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 Frigyes S ...
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, including Gustav M ...
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 first church construct ...
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 followed a year later by the ...
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

Les Invalides

Les Invalides is a complex of buildings containing museums and monuments, all relating to the military history of France, as well as a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans, the building"s original purpose. The buildings house the Musée de l"Armée, the military museum of the Army of France, the Musée des Plans-Reliefs, and the Musée d"Histoire Contemporaine, as well as the burial site for some of France"s war heroes, notably Napoleon Bonaparte.

Louis XIV initiated the project in 1670, as a home and hospital for aged and unwell soldiers: the name is a shortened form of hôpital des invalides. The architect of Les Invalides was Libéral Bruant. The enlarged project was completed in 1676, the river front measured 196 metres and the complex had fifteen courtyards. Jules Hardouin Mansart assisted the aged Bruant, and the chapel was finished in 1679 to Bruant"s designs after the elder architect"s death.

Shortly after the veterans" chapel was completed, Louis XIV commissioned Mansart to construct a separate private royal chapel referred to as the Église du Dôme from its most striking feature. Inspired by St. Peter"s Basilica in Rome, the original for all Baroque domes, it is one of the triumphs of French Baroque architecture. The domed chapel is centrally placed to dominate the court of honour. It was finished in 1708.

Because of its location and significance, the Invalides served as the scene for several key events in French history. On 14 July 1789 it was stormed by Parisian rioters who seized the cannons and muskets stored in its cellars to use against the Bastille later the same day. Napoleon was entombed under the dome of the Invalides with great ceremony in 1840. In December 1894 the degradation of Captain Alfred Dreyfus was held before the main building, while his subsequent rehabilitation ceremony took place in a courtyard of the complex in 1906.

The building retained its primary function of a retirement home and hospital for military veterans until the early twentieth century. In 1872 the musée d"artillerie (Artillery Museum) was located within the building to be joined by the Historical Museum of the Armies in 1896. The two institutions were merged to form the present musée de l"armée in 1905. At the same time the veterans in residence were dispersed to smaller centres outside Paris. The reason was that the adoption of a mainly conscript army, after 1872, meant a substantial reduction in the numbers of veterans having the twenty or more years of military service formerly required to enter the Hôpital des Invalides. The building accordingly became too large for its original purpose. The modern complex does however still include the facilities detailed below for about a hundred elderly or incapacitated former soldiers.