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BUDAPEST HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT - ORSZAGHAZ HUNGARY

Budapest ParlimentThe huge and impressive Parliament Building was completed in 1904. It is on the “essential” list for any visitor to Budapest but more importantly, do try and take one of the guided tours so that you can see the splendour of the interior – guaranteed to take your breath away.

Tours in English are at 10am and 2pm but only on the days when Parliament is not in session. So from the beginning of your stay, plan which day you will take the tour. It is wise to be there well before the time as queues form quickly.

The Houses of Parliament line the Danube River for 880 ft and are reminiscent of the British Houses of Parliament (on which they are based). As so often happens in Hungary, this truly magnificent building is an amazing mix of styles – the basic plan is Baroque, the façade is neo Gothic and neo renaissance, the interior embellishment eclectic. The building is in two exactly matching halves from the massive cupola in the middle. There is no way to describe the richness of the ornamentation in the Houses of Parliament, the only thing is to go and see for yourself.

Extravagant, sumptuous, gracious, overpowering, rich, extraordinary, over the top, opulent, lavish, elegant – you will then have your own words to describe the interior. Many consider it the most beautiful Parliament Buildings in the world.

The dome stands 96 meters high and is the building’s finest feature – from the inside and from the outside. Below the dome are the Hungarian Crown Jewels and the cupola is enhanced by a magnificent rose petal chandelier. The ceremonial staircase is awesome with 96 steps. (The recurring 96 figure is no co-incidence – it represents 896, the year when the Magyars arrived). Other dramatic features are the stained glass windows, the wall frescoes, the statues of past Kings of Hungary, etc.

BUDAPEST TOP 10 ATTRACTIONS – The sights below are “must do’s” on any visit to Budapest. After you’ve been, you’ll have your own list. Budapest has a wide range of important sightseeing options but many people go without a pre-prepared list of what they want to see – this is wise because around every corner in Budapest is something likely to appeal to someone. Another point about sightseeing in Budapest is that many people don’t have a mental picture of the magnificent buildings such as the Budapest Parliament Buildings, the Royal Palace in Budapest, etc – despite the fact they are stunning.

1. Spend some time on Castle Hill, Buda Castle, Royal Palace, Obuda
2. Go to the Budapest Citadella and The Freedom Monument
3. Walk up Andrassy Street to Heroes Square
4. Grab a bit of Culture in BudapestOpera, Concert, Folk Music, etc
5. Look at the wide Danube River and cross over the Chain Bridge
6. Take a trip to somewhere outside Budapest – Danube Bend, Visegrad,
Esztergom, Cruise on the Danube, Szentendre (St Andrew) etc
7. Soothe your aches in a Thermal Bath, visit Vajdahunyad Castle and
City Park (Varosliget)
8. Go on a trip to Statue’s Park
9. Visit some Churches, the Great Jewish Synagogue, St Stephen’s
Basilica, St Matthias Church
10. Admire the Houses of Parliament but make sure to take a tour of the
interior