Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Contemporary Hungary. The Arts. Shooting flames: Katy Perry "Firecracker" Video Filmed in Budapest

Contemporary Hungary
1.  Katy Perry sings: Firecracker. Featured is a scene with a tunnel below, the dark area going up a steep hillside to a fine set of buildings at the top, the old Castle District; video at
Meet Budapest at dusk.
The bridge in the video is the Chain Bridge, seen here from the Castle District side, above the tunnel:
The videographer missed the most inspirational part of Budapest, however:  the Turul Falcon, symbol of the Magyar people:


Look for the Katy Perry video reference at, a vertical search engine focusing on references to Hungary.  We did not find it. Find an overview of Miner at Everyman's encyclopedia,  The travel way of life is not listed as a topic, nor is history; that limits its scope.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Old Town and walking the interior; Poet of the Szozat

Magyar Migration Memorial, Budapest, Hungary

 Wars and nationalism. One group using the first to thwart another's second. Then the tables turn.

The large monument is at Vorosmanty Square, the Poet of the Szozat, or Mihaly Vorosmanty, poet of Budapest. He wrote of 9th century Hungary, Magyar heritage, and lived in the 19th century. He is known for his inspirational heroic epics, and narrative poems. See

And the quiet of just wandering about a square. No schedules. Nobody telling you where you are supposed to look.

Old town square in Budapest has the splendid cafes and shops surrounding an open area, and our feet were sore, but I did not take a picture because the charge for a beer was going to be $10 so we politely got up and smiled ruefully, and strolled to a less pricey area.

Keep your wallet currency converter handy. See Europe Road Ways - How We Do It.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Boundaries. Hungary in WWII; History of Expansions, Territory Gained, Lost

Hungarian-style house, Croatia. Historically fluid migrations.

Any travel to Eastern Europe highlights the fluidity of boundaries and conquests of neighbors as well as outside invaders.  This is also seen in the architecture.

The histories of rulers show much back and forth as nationalities emerged, identified and coalesced. Here is a Hungarian house in Croatia.

See other Hungarian houses and populations in  Romania Road Ways, and Romania Road Ways, Vlad Tepes sites.

There find a history of rulers and interactions and influence by Hungary throughout the Balkans and Eastern Europe that are just barely echoed now in modern Hungary, focused as is now for the tourist at Budapest.

Janos Hunyadi. John the Hungarian.

In particular, meet Janos Hunyadi: The ruler who raised Vlad the Impaler from a child to adulthood, as part of a child-rearing hostage situation, as was not unusual at the time, and later killed Vlad's father, and his castle in Romania at Hunedoara. See Romania Road Ways, Hunedoara.

"Hungar! Hungar!" would spit out a friend's Romanian parent, at the reference to Hungarians.  No decent person would associate.  Times do not change.  Austro-Hungarian Empire, Hungarian invasions elsewhere, others' invasions into Hungary. No answers to how to live together.

Pride in history and heritage.

Houses. See the blends. Hungarian houses are wooden and distinctive in Croatia, even near the capital of Croatia, Zagreb: this one at Sisenik. Many Croatian homes are stone, stucco. The wooden ones do stand out. I also recall that the Venetians and others used Croatia as a timber source for their ships and buildings at home. So much is deforested. Balance that concept with the fact that other countries that could use the abundance of wood to build homes, did so with fine decorations, borrowing from each other, and the fluidity idea grows. See Poland Road Ways, Traditional Zakopane.

Location, location, location.

Hungary served as a buffer against the Ottoman Empire's expansion, at a time when the rest of Christendom was not paying attention, too involved with other intrigues - see See also the overview of Muslim expansion in a quick summary at Europe Road Ways, Themes, Muslim Expansion. This massive defense effort further developed superior military skills - Hungarians were already legendary horsemen - but also a depletion of other resources.

Losses remembered, the drive to recoup.

Read about Hungary as an Axis force in WWII at :// So much war is about regaining lost turf. If that is so, is stability ever possible so long as there is memory.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Universal Architectures. Eastern Europe, Eyelid windows - Design moving West

Rural poor. Architecture as global. Hungary.

Rural Hungary is like any other rural area - some poorer, some more well-to-do. Bifurcate this multe-family house, and this coudbe Ireland, anywhere.

This neighborhood was in a village on the way, as we drove cross-country, from Budapest back to Slovakia. Ethnic group? Unknown.  Perhaps settled gypsy?  We considered that, because of the quick movements behind curtains, people left their yards as soon as we stopped to get our bearings.

See the eyelid windows below: no sharp eaves to leak.

