This is the Parliament Building in Budapest. It is on the banks of the Danube River. We visited it last Thursday morning with the other senior missionaries.
You can see, it is a magnificent building and the pride of Hungary. It was began in 1884 and completed in 1904. It is the pride of Hungary. And well it should be. It is considered the be one of the most beautiful buildings in all of Europe. It housed the government of Hungary when they had two parties, but when they went down to one, they use only one chamber in one end of the building and the other is used for special occasions.
I just took some pictures inside of the building. We walked from the ground floor up this flight of stairs to another hallway. Just look at the beautiful things all around.
Our guide did English and Russia tours.
What follows will be pictures that impress.
You can see the crown of the king of Hungary at one time. During the war(s) it was taken and hid in Austria and Germany at different times. If you look closely you can see a cross on the top of the crown. You will also notice that it is bent slightly. That is because when they were putting it away, they put it in a chest and closed it down on the cross, bending it slightly. They wanted to get it repaired, but they couldn't find a jeweler who was willing the touch the sacred crown.
Ala the guards at Buckingham Palace, they have guards placed by the crown, but I noticed they were not quite as "motionless" as the British ones. But they were pretty good.
You can see the guide gesturing towards the statues on the column. There are probably 10 columns with statues on them and each one of them represented a different profession. Following are a few more.
Following are some pictures of the government chamber where the representatives meet.
The picture above is a cigar holder. Havana Cigars were the "in thing" with people then. As they were smoking and an interesting event was taking place in the assembly room, they would put their cigars in this holder (each holder was numbered so they could get their own back), and they would go into the chamber. When they returned to get their cigar they would look to see how much of the cigar had burned and was ashes. If they cigar was gone they would say, "It was worth a Havana."
These different "shields" represent the seven different dynasties that have governed over Hungary throughout its history.
Just a couple more pictures of the inside.
This was also taken inside so we can prove we were there. It was an amazing experience.
What comes next was somewhat of an emotional experience for me. I had read about what happened here, but to see it was sobering. This is where, during the Second World War, the Nazis would line Jews up on the banks of the Danube and shot them so they would fall into the river. These shoes commemorate that event. They were shot at midnight. It was more than just a few Jews that were shot there.
The tribute in the shoe touched me.
Finally we went up Gellert Hill, where Elder Russell M. Nelson dedicated the land of Hungary for the preaching of the gospel in 1987.
This is the Liberty statue on top of the hill. I might just mention we did a bunch of hiking that day. A lot of us were very glad to sit down again and rest our old legs.
This looks down on the Danube, and around the bend you can see a large island in the river. There are also 7 bridges that span the river. I asked President Smith if we could go on the island, and he said, "Not it he summer." Apparently clothing is optional there just as it is on the Balaton Lake. Budapest is an amazing city with so many great things to see. It is such a privilege to be here, not only for the beautiful country, but also for the wonderful people. We are so blessed, not only for the wonderful people here, but also the wonderful people there. Our love to you all.