The Hungarian Parliament: The Icon Of A Country
Paris has the Eiffel Tower, Sydney has the Opera House and New York has the Statue of Liberty. They are iconic structures that instantly identify a city. Budapest has the Hungarian Parliament building. A striking building that has become the symbol for not only a city but an entire country.
Like many structures around the city, The Hungarian Parliament Building was built to celebrate the 1,000 anniversary of Hungary in 1896. The building is primarily Neo-Gothic although it’s dome is Renaissance inspired. It is also not a coincidence that there are many similarities between it and London’s Houses of Parliament.
For a relatively small country the building is massive, the third largest parliament building in the world. At the time it was designed Hungary was part of an extensive Hapsburg Empire. The building is 891 feet long, 404 feet wide, and 315 feet tall which makes it tied for the tallest building in the city. The government occupies only a small portion of its available capacity. Constant care is needed to maintain the incredible craftsmanship and ornamentation.
It’s prominent placement along the Danube River is a photo lovers dream. The money shot is on the other side of the Danube where you can get a reflection of the building in the river. It’s location next to the other icon of the city, the Chain Bridge, makes this the number one spot in Budapest to take pictures. It is especially photographic at night when the building is flood lit.
Guided tours of the building are offered throughout the day. The tour includes walking through many of the wonderfully decorated halls, the parliament chambers if they are not in session, the Grand Staircase, and the Hungarian Crown Jewels. Pictures are allowed during the tour with the exception being the Crown Jewels.
The outside of the building has plenty to look at beyond the architecture. Statues and parks surround the building. Kossuth Square has many statues honoring Hungarian heroes. There is a changing of the guard that takes place every hour during the day. The guards are those entrusted in guarding the Crown Jewels.
No visit to Budapest is complete without seeing the Hungarian Parliament building. It’s one of those instantly recognizable structures and one of the most beautiful buildings in the world.
Visiting the Hungarian Parliament
The Parliement Building is located in District V along the Danube River in Budapest. The nearest Metro Stop is Kossuth Lajos tér on the Red M2 line. You can also access the area by tram 2 or Bus #15.
The best and quickest way to purchase tickets for the guided tour is to do so online in advance. Showing up the day of will require long waits if you even get in at all. Heavy tourist days mean tickets will likely sell out. the tour last about 45 minutes. Tours are language specific so be sure to pick the right one. They are available in English, Hungarian, Spanish, French, German, Russian, Hebrew and Italian.