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The first royal palace to be built on the hillside was the residence of Louis I, the Great. However, the original gothic construction was destroyed when Christian forces expelled the Turks from Buda in the year 1686. After the reconquest, a small baroque palace was erected on the site and the building gradually grew in size until 1904. However, building work did not finish there. During the Second World War, the Nazis used the palace as a base and it thus became a target for the Russian guns which caused its destruction. The building now found here is a baroque style reconstruction built after the Second World War.
You will see a superb set of steps that leads you to the palace’s entrance, where you will also find a steep wall, discovered and excavated by archaeologists, that surrounds the hillside. In addition, in front of the main entrance is the equestrian statue of Prince Eugene of Saboya, who led the liberation of Buda from Turkish forces. From here you can also enjoy fine views over the city.
The main section of the building houses the Hungarian National Gallery, which displays a huge collection of the country’s paintings and sculptures. What’s more, if you walk through a narrow passage located behind the entrance’s equestrian statue, you will arrive at the ´Well of Matthias`, considered the most beautiful fountain in Budapest. This was designed by Alajos Stróbl in 1904, is made of bronze and depicts a meeting while hunting between King Matthias and the beautiful Helen. Take note of the extraordinary realism of the young peasant girl and hunters with their breathless dogs. You should also bear in mind that legend states that if you throw a coin into the fountain you will return to the city again one day.
It is also possible to visit, in the palace’s west wing, the Hungarian National Library, founded in 1802 and housing a collection of two million books and many manuscripts. What’s more, at the southern tip of the courtyard, is the Budapest History Museum, which recounts the two-thousand years of the city’s history.
Take note also on the lower floor of the Royal Palace where you will find the ´Lions’ Courtyard`, whose entrance is guarded by four lions designed by Janos Fadrusz in the year 1904. You will see that two of them have threatening expressions on their faces, ready to fight off any visitors. But they are nothing compared to the fierce and aggressive looks belonging to the other two animals. We recommend though that you brave the lions and come and visit this lovely part of the city.
Andrássy Avenue (34)
Hilton Hotel (14)
Parliament (Országház) (26)
Tower of Mary Magdalene (11)
Castle Hill (Várhegy) (4)
Grand Synagogue (44)
Municipal Park (Városliget) (38)
Saint Stephan Basilica (29)
Central Market (Központi Vásárcsarnok) (43)
Fó Street (19)
Gellért Hill (15)
Hungarian Opera Theatre (36)
National Museum of Hungary (33)
Sikló Funicular (50)
Elizabeth Bridge (21B)
Freedom Bridge (Szabadság híd) (21A)
Gellért Hotel and Thermal Baths (18)
Hungarian Science Academy (27)
National Theatre (49)
The Castle Labyrinth (5)
Ferenc-Liszt Music Academy (45)
Freedom Monument (Szabadság - Szobor) (16)
Gundel Restaurant (40)
Király Thermal Baths (20)
Parliament Street (12)
Váci Street (42)