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

Royals On Stamps Of Eastern Europe

What do Queen Marie of Romania, King Tutankhamen, Czar Nicholas of Russia, Saint Vladimir of Ukraine, and Princess Diana of England have in common? They are all represented on stamps of Eastern Europe. When  the various countries of Eastern Europe Intersect with their far reaching monarchies, the result can be a fascinating plethora of philatelic offerings. Please join us in exploring Royals, our newest collection.


On stamps have been issued by Eastern European countries for multiple centuries. One of the earliest postal stamps issued by Hungary was of beloved King Franz Joseph, emperor of Austria and King Of Hungary 1867-1917, which is a rare find for country philatelists, while the recent issuance from Hungary celebrating the Discovery of King Tutankhamun  is a delight for topical collectors.

Continue reading “Royals On Stamps Of Eastern Europe”

States and Peoples of the Balkans Through Philately

Who is In, Who is out, Who is about?

Looking at the Balkan area geographically, with a peninsula being a “piece of land almost entirely surrounded by water but connected to the mainland on one side”, let’s see what happens if we apply this definition to the Balkan States. Lands bordering the Balkan States in the North, Northwest and Northeast are Hungary, Italy and Moldova. Seas surrounding the Balkan States are the Adriatic in the West, Aegean in the South, Ionian in the Southwest and the Black Sea in the East. If we agree on the definition of the peninsula, then let’s look at who the current countries are on that peninsula and then their unique philatelic issuances. The former part appears to have an audience with varying opinions.

Our premise here at HSE is to include the following countries into the Balkans: Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Serbia, Romania, Montenegro, Kosovo, (Republic of North) Macedonia, Bulgaria, Albania, Greece and Turkey.  

While some people may choose to exclude Greece and Turkey from the Balkans because only part of these countries actually sit on the peninsula, with only half of these two countries residing on the peninsula, both have played major roles in the development of the Balkan States. Besides, who could possibly deny Turkey being a Balkan country when the name Balkan is Turkish for mountain?

The Balkan States or The Balkans have been described by some people historically, culturally or along ethnic lines. The rugged terrain of the mountains, the containment of the four seas combined with the ethnic and cultural diversity of the people of the Balkan peninsula create an eclectic presentation in the amazing stamps of Eastern Europe.

Continue reading “States and Peoples of the Balkans Through Philately”
Resource Links   |   Privacy Policy