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The Margitsziget music well

The well was modeled after the destroyed Bodor-well. It was built into the side of a round pedestal, with two curved sets of stairs leading up to it, crowned by a dome supported by columns. On top of it, the gilded statue of Neptune turned around within a day’s time. The machinery operated by the water used to play a tune every hour. In its restored form, the well once again plays music, although it no longer uses the original machinery.


Margaret Island (also Margitsziget, Margit-sziget; occasionally Margit Island) is a 2.5 km long island (0.965 km² in area) in the middle of the Danube in central Budapest, in the 13th district, between the two city parts, Buda and Pest.
The island is mostly covered by park areas, and is a popular recreational area for tourists as well as locals. The island spans the area between the Margaret Bridge (south) and the Árpád Bridge (north).

Its best-known landmarks are:

• the Centennial Memorial, commemorating the hundredth anniversary of the city's unification;
• a small Japanese Garden with a mildly thermal fish pond;
• a tiny zoo featuring a wide range of exotic waterfowl among other animals;
• the "Music Fountain" (Zenélő szökőkút), a fountain near which music is played and light shows are performed in summer (it is close to Margaret bridge);
• an octagonal Water Tower of 57 m (built in Art Nouveau style in 1911, today functioning as a lookout tower and an exhibition hall.
The Music Fountain and the Water Tower are protected UNESCO sites.

The island houses various sports establishments, like the Palatinus water park (the largest open-air swimming complex in Budapest), the Alfréd Hajós sports pool (where the European LC Championships 2006 took place), a tennis stadium and an athletics centre.
Two hotels provide accommodation: the fin de siècle Grand Hotel Margitsziget, and the modern Thermal Hotel Margitsziget with thermal spa and various medical services. There is also an open-air theatre accommodating an audience of 3500, and several clubs and restaurants. For exploration and pastime, four-person cycle cars or small electric cars can be rented for use on the area of the island.

History

The ground in the middle of the river was probably first civilized by the Knights of St. John in the 12th century. Among the present historical monuments of the island are the 13th century ruins of a Franciscan church and a Dominican church and convent, as well as a Premonstratensian church from the 12th century. Members of the Augustinian order also lived on this island. The island used to be called Rabbit Island (Nyulak szigete), and it received its current name after Saint Margaret (1242–1270), the daughter of Béla IV of Hungary.
The island was dominated by nunneries, churches and cloisters until the 18th century, when it was chosen to be the resort of palatines. It was declared a public garden in 1908.
(Source: Wikipedia , Vendégváró and Hungarianfilm)

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Additional Photos by George Rumpler (Budapestman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 8900 W: 3 N: 20435] (82620)
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