Taban Tourist Attractions
The district of Tabán lies in the depression between Castle Hill and Gellért Hill. During the time of the Turkish occupation Tamils in particular were settled here. In the 18th C there was an influx of Serbian refugees. In 1810 a fierce fire devastated the area. Extensive parks and traffic layouts are features of the modern district.
Tabán Parish Church
This Baroque church (Tabáni plébánia-templom) with a single tower is dedicated to St Catherine of Alexandria. It was built between 1728 and 1740 and replaced a medieval church which, during the Turkish occupation, was known as the Mustafa Mosque.One of the treasures of the church is a carved figure, the "Tabán Christ", below the gallery. It is a copy of a 12th C figure, the original of which can be seen in the Budapest Historical Museum. In a niche is a representation of St Florian, no doubt inspired by the disastrous conflagration of Tabán in 1810. The frescoes were the work of Kimnach (1890).
Semmelweiss Museum of the History of Medicine
At the foot of Castle Hill stands the 18th C house in which the famous Hungarian doctor Ignáz Semmelweiss was born. This small Baroque building with a "pigtail" style façade today houses a museum of the history of medicine. In addition to documents and items left by Semmelweiss, medical instruments and the contents of an apothecary's shop c 1800, a somewhat gruesome exhibit awaits the visitor -- a female wax figure manufactured in the 18th C for anatomical study purposes, with the abdomen cut open to expose the internal organs.
This famous old inn near the steps leading up to Castle Palace, was built in the 19th C in the "pigtail" style. This style of building, which was so popular in Hungary and represents a transition from Baroque to classical, was so named after the pigtail-like plaited garlands forming part of the decorative motifs which were frequently incorporated in the design.
Nicholas Ybl Square
North of the Semmelweis Museum lies the square named after the famous architect Miklós Ybl (1814-91). Around the square stand buildings designed by Ybl, who was also responsible for the splendid flight of steps (1882) leading up to the castle.The 310m (340yd) long castle bazaar always attracts many tourists to its shops, artists' studios, inns and terrace.
The Rac Baths lie in Hadnagy utca, a little to the south of Tabán Parish Church. They were established and extended during the Turkish period. The medicinal springs were known as early as the 15th C. During the reign of King Matthias there is thought to have been an underground passage between the baths and the royal palace on Castle Hill.
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