Budapest is the capital and the largest city of Hungary, and one of the largest cities in the European Union. It is the country's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centre, sometimes described as the primate city of Hungary. According to the census, in 2011 Budapest had 1.74 million inhabitants down from its 1989 peak of 2.1 million due to suburbanisation.
"Budapest" is the combination of the city names Buda and Pest, which were (together with Óbuda) united into a single city in 1873. One of the first documented occurrences of the combined name "Buda-Pest" was in 1831 in the book "Világ" ("World" / "Light"), written by Count István Széchenyi.
The origins of the names Buda and Pest are obscure. According to chronicles from the Middle Ages, the name Buda comes from the name of its founder, Bleda (Buda), brother of the Hunnic ruler Attila. The theory that "Buda" was named after a person is also supported by modern scholars. An alternative explanation suggests that Buda derives from the Slavic word вода, voda ("water"), a translation of the Latin name Aquincum, which was the main Roman settlement in the region.
There are also several theories about the origin of the name Pest. One of the theories states that the word "Pest" comes from the Roman times, since there was a fortress ("Contra-Aquincum") in this region that was referred to as "Pession" ("Πέσσιον", iii.7.§2) by Ptolemaios. According to another theory, Pest originates from the Slavic word for cave (most closely related to Bulgarian and Macedonian: пещера, peștera), or oven (Bulgarian: пещ, peșt), in reference either to a cave where fires burned or to a local limekiln.
Uploaded: Nov 11, 2015