Military Museum, Budapest
Before visiting this museum it is useful to read some pages on the history of Hungary otherwise the visit will limit itself to a look at weapons, uniforms, military equipments without being able to connect them with the events they represent.
The Museum of Military History has a large collection of weaponry and war memorabilia housed on two main floors. The museum has permanent collections starting with the wars against the Turks (16 - 17th century) covering the 1848 revolution and War of Independence against the Habsburg, both World Wars and the 1956 uprising, together with more modern displays showing machinery, guns and other military equipment used by the Hungarian army.
On the first floor exhibits on military history during the Austro-Hungarian Empire, including uniforms worn by the Hungarian Hussar regiment.
In 1914 as part of the Austrian empire Hungary was on the side of Germany and lost many territories in 1918. Under Miklos Horthy, Hungary made an alliance with Nazi Germany and fought WW2 on their side. There are large display cases featuring models and battle scenes from World War II.
Hungary was for the second time in the century in the camp of the losers and got dominated by the Soviet Union in 1948 under Rakosi and his Stalinist regime which led to the revolution of 1956.
The displays devoted to the tragic events of the 13 days uprising in October 1956 are the most poignant by far. Remarkable are the red, white and green Hungarian flags pierced in the centre. The revolutionaries cut the communist emblem which decorated the centre of the flag.
A complex and dramatic history!
I would advise this museum visit to the true amateurs.
Most notices are only in Hungarian, a few are in English. (May have changed somewhat these last years)
Open: 1/10 - 31/03 10 -16 h
1/04 - 30/09 10 - 18 h
Closed on Monday
Price (2013): 1100 HUF; 6 - 26 yrs and 62 - 70 yrs 550 HUF. (Normally free over 70 yr for EU citizens)
Taking photos: 900 HUF
This is at the very end of the old part of town on Lovas street. Called Orzagos Hadtorteneti. The whole museum is dedicated to the soldiers of Hungary, and while we were there, an exhibit showed the trials of war during their fight in mostly WWI. It was worth the tour to see the dedication to the countrymen who fought for the Hungarian right with might. They have a number of detail explanations of the trials and tough times the country has had to endure, but have a proud loyal group soldiering.
Beeing a military history lover I cannot miss a museum of this kind wherever I go. This one revealed itself as a negative experience. First, you reach a square with the museum building and an entrance which after all is not the correct one. So, there is a guy at this entrance who probably will repeat a few words in hungarian and pointing the right way, which is still obscure after this encounter. Well, eventually we found the right entrance. There is a clear indication that visitors who wants to take pics will have to pay a fee, which is fair. However, as soon as you start taking pictures you will be stopped because of the flash. Now, how do you take a picture inside a museum, dark as usual? Perhaps with a tripod. I'm not sure if the lady guardians would say something about a visitor carrying a tripod around, specially because you will nbot be allowed to carry any hand volumes. So, you just paid €3 for thye right to take pictures but you are not allowed to actually take pictures. Bravo !!
Captions are mainly in hungarian whith just a few in english. The whole orientation of the exibits is a mess. No visitor will have a clear picture of the way to follow the logic of the exhibition. Workers there won't speak a word in english and their only job is to keep the eyes wide open and watch closely the visitors, which is not rare in other museums but is really annoying.
The exhibition itself is not bad, but it's not good neither. Average exhibits, awfull organization, visitor unfriendly.
Located close to Fishermans Bastion, the military museum is an interesting place to spend an hour, full of memoriabilia and artifacts.