PESTH, the most populous and important commercial city of Hungary, on the left bank of the Danube, opposite Buda. (q.v.), and 171 m. e.s.e. of Vienna by railway. It occupies a low and level site, and contrasts strongly with the antiqiie, picturesque, and rock-built Buda, on the other side of the river. The two cities are connected by a mag nificent suspension bridge, erected in 1840, and which spans a water-way of about 1500 feet. The official name of the united cities is, since 1872, compounded of the two, in the form Budapest. Along the Pesth side of the river runs a wide quay, paved and terraced, and backed by a handsome row of buildings, 14- m. long. The city consists of five divi aions—the Inner, Leopold, Theresa, Joseph, and Francis towns. The inner town, on the bank of the Danube, is the oldest, and the other divisions surround it in the form of a semicircle. Pesth is the seat of the chief judicial courts of Hungary. Its university, founded at Tyrnau, was transferred to Buda in 1780, and thence was removed hither in 1784. It is richly endowed, and is attended by upward of 2,000 students, while the pro fessors and other teachers number 140. Attached to it arc a museum, a botanic garden, an observatory, and a library containing over 100,000 volumes, with 1600 Mss. besides. A handsome new chemical laboratory was opened in 1872; and in the same year a decree was passed that a new military academy should be opened, of which the teaching staff counts 24. Of the chief buildings and institutions the principal are the, synagogue. a large and beautiful structure, completed in 1857; the new buildings (vengehaude)—an immense edifice, now used as barracks and as an artillery depot; the gymnasium; mili tary school; academy of arts; national museum, with a library of 200,000 volumes; and valuable collections of coins, medals, and antiquities; veterinary school; the national and other theaters; and the Hungarian scientific society. The town contains several impor
tant silk-spinning factories, and the principal articles of manufacture are silk, cotton, leather, jewelry, and musical instruments. The distilling of brandy and the grinding of grain into meal and flour are among the most important branches of industry. Four great fairs take place here annually, which draw together a concourse of more than 30,000 strangers, and at which exchanges, amounting in value to upwards of 32,000,000 florins, are made. The trade is chiefly in wines, raw hides, honey, wax, and in inferior spirit made from plums. After Vienna, Pesth has the greatest trade of any city on the Danube. Pop. '69, 201,911.
Pesth is mentioned for the first time in the 12th c.; but although one of the oldest towns in Hungary, its importance dates only from the reigns of Maria Theresa and Joseph 1L It was desolated by the Mongols in the 1311i cN and after the battle of Mohacs (q.v.), it fell into the hands of the Turks, who held it til; 1686. At the beginning of the 18th c. it was an inconsiderable town, and has only risen into importance within thelast 150 years. It has suffered much from inundations of the Danube on several occasions, on one of which, in 1838. 2,280 houses were destroyed. In May, 1849, while Gored, with an army of 40,000 Hungarians, occupied the heights above Buda, and bombarded the fortress, which was held for the imperial government by gen. Heinz', the latter gen. retaliated by bombarding Pestle: but on the night of May 20 the Hungarians stormed and took the fortress; and on the following morning raised above its battlemebts the standard of revolt. On the field of Rakos, in the vicinity, where the great national -assemblies of the Magyars used to be held, horse-races, on the English model, now take place annu ally.