So, is it Budapest or Buda and Pest?

So, I have been operating under the assumption that Budapest used to be two cities, Buda and Pest, and that they unified at some point in the past.
This seemed to be confirmed in my recent research on Robert Capa - in Whelan’s biography, he describes Capa’s childhood in Pest (not Budapest).
In a recent conversation, my stepdad said that he thought the cities were distinct - I did some poking around on the internet and found this:

But, if the two cities were unitied in 1873, why does Whelan, when talking about the first decades of the 20th century, still refer to Pest?
How do Hungarian people refer to the city/ cities? To what degree are the cities ‘unified’? What connotations do ‘Buda’ and ‘Pest’ have? Or is this all just an orthographic misunderstanding?

People in large cities often refer to the neighborhood they live in with a specific name . It may simply denote an area or a municipality that existed at some past time and was incorporated into a larger town.

I live in Chicago. People refer to the neighborhoods they grew up in with a name that is as specific as a town name. I live in Andersonville in Chicago, Illinois.

Two cities may decide to merge or annex each other or whatever it’s called. They will still use terms specific to the city they grew up in. Thus, “Are you from Buda or Pest?” could still be considered a legitimate question to ask of someone from Budapest, Hungary.

My understanding (from my time spent at the Rényi Institute last summer) is that it’s all one city as far as government is concerned. However, the regions are still very distinct, especially between Buda and Pest. Basically, Pest is the Detroit-flat east bank of the river, Buda is the San Francisco-hilly west bank, and Obuda is a bit to the north of Buda.

I’d make an analogy with New York City’s boroughs in usage, if not in history. Yes, they were never separate cities (afaik), but people speak of growing up “in Brooklyn” or moving “the hell out of Queens”.

The way I understand it is the city is Budapest, the two dsitricts which comprise the city are Buda and Pest. Each has its own feel your guy decided to specify.

I’m willing to be corrected but I got the impression it was like any big city I mean lets look at look at New York - your childhood would have been very different growing up on Statten Island than it would the Bronx so you’d want to sepcify, but you’re still in New York.
Same thing in Paris - when people ask where I live or what it’s like living in Paris I often specify that I live “in the 20th” which is not the Paris of wide open boulevards, women walking their poodles in Versace and monuments but an ethnically mixed, poor, tourist free zone. (Actually the numbered administrative districts in Paris are further divided by the natives into areas which take their names from historic villages or large road junctions!)

oops I type too slow :smack:

Actually, Budapest is divided into such numbered zones as well.

I thought of this when I was typing my above comments. Buda and **Pest **are one administrative district or “city” if you like, but each has distinctive characteristics.

BTW, as I recall, the 5 boroughs were united at one point. * Manhatten* and the Bronx were New York. Brooklyn was a seperate city. Queens, I’m not certain one way or the other. Staten Island? Who cares.

Chicago is a big city. A large part of the northside was a seperate city called Lakeview until some time around the 1890’s. There is still a neighborhood called by the same name. At Addison and Halsted you will find the “Townhall Police Station”. It is called Townhall because it is built on the site of the old Townhall for the city of Lakeview.

Blah blah blah…

My point in this entire ramble is: Cities and towns often merge or annex each other. The folks in each part refer to themselves with both terms. That is how I think it works in Budapest.

London’s a good example of the ‘city within a city’ situation - within Greater London are the City of Westminster and the City of London, each having specific historical and geographic identities, and also modern administrative roles.

Super quick history of Greater New York: Prior to consolidation in 1898, the City of New York was originally on the lower tip of Manhattan Island, gradually growing up the Island and crossing the Harlem River to part of what is now the Bronx (the remainder being part of Westchester County). The Bronx was reshuffled to its current configuration in the 1890s. What is now Brooklyn was a number of towns, with the City of Brooklyn being formed across from downtown Manhattan, and then expanding to encompass all of Kings County. Queens and Staten Island were largely rural collections of towns. On January 1, 1898, after a great deal of political wrangling, the five counties were consolidated into the City of New York, administratively divided into the five boroughs. For more details, look for posts by Stuyguy about his hero and the architect of the consolidation (among other things), Andrew Haswell Green.

I lived there for over five years, so here’s my two cents:

Budapest is made up of three formerly independent towns/villages: Buda, Pest, and Óbuda.

Buda and Óbuda are on the west side of the Danube, Pest is on the east side. There are twenty-three administrative districts (sections of the city with their own government and local leaders) in Budapest, six of them in Buda/Óbuda and the rest in Pest. So, it’s not quite accurate to say Buda and Pest are each separate administrative districts. There’s a slew of them, and each district has its own mayor, as well as there being a city mayor.

Buda and Óbuda (which I’ll simply refer to as “Buda” from here on out) is the hillier, more pastoral area of the city. Pest is fairly flat and industrial. Not to say there aren’t pastoral areas in Pest or industrial parts in Buda (there are plenty), but that’s the gyst. Buda has a reputation of being somewhat swankier and prettier than Pest. However, pretty much all the nightlife hot spots are in Pest.

Outside of Budapest in Hungary, “Pest” is often used as shorthand for “Budapest.” “Buda” specifically refers to the part of the city west of the Danube. Within Budapest, “Buda” and “Pest” are commonly used to describe (very generally) what part of the city you live in. To be more specific, you name your district number (or district name). Everybody knows where most of the districts are.

He may have been from Pest, but I grew up in Buda. :smiley:

As everyone else has said, Budapest is a single city, but it’s natural to talk about Buda in the west side and Pest in the east side, just like people from other big cities might choose to refer their birthplace in a more accurate way than just stating the city. However, Pest can also be used to mean the Pest county (megye) around Budapest, which is one of the Hungarian administrative divisions. See this map here. Of course this doesn’t apply to Capa, who was from the city of Budapest (which was the capital of former Pest-Pilis-Solt-Kiskun county, though, and still is the capital of Pest county), and the current Pest megye was only formed post World War II anyway.

Actually, I just thought of a better example, if far less known. The District of Columbia originally was just that – a district – containing three cities: Washington, Georgetown, and Alexandria. After Alexandria was reclaimed by Virginia, Georgetown, Washington, and the rest of Washington County (the part of the district from Maryland) were unified into Washington DC.