On this city tour of central Euope, we are visiting cities whose governments sided with the Allies during WWII (Warsaw and Cracow) and those who sided with the Axis (Budapest). Hungary was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire prior to WWI and lost control of these lands to Romania, Poland, Slovakia and others after that war. They never got over their loss to this day. The beautiful buildings date back to their prosperous days in the 18th and 19th centuries. Their system of government was feudalism and the aristocracy was doing well off the work of the peasants in the countryside.
Now, in 2015, the majority live in cities, with public buildings that are very impressive, huge and elaborately decorated. Their current government is very slow at developing a modern economy. You contrast the tired, poorly dressed people who trudge past these beauties on their way to work and home. What would happen if they invested in people and let go of maintaining the gorgeous buildings? Focusing on beauty without the kindness of supporting growth in ordinary people can harm any society.