At the top of the Castle hil of Budapestl, rising over 300 feet at an almost 40-degree incline, is Buda Castle — with no easy way to get up there. Though in medieval times it was not an object at all,  later on the city needed some vehicle to approach the Buda Castle.  And that became the Funicular of Budapest.

The line was opened on 2nd March  1870, but far not as a tourist’s attraction. The newly founded govermental offices of Hungay, –  better to say the Austro-Hungarian Empire – seated in Buda Castle, and the clercks working in them needed a way to approach their workplace, if they did not intended to climb up on the  sheer stairs every morning. Do not forget, buses started only in the 1920’s! The funicular’s idea busted out from the head of Ödön Széchenyi (son of Count Stephen Széchenyi).  Funiculars, also called incline or cable railways, go back hundreds of years. They use a fairly simple pulley system, harnessing the cars’ own counterweight to scoot up and down steep grades like Castle Hill. For the next 70-odd years the stepped cars took passengers up and down the equivalent of 30 flights of stairs. Those trips ended during World War II, when the line was destroyed during the bombing of Budapest.

Luckily pieces of the funicular had been salvaged after the bombing. It took a long time, but in 1986 the little railway could be reopened along its original track, with most of its original design. Only the decorated, flossy, cozy cushions serving the comfort of the highclass wayfarers of the old times are missing from the upper cabin parts. The two cablecars, „Margit” and „Gellért” are continously and diligently serve the citizens and visitors of Budapest again since 1986.