A Visit To The Buda Castle
Budapest, the capital of Hungary, is one of the most beautiful and atmospheric cities in Europe. Known as “The Pearl of the Danube”, this gorgeous city lies on both banks of the Danube river and is the most important political, cultural, social and industrial center in the country.
One of the most splendid and breathtaking sights in Budapest is the Royal Palace, also known as the Buda castle. It was built in the old part of the city, on Castle Hill, near the old Castle District. The Buda castle has a long - sometimes glamorous, sometimes fearsome, history.
The first royal castle was built in the 13th century, on the same place. The oldest part of the contemporary palace was built in the 14th century by Stephen, a King's brother. The Holy Emperor Sigizmund greatly expanded the place and in the beginning of the 15th century the Buda Castle was the largest medieval Gothic palace. In the late 17th century, after all the occupations and battles, many of the Palace's buildings were ruined. Maria Therese and later Franz Joseph – both eminent rulers of the Austrian Empire, in which boundaries Buda was situated – patronized the reconstruction of the building. In the 20th century, more damage, murder and demolition followed.
The diverse history of Buda castle explains the exceptional mixture of architectural styles to be observed. Alas, many spectacular buildings, monuments and interior got stolen, destroyed or simply vanished in the impetuous history of the Palace.
The Hillebrandt-façade is a lustrous remnant of the Baroque style. Worth seeing is the Palatinal Crypt – the burial place for the Hungarian representatives of the Habsburg dynasty. It is absolutely authentic, having survived the World War II destruction.
The artistic decoration of the palace (interior, statues and monuments) is a beautiful example of how different styles can co-exist. The Matthias Fountain is a spectacular fountain, depicting Matthias Corvinus – King of Hungary, Croatia, Austria and Bohemia in the late 15th century. The Monument of Prince Eugene of Savoy , a Neo-Baroque statue, is a sumptuous representation of the Habsburg-born François-Eugène as a rider, showing the decisive cavalry charge in the 1697 battle. The Turulbird is also interesting. This is a contemporary statue of a bird, the “turul” - a bird that appears in the Hungarian mythology, probably a large falcon. Two beautiful allegorical bronze angels represent the War and the Peace. They carry a trumpet (a symbol of soldier convocation) and an olive branch (that stands for peace).
The Budapest History Museum is located in the southern part of the Palace and contains specimens spanning from the Middle Ages to the end of the Communist era.
The Hungarian National Gallery is also a part of the Buda Castle. It exhibits Hungarian national objects, such as Gothic wooden statues, Gothic altars, Renaissance and Baroque arts and 19th and 20th century paintings.
The Buda castle has a long and spectacular history. For a great period of time, this place was the royal residence for many great kings. Today, the Palace serves as a museum, portraying some of the most magnificent historical and architectural achievements of the Hungarian people.