When we entered the premises of the Royal Palace we were welcomed by a statue of a mighty bird with an impressive wingspan holding a sword.
This was the Turul, a mythological bird which has become the symbol of power of the Hungarian people. It features more than once in ancient Hungarian mythology.
In one legend the Turul impregnated a woman and a stream emerged from her womb, giving rise to the whole Hungarian nation. In another legend the Turul was carrying Attila's sword and showed the way to the Magyar tribes during their migration, and when it dropped the sword near the Danube river this was the sign for the right spot to stop wandering, settle down and build their capital.
Besides the annual wine festival, Buda Castle also started hosting the annual beer festival this year between 25-28 August 2011. We enjoyed the local and international beers with my wife and friends. There were many food stalls to find the right snack to accompany your beer. Also many music bands took stage during the festival to let everybody have more fun. The attendance was really high and there were queues in most beer stalls. In overall, we enjoyed it so much.
The annual wine festival in Buda Castle celebrated its 20th anniversary this year. You can find many local and international examples of fine wines in this festival. Of course, there are food stalls, music and dance shows to fill your day. Don't be surprised with the crowd and the queues in front of wine stalls.
Buda Castle has a fantastic panaromic view over Danube. You can reach to the top by funicular, by bus, by bike or by walking. National Gallery is located inside the castle as well as a very nice fountain, eagle statue and lion statues. There are annual wine and beer festivals organized at Buda castle and it is incredible to see how many people can fit into that area. You can find more details about wine and beer festivals in dedicated tips.
Buda Castle is the sprawling castle and complex that for centuries housed the kings and queens of Hungary. Atop Castle Hill and looming over the neighbouring Pest, Buda Castle (Budavári Palota) has been attacked, destroyed and rebuilt almost as many times as Hungary has won the Eurovision contest. The beautiful grounds are open to the public today (look for fun fountains and gorgeous gardens), and inside visitors can access several museums, such as the Hungarian National Gallery (tracing Hungarian art from the eleventh century to modern times) and the Budapest History Museum. Don't miss the Corvinus Gate, named for Matthias Corvinus, which is topped with a symbolic black "guard raven".
In other words this well is named as "King Matthias' Well". The sculptures symbolize the action of King Matthias' hunting. It is very popular place to take photos and to watch into another nice panorama of Buda district.
The King is accompanied by the legendary Ilonka and a falconer.
Castle of Buda (or differently named Palace of Buda) stands on the oldest part of Budapest - Buda district. The fortress here was built in 1255.
After centuries of reconstruction now castle have a look of 15th-16th centuries. Mostly all the castle is a National Gallery now, housing the sculpture and pictures of 19-20th centuries.
The Buda Castle District, on the hill overlooking the Danube and the Pest side, is almost a small town in its own right and in fact during its formative years it actually was. The original castle was built in the 13th century as a fortress to deter Mongol attacks and was extended in the 15th century when the royal family built their palace on the site.
Over the years the castle has been variously razed and rebuilt (still an ongoing process) and was severely damaged during the Seige of Budapest by the Russian Red Army towards the end of World War II. The post-war reconstruction has been mostly sympathetic (with the glaringly obvious exception of the Hilton Hotel) to its late Medieval layout, retaining the house styles and cobbled streets as well as the important buildings of that period.
The Royal Palace was a more recent project as during the Communist era this was viewed a symbol of decadence and much of what had survived the World War II Nazi occupation was torn out by the Socialists.
Reconstruction is pretty complete now (Jan 2011) and the district has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987. It contains several of the city's museums, a couple of fine churches and a lot of tourist shops and restauarants. It is still welll worth a visit, even if you are not a museum person, and the views over, and along, the river are pretty spectacular.
The southern part of the Buda hill is the site where the Royal castle was built. Basically nothing is left of the medieval castle, built by the Kings from the Anjou dynasty in the 14th century. A few relics of the later castle are preserved and on display in the basement of the present-day building (in the Historic museum). The magnificent Renaissance palace was destroyed in the Turkish wars, the Baroque palace was enlarged and re-designed in the 19th century but severely damaged in WWII. From 1950 on it was reconstructed - more functionally than authentically. The ugly windows are an insult for the eyes e.g.
Anyway, nowadays the complex is home for the Hungarian National Gallery, a stunning collection of Hungarian works of art from medieval to contemporary, the Szechenyi National Library and the Budapest Historic Museum. I didn't have time for one of those so just wandered around on the grounds, admired the views of the city and the few preserved original pieces: The neo-Baroque staircase at the northern entrance to the garden terrace, the monument of Prince Eugen von Savoyen, the beautiful Matthias fountain from 1904, the originally preserved fortifications on the southern side of the hill - where I left the castle grounds through Ferdinand gate and walked down to the Danube bank.
The Matthias fountain is situated in the western forecourt of the palace, and shows a group of hunters led by King Matthias Corvinus (1443-90). He was the first King of Hungary to be elected from among the nobility.
The fountain was made by sculptor Alajos Stróbl.
The Turul is a mythological bird, important to the origin of the Magyars, supposedly the messenger of god. The Turul appeared in a dream to Emese, the mother of Almos, while she was pregnant, and showed her a great river flowing from her womb westwards over strange lands, which was seen to mean that her child would be a great leader and take their people to a new home.
This statue was made by Gyula Donáth in 1905.
Situated on the southern tip of Castle Hill, the first royal residence was built by Bela IV between 1247-1265 following the Mongol Invasion, and many enlargements and renovations took place throughout the Medieval period. During it's history it has been through earthquake, fire, siege and world war - it was neglected and used as barracks and stables during the Ottoman occupation; destroyed by seige in 1686; demolished in 1715 and rebuilt as a Baroque palace, although some medieval portions survived; laid seige to again in 1849 and was burnt out; and rebuilt again in the 19th century only to be once more reduced to ruins during the seige of Budapest 1944-45, and gutted during the Communist regime of the 1950s. It was finally rebuilt and restored between the 1960s-80s.
The castle now contains two museums - Budapest History Museum including the Medieval Royal Palace, and the Hungarian National Gallery.
After crossing the Chain Bridge, there is a funicular to climb the hill to the castle
The Patrol Of The Guards is held every day at noon at the southern gate of Sandor-palota (Alexander Palace), the building in which the President of The Republic of Hungary works.
The guards wear the same traditional green uniform (and hat with crane's feather) as the Crown Guards in the Parliament and they perform a 10-minute patrol. The patrol begins and ends with flourish of trumpets.
Called Magyar Nemzeti GAllery-it is inside the royal Buda Castle. There are a number of great items inside. They include many lovely paintings, and sculptures. It has 6,000 paintings, 2,100 sculptures, and thousands of drawings. There are three main very large floors and the grand staircase is worth the entry alone. This museum opened in the Buda Palace in 1957 and has been updated since. The stairs and a lot of the building floors are of rich, fabulous red marble, and railings have designs in hardwoods. It is one of the best in Europe, if the time permits to study the fabulous items. The center displays are unique, with glass figures hanging from strings from the top of the dome; shown below. Cost is 800 Huff and open 10-6 except Mondays.
Turul is the mythological bird of the origin myth of the Hungarian people. The biggest and the best known statue of Turul is in Tatabanya. Statue of Turul in Budapest, artwork of Gyula Donath, created in 1905, is located by the north side of Buda castle.