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Hungarian Parliament Building ("Országház") and surroundings - Budapest, Hungary

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GPS coordinates: Latitude 47°30'25", Longitude 19°2'44" (N47 30.42 - E19 2.73) Map

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The stunning building of the Hungarian Parliament (in Hungarian so called Országház) and River Danube in the light of the setting sun - Budapest, Hungary The stunning building of the Hungarian Parliament (in Hungarian so called Országház) and River Danube in the light of the setting sun

In 2000 the central dome hall of the Hungarian Parliament Building ("Országház") became the depository and exhibition site of the Coronation Regalia (Crown Jewels) of Hungary, including the Hungarian Holy Crown, the sceptre, the cross-bearing orb (globus cruciger) and the coronation sword, but except the coronation mantle. The site can be visited by guided tour. Formerly the crown jewels could be watched in the Hungarian National Museum ("Magyar Nemzeti Múzeum").

Hungarian Parliament Building (Országház) - Budapest, Hungary Hungarian Parliament Building (Országház)

The Hungarian Parliament Building ("Országház") in numbers: 268 meters long, 123 meters wide and 96 meters high; the built-up floor space is 17 745 squaremeters, including more than 200 office rooms, 27 gates, 29 staircases, 10 inner courtyards (patios) and 13 elevators; there were used about 40 million bricks and half a million decorative stones for the construction; in addition about 40 kilograms of 22-23 carat gold plate, as well as outside 90 and inside 152 magnificent statues were used for the decoration.

Building of the Hungarian Parliament (Országház) - Budapest, Hungary Building of the Hungarian Parliament (Országház)

The Hungarian Parliament Building (in Hungarian "Országház") is the second largest parliament building in Europe, immediately after the Romanian Parliament Building that was completed in 1997. Globally just the Chinese Parliament Building is ahead both of them, at least in terms of size.

The view of the Hungarian Parliament Building from Buda - Budapest, Hungary The view of the Hungarian Parliament Building from Buda

The Hungarian Parliament Building or "Országház" was built between 1885-1894 by Hungarian architects led by Imre Steindl, as well as Hungarian engineers, master builders and workers, using materials only from Hungary. Nevertheless there was one exception: the eight 6-meter-tall unique marble monolithic columns at the grand staircase were brought here from Sweden.It took 2 years to create the foundation and the other earthworks, then during the following 8 years approximately 35 000 cubic meters of stones were carved and fitted into the facades of the palace, that was a lot of work in such a short time. Due to this it was decided to use such relatively soft stone material which was easy to work with, but the disadvantages appeared just after few decades as well. At around the 1920s the time had come the do the exterior renovation.

Both the World Wars and the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 caused serious damages in the Parliament Building of Budapest. The World War II alone resulted at least 250 mortar hits and 300 bomb hits! But thanks to the work of the many professionals for today nothing can be seen from it on the building, it shines in its original splendor inside and outside.

The cleaning and restoration of the Danube-side facade of the Hungarian Parliament Building was fully completed in 2009 (viewed from the Batthyány Square) - Budapest, Hungary The cleaning and restoration of the Danube-side facade of the Hungarian Parliament Building was fully completed in 2009 (viewed from the Batthyány Square)

Although the almost 100 kinds of sandstone which were used for the construction of the Hungarian Parliament Building ("Országház") were great for carving, soon the stones began to erode and crumble. This is why the professionals of the reconstructions (which were started in 1948) decided to rebuild the whole facade of the palace using a new material, the very durable and attractive white freshwater limestone from Süttő.

Süttő is a village in Northern Hungary halfway between Esztergom and Komárom towns, its mines were already existed 2000 years ago, at the time of the ancient Roman Empire. The decorative white Süttő limestone was formed in lukewarm freshwater springs and lakes about 1.8 million years ago in the Pleistocene epoch. Durable, hard, cold-resistant and relatively easy to work with it, probably this is why it was already used centuries ago in the middle ages to build renaissance palaces (for example at the time of King Matthias Corvinus). The sometimes in everyday language used "Süttő Marble" not a true marble, but just a pale maroon or beige colored limestone.

Good to know that in the current territory of Hungary there are no any true marble rocks, therefore the "Siklós Marble" and the "Piszke Marble" are also just a kind of solid and dense limestones. Even though the marble is also a kind of limestone, but as it is defined it has to contain larger crystals and at least 50 percent of carbonate minerals (calcite or dolomite), because that causes the gloss of polished marble.

The Hungarian Parliament Building ("Országház") and the Danube River, viewed from the Batthyány Square - Budapest, Hungary The Hungarian Parliament Building ("Országház") and the Danube River, viewed from the Batthyány Square

After many years in 2009 the moment has finally come when the western facade of the Hungarian Parliament Building ("Országház") is completely cleaned and restored, and the building proudly stands over the Danube without any scaffoldings. This is a big deal, because during many last decades the Parliament Building was almost always at least partially covered with scaffoldings, and also the ravages of time could be seen on the walls.

