Budapest Parliament Building

One of the most striking and famous landmarks in Budapest is the Budapest Parliament Building. The immense Budapest Parliament Building is found on the Pest bank of the Danube River, stretching nearly 900 feet between Chain Bridge and Margaret Bridge. It is the seat of the Hungarian Parliament, which is known as the National Assembly of Hungary. This important Hungarian attraction is the country's largest building, and one of the largest Parliament buildings in all of Europe.

A giant Gothic Revival structure, the Hungarian Parliament has a beautiful façade and a high dome that soars about 315 feet. These sky-high domes of the Parliament Building in Budapest make it one of Budapest's tallest buildings, and you will easily be able to pick it out in the skyline from points all over the city, whether you are at Fishermans Bastion, Gellert Hill, or sliding down the Danube on a river cruise.

The Parliament Building in Budapest is often photographed from the Danube River side, and of course that's the pretty side you'll see if you're passing on a river cruise, but the official entrance to the building is actually on the other side. It is located on the western side of Lajos Kossuth Square, the symbolic center of the Hungarian state. Lajos Kossuth Square has gone through a bit of an identity crisis as far as its name is concerned. In earlier times known by names that meant, Parliament Square, Landfill Square, and Ship Unloading Square.

The Parliament Building is richly decorated. The decorations required a total of approximately 88 pounds of gold! Gold isn't the only thing of value inside the building. Also inside the Parliament Building in Budapest are the Hungarian Coronation Regalia, including the Holy Crown, orb, scepter, and a Renaissance sword. The building's 691 rooms and 10 courtyards feature ceiling frescoes by Károly Lotz, grand staircases, stained glass, glass mosaics, and hundreds of sculptures inside and out, including representations of Árpád and Stephen I.

The design of the Budapest Parliament Building was chosen through a competition. One unique feature of the building is the large central hall, which has sixteen sides, and is adjoined by giant chambers. Construction of winner Imre Steindl's design began in 1885, inaugurated in 1896, and was completed in 1904. Sadly, the building's architect went blind before the construction was finished. Interestingly, two of the losing designs also were created nearby for other uses. If you visit the Ethnographical Museum and the Ministry of Agriculture, you'll be visiting those designs.

Outside, in front of the Parliament building, your sightseeing isn't over yet! Keep your eyes peeled for several monuments: The Kossuth Memorial, a memorial for the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, and a statue of Francis II Rákóczi.

Provided the Hungarian Parliament is not in session, you can explore this giant building. Tours are given onsite in many languages: English, French, German, Russian, Hebrew, Japanese, Italian, and Spanish. Budapest tours are often a great way to learn a lot of fun and interesting details about a site without relying on a hefty guidebook.

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