Lighting up the Danube: Lighthouses in Budapest

When George Ezra sang that miles from Budapest he found a treasure chest, is it possible he was taking about a lighthouse? Because we’ve just found out that there are some there and had to share!

We love finding lighthouses all around the world but one area of the world we’re a bit sketchy on is Central Europe. With so many countries far in land and a lot of low land, you wouldn’t to see many lighthouses dotted about in places like Slovakia, Hungary and Moldova, but after coming across this little blog post on another site about there being some we got quite excited.

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A lighthouse in/ about Budapest makes good sense when you think less about how the city is laid out and more about the size of the River Danube with facts like these:

  • It is Europe’s 2nd longest river (can you guess which is 1st?)
  • It is 2,860 km long
  • It stretches all the way from Germany along 10 countries to the Black Sea in Ukraine
  • 20 million people use it as their source for drinking water
  • Fishing was a very big deal here years ago, but you can get Beluga caviar if you’re lucky

If you’re on holiday in one of the many apartment hotel Budapest has to offer with a view of the river, you’ll not have much luck seeing a lighthouse from your window. (Fun fact: the river actually divides the city in two, as it was originally two separate towns) The river is quite narrow along the city which makes it easier to control river levels, negating the need for a lighthouse. Instead you’ll have to head out of town to find any.

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The most notable of these is the lighthouse of Titel, sitting on the mouth where the River Titel meets the Danube. As you can see, it isn’t the most mighty in stature, but does a good job of helping keep everyone safe. In the blog we read there was one notable example of a lighthouse existing in the middle of Budapest and got a little bit excited, before realising that it only existed for seven years. For anyone in the UK, you’ll find a similar lighthouse to this down at Preston Marina, near to the estate agents in Winckley Square (find out more here)

 

The lighthouse pictured above was located at Petőfi bridge on the Buda side of the city (that’s West if you didn’t know)It was constructed in 1937 in part as a memoriam to those in the royal navy who served in the war and had a very specific design to make it look like the Rijeka Harbour Lighthouse in Croatia. That small building below it was a museum for the navy highlighting how important they had become. Sadly the building was only in place for a short while until the start of World WAR II. When German soldiers were retreating out of the city, they knew that the bridge was a key one and completely destroyed it, leaving the lighthouse and museum in a state of disrepair, until it as fully demolished seven years later.

Do you have any more information about this lighthouse or any others along the Danube we should write a blog about? Please get in touch and let us know.

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