Varosliget City Park
Varosliget (Városliget) or City Park, was once an area of marshland, which served as a royal hunting ground. Leopold I gave the land to the town Pest, but it was in the mid-18th century, under Maria Theresa, when draining of the area started and treed planting took place.
The design of today's park is from the end of the 19th century in the English style, which was the day's fashion.
Varosliget was the focus of the Millenium Celebrations in 1896, which marked the 1,000-year anniversary of the conquest of the Carpathian basin by the Magyars. A massive building programme was undertaken.
This included the Museum of Fine Arts, Vajdahunyad Castle and the impressive monument in Hero's Square. Read more about Budapest palace's, museums and a castle.
The beautiful Városligeti Avenue, lined with plane trees, leads from Lövölde tér to Városliget. At the beginning of the avenue is a Calvinist church built in 1912-1913 by Aladár Árkay. This stark edifice is almost bereft of any architectural features.
But stylized, geometric folk motifs were used as ornamentation and harmonize with the interior Secession decoration.
In front of the church is the Ráth György Museum, part of the Ferenc Hopp Museum of Far Eastern Art, displaying artifacts from China and Japan collected in the 19th century. Further along, the avenue is a Lutheran church. Samu Pecz constructed it between 1903-1905.
He also designed the interior details. Worthy of note is the painting on the high altar, by Gyula Benczúr, entitled "The adoration of the Magi".
Kodaly Memorial Museum
Zoltán Kodály (1881-1967) was one of the greatest Hungarian composers of the 20th century. His profound knowledge of Hungarian folk music allowed him to use elements of it in his compositions, which reflected the fashion for Impressionism and Neo-Romanticism in music.
The museum, established in 1990, occupies the house where he lived and worked from 1924 until his death in 1967. A plaque set into one of the walls of the house bears testimony to this fact.
The museum consists of 3 rooms in their original style, and a 4th room used for exhibitions. An archive has also been created here, for the composer's valuable handwritten music scores and correspondence.
Worthy of attention is the composer's piano in the salon and some folklore ceramics which Kodály collected in the course of his ethnographical studies. Portraits and busts of Kodály by Lajos Petri can also be viewed.
|Address||Kodály Körönd 1, Budapest|
Ferenc Hopp Museum of Far Eastern Art Budapest
Ferenc Hopp (1833-1919), a wealthy merchant and the proprietor of an ophthalmic shop, was the first great Hungarian traveler. He amassed a collection of more than 20,000 items from countries such as India, China, and Vietnam.
The collection's smaller examples of art and handicrafts are on display in his former home, while its garden features large stone sculptures and architectural fragments. The Chinese and Japanese collections are on display in the nearby Ráth György Museum.
|Address||Andrássy út 103, Budapest|
Franz Liszt Museum Budapest
Liszt Ferenc Emlékmúzeum
The Franz Liszt museum is in a Neo-Renaissance corner house, designed in 1977 by Adolf Lang. Above the windows of the 2nd floor are bas-reliefs depicting famous composers - J.S. Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Joseph Hayden, Ferenc Erkel, Ludwig von Beethoven, and Franz Liszt himself. Liszt not only lived in this house but also established an Academy of Music in the city.
In 1986, 100 years after Franz Liszt's death, this museum was established in his house. Various items are on display here, including documents, furniture, and two pianos on which he composed and practiced his work.
|Address||Vörösmarty út 35, Budapest|
Millennium Monument Near Varosliget
The Millennium Monument in Budapest, designed by György Zala and Albert Schikedanz to commemorate Hungary's Millennium Celebrations in 1896, wasn't completed until 1929. At the center of the monument is a 36-meters high Corinthian column, upon which stands the Archangel Gabriel holding St. István's crown and the apostolic cross.
These objects signify Hungary's conversion to Christianity under King István. At the base of the column, there are equestrian statues of Prince Árpád and six of the conquering Magyar warriors.
A stone tile set in front of the column marks the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Two curved colonnades embrace the column, featuring allegorical compositions at both ends. Personifications of War and Peace are nearest the column, while Knowledge and Glory crown the far end of the right-hand colonnade.
Labor and Prosperity crown the far end on the left. Arranged within the colonnades are statues of great Hungarians, including statesmen and monarchs.
|Address||Hösök tere, Budapest|
House of Terror Budapest
Teror Háza Múzeum
The House of Terror Budapest Museum is in the former headquarters of the secret police of both the Nazi and Communist governments. It records the grim events and practices of the "double occupation" of Hungary at the end of World War II. I
n December 2000 ˝The Public Foundation for the Research of Central and East European History and Society˝ purchased the building with the aim of establishing a museum to present these two bloody periods of Hungarian history.
During the year-long construction work, the building was fully renovated, both inside and outside. The internal design, the look of the museum´s exhibition, and the external façade are the works of architect Attila F. Kovács.
The reconstruction plans for the House of Terror Museum are by design of architects János Sándor and Kálmán Újszászy.
