The history of Budapest began with Aquincum, originally a Celtic settlement the region entered a new age of prosperity, and Budapest became a global city after its unification in 1873. It also became the co-capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a great power that dissolved in 1918, following World War I. Budapest was the focal point of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, the Hungarian Republic of Councils in 1919, the Battle of Budapest in 1945, and the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.
Budapest is a Beta+ global city, with strengths in arts, commerce, design, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, services, research, and tourism. Its business district hosts the Budapest Stock Exchange and the headquarters of the largest national and international banks and companies. Budapest is a leading R&D and financial centre in Central and Eastern Europe, the city has a gross metropolitan product more than $100 billion in 2015, thereby the city is among the Top 100 GDP performing cities in the world
and making it one of the largest regional economies in the European Union.
Among Budapests important museums and cultural institutions, the most visited art museum is the Museum of Fine Arts, as well as the Hungarian National Gallery, which is noted for one of the largest collections of all periods of European art and comprises more than 100,000 pieces. The central area of the city along the Danube River is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has many notable monuments, including the Hungarian Parliament, Buda Castle, Fishermans Bastion, Gresham Palace, Széchenyi Chain Bridge, Matthias Church and the Liberty Statue. Further famous landmarks include Andrássy Avenue, St. Stephens Basilica, Heroes Square, the Great Market Hall, the Nyugati Railway Station built by the Eiffel Company of Paris in 1877 and the second-oldest metro line in the world, the Millennium Underground Railway. Budapest is home to numerous museums, galleries, libraries, sporting events and other cultural institutions, including the Hungarian National Museum, House of Terror, Franz Liszt Academy of Music, Hungarian State Opera House, National Széchényi Library and Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
Budapest is cited as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, and the first foreign office of the China Investment Promotion Agency. Over 40 colleges and universities are located in Budapest, including the Eötvös Loránd University, Central European University and Budapest University of Technology and Economics.
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