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Hungarian Parliament History: Timeline, Key Events, & Present Status

Discover the fascinating tales behind the stunning Hungarian Parliament, steeped in centuries of political significance and cultural heritage. Built in the late 19th century, the building houses the National Assembly of Hungary and has survived floods, bombings, and even political upheaval in the 20th century - a symbol of Hungary's resilience and strength, indeed.

Keep reading to know all about the Hungarian Parliament history and what makes it a must-visit landmark in Budapest!

Hungarian Parliament timeline

  • 1867: Following the Austro-Hungarian Compromise, plans were formed to build a new parliament building.
  • 1873: Budapest was formed out of 3 cities, and the parliament building got its iconic location on the bank of Danube river.
  • 1885: Construction of the Hungarian Parliament began in a neo-Gothic style designed to rival London’s Parliament.
  • 1896: The almost finished Parliament was inaugurated on Hungary’s 1000th birthday.
  • 1902: The lead architect, Imre Steindl, sadly went blind and eventually died in 1902 before the building was completed.
  • 1904: The Hungarian Parliament building was finally completed after 20 years of craftsmanship.
  • 1918- 1945: The Parliament withstood tumultuous periods, including World War I, the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the turbulence of World War II.
  • 1949: A red star was added to the dome during the communist era – a controversial makeover.
  • 1989: With the fall of communism, the red star was removed from the building, and Hungary embraced democracy.
  • Present: The Budapest Parliament building, with its rich history and stunning architecture, attracts millions of tourists from around the world.

Hungarian Parliament history explained

Hungarian Parliament History

Birth of an idea

1867

Following the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867, Hungary desired a new parliament building in the heart of the country to symbolize Hungary's newfound independence and autonomy within the empire.

Hungarian Parliament History

Finding a location

1873

Budapest officially united in 1873, and the parliament was awarded a location on the Danube bank, facing the Buda Castle across the river. This symbolic placement highlighted the parliament's role as the heart of the newly unified Hungary.

Hungarian Parliament History

Construction begins

1885

Construction of the Hungarian Parliament building began in 1885 following a design competition won by architect Imre Steindl, who designed the building in a neo-Gothic style to rival London's Parliament.

Hungarian Parliament History

A milestone celebration

1896

The (almost) finished Parliament was inaugurated on a grand scale to celebrate Hungary's 1000th anniversary, marking a millennium of Hungarian statehood and showcasing the country's grandeur and cultural heritage to the world.

Hungarian Parliament History

The building is completed

1904

After nearly 20 years of meticulous craftsmanship by over 1,000 workers, the Hungarian Parliament building was completed and ready to make history! The iconic dome, towering at 96 meters, was finished, becoming a prominent feature of Budapest's skyline.

Hungarian Parliament History

War and change

1918-1949

The Austro-Hungarian Empire crumbled after WWI, making the Hungarian Parliament the seat of the independent Hungarian government. During WWII, the parliament building suffered significant damage from Allied bombings and was restored in 1945.

Hungarian Parliament History

Democracy dawns

1989

The Iron Curtain fell, marking the end of Communist rule, and Hungary embraced democracy. Consequently, the Budapest Parliament became a powerful symbol of the nation's regained sovereignty and democratic journey.

Hungarian Parliament History

A symbol of national pride

Present

Today, the Hungarian Parliament continues to serve as the seat of the National Assembly of Hungary and stands as a symbol of resilience, embodying Hungary's rich history, architectural splendor, and democratic principles.

Architectural significance of the Hungarian Parliament building

Hungarian Parliament History

Though a symbol of national pride, the Parliament hasn't escaped the hands of time. The building underwent a decades-long restoration to address wear and tear. This project, finished around 2002, aimed to restore the Budapest Parliament building's full glory, including rebuilding features simplified after WWII. Currently, plans are underway to renovate the building's interior, ensuring this architectural marvel continues to inspire awe for generations to come.

Hungarian Parliament today

Hungarian Parliament History



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Frequently asked questions about Hungarian Parliament history

What events or incidents have shaped the history of the Hungarian Parliament?

The Hungarian Parliament has witnessed numerous significant events, including the tumultuous years of World War I, the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the interwar period, World War II, and the subsequent communist era followed by Hungary's transition to democracy.

What is the historical significance of the Hungarian Parliament?

The Hungarian Parliament holds immense historical significance as the seat of the National Assembly of Hungary. It symbolizes the country's political history, independence, and democratic principles.

How old is the Hungarian Parliament?

The Hungarian Parliament building was completed in 1904, making it over a century old. Its majestic architecture was envisioned by renowned architect Imre Steindl, whose vision was influenced by Gothic Revival and Renaissance styles.

When was the Hungarian Parliament building built?

The construction of the Hungarian Parliament spanned nearly two decades, from 1885 to 1904, involving thousands of skilled craftsmen and laborers.

What is the historical context in which the Hungarian Parliament was built?

The construction of the Hungarian Parliament occurred during the peak of Hungary's push for national identity and autonomy within the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It served as a symbol of Hungarian sovereignty and political power.

How has the Hungarian Parliament contributed to the city’s cultural heritage?

The Hungarian Parliament stands as an iconic landmark in Budapest, contributing to the city's cultural and architectural heritage. Its imposing presence along the Danube River adds to Budapest's scenic beauty and attracts visitors from around the world.

What are some lesser-known historical facts or anecdotes about the Hungarian Parliament?

The Hungarian Parliament sheltered the Hungarian Crown Jewels during WWII, and the building boasts a staggering 40 million bricks and half a million precious stones. No wonder it's one of the world's largest legislative buildings!

Is the Hungarian Parliament a UNESCO World Heritage Site?

Yes. The Hungarian Parliament is proudly listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, recognized for its architectural significance and historical importance.

Are there guided tours explaining the Hungarian Parliament history?

Yes, Hungarian Parliament guided tours are available for visitors interested in learning about its rich history, architecture, and significance. These tours provide insights into the building's construction, historical events, and the functioning of the National Assembly.

What recommendations do you have for visitors interested in learning more about the Hungarian Parliament's history and significance?

To delve deeper into the Hungarian Parliament's rich history and cultural significance, consider visiting the nearby Hungarian National Museum or participating in thematic tours offered by local historians and experts. Additionally, exploring the surrounding area along the Danube River offers panoramic views of the Parliament's majestic facade and provides insight into Budapest's architectural heritage.