The liberty statues on Gellert Hill © Chris Bartle
Gellért Hill offers unrivalled panoramic views of the city, taking in both Buda and Pest and the meandering Danube. The hill was named after a bishop who was asked to convert pagan Magyars to Christianity but, according to legend, was killed by being rolled off the hillside in a barrel by militant heathens. A statue of the martyred Bishop stands at the base of the hill. On its summit stands the Liberation Monument, a female figure holding aloft the palm of victory, dedicated to the memory of Soviet troops who died freeing Hungary in 1945. With the fall of communism the inscription was changed to honour those who died for 'Hungary's prosperity'.
Behind the monument is the Citadella, or fortress, built after the 1848 revolution to provide military control against further uprisings. Today it houses a hostel and a museum. The hill is also home to several historic spas, valued for their medicinal qualities. The city's most famous spa, the Gellért Baths, is attached to the grand establishment of the Art Nouveau Gellért Hotel. Here visitors can relax in the thermal waters of the Roman-styled pool with its lion-headed spouts, surrounded by columns and mosaic patterns, or indulge themselves with private therapeutic treatments or a massage.
Address: District XI, Szent Gellért tér 2-6