|— City —|
|Capital City of Budapest
|Danube River, lion guarding the Chain Bridge, Heroes' Square, the Parliament Building, Fisherman's Bastion, St. Stephen's Basilica, and a panorama from Gellért Hill with Buda Castle on the left.|
|Nickname(s): Heart of Europe, Pearl of Danube, Capital of Freedom, Capital of Spas and Thermal Baths, Capital of Festivals|
|Unification of Buda, Pest and Óbuda||17 November 1873|
|- Body||Budapest General Assembly|
|- Mayor||István Tarlós (Fidesz)|
|- City||525.2 km2 (202.8 sq mi)|
|- Urban||2,538 km2 (979.9 sq mi)|
|- Metro||7,626 km2 (2,944.4 sq mi)|
|Elevation||Lowest (Danube) 96 m
Highest (János hill) 527 m (315 to 1,729 ft)
|- Rank||1st (7th in EU)|
|- Density||3,314/km2 (8,583.2/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|- Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|ISO 3166 code||HU-BU|
|GDP per capita PPS||€37,632 ($52,770)|
In 2007 Budapest had 1,696,128 inhabitants with an official agglomeration of 2,451,418 , down from a mid-1980s peak of 2.1 million. Budapest became a single city occupying both banks of the river Danube (Hungarians call it the Duna river) with the amalgamation on 17 November 1873 of right-bank (west) Buda (Ofen in German) and Óbuda (Old Buda or Alt-Ofen) together with Pest on the left (east) bank.
Aquincum, originally a Celtic settlement, was the direct ancestor of Budapest, becoming the Roman capital of Lower Pannonia. Magyars (pronounced "mahdyars") arrived in the territory around 900. Their first settlement was pillaged by the Tatars in 1241-42. The re-established town became one of the global centers of Renaissance humanist culture in the 15th century. Following nearly 150 years of Ottoman rule, development of the region entered a new age of prosperity in the 18th and 19th centuries, and Budapest became a global city after the 1873 unification of its three constituents. It also became the second capital of Austria-Hungary, a great power that dissolved in 1918.
Widely regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Budapest is considered an important Central European hub for business, culture and tourism. Its World Heritage Sites include the banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter, Andrássy Avenue and the Millennium Underground railway, the first on the European continent. Budapest attracts over 20 million visitors a year, making it one of the top destinations in Europe. The city ranks 74th on Mercer Consulting's 'World's Top 100 Most Livable Cities' list.
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