Labyrinth - Labirintus, Budapest
The Buda Castle Labyrinth is a one of it's kind considering it's size. The sinter caves inside the hill were formed in the beginnings of the Earth's history thanks to thermal waters. Half a million years ago it was a good shelter and hunting ground for the "Buda Primal-Hunters".
The many halls and caverns where linked later for military and commercial purposes.
The 1200m long labyrinth offers also a so called "personal labyrinth" and also some historical expositions.
Opening hours: 9.30am - 7.30pm, every day
Extra fun: evening walk with oil lamps: 6.30pm - 7.30pm
Guided tours are available every half an hour, but you can also walk around in your own.
In Uri Utca there is the entrance of this strange monument: the Buda Castle Labyrinth. They are situated in the complex of caves and cellars underneath Buda Castle District. The unique calcareous tufa caves of the Castle Hill were created as an effect of the hot water springs. These cave then served as a refuge as well as hunting ground for the prehistoric man. Later the cave were connected to each other and the complex developed into a labyrinth. In the 1930 the complex of cellars was converted into a shelter large enough to accomodate more than 10000 people. It was a secret military installation during the Cold War. Today you can explore them and to discover them history.
The Labryrinth was an interesting thing to do. Liz, Istvan and myself walked through the Labyrinth's series of dark pasages and caves. There are some funny things in the Labyrinth such as a fake fossilized Coke bottle and a large kings head popping up from the floor. In the midle of the Labyrinth is a wine fountain that flows red wine. Don't drink the wine......God only knows what or who has put there hands/mouth in there. One section of the Labryrinth was so dark we used our cell phones to light the way.
Now containing a series of imaginative exhibits the Labyrinth comprises of 1000 yards of complex caves, cellars, dungeouns and springs which run beneath of Castle Hill.
The network of caves was quite impression and the exhibits were a bit "cookey"... I wanted to see more of Budapest's history in the caves, yet some of the exhibits had copies of cave paintings located throughout Europe.
You can take the tour during the day or the night tours are done by oil lamps.
Labyrint is not the right name of this thing to do. Actually it's not more than a cave. Together with a map you get at the pay desk it's just an underground walk.
When walking throught the cave, you'll see all sort of so called monumental images, printed in huge stones. The signs tell you something about the stones. Some of them were supposed to be 41 million years old. Of course this is absolutely nonsense, certainly when you have a simple look at the stones and conclude that there are even prints on the stones from laptops, mobile phones and keyboards.
JUST HAVE A LOOK AT MY PICTURE!
There is a large labyrinth built under Buda Castle that you can explore. You can do it in the daytime with the lights on, or at night (1000 Ft) when you have to carry an oil lamp to get around. Lots of fun at night with the spooky shadows and creepy music!
I've heard that the Labyrinth of Courage is really great--but it's not open at night. This is the labyrinth that requires everyone to walk single file holding on to a rope.
For an admission fee of 1500 HUF, you can discover the underground tunnels in castle area. Dimly lit and moist tunnels give a strange feeling to the visitors wandering around. The length of the tunnels connected to each other reach upto 2 km and there are different sections with different themes. The wine fountain is an interesting section, but do not drink the wine circulating here as it may cause some trouble in your stomach later. You can spend around 1-2 hours in the labyrinth without getting bored. If you are in the castle area and you have time, consider visiting here.
We visited the labyrinth in 2007. It was actually a little hard to find, even though we had the address. When we got there, it was just after 6pm, so we actually did the oil lamp tour. I forgot how much we paid. We had the Budapest card and got a little discount, i think.
There were 3 of us and the staff gave us 2 lamps, so I actually had to travel without a lamp. The minute we passed through the doors, we found ourselves in a pitch dark tunnel. We saw a small "map" of the labyrinth and tried to memorize as much detail as possible so we can hit all the points on the map. There are parts we could not explore because it was closed after 6pm.
