Today’s Margaret island is a 3 kilometers long and 500 meters wide park, where the residents of Budapest go to meet friends, run, or just simply relax. This separate world in the Danube changed a lot during the centuries and gave place to historical events, buildings and people – Hungary’s rich history is reflected in the different names this piece of land held earlier.
Nyulak szigete (Island of Rabbits)
This name may come from the animals inhabiting the island, but the Latin form (‘Insula leporum’) could also mean island of ornaments. According to some archeologists this name could be a mistake (that happened during copying medieval scripts) as there is only one letter difference to ‘Insula leprorum’ (island of lepers) which is quite reasonable taking into consideration the separated location of the island and some early hospitals here.
Margit/Margaret Island – today the island is named after the daughter of King Béla IV, Margit, who lived in a monastery of the Dominican Order on the island.
Kyszadaszi – during the Turkish occupation the island was called ‘girl island’, most probably after the nuns who have lived here earlier and fled by the 16th century, but the local Hungarians were still mentioning them.
Palatinus Island – this name was used at the beginning of the 19th century when it belonged to the governor of the Austrian crown (palatinus means his rank in Latin). Today a spa on the island bears the name.
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