During a nine-day trip that was aimed to reunite my grandfather and his sister after 45 years of long-distance calls, I explored Budapest. I saw how it marries its complicated past with a future tabula rasa, a clean slate, in the form of commemorative statues and memorials.
In a city that has faced a litany of sieges and wars in the distant past as well as Nazi and Communist occupation in more recent history, the city now embodies a revived national zeitgeist.
Budapest recognizes the hardships it has faced, yet functions beyond them to cultivate a community of friendly faces with a love of life.
Contact photographer Valerie Szalanczy at email@example.com.