I found it quite a disorienting yet interesting (might I say slightly thrilling) experience, mainly because of the oil lamps. We wandered up and down the narrow-ish tunnels, lit only by the dim lights of the lantern and found that we kept returning to the same place. Mostly, we are probably just bad with directions and did not clue in to take a picture of the map. Some sites are easier to find, like the cave with the music and wine fountain - you can smell the wine from pretty far away. One time, I was trying to take a picture of one of the statutes and my friends left, thinking I was with them. Even though I was in complete darkness for only maybe 1 minute, it seemed like forever and I started plotting how to feel my way out or connect with another group of tourists. I couldn't even follow the voices to try and find them because it was so dark. Luckily, they weren't too far away before they realized they "accidentally" ditched me. Needless to say, I stuck to my middle position through the rest of the tour.
We explored by oil lamp for about an hour and hit all the sites, including the closed passage to the "labyrinth of courage". Unfortunately, we could not find the exit of the labyrinth and had to retrace our steps and leave by the entrance. The guides were not happy about that. We found out later that one of the pieces of "art" we saw was actually the door, we just never tried pushing through.
The labyrinth by lamp tour is a lot of fun though not particularly informative. It is probably not a must see, but if you want to have a change in pace from the castles and buildings, it might be worth checking out.
We went there today July 31, 2012 and it's very exciting to wander the underground caves below Buda castle. To think it's centuries old, originally used as a prison - even held Dracula at one time, and of course used for protection during the wars! Also, a wonderfully cool reprive from the summer heat!
We went down the stairs but we didn't pay to get in. Actually I heard it is not worth the money, which is a pity because this underground network has lots of history and is a fascinating phenomenon. Basically the Labyrinth is made up of underground tunnels which stretch around the castle district. They are not man made though have been helped by man over the years to sustain themselves. They have been used as hide outs during the war. During the cold war they were also home to a military installation. Now it is a simple tourist attraction which also houses history exhibitions along the way.
I cannot recall the exact price but I know I didn't think it was cheap.
It smelt a lot of humidity so if you are smell sensitive think twice. If you have a slight fear of enclosed spaces I don't think this will be much fun for you as once you start it is a while before you can get back out.
The Budapest labyrinth is just a small part of all the cellars and caves under Castle Hill. The labyrinth has been used for many different purposes over the years including shelter and an underground military base. As you walk through the tunnels, you will see various historical exhibits. It’s possible to see artwork, fountains, artifacts, and even old Ottoman headstones. Several tunnels are illuminated by oil lamps. Overall, I thought the labyrinth was really touristy and a little on the expensive side. If you’re debating about whether or not to visit, I would say go if you have some extra time, but don’t cancel other activities in Budapest just to do this. Make sure to bring good shoes because the floor can be really wet and slippery.
According to their website, the labyrinth has been closed illegally by the Hungarian government.
This is terrible! This place looked really amazing with so much to see and do in one place.
"On 29 July 2011 (29/7) the riot police raided, and the green militia closed down, the Labyrinth of Buda Castle."
Press Release: http://www.labirintus.com/en/112/press
Every house inside the walls of Castle Hill has cellars that run deep into the depths of the hill itself. You can take a tour of some of the sections of this underground network of corridors that were used for strategic military purposes back in the Middle Ages.
This series of caves below the ground on Castle Hill were something unexpected and interesting the wonder around. They costed 1100 HUF for students and were worth every penny, especially in the hot summer months when its scorching outside but nice and cool down in the caves. You wander around these caves, mostly in the dark or low lighting and are not sure where you are going. Sometime you wonder if you should be down here doing this because it seems as if you might get lost. The creppy statues of men doing things int he dark corners dont help and the way the caves kind of dead end and then you have to find your way back adds to the thrill. There is one corner with a fountain that has vines all over it but it is not pouring out water, its pouring out what I thought was simulated blood at first, but is wine. There are pre historic drawings on the wall and water dripping from the celling in place. This is a definate interesting place to go and a place not many people visit. I went there by myself and wished I had someone there with me because I got seriously freaked at times. Dont go alone if you scare easily.
This place was cool. A bit scary though as it was pitch black and we were more or less on our own walking around with a lantern. We got lost on more than one occasion! There's a fountain in a big cavern that wine flows out of, we met some Canadians here who had planned in advance and brought empty bottles!