I rode the 95-meter funicular from near Chain Bridge and ended up at the magnificentBuda Castle (Hungarian: Budai Vár, Turkish: Budin Kalesi) which is part of the Budapest World heritage Site of 1987. You have to go here when in Budapest because the views are just spectacular!
A true Royal Palace, Buda Castle was built on the southern tip of Castle Hill, next to the Baroque and 19th century houses and public buildings of the old Castle District (Hun: Várnegyed). It is also linked to Adam Clark Square.
The Castle Hill where Budapest was founded is awesome - rising 48 meters above the Danube and giving those perfect KODAK views of the Danube. It has been conquered and re-conquered several times and it’s amazing that the whole complex still stands after all these years. The renovations of the 1950’s helped a lot to bring the place back to its previous glory.
Today, The Castle has 203 rooms and houses several museums, among them the Budapest Historical Museum and the National Gallery.
UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE!
I made a video of my trip to Budapest!
Hope you like this video:
MT FIRST DAY IN BUDAPEST
I have to admit that I loved seeing Buda castle from a distance, especially during the night it looks amazing (pic 1). Overlooking the city from Castle Hill and it’s worth to be visited anyway as it is housing the National Hungarian Gallery that takes the middle section of the castle but also the Budapest Historical Museum.
Its construction started in 13th century by king Bela but it was just a small keep surrounded by thick walls at that time. The palace was actually built by king Lajos the Great and expanded many times during 14th century and then again by king Matthias. That old palace was demolished by Ottoman Turks during Budapest occupation (1541-1686) so after that a new palace was built in early 18th century in baroque style by king of Habsburg Charles III which was expanded by empress Maria Theresa.
Then the great fire of 1810 almost destroyed the palace again so new wings added after the Austro-Hungarian compromise in 1867. Of course WWII affect the palace for one more time…
There are many sculptures and monuments around that worth to be see while a bit further at Disz Ter (parade square) we watched the military guards change, a small ceremony that doesn’t really matter if you miss it. Definitely the building around are much more interesting, many of them in baroque style. Nearby there’s a small garden square and a monument (Honved Memorial) with a statue made by Gyorgy Zala in late 1893 dedicated to War of Independence (1848-49).
Buda castle dates back to 1265. It is located on top of Castle Hill, in Buda. Up until the 19th century, it was the official residence of Hungarian kings. Through its long history, it was destroyed and rebuilt several times, finally achieving its final form after World War II. First built as a Gothic palace, it took on a Renaissance style in the 15th century under King Matyas, then it became a Baroque palace in the 17th century, and it was decorated in a Rococo style under Maria Teresa, Queen of Hungary. The palace was almost completely destroyed during World War II, and its reconstruction was completed in 1966, during the course of which extensive archeological work was conducted to unearth the castle's history. The view of Central Pest from the castle's terrace is fantastic! The oldest remaining part of the royal palace now houses the Budapest History Museum, while most of the former royal appartments of Maria Teresa are now home to the Hungarian National Gallery. Another section of the castle houses the Sechenyi National Library, a research library that houses an important collection of historical documents (not open to visitors).
A UNESCO site, the Buda Castle dominates the Buda side of the city. Construction of this castle began in the 14th century and was expanded upon during medieval times. It even withstood the Ottoman invasions with minimal damage. In 1686 the castle was destroyed, then the Habsburgs attempted to rebuild it, but later it was destroyed once more. One more attempt was made and the castle was finally rebuilt in 1769. It's interesting to note that at that time, it cost approximately $1,816.08 to rebuild Buda Castle. Some members of the Habsburg family lived here until the Hungarians took over Buda and the castle was greatly damaged again. In the 1850s it was rebuilt for the third time and Franz Joseph I was crowned here. After being damaged more times (mainly from the second world war), it was rebuilt again in 1966. Buda Castle contains a plethora of different rooms for example the King's Cellar, the Palatinal Crypt, and the Baroque Court. Outside of the castle you can find beautiful monuments like the Turul and Matthias Fountain. At Buda Castle, you can also explore the Budapest History Museum, the Szechenyi Library, and the Hungarian National Gallery. The area around the castle is very beautiful (especially in the summer). Excellent views of the city can be seen here as well. I definitely recommend a visit here so you can see a large piece of the nation's history.
Buda Castle (Hungarian: Budavári Palota, German: Burgpalast, Turkish: Budin Kalesi) is the historical castle and palace complex of the Hungarian kings in Budapest, first completed in 1265.
