The City on the Danube boasts more than 40 beautiful fountains in its many parks and squares. While each of these lovely landmarks has its special place in the hearts of Hungarians, there are some that stand out just a little bit more from the rest. Here are some the the most amazing fountains of Budapest.
Fountains of Budapest #1: Danubius Fountain
This First Fountain of the Capital City of Hungary was originally planned for Ferenciek Tere, but was finally raised as a well in Kálvin tér in 1883. The Danubius Fountain, originally called a “biggish water works” (Really!) was made possible by the construction of the city’s original street-watering system. Designed by Miklós Ybl and Leó Feszler, the fountain became a popular meeting place until it was damaged in WWII and pulled down. Its broken statues were re-carved in Dezső Győry’s workshop and they were placed in its present day location, in Erzsébet Square, in 1959.
Fountains of Budapest #2: Interactive Fountain on Szabadság tér
Set up in 2010, this fountain quickly became a favorite of locals and tourists alike. The fountain’s sensors weaken the water flow as a visitor draws near, and the water spouts will then stop altogether as a person crosses the fountain itself. Children and adults love this fun and fancy fountain, as it’s a great way to cool down in the summer heat while walking through the city.
Fountains of Budapest #3: Giant Book Fountain on Egyetem tér
This unique book-shaped marble fountain is in the perfect location to draw attention to the importance of reading, learning, and culture: University Square, near ELTE University and the Petőfi Literary Museum. The fountain’s water spouts from the book’s spine in the middle of the open book, as if the book’s pages were being turned. And next to this fountain is a closed book statue made of the same red marble, completing the decoration of this lovely inner-city square.
Fountains of Budapest #4: The Music Fountain
Every resident of Budapest knows this biggest, most-popular fountain located on Margaret Island. Its recent reconstruction has turned it into one of the most beautiful and unique fountains in the country. The fountain’s nearly 200 water spouts shoot water as high as 10 meters and, when accompanied by recorded music, present a fantastic show. The performance is even better in the evening when the fountain is illuminated by different colors.
Fountains of Budapest #5: Matthias Fountain
Matthias Fountain is a monumental fountain group in the western forecourt of Buda Castle. Often called the ‘Trevi Fountain of Budapest,’ it is one of the most frequently photographed landmarks in the Hungarian capital. Construction began in 1899 and the fountain was inaugurated in the presence of the king in 1904. The fountain survived the destruction of the Second World War with only minor damage and was fully restored in 2010.
Fountains of Budapest #6: Széll Kálmán tér
After months of restoration work on one of Budapest’s premier squares, the former Moszkva Tér gave way to the originally-named Széll Kálmán tér. The centerpiece of the new square works both as a water fountain and humidifier. Its water spouts keep this major tram and bus square cool and calm during the summer months. In addition, it is still possible to meet under the nearby clock, although the present one is much more modern; the old clock is now preserved at the Kiscelli Museum.
Fountains of Budapest #7: Lion Fountain
One of the city’s favorite fountains and meeting points sits in Vörösmarty tér and attracts locals and tourists who wander through this city center, usually looking for Gerbeaud’s Restaurant. The fountain was built in 1985 on the site of a well and the natural spring water streaming from the lions’ mouths is still drinkable today. The four stone lions surround an ornate iron lamppost, which dates from an earlier period. Children love to climb on the lion statues and tourists often rest on the fountain’s steps.