Buda Castle is a spectacular structure and one of Budapest’s and Hungary‘s most magnificent icons, along with the Chain Bridge to which it is linked. The National Széchényi Library, the Budapest History Museum, and the Hungarian National Gallery are currently located in Buda Castle.
The kingdom’s holdings expanded under King Sigismund, and the fortress was regarded as the biggest in the late Middle Ages. King Matthias oversaw the construction of the Renaissance-style castle as well as the development of the Bibliotheca Corviniana and other lovely parks.
But beginning in the 16th century, the fortress experienced attacks and wars. Since its founding, there have been numerous battles waged, the rulers have changed, and the residential sections on this hill have been replaced by military huts. Old parts of the city have also collapsed, and new ones are currently being rebuilt. Only at the very end of the 20th century did things become peaceful.
The mediaeval structures from the reign of King Sigismund were given new life during Buda Castle’s reconstruction with the assistance of archaeologists. As a result, the perspective of Budapest’s cityscape is adorned with both old and new castle constructions.
The majority of Buda Castle remained damaged after the Second World War, despite all repair efforts, and the fortress’s various components had been looted. The Neo-Baroque iron fence encloses the castle. A massive sculpture of the Turul bird, which represents the Arpads dynasty and carries a royal sword in its talons, is used to decorate the fence.
While the castle houses priceless museum items, the interior spaces have been refurbished using the latest technological advancements.
A magnificent bronze fountain with a sculpture portraying a royal hunt led by King Matthias may be found in the northwest corner of Buda Castle.
The Gothic Matthias Church’s bell tower, the arcades, and the Fisherman’s Bastion’s Neo-Romanesque towers can all be seen over the roofs of the homes. The historic structures that line the small alleyways where people still reside today are surrounded by mediaeval bastions.
On the grounds of Buda Castle, there is the National Library, the History Museum, and the National Gallery.
The underground labyrinth that leads to the Sandor Palace at St. George Square is one of the fortress’s main idiosyncrasies.
The First Structure: King Bela IVth of Hungary constructed the first royal palace, which is located on Castle Hill. Although the precise date is unknown, scholars concur that the Palace was constructed between the years of 1247 and 1265.
King Sigismund and Expansion: In order to match his high stature among the many Kings and Lords of Europe, King Sigismund erected and expanded the majority of the current palace. He needed a castle that would accurately reflect the scope of his authority and influence because he was a Holy Roman Emperor, and the Buda Palace did just that. Although not universally acknowledged, the majority of historians concur that Buda Castle, built under the personal patronage and care of King Sigismund, was the biggest example of the magnificent International Gothic style of architecture.
Renaissance and New Ideas: After Beatrice of Naples, one of the most significant women in European history, wed King Matthias in 1476, Buda was overrun by Italian philosophers and painters who helped to popularise the Renaissance ideals throughout Hungary. The nation’s capital, Buda, became one of the earliest Renaissance hubs to be located north of the Alp Mountains. The King reconstructed significant portions of the entire Palace as new ideas and architectural styles emerged, adding various new elements, such as an Italian-styled loggia.
Nuns and the University: In the 1760s, the reigning Queen had no desire to live in the lavish Palace. The Queen gave the Palace to the Sisters of Loreto on May 13, 1770, unsure of whether to demolish it or turn it into a military stronghold. The Nuns were forced to leave the Palace right away when the Queen chose to move the University of Nagyszombat there shortly after.
The Palace was transformed into a structure suitable for a university under the direction of renowned author and inventor Farkas Kempelen. A printing press, a library, and cabinets were just a few of the many objects that were constructed to provide space for the professors and pupils. The Palace was transformed into a university by Alfred Hillebrandt’s design and construction of a four-story observation tower.
The state’s most significant project in the next years will be the renovation of Buda Castle and, more specifically, the royal residence. However, anticipating to see the same palace that King Francis Joseph was given by architect Lajos Hauszmann in 1905 would be unrealistic because renovations between 1949 and 1985 were so extensive that returning the structure to its original state would be virtually impossible; for instance, even its entrances were moved.
“Presently, the palace and the area around it are primarily used as backdrops for festivals, which is disrespectful. There is not a single interior of the royal palace that can be seen by foreign visitors. This must change,” says Mr. Potzner, outlining the necessity for at least some of the ancient interiors to be restored.
Magyar, W.by: K. (no date) Home, The Castle of Buda. Available at: https://budavar.abtk.hu/en/art-monuments/the-royal-palace-of-buda.html?start=3 (Accessed: February 20, 2023).
Themayor (2021) Reconstruction of buda castle funicular begins, Reconstruction of Buda Castle Funicular begins | TheMayor.EU. TheMayor.EU. Available at: https://www.themayor.eu/en/a/view/buda-castle-funicular-closed-for-renovation-8806 (Accessed: February 20, 2023).
Buda Castle – one of Budapest’s top attractions (no date) Budapest by CIVITATIS. Available at: https://www.introducingbudapest.com/buda-castle (Accessed: February 20, 2023).
Pascal and *, N. (2016) History of the Budapest Castle, Free Budapest Tours. Available at: https://free-budapest-tours.com/history-of-the-budapest-castle/ (Accessed: February 20, 2023).
Buda Castle (2023) Budapest History Museum, Buda Castle. Available at: https://budacastlebudapest.com/budapest-history-museum/ (Accessed: February 20, 2023).