Walking down from Gellért Hill


Walking down from Gellért Hill towards Elizabeth Bridge, we come to the statue of Bishop St. Gerard (Gellért) standing on the hillside. It was at this spot that the Venetian missionary died a martyr's death early in the eleventh century. In the little district of Tabán, which lies at the northern foot of Gellért Hill and consist of only a few streets, the beautiful eighteenth-century Baroque St. Catherine Church and the fifteenth-century Rác (Imre) baths are the most out- standing monuments. At the Buda end of the Elizabeth Bridge the domed building of the Rudas Baths dating from Turkish times is worth attention. From the Middle Ages up to the 1930s this was a densely populated district with hundreds of small houses. Here lived the men who built the Danube ferry-boats, the ferry- men and the coach-men; the vineyard-workers came to live here and later it became a Turkish settlement. A large park has taken the place of the houses which were pulled down. Before leaving the Tabán district and going on to the Chain Bridge along the chestnut avenue running northwards on the Danube bank, let us stop for a minute in front of the house at No.1-3 Apród utca, which is now the Museum of Medical History. (The stairs to the Palace Museum start from here.) In this eighteenth-century building was born-and is buried-Ignác Semmelweis (1818-1865), one of the pioneers of the fight against puerperal fever.