Buda Castle – part of World Heritage

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Buda Castle – part of World Heritage National Széchényi Library, Floor 5, Elevator Corridor

A permanent exhibition selecting from materials of three institutions, National Széchényi Library, Hungarian National Gallery and Budapest History Museum, operating on the premises of Buda Castle, presents the history of the buildings, declared as part of UNESCO World Heritage, with the help of pictures, documents and objects.

Buda Castle – part of World Heritage Buda Castle Hill has a long historical past. During its history, it mainly played the part of a royal residence, since from the end of the Mongolian invasion up until the end of World War II, it had served as a royal (palatine lord and governor) residence. At the very beginning, King Béla IV of Hungary (1235-1270) had built a castle here in approximately 1243. This castle had been inhabited until the middle of the 14th century and later it was re-built, during the reign of King Sigismund (1387–1437). However, it was King Matthias (1458–1490) who had made it a real royal place of dwelling. It was during his reign that the cultural history of Buda Castle started because it was King Matthias who had placed his world-famous library, the so-called Bibliotheca Corviniana here, which is regarded as a forerunner of the country’s national library.

Buda Castle – part of World Heritage

During Turkish reign, and especially on taking Buda Castle back in 1686, the royal palace was completely demolished. By the year 1711, Queen Maria Theresia (1740-1780) had built a new palace, which served as a basis of today’s castle building complex.

During the Revolution and War of Independence of 1848-1849, Buda Castle suffered serious damages again. On the basis of designs made by architects Miklós Ybl and Alajos Hauszmann, Buda Castle was re-built and expanded between 1890 and 1905.

Buda Castle – part of World Heritage The royal palace was actually used again when Miklós Horthy ruled as a governor between 1920 and 1945. The new building complex suffered serious damages again during World War II. Practically, just the surrounding walls remained intact.

Buda Castle – part of World Heritage After World War II, comprehensive work has started to save archeological findings, to explore the volume of damage done to the building complex and to restore it as best as it was possible. At the end of the 1950s, the idea and slogan “Let Buda Castle Be the Castle of Culture!” were born. Between 1960 and 1985, the inner spaces of the building complex were totally re-built, in line with the new functions, but the outer surface remained the same. Budapest History Museum, Hungarian National Gallery and finally, in 1985, National Széchényi Library moved into the building complex. Labor Movement Museum also operated here, until its closure in 1989. The above institutions have been operating in Buda Castle ever since and, with their continuous growth, they serve Hungarian culture.