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Gödöllő, Hungary


Royal elegance

Royal elegance

Gödöllő is situated eastward from Budapest, not far from the capital. Its castle and the one at Fertőd, are two of the greatest masterpieces of Hungarian Baroque architecture. During the time of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy this castle was the favourite holiday destination of Queen Elizabeth, also known as Sissi, and as a memorial to this fact an exhibition can be visited. The restored rooms and parlours offer a fascinating view. With many cultural events also, Gödöllő is justly considered a highly popular destination among visitors.

Gödöllő, Hungary

The city was first mentioned in the deed of gift of Louis I the Great in 1349. Gödöllő was completely destroyed in the years of the Turkish occupation, but later it was gradually populated again.

During the 18th century Antal Grassalkovich made Gödöllő the centre of his estates and commissioned an expert from Salzburg to start the construction of the castle. The earl was an influential man; he was the assistant to the king, the president of the Hungarian Chamber, and most importantly, he was the confidant of Maria Theresa.

Gödöllő, Hungary

The double U shaped castle was expanded several times during the 18th century, and it attained its present form in the 19th century when it was the property of the third generation of the Grassalkovich family. By this time the castle was an eight-winged building complex, not only did it have manorial suites, but it was supplemented with a church, a theatre, a bath-house, a hot house and orangery, and last but not least a riding school.

The estate had a model farm, which became the foundation of a later agricultural centre and university.

Gödöllő, Hungary

In 1841 the male line of descent of the Grassalkovich family died out. After this unfortunate event the castle became the property of several different families, until 1867, when it became crown lands, and the parliament decreed it to be the holiday residence of the prevailing Hungarian king. This way Francis Joseph I and then Charles IV spent several months here. The castle was favoured particularly by Queen Elizabeth (1837-1898), who was highly popular among Hungarians. She liked to stay here, and Gödöllő was her favourite holiday destination.

Gödöllő, Hungary

At the end of the First World War Charles I was informed about the collapse of the Monarchy here. Then, between the two World Wars, as the result of legal continuity the castle became the residence of the Hungarian governor, Miklós Horthy. After World War II, in the communist, then socialist era, the building was used by the army. Homes and temporary accommodation were established in the stately halls, and its beautiful park divided into small parts.

In 1996 the castle was completely renovated and the Royal Castle Museum of Gödöllő was opened. The rooms and parlours of Francis Joseph I and Queen Elizabeth can be visited together with an exhibition and weapon collection. The restored Baroque theatre is a curiosity, as it is the only intact Baroque theatre in Hungary with a backstage.

Characteristics, features, properties


Smaller town or townlet


Europe (Continent)  >  Hungary (Country)  >  Budapest and surrounding (Central-Hungary) (Tourist region)  >  Pest megye (county) (County or province)  >  Gödöllő Hills (Gödöllői-dombság) (Geographical region / area / zone)

GPS coordinates: Latitude 47°35'51", Longitude 19°20'53" (N47 35.85 - E19 20.88)

Gödöllő - Panoramic images (2 photos)

Grassalkovich Palace - Gödöllő, Hungary
Grassalkovich Palace
Grassalkovich Palace - Gödöllő, Hungary
Grassalkovich Palace
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