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, Renaissance, Gothic art, Baroque and Renaissance Hungarian art. The collection includes wood altars from the 15th century.
The museum displays a number of works from Hungarian sculptors such as Károly Alexy, Maurice Ascalon, Miklós Borsos, Gyula Donáth, János Fadrusz, Béni Ferenczy, István Ferenczy and Miklós Izsó. It also exhibits paintings and photographs by major Hungarian artists such as Brassai and Ervin Marton, part of the circle who worked in Paris before World War II. The gallery displays the work of artists such as Mihály Munkácsy and László Paál. The museum also holds paintings by Karoly Marko, Josef Borsos, Miklos Barabas, Bertelan Szekely, Karoly Lotz, Pál Szinyei Merse, Istvan Csok, Bela Ivanyi Grunwald, Tivadar Kosztka Csontváry (Ruins of Ancient Theatre, Taormina), József Rippl-Rónai (Models), and Károly Ferenczy.References:
German crusaders known as the Livonian Brothers of the Sword began construction of the Cēsis castle (Wenden) near the hill fort in 1209. When the castle was enlarged and fortified, it served as the residence for the Order's Master from 1237 till 1561, with periodic interruptions. Its ruins are some of the most majestic castle ruins in the Baltic states. Once the most important castle of the Livonian Order, it was the official residence for the masters of the order.
In 1577, during the Livonian War, the garrison destroyed the castle to prevent it from falling into the control of Ivan the Terrible, who was decisively defeated in the Battle of Wenden (1578).
In 1598 it was incorporated into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Wenden Voivodship was created here. In 1620 Wenden was conquered by Sweden. It was rebuilt afterwards, but was destroyed again in 1703 during the Great Northern War by the Russian army and left in a ruined state. Already from the end of the 16th century, the premises of the Order's castle were adjusted to the requirements of the Cēsis Castle estate. When in 1777 the Cēsis Castle estate was obtained by Count Carl Sievers, he had his new residence house built on the site of the eastern block of the castle, joining its end wall with the fortification tower.
Since 1949, the Cēsis History Museum has been located in this New Castle of the Cēsis Castle estate. The front yard of the New Castle is enclosed by a granary and a stable-coach house, which now houses the Exhibition Hall of the Museum. Beside the granary there is the oldest brewery in Latvia, Cēsu alus darītava, which was built in 1878 during the later Count Sievers' time, but its origins date back to the period of the Livonian Order. Further on, the Cēsis Castle park is situated, which was laid out in 1812. The park has the romantic characteristic of that time, with its winding footpaths, exotic plants, and the waters of the pond reflecting the castle's ruins. Nowadays also one of the towers is open for tourists.