Built between 1880-1902, the Hungarian Parliment reflects a period of the Good Old Days in Magyar history. The Kingdom of Hugary stretched out over the better part of the Hapsburg Empire with much of the power being ensconced within the hands of the wealthy Magyar oligarchy. The Ausgleich of 1867 had led to great autonomous control but also to a political situation that became more precarious with each passing year. The structure survived many political naysayers however only collasping into the dust of history with the horrific excesses of WWI. Tours of the building can show you the interior - the Parliment was originally bicameral in the British fashion. There have been a couple of political modifications in the intervening years. Great Hungarian heroes are represented outside - Kossuth on the north side, Ferenc Rakoczi on the south; interestingly enough, both died in exile, but their spirit lived on.
The Parliament building on the left banks of Danube was built for a country three times larger than today's Hungary. Inspired by the London Parliament, this Hungary's largest building was conceived in 1896 by Imre Steindl but finished only in 1902, after the architect's death.
Impressive neo-gothic turrets and arches stretch for over 250 metres along the Danube embankment.
The building comprises of 691 rooms, immense halls and over 12.5 miles of corridors, has a central dome of 96-metres (precisely the same height as that of Szent István Basilica).
For the best view of the Parliament building go to the other side of the Danube, at Fisherman's bastions.
Visit the Parliament website for more info about this building and also for details about the guided tours. From May 2004 visit is free for all EU-Member's citizens (you must prove your citizenship with your passport).
The biggest building of Budapest is the Parliament. You can see it very well from the terrace of the Royal Palace and from the Fishermen Bastion. It is probably one of the symbol of the town more knows in the world. It is locate between the Kossuth ter and the Danube River. It was built by Imre Steindl between in the 1884 and 1904. It is 268 metres long, 118 metres wide and 96 metres high. It has got on its facedes more than 233 statues of importants Hungarian characters.
It is built in a neo-gothic style with pinancles, big windows, statues and a big cupola (96 metres high). Many artists of the past century worked to create a such wonderuful building, and some of them are Mihaly Munkacsy, Karoly Lotz and Gyula Rudnay.
Beautiful architectural mammoth on the Danube, on the Pest side. Loosely modelled on the Houses of Parliament in London. Contains the Crown Jewels of Hungary: the Holy Crown and Coronation Insignia. As of this writing, visits by guided tour only. In English at 10:00, 12:00, and 14:00. German at 11:00 and 15:00. French 14:00. Admission fee around 2000+ forints for foreigners, free for Hungarians. Go to Gate X on the back and right of the building for the tours, which last about 45 minutes.
The Parliment Building stands on the Pest side of the city. The amazing architecture nicely balances Buda Castle found on the opposite side of the river. The Parliament building has 691 rooms a central dome of 96-metres (precisely the same height as that of Szent István Basilica). Group tours are offered when Parliament is not in session. Each tour lasts approximately 20 minutes.
Visits to Parliament are limited to particular times, depending on the duties of the organs of goverment which operate in the building. Within the palace, which includes fully ten courtyards, there are 691 halls, many of which are decorated by paintings (those of the Hungarian kings in the luxurious cupola- shaped hall on the first floor are interesting), frescoes, tapestries (an entire hall is decorated by rare Gobelin tapestries) and statues, and are richly embellished by refined furnishings.
For me this is the most amazing building in Budapest, just edging out Buda Castle in magnificence. It's the center of all things political in Hungary, and this meant that when I was there the building had the added significance of being the stage of large political anti-government protests. A few days before I'd arrived in the city there had been riots in the city, with some hooligans even torching cars and buildings.
The protest outside the Parliament the day I visited the building was much calmer, and also sleepier, despite being the day of national elections in the city. It seemed that a lot of the fire had petered out in the belly of the protesters. There even seemed to be more homeless people there than protesters; they had been attracted there by the free food. Add them to the countless police, the news reporters from all over the world, and the curious tourists, and I think the protesters would probably have been in a minority.
The organisers were not put off, however. Traditional Hungarian songs blared out of the loud speakers, while several busy looking people rushed about getting things ready for what I guessed would be a much bigger gathering later on; the Russian reporter I spoke to hoped that it would get more interesting after it got dark. One man, clearly old enough to have seen the 1956 revolution, stood stalwartly with his Hungarian flag flying proud in the stiff wind with a hole cut out of the centre.
