On Friday, about sunset, I was right by the Hungarian Parliament Building. All of a sudden I noticed the military detachment was standing ramrod straight in formation and a few senior officers were there supervising the whole thing. The commander presented his detachment to the senior officers and afterwards several of the men proceeded to lower the Hungarian flag .
A fairly simple ceremony, not much in the way of colors, barking out orders or accompanying music. The soldiers bringing the flag down from the podium was a little more of a show.
I am assuming that the military unit that was in formation was the same one assigned to guard the Parliament and the Crown of St Stephen inside.
The Hungarian Parliament Building (Országház) is the biggest building in Hungary and definitely one of the most impressive.
It was built between 1882 and 1902 in neogothic style based on London’s parliament (yes, the famous Westminster). It has 700 rooms, 27 gates, 29 staircases and according to the official site about 50 five story apartment buildings could fit into the parliament!
Unfortunately we didn’t have the time to visit it and check the interior but there are guided tours in different languages on specific times. Be there early as the tickets sell out fast in high season, in English the tours start at 10.00, 12.00 and 14.00, the entrance fee is 3500Ft (free for EU citizens) and tour is about 40’ long. If you check the official site you will find lot of information about the building and its history and many pictures, so now I know what I missed as the parliament building is full of beautifully decorated halls and rooms with numerous paintings, sculptures, you can even see the crown of king Stephen etc
…but we took several pictures of the building anyway because it is located on the bank of Danube river so every time we were on the Buda side or going up the river by boat we took pictures of it. It looks beautiful during the day but what we really loved was taking pictures of it during the night…just check the third photo here. The official entrance is from the other side facing Kossuth square.
The parliament of Budapest is one of the most beautiful buildings I've ever seen.This neo-gothic masterpiece is majestically seated on the bank of the Danube River. It was built between 1885 and 1904 after a competition was held in 1882 for its design and won by Imre Steindl, a professor at the local Techinical University. Its design was influenced by the Palace of Westminster, though in my opinion it is even nicer than the London landmark. Tours of the parliament are offered in different languages at fixed hours but unfortuntely, we didn't time it right so didn't get a chance to visit it. We had to content ourselves with walking around the building, which wasn't a bad option, but if I ever make it back to Budpest I'll make sure to put a visit of the parliament at the top of my list!
The Hungarian Parliament is the biggest building in the nation and is one of Budapest's most recognizable and famous sights. It was done being built in 1902. The Parliament building includes almost 700 rooms and has a very beautiful interior. Inside you can see features such as the main staircase and lobby as well as the crown of St. Stephen. There are many small statues, paintings, decorations, etc. that illustrate historical moments of Hungarian history and honor noteworthy citizens. You can see the Parliament only on a guided tour. It's a very interesting and elegant place to see, so I definitely recommend a visit.
As everybody knows it, I was several times in our Parliiament as we call it: the Orzágház.
At that time I was the developing maneger there.
In Lajos Kossuth Square on the bank of the Danube, the Hungarian Parliament building stands out as one of the architectural landmarks of Budapest. Construction began in 1885, and it was completed in 1904. The building was built in Gothic Revival style with a symmetrical facade and a central dome. It is currently the largest building in Hungary -- the largest Parliament in Europe -- and the third largest Parliament in the world.
Read more: http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Europe/Hungary/Budapest_Fovaros/Budapest-436839/Things_To_Do-Budapest-Parliament_Orszaghaz-BR-1.html#ixzz1sb75CkCA
The Hungarian Parliament is gothic grandeur in it's extreme. It's clearly built to impress and I would have guessed it to be larger than the Houses of parliament in London - but the guide said it isn't. Apparently it is Europe's 3rd largest parliament after Bucharest and London.
The Parliament was built to accomodate an upper and lower house and so has 2 debating chambers (which I'm told are identical) but as the Hungarian state now only has a one chamber parliament only one is now used and the other is shown to tourists and rented out for conferences etc.
You can only visit the Parliament on a guided tour. English language tours start at 10am, 12 noon and 2pm. We were told (and read in many guidebooks) that you had to get there early (ticket office opens at 8am) to get tickets for the days tours. There didn't seem to be any problem with availability when we went but this was November and so very off peak - it may be very different in summer. At the front of the building on Kossuth Square you will see that there will be a guard by two signs - 1 which says "with tickets" and one that says "without tickets". When you go to get your ticket you go to the "without tickets" sign and you will be directed towards a door into the building marked "Gate XI". The ticket office is in here. If you are an EU citizen then show your passport and you get your ticket for free. You will be told what time you tour is and to be at the "with tickets" sign 10 minutes before that time.
