Return to Hungary

Our Hearts Are In Budapest

Alan, Diane, and Andrew arrive in Budapest on Sunday evening and are greeted with an iconic view of St. Istvan (Stephen) Basilica and the beautifully remodeled Opera House.

King St. Stephen was the first King of Hungary 1000 until 1038.

The Holy Crown of Hungary, also known as the Crown of Saint Stephen is named in honor of Saint Stephen I of Hungary. It was the coronation crown used by the Kingdom of Hungary for most of its existence. Kings have been crowned with it since the twelfth century, the symbol of Hungarian nationhood, without which no sovereign was truly accepted by the Hungarian people.

The crown was given to a U.S. Army unit by a Hungarian honour guard to keep it from being seized by advancing Soviet troops after World War II. It remained in U.S. guardianship at Fort Knox until it was returned in 1978 by President Jimmy Carter.

The three of us spend Monday enjoying Margit Island, the city park located in the middle of the Danube river by the Margit Hid (bridge).

At Margit island we enjoy the Music fountain, a walk through the rose garden, and a stop at the mini zoo. We see the thermal baths before heading to the bus that we will take to the tram by Margit Hid. Budapest has an excellent public transportation system that runs all day long.

On Tuesday, Alan and Diane spend the day with meetings in the Art district and meeting philatelic colleagues .

Hungary Tourist Attractions

We end our day having a delightful dinner with family friend Tibor at a local restaurant complete with live music.

Europa: Gastronomy

Kalocsa, Souvenir Album. The special feature of the 80 Ft denomination is the Kalocsa rose motif with real embroidery while the 130 Ft contains the special aroma of paprika sealed in microcapsules. Truly both a visual and olfactory wonder! These special issues were released in a commemorative limited-edition collection book.

Hungary Postal History

As we continue to meet with philatelic colleagues during the week, we are delighted to enjoy the plethora of excellent coffee shops in Budapest, including the Cat Cafe!


The weekend arrives and so does cousin Gabi! The three of us plan to spend time with him visiting and seeing some of the historic landmarks. We start heading north with the plan to visit Estergom.  First we stop just past Szentendre for lunch by the Danube river, then continue on to Visegrad where we take our traditional photos by the overlook. Now we are finally on our way to Esztergom.

The Danube is the second-longest river in Europe flowing through much of Central and Southeastern Europe. A large and historically important river, it was once a frontier of the Roman Empire. In the 21st century, it connects ten European countries, running through their territories or marking a border.

Originating in Germany, the Danube flows southeast passing through or bordering Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova, and Ukraine.

Esztergom is located on the bank of the Danube, forming a border with Slovakia and is the seat of the prímás of the Roman Catholic Church in Hungary. Esztergom was the capitol of Hungary from the 10th until the mid-13th century when King Bela IV of Hungary moved the royal seat to Buda.

Central European Catholics Day

The city has a Christian Museum with the largest Ecclesiastical collection in Hungary. Its Cathedral, Esztergom Basilica is the largest church in Hungary. A campus of the Catholic University is located near the Basilica.

As you may notice from our photos, there is a major restoration underway both inside and outside the Basilica. So we drive along the river over the Maria Valeria bridge between Hungary and Slovakia for a better photo opportunity. We are sure you will enjoy the results of our efforts!

Maria Valeria Bridge stamp

Back to Budapest

We end the weekend with Gabi visiting Kossuth Lajos Square with the magnificent buildings of the Hungarian Parliament Building and experiencing the somber 1956 Memoriam.

Budapest was united from three cities in 1873, Buda, Obuda and Pest. Seven years later the Diet (Parlamentum) resolved to establish a new representative parliament building, expressing the sovereignty of the nation. The building was planned to face the Danube River.

An international competition was held, and Imre Steindl emerged as the victor, while the plans of two other competitors were later realized in the form of the Ethnographic Museum and the Hungarian Ministries of Agriculture, both facing the Parliament Building.

One reason that Steindl’s proposal was chosen is that his neo-Gothic plans bore a strong resemblance to the Palace of Westminster in London. Leading Hungarian politicians of the 19th century found it extremely important that the country’s new parliament building symbolize their commitment to Western Europe, especially Britain, the country Hungarian reformers considered a political role model.

