Hungarian Parliament Building

Budapest, Hungary

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 Parliament Building, expressing the sovereignty of the nation. An international competition was held, and Imre Steindl emerged as the victor; the plans of two other competitors were later also realized in the form of the Ethnographic Museum and the Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture, both of which face the Parliament Building. Construction from the winning plan was started in 1885 and the building was inaugurated on the 1000th anniversary of the country in 1896, and completed in 1904.

About one thousand people were involved in construction, during which 40 million bricks, half a million precious stones and 40 kilograms of gold were used. Since World War II the legislature became unicameral and today the government uses only a small portion of the building. During the communist regime a red star perched on the top of the dome, but was removed in 1990. Mátyás Szűrös declared the Hungarian Republic from the balcony facing Kossuth Lajos Square on 23 October 1989.

The façade displays statues of Hungarian rulers, Transylvanian leaders and famous military figures. The coats of arms of kings and dukes are depicted over the windows. The east stairs is flanked by two lions.

When entering the Parliament, visitors can walk up great ornamental stairs, see frescoes on the ceiling and pass by the bust of the creator, Imre Steindl, in a wall niche. Other statues include those of Árpád, Stephen I and John Hunyadi.

One of the famous parts of the building is the hexadecagonal (sixteen-sided) central hall, with huge chambers adjoining it: the Lower House and the Upper House. The modern National Assembly is unicameral and meets in the Lower House, while the Upper House is used as a conference and meeting room. The Holy Crown of Hungary, which is also depicted in the coat of arms of Hungary, has been displayed in the central hall since 2000.

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Details

Founded: 1885-1904
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Hungary

Rating

4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

David S (6 months ago)
Truly impressive building built to be representing the people of Hungary. Fascinating history and very impressive architecture. Must be seen with a tour guide but this offers a great chance to learn more about the history and past of the building. Also this is the only place where you can see the “real” crown of Hungary. No pictures allowed though. Tour takes approximately 30-45 minutes and will give you enough time to take great pictures inside. Due to the symmetry of the building you will only see one wing and the center of the building but this is definitely sufficient. After the tour you will also have access to a small museum where you can view other treasures. Probably one of the largest buildings I have ever been in. The surrounding area offers also a lot of small opportunities to explore some more
Daniel Felix Volkmann (13 months ago)
I really recommend to book the tour, very casual and informative. You get to see the center dome with the crown and one plenary. The building is very impressive, nothing is in or on there without historical reference. If you are planning to visit in a group make sure too book a couple of days in advance; tours are available in various languages. Really recommend!
Vinh Vinh (13 months ago)
It's simply marvelous. I highly recommend the guided tour. The guide lady really knows her things and was able to explain everything to us. Also don't forget to check out the little history museum they have at the visitor center.
Traveling With Spice (14 months ago)
Stunning and magnificent architecture. We loved Budapest alot, lot of history involved. Budapest is an exceptional beautiful city, you have to watch the city during night. Best view of the building is from other side of the rive, walk through the bridge and watch it from Fisherman’s Bastion. A must see place..
Ildiko Scott (14 months ago)
Beautiful, wonderful, magnificent building. You don't really get to visit all the palace but you see some designated parts which are wonderful. Budapest is an exceptionally beautiful city, and its symbol is a Hungarian Parliament Building. I'm proud to have my Hungarian ancestry!
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