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Danube Bend, Hungary 2007

Danube Bend

The Danube is the second longest river in Europe after the Volga, flowing for 1,771 miles (2,857km) through nine different countries. Before reaching Budapest it is forced through a narrow twisting valley in the Carpathian Basin, known as the Danube Bend, 8 miles (13km) from Budapest.


Situated on the abrupt loop of the Danube beneath steep hills, Visegrad was once a Roman stronghold on the border of the Roman Empire and the second home after Buda to Hungary's royalty in the 14th and 15th centuries. The Citadel sits high on the hill above the town with commanding views over the river bend and the position was of strategic importance to the Romans.


Esztergom is one of Hungary's most historically important towns, it was the capital for over 250 years and the birthplace of their first king and saint, Stephen, who was later crowned here in the 11th century. Today it remains the religious centre of the country with Hungary's largest church dominating the hill above the town next to the ruins of the medieval Royal Palace, now the Castle Museum. The colossal basilica was the first cathedral in the country and from where Roman Catholicism was introduced to the nation.


Budapest is the capital city of Hungary occupying both banks of the river Danube. It was formed in 1873 with the amalgamation of Buda and Öbuda (Old Buda) on the right (west) bank together with Pest on the left (east) bank. The Budapest skyline is dominated by the citadel which sits atop the steep, but at 167m not high, rising fortress hill in Buda.

Lake Balaton

Lake Balaton is the largest lake in Central Europe. Since Hungary is landlocked, Lake Balaton is sometimes called the "Hungarian Sea". The lake is 77km in length with its width ranging from 4 to 14 km. The depth varies from 2 to 3 m in most places.