Budapest, capital of the Republic of Hungary, is considered by many visitors to be the "Paris of the East" because of its particular charm; it is the most densely populated and culturally the most important metropolis of Eastern Central Europe.
Budapest is situated at a favorable spot for communications across the Danube, leading from the Hungarian Central Uplands to the Great Hungarian Plain. Topographical contrasts are a feature of the unique townscape. The territory of the city on the right of the Danube includes the river terraces of varying heights and extends far into the Buda Upland, which is composed of dolomite and chalk and which was articulated by a tectonic disturbance into a higher northern part and a lower southern part.
The plain of Pest on the left bank of the Danube is far better suited to settlement.
The present Hungarian capital formally came into being in 1872, with the amalgamation into one of three previously independent towns, Old Buda (Óbuda), Buda, strategically placed on a hill, and Pest, a densely inhabited and rapidly developing township on the other side of the Danube. The new city very quickly became the administrative, commercial and industrial center of Hungary.
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