Top historic sites in Budapest

Matthias Church

Matthias Church is a Roman Catholic church located in front of the Fisherman"s Bastion at the heart of Buda"s Castle District. According to church tradition, it was originally built in Romanesque style in 1015, although no archaeological remains exist. The current building was constructed in the florid late Gothic style in the second half of the 14th century and was extensively restored in the late 19th century. ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Budapest, Hungary

Fisherman's Bastion

Fisherman"s Bastion is a terrace in neo-Gothic and neo-Romanesque style situated on the Buda bank of the Danube, on the Castle hill in Budapest, around Matthias Church. It was designed and built between 1895 and 1902 on the plans of Frigyes Schulek. Construction of the bastion destabilised the foundations of the neighbouring 13th century Dominican Church which had to be pulled down. Between 1947–48, the son of ...
Founded: 1895-1902 | Location: Budapest, Hungary

St. Stephen's Basilica

St. Stephen"s Basilica is a Roman Catholic basilica named in honour of Stephen, the first King of Hungary (c. 975–1038), whose supposed right hand is housed in the reliquary. It was the sixth largest church building in Hungary before 1920. Today, it is the third largest church building in present-day Hungary. The basilica was completed in 1905 after 54 years of construction, according to the plans of Mikl&oacu ...
Founded: 1905 | Location: Budapest, Hungary

Hungarian Parliament Building

The Hungarian Parliament Building is the seat of the National Assembly of Hungary, one of Europe"s oldest legislative buildings, a notable landmark of Hungary and a popular tourist destination of Budapest. It is currently the largest building in Hungary and still the highest building in Budapest. Budapest was united from three cities in 1873 and seven years later the Diet resolved to establish a new, representative ...
Founded: 1885-1904 | Location: Budapest, Hungary

Hungarian National Gallery

The Hungarian National Gallery was established in 1957 as the national art museum and is located in Buda Castle. Its collections cover Hungarian art in all genres, including the works of many nineteenth- and twentieth-century Hungarian artists who worked in Paris and other locations in the West. The primary museum for international art in Budapest is the Museum of Fine Arts. The National Gallery houses Medieval, Renaissa ...
Founded: 1957 | Location: Budapest, Hungary

Buda Castle

Buda Castle is the historical castle and palace complex of the Hungarian kings in Budapest, and was first completed in 1265. Buda Castle was built on the southern tip of Castle Hill, bounded on the north by what is known as the Castle District, which is famous for its medieval, Baroque, and 19th-century houses, churches, and public buildings. The castle is a part of the Budapest UNESCO World Heritage Site. The first citi ...
Founded: 1247-1265 | Location: Budapest, Hungary

Heroes' Square

Heroes' Square (Hősök tere) is one of the major squares in Budapest, Hungary, noted for its iconic statue complex featuring the Seven Chieftains of the Magyars and other important national leaders, as well as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It hosts the Museum of Fine Arts and the Műcsarnok. The square has played an important part in contemporary Hungarian history and has been a host to many political events, such as ...
Founded: 1896 | Location: Budapest, Hungary

Citadella

Citadella is an citadel located upon the top of the strategic Gellért Hill in Budapest. The fortress was built in 1851 by Julius Jacob von Haynau, a commander of the Habsburg Monarchy, and designed by Emmanuel Zitta and Ferenc Kasselik, after the Hungarian Revolution of 1848. It occupies almost the entire 235 metres high plateau. The fortress is a U-shaped structure built about a central courtyard, being 220 metres ...
Founded: 1851 | Location: Budapest, Hungary

Hungarian State Opera House

The Budapest opera house is a beautiful Neo-Renaissance building opened in 1884. Construction included the use of marble and frescos by some of the best artisans of that era. Designed by Miklós Ybl, one of Europe"s leading architects in the mid to late 19th century, the Budapest Opera House quickly became one of the most prestigious musical institutions in Europe. Many important artists performed here, includi ...
Founded: 1884 | Location: Budapest, Hungary

Vajdahunyad Castle

Although the Vajdahunyad Castle in the City Park may look like a historical building, dating back to the medieval times, it was in fact built over for the 1000th birthday of the Hungarian State in 1896 for the Millennial Exhibition. The original building of the Vajdahunyad Castle was just a temporary structure made of wooden planks and cardboard designs. Even its plain name was descriptive signifying that it is nothing m ...
Founded: 1896 | Location: Budapest, Hungary

Belváros Church

Belváros (Inner City) Church is the oldest building in Pest side of river in Budapest. It was built in 1046 as a grave of Bishop St. Gellért (c. 980-1046), a missionary from Italy who played an instrumental role in converting Hungary to Christianity. According to tradition, he was martyred by angry pagans who rolled him down a hill across the river, which was named Gellért Hill in his honor. The firs ...
Founded: 1046 | Location: Budapest, Hungary

Memento Park

Memento Park is an open-air museum in Budapest, dedicated to monumental statues from Hungary's Communist period (1949–1989). There are statues of Lenin, Marx, and Engels, as well as several Hungarian Communist leaders. The park was designed by Hungarian architect Ákos Eleőd, who won the competition announced by the Budapest General Assembly in 1991. Memento Park is divided into two sections: Statue Park, officially n ...
Founded: 1991 | Location: Budapest, Hungary

