The Hungarian Parliament
"a legislative building without compare"
Maria Simon / February 2, 2021
Its not exaggerating to say that the building of the Hungarian parliament ranks among the World’s most uniquely designed and built parliaments in the World. I am not saying this because i am a proud Hungarian citizen but even according to the "Independent British Newspaper", the Hungarian Parliament ranks among the 10 most beautiful buildings of all the 193 countries. As the author of the article, Allan Faulds said: “ This is it. This is the parliament. A legislative building without compare.” Gothic. Tick. Dome. Tick. Red. Tick.”
The Parliament is the seat of the National Assembly of Hungary and it is among the top 10 visited destinations in Budapest. The building is situated in Kossuth Lajos square, on the bank of the Danube at the Pest side of the river.
A bit of history
The Hungarian parliamentary assemblies had no permanent home for centuries and so a competition was held in the 1880s to find an architect to design the building of the Parliament. The winner was Imre Steindl who designed the massive, neo-Gothic building of the Hungarian Parliament.
Construction works began in 1885 and with the involvement of about 1000 people the building was inaugurated in 1896 when Hungary celebrated its 1000th anniversary. The building of the Parliament was fully completed in 1902 and sadly before the date its designer Imre Steindl become blind and little after died.
Bullet marks - a reminder of the past
The building of the Hungarian Parliament witnessed both World Wars and a number of revolutionary events, such as the revolution against the ruling communist regime on 25 oktober 1956, when hundreds of protesters gathered in front of the building. The memorial of this tragic event stand on the square today. Bullet marks can be still seen on the wall of the building even they were restored during a renovation a few years ago, however, the executors left the marks in a few spots.
40 kg gold, 3 architectural styles
Passing the building of the Hungarian Parliament doesn’t make us feel like passing any other. The building is an example of a well-detailed architecture work that looks mesmerizingly unique and without being an architect expert we can see how much expertise lays behind every single tiny parts of it. 40 million bricks, half a million precious stones and 40 kilograms of gold were used. The building blends elements and motifs of various architectural styles: its floor plan is Baroque, the façade ornamentation evokes the world of Gothic, and the decoration of the ceiling shows elements of the Renaissance. Its layout is symmetrical with the main spaces forming a cross shape and the dome rising at middle. Nowadays the 2 halls are being used by the Hungarian National Assembly but the other rooms are for conferences, ceremonies and guided tours.
The holy Crown
Visiting the Hungarian Parliament you will have the chance to get a glimpse of the Hungarian Holy Crown, also known as the Crown of St. Stephen. As it was the coronation crown of the Kingdom of Hungary, kings have been crown with it since the 12th century.
Fan Fact: No king of Hungary was regarded as having been truly legitimate without being crowned with it.
96 - The magic number
The Hungarian Parliament along with the St. Stephen's Basilica is the tallest building in Budapest with its 96 meter and is not without a reason. As mentioned before, the parliament was build in 1896 and the conquest of the later Kingdom of Hungary happened in 896, so the number 96 refers to these two historical events. The number 96 is also reflected in the number of the main stairs’ steps: 96 steps lead up to the cupola hall.
Fun Fact: No building can be taller then 96 metres! There is a regulation in Budapest, which restricts the height of the buildings in a maximum 96 metres.
Visit the Hungarian Parliament!
Be one of the seven-hundred curious visitors who take a walk in the Hungarian Parliament. Guided tours are held almost every day throughout the whole year, where trained guides speaking numerous languages takes visitors behind the scenes and reveal interesting stories and facts about the Hungarian Parliament and its history. What will you see? The 50 minutes tour departs from the Visitor centre and guides through the most decorative, gold-plated rooms of the Parliament such as the City Side Staircase XVll, the Chamber of Peers, the Dome hall and the tour ends at the Grand Stairway which is the pearl of the building.
How to arrive there
To access the Parliament is quite easy as metro and tram stops are just in front of the building. You can take the metro line 2 or the tram 2 to Kossus Lajos square and you will just bump into the Parliament.
If you would like to know more about the guided tours please don't hesitate to contact us by email!