The renovation of the facades became necessary already in 1920, also a parliamentary decision was taken concerning this. In reality the renovation of the Hungarian Parliament Building was started in 1948 and lasted until the present days. In doing so, the dirty gray-black walls were entirely replaced and covered with the white Süttő (or Sutto) limestone by the building contractor Reneszánsz Kőfaragó Zrt. (Reneszansz Stone Inc.) and its legal predecessor the Állami Kőfaragó Vállalat ("State Stonemason Company").

Later, due to additional works scaffoldings were raised again on the northern and eastern facades. The complete renovation was finished at the end of 2013, 75 percent of the covering stones of the Parliament Building were replaced, so practically every outer walls of the palace were rebuilt. The builder actually demolished the smaller towers and turrets beside the dome then rebuilt them from newly-carved limestone elements. This work alone took 2.5 years per tower, but supposedly it doesn't need to renovate the facades even in the next 400 years (and hopefully there won't be any war which could destroy it again).

In 2013 the big renovations were continued with the Kossuth Square, most of its area was closed due to this. These works were completed in mid-2014.

The statue (more precisely sculptural group) of Lajos Kossuth Hungarian statesman (created in 1952), and the Palace of Justice - Budapest, Hungary The statue (more precisely sculptural group) of Lajos Kossuth Hungarian statesman (created in 1952), and the Palace of Justice

The original statue of Lajos Kossuth was inaugurated by regent Miklós Horthy in 1927, and at the same time the square got its current name. That monument stood here until 1952, when it was replaced by another Kossuth memorial, as well as the original statue was moved to Dombóvár town and placed in a park, in a different alignment. Although that monument received a lot of criticism due to its melancholic atmosphere both today and in the past, during the renovations of 2013-2014 for some reason this statue was erected again in the square, more precisely the resculpted version. At the same time the previous statue that was created in 1952 was removed from here, it is planned to set it up at the edge of the Prímás Island in Esztergom town.

Quite surprising, but in the first half of the 19th century there was only a landfill site (dumping ground) on this place. The filling of the pit and the area was started just in the middle of the 19th century, those times the name of the public place was "Tömő tér" (literally aproximately "Filling Square") which referred exactly to this.

The Palace of Justice (in Hunagarian "Igazságügyi palota"), including the Ethnographic Museum - Budapest, Hungary The Palace of Justice (in Hunagarian "Igazságügyi palota"), including the Ethnographic Museum

The current building of the Hungarian Ethnographic Museum ("Magyar Néprajzi Múzeum") was built between 1893-1896 in eclectic style, designed by Alajos Hauszmann. Formerly it was the Hungarian Royal Supreme Court or Palace of Justice (in Hungarian "Magyar Királyi Kúria" or "Igazságügyi Palota") until 1949. The museum is within its walls since 1973. There is a mural on the ceiling of the stateful main hall, it is called the "Triumph of Justitia", painted by Károly Lotz in 1895.

Equestrian statue (a man on a horse) of Francis II Rákóczi (in Hungarian "II. Rákóczi Ferenc") Hungarian aristocrat - Budapest, Hungary Equestrian statue (a man on a horse) of Francis II Rákóczi (in Hungarian "II. Rákóczi Ferenc") Hungarian aristocrat

The Rákóczi statue was created by János Pásztor sculptor and Dénes Györgyi architect, inaugurated in 1937. Although this equestrian statue of Francis II Rákóczi (in Hungarian "II. Rákóczi Ferenc") was created for the 200th anniversary of the death of the Hungarian nobleman and ruling prince, in reality the anniversary was not in 1937 but in 1935, as the caption on the pedestal also says.

The Nagy Imre Memorial, created by Tamás Varga - Budapest, Hungary The Nagy Imre Memorial, created by Tamás Varga

There is a statue in the Kossuth Square in Budapest, representing Imre Nagy former Hungarian prime minister, who was executed after the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 in 1958. This is the first full-figure statue of him in Hungary, created by Tamás Varga in 1996. The memorial monument consists of an arched bridge and the life-size bronze male figure who is standing on it and looking towards the Hungarian Parliament Building. The statue is standing exactly on the site of the former memorial of the victims of the Hungarian Soviet Republic of 1919 (the "Tanácsköztársaság" and the so-called Red Terror of the communists), which was demolished in 1945.

The main door of the Hungarian Parliament Building (in Hungarian "Országház") - Budapest, Hungary The main door of the Hungarian Parliament Building (in Hungarian "Országház")

There are guarding bronze lion statues on both sides of the stairs at main entrance of the Hungarian Parliament Building ("Országház") on the Kossuth Square. Maybe it is surprising but these are artworks of two different artists. Of course it has a very simple reason. The lion on the left is original, created by Béla Markup sculptor in 1902. The original right side lion was also created by this sculptor, but it was damaged in the WWII therefore a new one had to be created. The Hungarian sculptor Béla Somogyi obtained the honorable task and he created the new right side lion statue in 1948. The sculptor was probably based his work on an earlier statuette of Béla Markup. Supposedly it was made of the bronze material of the former equestrian statue of Gyula Andrássy, which had to be demolished due to the temporary Kossuth Bridge (however the Andrássy statue is also planned to be recreated).

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