In the past, it was also called Royal Palace (Hungarian: Királyi-palota) and Royal Castle (Hungarian: Királyi Vár, German: Königliche Burg).
Buda Castle was built on the southern tip of Castle Hill, bounded on the north by what is known as the Castle District (Várnegyed), famous for its Medieval, Baroque and 19th century houses, churches and public buildings. It is linked to Clark Ádám Square and the Széchenyi Chain Bridge by the Castle Hill Funicular.
The castle is part of the Budapest World Heritage Site, declared in 1987.
U need several hours to enjoy the whole area and to shoot photos, a must see spot of Budapest ... :)
The Buda Castle in Budapest I. one part of town known as the Castle district. Since 1987, the UNESCO World Heritage List under the name Castle Hill is included. With a number of medieval monuments, and 17-18. century houses and public buildings is located. The Buda Castle district has three main elements of the Royal Palace, St. George's Square and the historic district.
Buda Palace is a complex of buildings on the castle hill and the feature which dominates any view from the banks of the Danube with it's famous green dome.
It's home to the Hungarian National Gallery and Budapest History Museum as well as being quite pleasant to walk around in it's own right.
We entered via the Habsburg steps which follow an ornamental gateway (dating from 1903) from near the Sikló funicular and lead down into the gardens of the palace where there are several fountains and statues including that of Prince Eugene of Savoy astride his horse. The statue commemorates the 1697 battle of Zenta which was seen as important in the war with the Turks. At this point you will be near the entrance to the Hungarian National Gallery which is well worth seeing. Nearby there is a small passage which leads throughto a courtyyard where you will find the Mátyás Fountain which depicts the Hungarian king Mátyás Corvinus and was designed by Alajos Stróbl in 1904.
A much larger archway here is the Lion Gate, so named because it is guarded on each side by two stone lions, and this leads through to a completely encircled courtyard known as the Lions courtyard where you will find the Budapest History Museum
The Budapest History Museum is located deep inside Buda Palace with it's entrance off the Lions Courtyard. It's free entry if you have a Budapest card and one of those places with a compulsory cloakroom where you must leave your bags. If you want to take pictures then you must buy an additional photography ticket.
I'm afraid I was a little disappointed with this museum. The captioning seems to be almost not existant in English (and scarce in Hungarian actually!). The exhibition of gothic statues (which I have since found out were discovered by chance on the site during excavations of the medieval palace in 1974) is almost completely without anything to explain what the exhibits are at all in any language. The basement level which includes the excavations of parts of the medieval royal palace is slightly more engaging, but not much.
It seems such a shame that in a location where they are gifted with so many tourists of all nationalities who are ready to visit such places that they haven't made more of an effort to update the museum and make it more engaging.
The museum cafe is however good value and has some excellent cakes on sale.
The Hungarian National Gallery is housed within one of the buildings of Buda Palace on Castle Hill. If you have a Budapest Card then your entry is free here. As we found with pretty much all museums and galleries in Budapest it is compulsory to leave you bag at the cloakroom (but this is free). You have to buy an extra ticket to take photographs inside.
The building is quite impressive in it's own right but I think this will be best seen once you reach the 3rd floor landing and can appreciate the roof and look down accross all the other floors.
The 1st floor is occupied by pre- 20th century works and as is usually the case almost all of them are on a religious or semi-religious theme. If this is what you enjoy then they do have a good collection so enjoy. Personally it's not really my thing although the exhibition of alterpieces they have rescued from around Hungary (and it's former conquests) is quite pleasant on the eye.
On the 2nd floor they have early 20th century works which are in my opinion a little more interesting.
For me the highlight was however (and this will be very controversial) the 3rd floor with it's exhibition of art since the second world war - a great deal of it very abstract and very very modern. Being a philistine I don't claim to understand any of it but I did find it to be a collection which I enjoyed looking at. It was interesting (if bizarre in places) and colourful. The sculptures on the 3rd floor landing are fantastic.
The toliets are not in great condition but are servicable if absolutely needed.
This is the bus stop in front of the entry at the Fishermans bastion and the Matthias church.
Of course, you can reach it also by foot. When passing The Chain Bridge you'll arrive at Clark Adam ter, turn on the right into Hunyadi Janos street and that's it.
On this picture you can see the Jesuits Stars which lead up through the Fishermen's Bastion to the Matthias Church. The edges of the stairs and walkways are decorated by neo-Romanesque ornamentation.
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