viewing spaces within the walls.

Since the reconstruction was a revitalization project for the city of Budapest, the city gave Schulek some creative license. To that point, Budapest had been occupied by different ethnic groups (which has contributed to making the city a great culinary experience) – and because of it the city felt like a patchwork of building styles. With the reconstruction of Mattias church, Schulek used the neo-gothic architecture to tie the two buildings together, specifically to create a feeling of continuity within the castle district. It also encouraged more people to come and view the area and bring life back to the beautiful streets.

There’s one statue that you won’t be able to miss, the Statue of St.Stephen. St.Stephen was the first Hungarian King and reigned from 1000 – 1038. Created by Alajos Strobl, one of Hungary’s renowned sculptors, who also created the Matthias Fountain at the Buda Castle, this statue was created out of bronze metals. The green hue has appeared as the bronze has oxidized over the years.

As you walk up the stairs to the terraces you’ll see many statues along the way. All of them commemorate Hungary’s national history and pay tribute to those who were most influential.

Did you know…?

That each one of the seven towers represents the seven chieftain tribes of Magyars who together formed the major political units of Hungary in 896.

Did you ALSO know…?

The statue of St. Stephen honours the first King of Hungary – King Stephen.

Statue of St.Stephen

Getting to Fisherman’s Bastion

If you are planning a visit to the Matthias Church, which you really ought to, you can find Fisherman’s Bastion right next door.

The address is Szentháromság Tér, and the metro stop is Moszkva Tér, or Castle Bus (VÁRBUSZ). From the Chain Bridge you can take the funicular up to the terraces of the Castle Hill and from there catch the public bus called Varbusz from the Moskva ter. The more physically fit can opt to walk the pathways up which will take about 10 minutes.

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