Architecture: eyelid windows, in eaves, at roof areas. Eastern Europe

Look at the blue roof there. Watching. Eyelid windows are seen often in both traditional and modern houses - and in Romania (especially in Sibiu, to us - Sibiu windows -  where roof eyes follow you everywhere) and many other countries.

They are coming here. See also in the Hartford Courant 1/31/07 at the Money and Business section, D-1, by Robin Stansbury and photo in newspaper by Stephen Dunn: upscale homes with architectural features including these eyelid windows, as a way of opening up attic and eaves to living space with light. Nothing new.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Understandin Hungary's Past. Magyar and Khazar. Site for History of Central Europe; Tatar and Hussar.

 The Unknown Hungary, for many of us in the West

Our visit was brief. We need to go back to find out more.  Think Austro-Hungarian Empire. Who ad what is Hungary, apart from other empires. The nation is located at such a crossroads of invaders and trade, that much is unclear.  If you are a tourist, you just listen to the guide, perhaps. For free-lancers, issues and connections just beg to be explored.

1. History. Hungary and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. See The History of Central Europe, at // For Hungarian history, see ://

2. Tatars. In particular, read of the Mongol invasion of 1241- Mongols were also known as the Tatars. We learn that the Magyars, the Hungarians, learned then that they had to fortify. Apparently the famous Hussars, Hungarian light cavalry, were Polish, but were hired at that time by the Hungarians. When did the Hungarians then develop their own Hussars?

3. Hussars. Here is a site that has Hungary claiming the Hussars, at :// "Hungarian light cavalry units, called Hussars (huszars)...."

We may have a negative idea of mercenaries, but in those times, they were the professionals. There was no issue of cheap opportunism, out for hire. The site says that many units deserted the Austrians, once they were far away from Hungary; and fought for the Prussians. But they wore a costume of red and gold trim, not the leopard skin and winged back apparatus of the Polish Hussars? See the Polish Hussars at Poland Road Ways, Hussar.

Who rightfully claims the Hussars? Poland, with that "winged cavalry" that saved Vienna from the Ottomans, or Hungary? History is complex. See fine images at // - but still no wings as on the Poles.

The "Thousand Years" site also mentions Hussar service in the French. There were even Hussars in America at the time of the American Revolution. And the Civil War!

And with Garibaldi in Italy.

Poland, make your case. Promote a military genius. See Poland Road Ways, Hussars.

Hungarian history, Magyar and Khazar: Site for History of Central Europe

The Turul, that mythical bird, guide of the Magyars, is perhaps the most gripping - literally - national symbol we have seen. Far greater than the image of a mere eagle, the Turul actually seems to represent a people, a spirit.

How did that come about?  What are the Magyars, the Hungarians from the long ago.  Most of us in the West, perhaps, have no idea.

We found a site that adds a handy chronology. Go to The History of Central Europe, at // Helps explain "Turan" and overview.

Doing a "find" for Khazar in the Magyar section:

Khazars and Mongols overcome the Huns.

1. Magyars were vassals of the Khazars
2. Khazar era - 602-1016.
3. Area - Crimea to Caspian Sea, north to Volga
4. 7th Century - Khazar chief converts to Judaism, population follows
5. By 889, Magyars settle south of Kiev
6. Khazars expel those who replaced the Vlachs in Romania

Then what? The Turul, symbol of Hungarian Magyars.  A strong people.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Sequential Denationalizations - Heroes here, Oppressors There

Word associations.

"Hungar!" with a spit of disgust. A friend is showing how her Romanian mother, from Baia Mare, Romania, acts out her relatives' reaction during her childhood there, to anything Hungarian. They lived on one side of the street, the Romanians on another, and it was true segregation, I hear.

Magyars - heroes to Hungarian nationalists, demons to the Romanians who were subject to Hungarian denationalization of Transylvania during the last century. See And after the World Wars, allied denationalization of and on and on.

History and culture. People's universal dependable defense of their own, and driving desire to spread their own over boundaries. And do away with what the others already had over there. Wander in a fine overview to get a flavor of the scope of Hungarian culture and history - see

Specific leaders: Janos Hunyadi, or Janos Hundeoara who governed part of Romania when Vlad III Tepes sought his help in fending off the Turks (Ottoman Empire), is "Iancu" in Hungarian. Is this Iancu Hunyadi? I am researching the headdress here because I cannot find "Janowe II", that seems to be the inscription. Headdress is more like Michael the Brave, but he was in Romania. No, here he is here:

The inscription does not fit still. Back to Janos Hunyadi? An old etching of him also does not look like this, but keep looking. So the process goes. I am at, at the list and clicked on Janos Hunyadi (a/k/a Hunedoara in Romania - see also Romania Road Ways).

