The Hungarian Royal Castle in Budapest is situated on the Buda-side of the Danube river, in the Castle district of the city. This gorgeous castle is the home of many festivities and events in the Hungarian capital city, like the annual Wine Festival, and the Festival of Folk Arts among others. So it is a perfect place to visit, when there are some festivals, for some Hungarian wine- and beer-tasting.
The castle was subjected to many renovations, flourished during different eras and rulers. In this article you are going to read about the short history of the Buda Castle and all of the interesting activities you can do when you visit this place.
History of the Buda Castle in Budapest
The construction of the gothic-styled palace started in the middle of the 1300’s, but the building has only been totally finished in the late 1400’s. It served as the home of the Hungarian Royal family for hundreds of years. The castle had its heyday during the reign of famous King Mathias, who put a great effort into the re-designing of the palace. Basically, this was the first adopter of the Italian renaissance style, years before it spread to the Northern regions of Europe, like Poland or the Czech Republic. After the death of King Mathias, the castle was taken over by the Turks during the Turkish invasion of Hungary in 1541.
During the efforts to take back the castle from the Turks, a significant part of the original palace had been destroyed. Finally, after the expulsion of the Turks from Hungary, the castle again got into Hungarian hands in 1686. In the Revolution of 1848 the castle served as the military center. In the era of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, they started the complete renovation of the castle, when they also added the Danube-facing dome to the building.
During World War I. it served as the home of governor Miklós Horthy, while it became a battleground during World War II. again. The castle reached today’s grandeur by 1989, till they finished the establishment of the National Széchényi Library, the Hungarian National Gallery and several historical museums.
Things to do in the Buda Castle
There is a super-fun way to get up to the Castle, as it is situated on a top of the Buda hill. The Buda Hill Funicular will take you up to the palace, so you can save some energy for yourself to get around the premises without having to climb stairs. The line was opened in 1870 and it leaves from the Széchényi bride, on the Buda-side of the city.
As we mentioned earlier, the Hungarian National Gallery can also be found here. It has a stunning view over the Danube and the whole city. It offers insights into Hungarian national folk art and national art, but there are international masterpieces as well. Most probably the pieces from the 18th and 19th century get the biggest popularity among all creations, as they visualize the intense historical events of that era.
There are many monuments and statues that you may want to visit during your stay. There is the Csongor and Tünde statue, which displays the characters from a famous Hungarian novel. What is more, you can find a statue of György Dózsa, a Hungarian military leader, another one about Prince Jenő Savoyai and the list could go on with the names of many other famous Hungarians.
There is the Castle Garden Bazaar, which gives home to numerous plays, movies, exhibitions and events. Before you visit Budapest, it worth taking a look into the scheduled programs to see if there are any in English to cater the needs of foreign visitors.
All things considered, The Buda Castle in Budapest is a perfect place for you and your friends if you would like to learn something about European history, art and culture. Moreover, there is no doubt that this magnificent palace will amaze you with the view of the city of Budapest lying all around you.