Evidence of civilisation before the Magyar conquest of the 890s is scant and scattered. Ruins of this former Roman outpost are most visible at Aquincum, Óbuda today. A kilometre from the finds displayed at the Aquincum Museum, the Hercules Villa reveals the intricate mosaic floor of a once sumptuous Roman residence.
The first prominent era of Hungarian architecture was under King Matthias in the 15th century, when Buda embraced the Renaissance. The Royal Palace was rebuilt in an early Renaissance style, though little of the original remains after subsequent invasions. Matthias Church (Mátyás-templom) you see on Szentháromság Square incorporates fragments of the medieval original.
The 150-year-long Turkish Occupation from 1541 left bathhouses such as the Király and Rudas, while the Tomb of Gül Baba (Gül Baba türbéje), a steep climb from Margaret Bridge in Buda, was left undamaged after the Habsburgs took the city.
Much of surrounding Buda had been razed. Churches such as St Anne’s in Batthyány Square were then created in Baroque splendour, later complemented by the Classicist grandeur of the Reform Age as a municipal identity was forged in the 1800s. Stately institutions – the Academy of Sciences and the National Museum – arose on the Pest side, now linked to Buda by the Classicist Chain Bridge (Lánchíd), the first permanent span over the Danube.