Where does the name of Budapest come from?
Posted by Budnews · Oct 28, 2020

This is what Buda and Pest originally meant.


Almost everybody knows that the Hungarian capital was established by the unification of Pest, Buda and Óbuda in 1873. But what do the words „pest” and „buda” mean? Historians and researchers have revealed the most likely origin of the names of Buda and Pest.


According to one explanation, Buda, the brother of King Attila the Hun, lived most of his life in the area and then presumably died here as well - the area was christened Buda by the locals in his memory.

Another explanation is that during the Roman Empire, the water sources that we still use to this day were discovered in the city and surrounding areas, so it proved obvious that the settlement was given the name Aquincum, derived from the Latin word aqua (water). It is conceivable that along this logic, the word Buda comes from the word voda used in the Slavic language family, which also refers to an area rich in spring waters.


The Greek Claudius Ptolemy's mentions an important Roman fortress, Contra-Aquincum as Pession in his work Introduction to Earth Mapping, which is similar to the word Pest. It is conceivable that the name of our capital dates back to antiquity, as the remains of the mentioned fortress can still be seen on March 15th Square.

On the other hand, the word Pest in the Slavic language family also means furnace, stove and cave. According to this explanation, the name may refer to the time when the Hungarian people upgraded the yurt for a house built of stone, and for this process set up plenty of furnaces in the area.

According to a more probable theory, the meaning of the cave and the hot furnace could also refer to the Gellért Hill thermal water cave, as it was still called Pesti Hill in the Árpádian era. Hence the name of the city that later formed on the opposite side became Pest.

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