Fancy a pig’s foot? Duck liver paté? A made-in-China doll dressed in traditional Hungarian garb? The Great Market Hall (Nagycsarnok) has you covered.
This 10,000 sq. meter giant is a Budapest institution, the largest indoor market in the city and one of the most popular tourist highlights in English guidebooks. Avoid Saturday mornings.
In June, the bottom floor is filled to the brim with fresh strawberries, white carrots, garlands of salami, dead animal parts and aisles and aisles of paprika. The national spice arrived in Buda in the early 16th century, a culinary gift from Ottoman invaders. It’s not as prevalent as it once was, but some kitchen tables still sport three shakers: salt, pepper and paprika.
Adventurous eaters can head for the back, where a helpful display explains which mushrooms will cause convulsions, frothing, rictus and, just possibly, death.
Otherwise known as the land of schlock.
This man had a begging post near the Elisabeth Bridge (Erzébet hid). Empress Elisabeth was an extraordinarily popular figure in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, despite Magyar antipathy towards the Habsburgs. She lived a life of mild eccentricity, at odds with her husband and obsessive about her waistline, but her love for Hungary was deep and sincere. Her fourth child, Marie Valerie, was born and baptized in Budapest.
In 1898, she was walking along the promenade of Lake Geneva when a 25-year-old anarchist named Luigi Lucheni stumbled into her. When he regained his balance, the Empress had acquired a 3.33″ stab wound above the left breast. She died soon after.
March 15 commemorates the start of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848.