CASTLES IN AND AROUND BUDAPEST

The Brunszvik Palace MartonvásárGreater Budapest

 

 

 

Martonvásár, the Brunszvik Palace

Today, the former aristocratic residence with its snow-white walls, pointed windows, towers and beautiful battlements, is home to the Agricultural Science Research Centre of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences as well as the citadel of the Hungarian Beethoven cult.



It was built by Count Antal Brunswick in the late 1700s, and it was given its current Revivalist, neo-Gothic style when it was rebuilt around 1875. The palace is extremely popular with tourists due to its impressive park and museum. Beethoven had a close relationship with the Brunswick family. He visited the palace several times, taught the Brunswick girls to play the piano, and according to surviving correspondence, was in love with Jozefin Brunswick. Letters and other interesting documents can be viewed in the Beethoven Memorial Museum at the palace. The gorgeous English Garden around the palace – one of the most beautiful palace parks in Hungary, which is worth a visit in its own right with its lake and selected plant rarities – serves as a venue for Beethoven concert evenings in summer.

 

As a token of his friendship with the Brunswick family, Beethoven offered them several of his compositions, including the sonata in F minor (“Appassionata”).


Attractions and activities in the area:

  • Taste wine and champagne in Etyek, in the old press houses of Öreghegy and Újhegy.
  • Discover the Lake Velence Bird Sanctuary.
  • Get to know the old town and the winding streets of Székesfehérvár, one of the Hungarian cities with the richest past.


Designer: József Tallher
Date of construction: between 1784/1785 and 1875
Style: Neo-gothic

Visegrád, Royal Palace

One of the largest and most beautiful building complexes in medieval Hungary bears the features of the Mediterranean Renaissance, and the garden still has the popular plants and flowers of the age.



The construction of the palace was completed by Sigismund of Luxembourg at the beginning of the 15th century. He is also responsible for the orchard, which is almost as large as the palace itself. In the middle you can still see the trickle well. It is refreshing to walk among the fragrant roses, herbs and fruit trees in the summer. Fountains, sculptures, a loggia and a beautiful garden evoke the atmosphere of Italian Renaissance. After his marriage to Beatrix, King Matthias brought Italian Renaissance masters to Visegrád, and their work evokes the atmosphere of the age with fountains, statues, a loggia and a beautiful garden.

In the summer, the Visegrád International Palace Games provide entertainment in the Royal Palace.


Date of construction: between the 14th and 15th centuries
Style: Renaissance 

Visegrád, the Solomon Tower

Part of the double castle system in Visegrád is the 13th century residential tower, which is unlike any other Hungarian architecture from the period: its main entrance opened from the first floor. The permanent exhibition at Solomon Tower presents the history of Visegrád from prehistoric times to the 20th century. 

Visegrád, citadel

The citadel is a symbol of the former royal seat, the Danube Bend and an outstanding monument of Hungarian castle architecture.

 

Built in the 13th century, its panorama has fascinated visitors for hundreds of years.



In the Middle Ages, one of the most important residences of Hungarian kings stood here, and during the time of Sigismund of Luxembourg the Hungarian coronation insignia were also kept here. The crown was hidden in the old tower, and in 1440 Sigismund’s daughter, Queen Elizabeth, had one of her ladies in waiting steal it to crown her son, the baby László V, king. The fortress consists of a lower castle, a citadel on a 328-meter-high hill and a water bastion. It is also home to several exciting exhibitions, mainly on the Middle Ages, such as the Exhibition of the Holy Crown, the Exhibition of the History of the Castle and Weapons, and the Panopticon in memory of the Royal Meeting in Visegrád in 1335. Outdoor demonstrations of military equipment and falconry are also held in the castle courtyard. Still, the most memorable moment is stepping onto the terrace to admire the extraordinary panorama of the Danube Bend.



Attractions in the area:

  • Cruise the Danube Bend and explore the pearls of the area.
  • Discover the highest church in the country, the Esztergom Basilica.
  • Discover Szentendre, the city of artists, and check out its museums and galleries. 

Gödöllő, the Grassalkovich Palace

The Grassalkovich Palace in Gödöllő, built by Count Antal Grassalkovich I in the 18th century, is one of the largest Baroque palaces in the country.



Later, Franz Joseph I and Queen Elizabeth received the palace as a coronation gift and used it as a summer residence. During their stay, Sissi spent most of her time at the royal riding school.



The spacious rooms, the ornamentations and the silk wallpaper of the palace decorated in gold, white, burgundy and blue invite you to travel through time. The permanent exhibitions of the suites present the ages of the Grassalkovich family, then the times of the royal couple, together with the 20th century story of the palace: Miklós Horthy maintained it as a summer residence from 1920. A stone theatre was also built in the palace, which is the only reconstructed Baroque theatre in Hungary. There is also an orange house in the palace’s magnificent English garden. 

 

Some scenes of the series Vanity Fair from 2018 were also filmed here.


Attractions in the area:

  • Taste wine and champagne in Etyek, in the old press houses of Öreghegy and Újhegy.
  • Take a boat trip on the Danube Bend and explore the pearls of the area.
  • Discover Szentendre, the city of artists, and check out its museums and galleries.

 

Designer: András Mayerhoffer
Date of construction: 18th century
Style: Baroque

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