Magyar Magyar

Grassalkovich Palace - Gödöllő

The Grassalkovich Baroque PalaceGödöllőGreater Budapest

Are you interested in exploring not only Budapest but the beauties of rural Hungary as well? Purchase a ticket for the nostalgia train, get in your car or use the local public transportation to travel to Gödöllő. Why? Because this rural town is home to the famous Grassalkovich Baroque Palace.



If this palace could speak

There is clean air and forests as far as the eye can see. Would you have thought that this region was once a royal residence and hunting ground? If you have always wondered at the world of the aristocracy and would like to experience their everyday life, you will find no better destination. The history of the Baroque castle started in 1735 when construction began on order of Antal I Grassalkovich, a confidant of Maria Theresa. By 1745, the first U-shaped building enclosing the inner courtyard was finished, along with the banquet hall and royal suites. Two wings were added to the building later: the southern wing housing the stables and hayloft, the northern wings housing a Roman Catholic church, still operating today. In a couple of years, the son of the count also established a Baroque stone theatre within the building which, at the time, only functioned as a seasonal theater when the German theatre troupes performing in Buda, Pest and Győr attended. This is the first preserved stone theatre in Hungary featuring a backstage. The construction of the last wing on the northern side, the orangery, along with the transformation of the French formal garden into a landscape garden are associated with Antal III Grassalkovich.



Favorite residence of the Queen of Hungarians

After the end of the family line, the palace had several owners before it was purchased by the Hungarian state in 1867 and, following renovations, gifted to Franz Joseph I and Empress Elisabeth as a coronation gift. Later, the palace became the favorite rural holiday destination of the couple. To please Sisi, before her visits, the gardeners of the palace always planted her favorite flowers in the front garden near her suite: violets and pansies. However, this was not the only reason Elisabeth was so taken with the palace. During their visits, she invited the cream of aristocratic society and held horse races, hunts, or, when she wanted to relax, she stayed in her suite to read or took walks through the palace garden.



Between the two World Wars, the building was used as the summer residence of regent Miklós Horthy, then, after World War II, it was used as soviet barracks after which emergency housing and a social housing were established in the beautiful rooms, leading to the slow degradation of the building. By the 1990s, the reconstruction, renovation only found the ruins of the charming castle and its once picturesque beauty.



Family-friendly castle with a real palace theatre

Today, on the second floor of the building, visitors can find permanent exhibitions as part of which they can, for example, visit royal suites authentically restored based on relevant sources, hear detailed descriptions of the Grassalkovich era of the Baroque age, of the visits of the royal family to Gödöllő and the 20th century period of the building. In these last years, the palace functioned as a truly family-friendly space, complete with permanent children’s programs and museum education courses for the little ones. Additionally, weddings, personal and corporate events are also often held at the location.

move around like a hungarian