In 1873, Budapest resulted from the union of three cities: Buda, Óbuda, and Pest. Seven years later, the Diet decided to construct a new, symbolic parliament building to symbolize the nation’s sovereignty. This building was constructed after its invasion in the 16th century by the Turkish empire, and then for many millennia by the Austrians, till the two neighbours managed to work out a compromise in 1867, and a rapid industrial growth began in dual aristocracy, which was particularly phenomenal in Budapest, and many new facilities were to be built at the turn of the nineteenth century.
The Hungarian Parliament was one of the most stunning structures built around the turn of the century. The structure was built to have a view of the Danube River. A competition was held for its planning and designing, which turned out to be won by Imre Steindl. One interesting fact is that during the competition for the building plans, the winning plans were also adapted to create a museum beside the building. Completion of the building took place in 1885, and it served as a tribute to the country’s 1,000th anniversary in 1896. It remained unfinished until 1904. This Parliament is the second largest in Europe and the third-largest in the world. For a country too small, it had this largest building due to the Austrian’s wealth that provided for the people of Hungary. To demonstrate their loyalty and respect for the nation, the Hungarian government encouraged the general population to use mainly Hungarian resources and materials in the development of the Parliament – wherever feasible – to support the local economy, local artisans, Hungarian suppliers, and enterprises.
Participating in the construction of the nation’s new home was both a guaranteed indicator of success and extremely profitable. It has a floor area of 18,000 square meters, a length of 268 meters along the Danube, and a width of 123 meters. The dome rises to ninety-six meters in height, the same as the dome of Saint Stephen’s Basilica. There are twenty-seven elegant entrances and thirteen lifts to let you go around the structure. Each day of the year is represented by one of the 365 towers that comprise the edifice. Upon entering the Parliament, tourists may climb the enormous, ornate steps, observe paintings on the ceiling, and stroll by the bust of the inventor, Imre Steindl, in a wall alcove. Notable statues also include those of Rpád, Stephen I, and John Hunyadi.
The hendecagonal (sixteen-sided) centre hall, with massive rooms neighbouring it: the Lower Chamber and the Upper House, is one of the building’s most recognizable features. The contemporary National Assembly is independent of the legislature and meets in the Lower House, with the Upper House serving as a conference and meeting chamber. The Holy Crown of Hungary has been on display in the centre hall since 2000, and it is also depicted on Hungary’s coat of arms.
In 1902, the lower and upper houses of Parliament moved inside the building. The inauguration of the session began on October 8, 1902, with Albert Apponyi as speaker. The Parliament Building was designed according to the Revival Style and had a symmetrical façade and a central dome. This dome is styled in a Renaissance Revival manner. Moreover, the interior displays an asymmetrical design, with two identical legislative halls, one for politics and one for guided tours. The main façade faces the Danube, while the formal main entrance is on the eastern side of the block near the plaza. There are 242 sculptures on the walls, both inside and outside.
The façade displays statues of Hungarian rulers, Transylvanian leaders, and famous military figures. Over the windows, the kings’ and dukes’ coats of arms were visible. Two lions guard the east stairwell. Miksa Roth’s-stained glass and glass mosaics are among the other attractions. The structure is almost constantly under restoration because of its large surface and meticulous artistry.
The building was one of the largest buildings and, due to Hungary’s history of being a part of Austria and the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, ruled by the Austrians, became a major tourist attraction. Even the government of Hungary has been utilizing the building to represent their culture, history, and technology with the help of guided tours, music shows, etc. A provision for a parliament library is also being developed. The parliament also expanded its horizons toward tourism by providing dinner cruises and wine tasting experiences for foreigners and nationalities.
Being near the waterfront leads to higher accessibility and visibility for the public and helps Hungary achieve all its goals. The placement of the structure in the centre of the city makes the public believe in their government due to its approachability. And hence, one of Hungary’s important goals as a country is an economic boom; its gleaming presence led to the growth of the country. Even urbanization and industrialization around it made the country grow more. The building not only adds to the history of the country but allows Budapest to showcase its cultural and social evidence in the world, And acts as an important aspect of its political system.
The Hungarian parliament is a powerful representation of Hungary’s age-old political system and its rich values.