If you did find that all the English tours have gone then you could try joining another one. If you speak another language then obviously go for that but actually the commentary was so difficult to hear most of the time it probably doesn't matter too much if you go on one where you don't understand a word of it!
When you go back for your tour you wait at the "with tickets" sign (there is no shelter here from wind or rain) and when the guide is ready you will be asked to follow them to the side entrance where you pass through security. It's just the same as airport security so all metal objects into your bag etc. Once through you can retrieve your camera and start snapping away as you see fit.
The tour takes only about 40 minutes and you see the main stairwell of the Parliament which is very ornate and then you are taken to the Hungarian crown jewels which are guarded by 2 soldiers who walk around the jewels in a circle every 15 minutes and every now and then they 'present arms' so stand at least 2 metres away unless you have any limbs you want removed! Then you are taken through a series of other lavishly decorated rooms to the old upper house debating chamber. Here you will be given some interesting commentary on the Hungarian Parliament (if you can hear and understand) before being escouted back out of the building.
Touring Parliament should be near the top of your "Must See" list as the interior is nothing short of exquisite. However; don't just show up as we did hoping to go right in. English language tours are offered only at 10AM , 12PM and 4PM and fill up quickly - especially in the summer. Tours last about 50 mins and cost 2520 HUF or about $14 USD. If you are facing the back of the building (not the Danube side), the ticket office is located just to the right of the central complex. You have to queue up to buy tickets; get your ticket and tour time and queue up again. Have a "Plan B" ready for how to spend your day - we were assigned the 4PM tour and it was FULL.
There is a very unique museum/exhibition in Budapest. Its partly about the classical Mafia in Sicily and USA and partly about the drug sitation in Budapest. Italian friends told me to see it, for it's very authentic. I was rather sceptic when they recommended it to me, but I am glad I finally went to see it. I prefered the drug-market part. I never thought drug is penetrating our world this much. Ask for guiding if you go there, they will tell you shocking things. And they open up your eyes to see drug addicts among your friends or relatives.
The museum is very close to the Parliament, on the street starting in front of the Parliament.
On Kossuth Lajos ter just north of the entrance to Parliament is an eternal flame dedicated to those who lost their lives during the 1956 revolt against Communism. This was one of the most brutal acts in the history of the world.
On October 23, 1956, students and workers gathered and made demands on the Communist regime. The AVO (Secret Police) was sent in and eventually opened fire on the crowd. When the Hungarian police arrived and heard of the shootings, they gave up their weapons to the protesters. The Soviet armies were called in and many of the soldiers joined the resistance.
The premier who couldn't control the revolt was replaced by Imre Nagy, who immediately took sides with the revolution and announced Hungary was withdrawing from the Warsaw pact, forming a new government, and demanded the Soviet troops leave Hungary.
The Soviet troops withdrew, but not all the way back to the USSR. They waited for reinforcements at the Hungarian border and on November 4, returned to Budapest and attacked with full force. Nagy broadcast over the radio to announce the attack, while radio transmissions were heard all over the West with pleas of HELP! Nobody answered.
Many of the Soviet soldiers had no idea where they were and didn't know this was a revolt against Communism. Those who did not carry out orders were executed on the spot. One soldier who took a detour to avoid running over women and children blocking the street with his tank was killed. Eventually, the Soviets began taking over.
When the revolt was over, almost 30,000 rebels were dead, 200,000 fled to the West leaving everything behind. Rebels who stayed were executed. Nagy found refuge in the Yugoslav embassy but was later captured, put in jail, and executed.
Soviet leader Khrushchev sent resources to the Hungarian people to prevent another uprising, saying "We will shut their mouths with goulash".
The website below is an excellent paper written about the Revolution in 1956.
No building in Budapest is more famous than the Imre Steindl-designed Parliament, which was finally completed in 1902. It now stands as the largest building in the nation, and the largest Parliament on the continent. When Parliament is not in session this massive building is open to the public, though it can be hard to get a much-coveted spot on one of the tours. Check the official website (linked below) for information on tour times, languages, costs (free for EU citizens!) and days of operation. Although this huge building has nearly thirteen miles of hallways and seven hundred rooms, you'll only get a peek on a guided tour. A highlight will be your glimpse of the Crown of St. Stephen (yes, THAT St. Stephen, of St. Stephen's Basilica), which has survived for nearly one thousand years and is now kept at the base of the main staircase.
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