Like the Chain Bridge, the Parliament adds another English touch to this part of the Danube, as its Gothic Revivalist style is very similar to that of Britain's own famous Parliament in London, and was built in the same century. It is absolutely huge, and it is estimated to have used 40 million bricks in its construction, along with half a million precious stones and 40 kilograms of gold. It contains nearly 700 rooms, 29 staircases, and ten courtyards within its walls.
And not surprisingly, it looks incredible at night.
During the centuries Hungary changed several times it`s Capitol and also the buildings where the diets were held. Also in Budapest we find other parliaments, wich naturally aren`t as big than the one we see today(in the Bródy Sándor street, now Italian Institute) and in the Buda Castle.
In 1830, for the first time came up the idea to build a permanent seat for the State Assembly, but the construction began only in 1885, on the plans of Imre Steindl, who won with his neogothical project the international tendering. Here are some of the other plans:
However in 1896 the first assembly was held here, the construction finished only in 1904. Sadly the architect died before the inauguration. With the money, they spent on the construction, a city for 30.000 inhabitants could have been built. You find 90 external and 152 internal statues here, and more than 40 kg. of gold were used. The building placed 23th. on the famous votation "the 7 new wonders of the world".
Orszag has, the gigantic parliament, is one of Budapest’s most famous buildings. It’s complete floor space is of nearly 18.000 m2, a very impressing bigness. Finishes in 1906 it combines various styles and epochs of which the architect Imre Steindl was impressed.
It is quite beautiful inside and features the crown of St. Stephen and some beautiful rooms on a short tour. But I have to warn that it was the most disorganized site I've ever been to. First, they barely divide the lines between those with tickets and those without for their every-two-hours tours. I was without so eventually they had me and a few other lost souls go into a small, hot, crowded room with only one line to get tickets. After waiting there for about 15 minutes and no movement in the line, they called for persons wanting the English tour to move to the front of the line. When I finally got there, I was told at first that I would have to wait two more hours. I asked the woman to check and she did and found that I could go on the next one, and somewhere in there I somehow raised the ire of a Hungarian man in line. Then, I had to go back to where the line was, get my ticket stamped, and find English speakers on my own and see where they were going.
So I guess the moral of this story is get your tickets ahead of time if you want to see this.
on the left side of the Dome Hall there is the Lounge the Deputies. Here you can see many statue which are allegorical symbols of the technical sciences and a few important branches of industry and commerce. In this room some of his rather crowded compositions depict images from the Hun-Magyar legendary world - the Mythical Stag, Attila's Sword, Buda's Death and Emese's Dream.
After the Lounge the Deputies there is the beautiful Deputy Council Chamber: it is 25 m deep, 23 m in length and 17 m high at its extremes. The warm brown of the Slavonian oak, a deservedly famous building and decoration material, gives the room its color. Inside the council chamber are 438 specially designed leather chairs for the deputies, while the velvet-upholstered seats in the inner circle are reserved for the ministers of the government. Near the speaker's lectern there are two paintings: the symbolic birth of the Austro-Hungarian Dual Monarchy on the left and Palatine István on 5 July 1848 opening the first session of the first Hungarian popular representative assembly on the right.
The Hungarian Parliament is open to visitors an hour a day. One of the most interesting things to see inside is the assembly chamber. Left of the domed hall, beyond the lobbies is the U-shaped assembly chamber with the Speaker’s rostrum, the sloping rows of seats and the galleries separated by arches with tracery. It is surrounded by corridors on each side. The walls are decorated with frescoes representing the National Assembly of 1848 and the coronation of 1867. Arcades divided into 3 sections are on the ground level with a triple tier of boxes above.
The fascinating Parliament was built in neo-Gothic style and overlooks the Danube The highest point of the rib vaulted dome, which is supported by 16 clusters of pillars, is 96m above street level. This gigantic building around 10 courtyards has 27 entrances and 29 staircases. The Parliament presents an unforgettable sight viewed from the Danube at night. Fabulously reflected over the water surface are the rows of windows, the open vaulted galleries and the dome soaring between 2 hight towers.
The main staircase sweeping from the main entrance to the Dome Hall is one of the beautiful architectural creations of Steindl. Extremely imposing are the dimensions of the main staircase occupying nearly the entire width of the interior room from the landing to the dome. The deep red granite columns are 6 m in height and weight 4 tons each. Statues of pages, holding the coronation symbols, look down upon the stairs. They are made from cast-zinc and, in a somewhat forced fashion, are reminiscent of the mannerisms of painted gothic wooden figures. On the roof there are painting made by Lotz: The Apotheoses of the Legislation and Glorification of Hungary.