Buda (Ger. Of en), the capital of Hungary, on the right bank of the Danube, in lat. 47° 30' N, Ion. 19° 3' E., 133 m. E. S. E. of Vienna; pop. in 1870, 53,998, mostly Germans. On the opposite bank of the Danube, here 1,400 feet wide, is the larger city of Pesth, the two being connected by a suspension bridge and regular steam ferry boats. The two cities are sometimes spoken of as one, under the name of Buda-Pesth (Hun. Budapest), the joint population being more than 250,000. The German name Ofen, "oven" or "stove," was probably given to Buda on account of the hot springs in the neighborhood. Buda is the official residence of the emperor of Austria as king of Hungary, and the seat of the principal government offices of the kingdom, as distinguished from the other parts of the Austrian empire. The city, about 9 m. in circuit, is built around the Schlossberg, an isolated shelving rock, crowned by a castle built in 1748 by the empress Maria Theresa from the ruins of an old fortress. The Schlossberg is the finest part of the city, and is surrounded by walls, from which the suburbs extend toward the river.
The principal buildings on the Schlossberg are the royal palace, a quadrangular structure 564 ft. in length, containing 203 apartments, partially destroyed during the bombardment of 1849, but since restored; and the Gothic parish church, built in the 13th century, but much modernized; during the Turkish supremacy it was converted into a mosque, and afterward into a stable. In this church the emperor Francis Joseph was crowned king of Hungary in 1867; adjoining the church are the government offices, treasury, and the palaces of several of the ministers. In the centre of the palace square is the Hentzi memorial, a Gothic cross erected to the memory of Hentzi, the Austrian commander of Buda, who with 418 comrades, whose names are inscribed upon the monument, fell in the siege of 1849. In an adjacent chapel are preserved the Hungarian regalia, consisting of the sword, crown, sceptre, and mantle of St. Stephen. The crown, or rather its original part, was sent to St. Stephen by Pope Sylvester II. in the year 1000, the time of the establishment of Christianity in Hungary, and is called "the holy and apostolical crown." It was always most sedulously guarded, and only exhibited in public for the three days preceding the crowning of a sovereign; and when taken to Presburg for the coronation it was placed in an iron case, sealed with the royal seal.
It was carried off by Kossuth to Debreczin in 1849, after the surrender of Vilagos hidden in the ground near Orsova, on the Turkish frontier, and not recovered till 1853. Beyond the Schlossberg is the Blocksberg, a still higher hill, formerly surmounted by an observatory, and now by a fort which commands both Buda and Pesth. From the Blocksberg and other eminences in the neighborhood the walled and then strongly fortified portion of Buda was shelled by Gorgey in 1849. A tunnel connects the Schlossberg and the Blocksberg. There are in Buda 12 Roman Catholic churches, a Greek church, a synagogue, several monasteries and convents, a theatre, and important military, educational, and benevolent institutions. The principal trade is in red wines produced in the neighborhood. There are cannon founderies, ship yards in which many of the steamers navigating the Danube are built, and some manufactories of silk, velvet, cotton, woollen, and leather. In the suburbs, especially at the foot of the Blocksberg, are numerous hot springs, with remains of Roman and Turkish baths.
The most famous of these springs are those of the " Emperor's Baths," adjoining Old-Buda (Hun. O-Buda; Ger. Alt-Of en), a suburban place, which is supposed to occupy the site of the Aquincum of the Romans (pop. in 1870,16,002).
The suspension bridge over the Danube has taken the place of a bridge of boats. The width of the central waterway is 627 ft., and from centre to centre of the towers 677 ft., exceeding by 117 ft. that between corresponding points in the Menai chain bridge; each of the side openings is 271 ft. wide; the towers rise 117 ft. above water level. The bridge, begun in 1840, cost more than $3,000,000. It was first opened Jan. 5, 1849, to give passage for the Hungarian army under Gorgey in its retreat. - The earliest part of modern Buda was built in the 13th century. It was the residence of the Hungarian kings; was taken by the Turks under Solyman the Magnificent in 1526, but recovered in the following year; was regained by the Turks in 1529, and retaken by Charles of Lorraine in 1686, after a protracted and memorable siege; and in 1784 was again made the seat of the Hungarian government. The last of the many sieges of Buda took place in May, 1849, when the Hungarians under Gorgey took it by assault. (See Pesth).