Széchenyi Thermal Bath

The Széchenyi Thermal Bath in Budapest is the largest medicinal bath in Europe. Its water is supplied by two thermal springs. The bath was built in 1913 in Neo-baroque style to the design of Győző Czigler. The complex was expanded in 1927, and it still has 3 outdoor and 15 indoor pools. After its expansion, the thermal artesian well could not fulfill its purpose, so a new well was drilled. The second ther ...
Founded: 1913 | Location: Budapest, Hungary

Hungarian National Museum

The Hungarian National Museum was founded in 1802 and is the national museum for the history, art and archaeology of Hungary. The museum is in Budapest VIII in a purpose-built Neoclassical building from 1837-47 by the architect Mihály Pollack. The Hungarian National Museum traces its foundation to 1802 when Count Ferenc Széchényi set up the National Széchényi Library. This would then be ...
Founded: 1802 | Location: Budapest, Hungary

House of Terror

House of Terror museum contains exhibitions related to the fascist and communist dictatorial regimes in 20th-century Hungary and is also a memorial to the victims of these regimes, including those detained, interrogated, tortured or killed in the building. The museum opened in 2002. With regard to communism and fascism, the exhibition contains material on the nation"s relationships to Nazi Germany and the Soviet Uni ...
Founded: 2002 | Location: Budapest, Hungary

Andrássy út

Andrássy út (Avenue) is a boulevard in Budapest dating back to 1872. It links Erzsébet Square with the Városliget. Lined with spectacular Neo-renaissance mansions and townhouses featuring fine facades and interiors, it was recognised as a World Heritage Site in 2002. It was decreed to be built in 1870, to discharge the parallel Király utca from heavy traffic and to connect the inner cit ...
Founded: 1872 | Location: Budapest, Hungary

Aquincum

Aquincum was an ancient city, situated on the northeastern borders of the Pannonia province within the Roman Empire. The ruins of the city can be found today in Budapest. It is believed that Marcus Aurelius may have written at least part of his book Meditations at Aquincum. It was originally settled by the Eravisci, a Celtic tribe. Aquincum served as a military base (castrum), having been part of the Roman border protect ...
Founded: 41-89 AD | Location: Budapest, Hungary

Kerepesi Cemetery

Kerepesi Cemetery is the most famous cemetery in Budapest. Founded in 1847, it is one of the oldest cemeteries in Hungary which has been almost completely preserved as an entity. The cemetery"s first burial took place some two years after its opening, in 1849. Since then numerous Hungarian notables (statesmen, writers, sculptors, architects, artists, composers, scientists, actors and actresses etc.) have been interr ...
Founded: 1847 | Location: Budapest, Hungary

Nagytétény Castle

Nagytétény Castle is today the furniture museum of the Museum of Applied Arts in Budapest established in 1949. One of the finest monuments of Baroque architecture in Hungary, the former Száraz-Rudnyánszky Castle was designed by András Mayerhoffer and built by Baron József Rudnyánszky between 1743 and 1751 on the place of a Roman villa rustica and using an earlier castle that stood here. The Száraz-Rudnyánszky Cas ...
Founded: 1743-1751 | Location: Budapest, Hungary

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Hagios Demetrios

The Church of Saint Demetrius, or Hagios Demetrios, is the main sanctuary dedicated to Saint Demetrius, the patron saint of Thessaloniki. It is part of the site Palaeochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO since 1988.

The first church on the spot was constructed in the early 4th century AD, replacing a Roman bath. A century later, a prefect named Leontios replaced the small oratory with a larger, three-aisled basilica. Repeatedly gutted by fires, the church eventually was reconstructed as a five-aisled basilica in 629–634. This was the surviving form of the church much as it is today. The most important shrine in the city, it was probably larger than the local cathedral. The historic location of the latter is now unknown.

The church had an unusual shrine called the ciborium, a hexagonal, roofed structure at one side of the nave. It was made of or covered with silver. The structure had doors and inside was a couch or bed. Unusually, it did not hold any physical relics of the saint. The ciborium seems to have been a symbolic tomb. It was rebuilt at least once.

The basilica is famous for six extant mosaic panels, dated to the period between the latest reconstruction and the inauguration of the Byzantine Iconoclasm in 730. These mosaics depict St. Demetrius with officials responsible for the restoration of the church (called the founders, ktetors) and with children. An inscription below one of the images glorifies heaven for saving the people of Thessalonica from a pagan Slavic raid in 615.

Thessaloniki became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1430. About 60 years later, during the reign of Bayezid II, the church was converted into a mosque, known as the Kasımiye Camii after the local Ottoman mayor, Cezeri Kasım Pasha. The symbolic tomb however was kept open for Christian veneration. Other magnificent mosaics, recorded as covering the church interior, were lost either during the four centuries when it functioned as a mosque (1493–1912) or in the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 that destroyed much of the city. It also destroyed the roof and upper walls of the church. Black-and-white photographs and good watercolour versions give an idea of the early Byzantine craftsmanship lost during the fire.

Following the Great Fire of 1917, it took decades to restore the church. Tombstones from the city"s Jewish cemetery - destroyed by the Greek and Nazi German authorities - were used as building materials in these restoration efforts in the 1940s. Archeological excavations conducted in the 1930s and 1940s revealed interesting artifacts that may be seen in a museum situated inside the church"s crypt. The excavations also uncovered the ruins of a Roman bath, where St. Demetrius was said to have been held prisoner and executed. A Roman well was also discovered. Scholars believe this is where soldiers dropped the body of St. Demetrius after his execution. After restoration, the church was reconsecrated in 1949.