Pest (Hungarian pronunciation: [ˈpɛʃt]) is the eastern, mostly flat part of Budapest, Hungary, comprising about two thirds of the city's territory. It is separated from Buda and Óbuda, the western parts of Budapest, by the Danube River. Among its most notable sights are the Inner City, the Hungarian Parliament Building, Heroes' Square and Andrássy Avenue. In colloquial Hungarian, "Pest" is often used for the whole capital of Budapest. The three parts of Budapest (Pest, Buda, Óbuda) united in 1873.
According to Ptolemy the settlement was called Pession in ancient times (Contra-Aquincum). Alternatively, the name Pest may have come from a Slavic word meaning "furnace", "oven" (Bulgarian пещ ['pɛʃt]; Serbian пећ/peć; Croatian "peć"), related to the word пещера (meaning "cave"), probably with reference to a local cave where fire burned. The spelling Pesth was occasionally used in English, even as late as the early 20th century, although it is now considered archaic.
Pest was a separate independent city, references to which appear in writings dating back to 1148. In earlier centuries there were ancient Celtic and Roman settlements there. Pest became an important economic center during 11th–13th centuries. It was destroyed in the 1241 Mongol invasion of Hungary but rebuilt once again soon thereafter. In 1838 it was flooded by the Danube; parts of the city were under as much as eight feet of water, and the flood destroyed or seriously damaged three-fourths of the city’s buildings. In 1849 the first suspension bridge, the Széchenyi Chain Bridge, was constructed across the Danube connecting Pest with Buda. Consequently, in 1873, the two cities were unified with Óbuda to become Budapest.
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- Adrian Room (2006). Placenames of the World. McFarland & Company. p. 70. ISBN 0-7864-2248-3.
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