The Hungarian Parliament Building is the most iconic building in Budapest. It is a part of the World Heritage; together with Kossuth Lajos tér (the square in front of the Parliament) it is a major National Memorial Site, the center of Hungarian statehood and constitutionality, as well as the main political venue in Hungary. This beautiful building is visible from almost every point of the Danube as it is located directly on the bank of the river on the Pest side. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations, a sight you can’t miss when you are in Budapest.
It is definitely one of the most Instagrammable spots in Budapest 🙂
According to the Independent British newspaper, the Hungarian Parliament Building is among the top 10 parliament buildings of all the 193 countries of the world. It means that our beloved Parliament building has one of the world’s most beautiful seats of legislative assemblies. As the author says: “This is it. This is the parliament. A legislative building without compare.” Gothic. Tick. Dome. Tick. Red. Tick. He also says it is “unutterably gorgeous inside too”, and I’ll take his word for it.”
Three Parliaments were built
Hungarian parliamentary assemblies had no permanent home for centuries. According to an international competition in relation to designing the parliament building, the committee decided to build the first three winner buildings on Kossuth Lajos tér. Of course, the winner of the first prize serves as the Parliament. The second one is the Museum of Ethnography and the third one is the Ministry of Agriculture.
Construction work of the Hungarian Parliament started in 1885 and the building was inaugurated on the 1000th anniversary of the establishment of the country in 1896. It was completed in 1904. When designing and constructing the Hungarian Parliament Building, one of the key aspects was that they wanted to use solely Hungarian building materials during the construction. And they did so with only one exception: the 6 meter tall marble-monoliths along the main stairs were sourced from Sweden.
The largest and the tallest building
Every time I walk by the Hungarian Parliament Building, I am mesmerized by the pristine façade of this colossal building, which happens to be the largest and the tallest building in Budapest. The cupola of the Parliament is 96 meters tall and since the building was designed for the millennium – the 1000th anniversary of Hungary – it symbolizes the year of the Hungarian conquest of the Carpathian Basin (896).
Red Carpet View
The pearl of the building, without a doubt, is the Grand Stairway. This is the nicest, widest and most decorated one. The 96 stairs that dominate the space covered with red carpeting leads from the main entrance to the Dome Hall. It used to be the royal staircase. The red carpet that runs throughout the building is nearly 3 kilometers long.
Interior design with gold
When I saw the lavish interior of the Hungarian Parliament Building, my jaw hit the floor. Even though gold leaf is very light, 40 kilos of 22-23-carat pure gold foil was used for the interior decoration of the building. Plus half a million precious stones beside the 40 million bricks that were used in the building process!
The back door is used
While the front facing façade overlooks the River Danube, nowadays the official main entrance is positioned in Kossuth Lajos tér, which is effectively the back of the building. Politicians also enter the Parliament through this back door. However, the main gate, found downstairs behind red curtains, is used when an important delegate is received for the first time.
Wanna know more?
Guided tours are available in different languages. All the information you need to know about the Hungarian Parliament Building before visiting it, you can find HERE.
Please check entrance fees, opening hours and visiting rules on the website of Visitor Center of the Parliament.