Hungarian Parliament and Harvester stamps

Every year In October, the nation commemorates the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, when the Hungarians rose up against the Soviet forces occupying the country at the time. While peaceful protests were calling for free elections and a free press, this heroic insurrection became a bloody street battle, causing the deaths of thousands. Soon after the freedom fight was trounced by the Kremlin-backed authorities in early November, the Soviet-controlled government was reinstated, prompting over 200,000 Hungarians to flee their homeland – either by choice in the hope of finding a better future or to escape ferocious retribution by the oppressive power.

In respect , no photos were allowed inside the memoriam, so we will share the message with you philatelically.

50th Anniversary Hungary 1956 Revolution

Our last few days in Budapest are spent “stamp shopping” and enjoying a pleasant reprise at the local cafes.

So for now, it’s time to say Budapest Au Revoir!

We hope you enjoyed reading about the highlights of our trip as much as we enjoyed writing about them.


Alan, Diane, Andrew

Hungaria Stamp Exchange

Going On a Philatelic Holiday through the Coastal Countries of Eastern Europe

Whether  you enjoy taking a holiday indoors or outdoors in the summer or winter, alone in solitary reflection or with family and friends, we here at Hungaria Stamp Exchange are sure you will delight in enjoying the colorful engaging stamps of the Coastal Countries of Eastern Europe as we embark on our Philatelic Holiday.

Continue reading “Going On a Philatelic Holiday through the Coastal Countries of Eastern Europe”

Eastern European Philatelic Potpourri of New Issues

It’s finally 2021 and  time for Hungaria Stamp Exchange to share our philatelic celebration of the potpourri of new issues from Eastern Europe. We at HSE hope our philatelic friends both Country and Topical collectors alike will delight in some of the exciting new issues of 2020. 

Our Country collectors will find full 2020 Year Sets available for Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Croatia, Bulgaria, Moldova, Belarus with a special HSE welcome this year to Armenia.

Topical collectors can find Cats (including “The Terror”), music (from Beethoven to Rock), Covid-19 and first responder philatelic issuances. Not to mention that many of us are delighted to find the continuation of some of our favorite series such as Europa with Ancient Postal Routes, Gastronomy and Viticulture, Saints and Blesseds and Social Action: Climate Change and Children’s World Stop Bullying.

An extremely important offering we can all enjoy this year is the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations from Slovakia. While the adventurer inside all of us can enjoy newly issued Crypto stamps from Croatia, the humorist will enjoy the cartoon stamp from Armenia.

Continue reading “Eastern European Philatelic Potpourri of New Issues”

Riding in the Pan-Mass Challenge 2017!

Alan will be riding in the Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) for his 15th year!

The PMC is an annual charity cycling event held to raise money for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Dana Farber is a a world-leading cancer research and treatment center in Boston, MA. 100% of every rider-raised dollar goes directly towards research, in the form of an unrestricted grant.

? A portion of online orders at HSE will be donated to the PMC from today, July 25th to Sunday, August 13th.

Below is a link to donate directly and support Alan’s ride. The rides take place on August 4th & 5th but you can donate until late October Continue reading “Riding in the Pan-Mass Challenge 2017!”

Budapest Travels 2017

Heading off to Budapest

The sun is sliding down the horizon at Logan airport, Boston USA, as we, Alan and Diane, wait for the Lufthansa plane which we will board to start our journey. We will travel  to Frankfurt, Germany and then on to Budapest, Hungary.

We look forward to an invigorating ten days spending time catching up with friends, colleagues, and family members. Alan will present his research paper in person at the MAFITT (Hungarian Society for Philatelic Research) meeting in Budapest on Saturday and then he plans to spend time browsing local stamp shops. We are very pleased to be meeting with representatives of Magyar Posta regarding our expanding business relationship and the artist stamp proposal. We also plan to meet with both an internationally recognized art historian and an art curator. Between all that, we look forward to enjoying tasty meals at local bistros and cafes, doing some sightseeing, and visiting with family and friends.

Continue reading “Budapest Travels 2017”

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