95 seconds adventure over Budapest

03 June 2021
Budapest lets us explore. On top, gives the privilege to do it by unique vehicles, like the Buda Castle Funicular, the Cog-wheel Railway, a Chairlift up to the Buda hills, the Children’s Railway and the historical Underground Railway running as from 1896.

Don’t miss the adventure provided by the UNESCO World Heritage listed Buda Castle Funicular. This unique railway runs between the Danube bank up to the Buda Castle as from 1870. The barely 95 metres track length climbs a 51 metres height on the hillside, while the unparalleled panoramic view of the capital is outlining before our eyes.

The Buda Castle Funicular, at its early years known as “Buda Hill Railway”, was opened to the public on March 2, 1870. The construction idea was aimed to serve an easy public access to the Castle Theatre and ministries located in the Buda Castle district, rather than a tourist attraction. The Buda Hill Railway was the second of its kind in Europe after the one in Lyon, which served as a model for the construction. The idea and the initiative to build a simple rail connecting the hill with the Danube level territory was formed by Ödön Széchenyi, son of Count Széchenyi. Architectural plans were drawn by Ödön Jaruszek, while the final shaping was determined by the Caste Tunnel, completed in 1857, the route of the omnibus, as well as by the Buda bridge-head of the Chain Bridge.

At the Adam Clark square terminal a dispatch hall was erected to house the engineering structures, including the motive power and the steam engine. At the upper side terminal a reception building was set up. Construction works lasted for 1.5 years due to the constant changes in the plans, and the expenses absorbed some 182 thousand then forints. The two vehicles, each consisting of three staggered cabins, were ordered from Vienna. In 1873 the passenger traffic amounted to 1.5 million riders.

In the siege of Budapest, on 20th 1944 the Buda Hill Railway was hit by bombs. After the world war it was not rebuilt, rather it was dismantled. It was not until 1986 that the line was reopened for travel, and due to the new inventions this time electrical cars started their uphill climb. Below the upper terminal a 3 metres diameter drive disc has been placed, which works to the principles of a pendulum operation, moving the two 3 staggered cabins, named Gellért and Margit, parallel with each other upwards and downwards. Each of them carry 24 passengers. Spring brakes stop the cabins, should a cable become broken.

One of the top tourist attractions of Budapest, the Buda Castle Funicular takes you up to the Castle District within 95 seconds.

Foto: Arcanum Digital Photo Gallery, BKK