Hello again! I am falling in love with Budapest a little more each day. There is such a unique history and through our classes and field trips, we are learning so much about the culture.
For one of our field trips, we visited a unique exhibit called “We, Hungarians”. This is exhibit is targeted for a younger generation of Hungarians to promote national pride. It showcases 10 beautiful Hungarian words which were chosen by a poet to represent the culture of Hungary. There was a room for each word displaying its meaning and connection to the culture. The ten words included: Maternal, Pearl, Virgin, Autumn, Sword, Blood, Kiss, Grave, Flame, and Heart.
We discussed language and how poetry is the most complex and advanced way to use a language. There are also several dialects within Hungary, as displayed by the picture above. We were able to stand under these sound tunnels (shown below), each playing voices of Hungarians speaking, one of them was even singing.
I also really liked a poem displayed in the “Pearl” room, as shown in the picture below. As a Math Major, my favorite room was the one dedicated to the word “Flame”. This room showcased mathematicians, engineers, scientists, and also Olympiad winners. For such a small country, Hungary has had a lot of success in the Olympic games. We also learned that a Hungarian, Erno Rubik, invented the Rubik’s Cube, which explains why I’ve seen park benches designed with Rubik’s Cubes and Rubik’s Cube key chains in souvenir shops.
Overall, this museum was extremely unique and eye-opening for us to see as students studying abroad in Hungary. This country has a very complex history, but getting a glimpse at the pride and nationalism that still prevails here is really cool.
I found the Hospital in the Rock Nuclear Bunker Museum to be extremely interesting. A hospital was built into the caves underneath the Buda Castle for use during World War II and was used most during the Siege of Budapest (1944-1945). It was also used during the uprising against the Soviet Union in 1956. Otherwise, it was used as a nuclear bunker. Unfortunately, I was unable to take pictures inside, but our tour guide was extremely informative and it was amazing to be able to walk through. The tour started with our guide asking us to stay close to the group to ensure that no one got lost in the caves.
The hospital was originally built to hold about 60 patients, but because the best technology, supplies, and care were found there, it held up to 600 patients at one point. Holy moly, I can’t even wrap my head around how overcrowded and crazy the hospital was during its practice. The doctors and nurses lived in the bunker working day and night. They were true heroes during this time; their hard work saved several lives during such a devastating time in Budapest.
I HIGHLY recommend visiting this museum if you are traveling to Budapest. Can you even imagine what a hospital built into a tunnel of caves would look like? Our tour guide ended the tour by saying that war is pointless and that peace is the answer.