The history of nation-rearing is like child-rearing. The cycle of abuse perpetuating unless there is a strong intervention, or the individual has the unknown genome to rise above. The long back-and-forth between the Hungarian areas and the Romanian areas is laid out at See also Romania Road Ways.

Pre World War I. In 1867, the Budapest-Vienna agreement put all of Transylvania under Hungarian control, at a time when the other two Romanian areas, Wallachia (Vlad III Tepes) and Moldavia were united as "Romania." Hungary Magyarized Transylvania a process of denationalizing the Romanians, and then Russia Russified Moldavia.

Is there any country or group that does not seek to de-countrify the people it conquers. Like de-Baathification. People do not just go away. Just wait and see where their deeply held individual and group beliefs lead if they are simply discounted and turned loose. The hatreds intensify. Read history before leading a country anywhere.

A child not doing well in school? If you possibly can, skip other expenditures, and go with that child to another country. See what interests him/her. Start there.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Trams and river drives - Commercial Budapest - and Magyar, Buda and Pest origins

Hartford is discussing bring back the trolleys, citing the European tram system. Watch it. Efficient but deadly to the careless. Parking may be perpendicular to the tramway, the rail right there. Go back to open the trunk of your car, and if you hear that racket coming, sprint. See tram history at

They can't veer, so you have to.

Budapest was originally two settlements, one on each side of a wide river difficult to cross - the Danube. Then it became two towns, then two cities, then one by formal merger in 1873.

1. Buda was on the hilly, cliff side of the Danube River. Good for defense, castle high views, dominating. Pest was on the flat land side, conducive to markets, docks, trade routes, easier construction sites spreading. See Question there -was there a Buda who was Attila the Hun's brother?

2. Pest. The flat land, on the other side of the Danube. See Here is a view of the Pest side - multilevel motorways, trams. The Old Town and Jewish Quarters are an easy walk away. Handy to refer to one side of the river or the other by the shorthand, Buda side or Pest side, But remember that separate towns are no more; and that Budapest is a huge, commercial city. The glamor points on each side get more attention than the metropolitan nature of the entire area.

3. Romans: We did not visit the ruins, but you can find them here: They were here 100-500 AD says the site, and the Magyars arrived, after Attile helped defeat the Roman Empire, in the late 10th Century.

4. Magyars. The Magyars have a complex past of migrations and origins. Read about the Magyars at this site, an overview for the history of central Europe The Magyars have language links to the Finns-Estonians and others, and they are not Mongol or Turkish.

Others look to their origins as northwestern China. See Others compile. See Back to the site on central Europe at Magyars. Variation, and movement.

Many converted to Judaism in the 7th century, and settled south of Kiev, according to the "mysite" site. Many raided, as mercenaries, for others. They then became Roman Catholic, says the site - again, please dig into this. So much to learn on your own.

We may think of Jewish peoples as Semitic, from the ancient near east, see; but an entire population seems to have grown in central Europe, of different ancestry entirely.

Does that explain why so many photographs of victims of the Holocaust show Caucasians, and not near-eastern physical characteristics. We know of distinctions between Ashkenarzic and Sephardic, see Do those groups have different DNA??

Another group, "White Magyars" moved into the Carpathian areas. There are old Jewish cemeteries Sighetu Marmetei in Romania, see Romania Road Ways, the birthplace of Elie Weisel. In Moisei, Romania, there was a horrendous killing and destruction of this village with a majority Jewish population, see See Romania Road Ways, and the memorial at Moisei.

Migrations. Have to follow every one.

The Chain Bridge

Chain Bridge, Budapest

See it (this is an update) in the video of Katy Perry on "Fireworks".  There it is.  Global videos.

Here is the great link beween Buda, the hill-side of Budapest; and Pest, the flat plain side of Budapest. Walk across it from the hotels and old town area, the flat side, at sunset and all goes mauve.

Those are the parliament buildings on the far side at Pest; the picture is from Castle Hill - up the incline from the landing point of the bridge.

Count Szechenyi, instigator; English designer, William Clark; Scots engineer, Adam Clark (for whom the tunnel through the mountain on the Castle Hill side is named), no relation; mid-nineteenth century, triggering the unity of Buda and Pest and its enormous commercial growth, once the Danube was spanned. See

Sunday, September 2, 2007

The Castle District - On The Buda Side

Dan Widing at the Castle District, Budapest

The Castle District is honeycombed beneath the cliff with centuries of cave networks, some even used during WWII - there was a History Channel TV show on this that showed a German hospital set up in the underground warren. See www. and look for Cities of the Underworld.

See also

I understand that the caves are so close to the house basements that there are frequent holes opening up and down you go.

Buses are forbidden said the TV show, because of the weight.

Horse cart, Castle District. Budapest

The area other than the castle itself remains residential and elegant.