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The name Pest comes from a Slavic word meaning "furnace", "oven" (Bulgarian пещ ['peʃt]; Serbian пећ; Croatian "peć"), related to the word пещера (meaning "cave"), probably with reference to a local cave where fire burned.
Historical coat of arms of Pest, used between 1703-1873.
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.