Guided tours in English and German are available. There is a bookstore as well.
How to get to the House of Terror in Budapest
The House of Terror Museum is easily accessible by:
- The Millennium underground (M1)
- Tram 4
- Tram 6.
- It’s a short walk from Vörösmarty utca underground station or Oktogon tram stop.
|Address||Andrássy út 60, Budapest|
|Telephone||+36 (1) 374 26 00|
Vajdahunyad Castle Varosliget
Located among the trees at the edge of the lake in Városliget, the fairytale-like Vajdahunyad Castle, designed by Ignác Alpár for the 1896 Millennium Celebrations, is not a genuine castle but a complex of buildings reflecting various architectural styles. Alpárs creation illustrated the history and evolution of architecture in Hungary.
Intended as temporary exhibition pavilions, the castle proved so popular with the public that, between 1904 -1906, it was rebuilt using brick to create a permanent structure. The pavilions have groupings in chronological order of style. Romanesque is followed by Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, and so on.
To give the impression of a single, cohesive design, the individual styles link together. Each of the pavilions uses authentic details copied from Hungary's most important historic buildings or is a looser interpretation of a style inspired by a specific architect of that historic period. The Romanesque complex features a copy of the portal from a church in Ják as well as a monastic cloister and palace.
The details on the Gothic pavilion come from castles like those in Vajdahunyad and Segesvár (both now in Romania). The architect Fisher von Erlach was the inspiration for the Renaissance and Baroque complex. The facade copies parts of the Bakócz chapel in the cathedral of Esztergom.
The Museum of Agriculture is in the Baroque section. It has exhibits on cattle breeding, wine-making, hunting, and fishing. The entire complex reflects more than 20 of Hungary's most renowned buildings. The medieval period, often considered the most glorious time in the history of Hungary, is given great emphasis, while the controversial Habsburg era is pushed into the background.
University of Fine Art Budapest
The University of Fine Art began as a drawing school, later becoming a Higher School of Art. Since 1876, it has occupied these adjacent buildings on Andrássy Street. The two-floor Neo-Renaissance building at number 71 was designed in 1875, by Lajos Rauscher. Robert Scholz decorated its facade with sgraffito. Corinthian pilasters and a full-length balcony distinguish the Italianate Renaissance exterior of number 69, designed by Adolf Lang from 1875-1877.
The entrance hall and first-floor corridor feature frescoes. Only the Barcsay Gallery is open to visitors, but the interior is visible from here. Another nice attraction near Varosliget park.
|Address||Andrāssy út 69-71, Budapest|
Museum of Fine Arts Budapest
The origins of the Museum of Fine Art's comprehensive collection dates from 1870 when the state bought a magnificent collection of paintings from the aristocratic Esterházy family. Donations and acquisitions enriched the museum's collection. In 1906 it moved to its present site.
The building, by Fülöp Herzog and Albert Schickedanz, is Neo-Classical with Italian-Renaissance influences. Eight Corinthian columns support the tympanum crowning the portico. It depicts the Battle of the Centaurs and Lapiths, and it's a copy from the Temple of Zeus at Olympia, Greece. This is one of the top attractions in the Varosliget park area.
|Address||Hösök tere, Budapest|
Museum of Fine Art in Budapest - Collection
The Classical artifacts collection (over 5,000 items) is rather varied. It encompasses works of Greek, Etruscan, and Roman works. The Greek vases collection ranks as one of the best of its kind in Europe. A black-figure amphora by Exekias and a kylix from the studio of the painter Andokides are very fine examples of this work. Bronze work, which dates from various epochs, including the famous Grimani jug from the 5th century BC, gold jewelry, and marble and terracotta sculptures are all exquisite artifacts from this era.
Located throughout the museum is the sculpture collection. The most valuable element by far is a small bronze sculpture by Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519). This is a dynamic representation of King François I of France on his horse. Other superb examples of Italian sculpture, by masters such as Andrea Pisano of the Ronni family, are also on display.
The museum's Dutch and Flemish collection features works by the finest masters, including influential landscape artist, Jacob van Ruisdael, with View of Amsterdam. The subtle Nativity by Gerard David and Pieter Bruegel's detailed masterpiece St John the Baptist's Sermon, depicting Flemish peasants listening to the saint's words, are exemplary exhibits. The museum also boasts canvases attributed to Rembrandt, including St Joseph's Dream, portraits by Frans Hals and Jan Vermeer's Portrait of a Lady.
Must see are the magnificent 17th-century Dutch paintings by artists including Adrian van Ostade, Jacob Ruisdael, Jan Steen and others. The highlight of the Flemish collection is the 17th-century Mucius Scaevola before Porsenna by Peter Rubens and his assistant, Anthony van Dyck. The latter was responsible for the picture of St Johns the Evangelist, also on display. Also important are the paintings of Adam and Eve and Satyr with Peasants by Jacob Jordaens, who also worked as an assistant to Rubens.