Parliament Building

Parliament Building

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Parliament building

The Hungarian Parliament Building (Hungarian: Országház) is the seat of the National Assembly of Hungary, one of the Europe's oldest legislative buildings, a notable landmark of Hungary and a popular tourist destination of Budapest. It lies in Kossuth Lajos Square, on the bank of the Danube, in Budapest.

History

Budapest was united from three cities in 1873 and seven years later the National Assembly resolved to establish a new, representative Parliament Building, expressing the sovereignty of the nation. A competition was published, which was won by Imre Steindl, but the plans of the other two competitors were also realized, facing the Parliament: one serves today as the Ethnographical Museum, the other as the Ministry of Agriculture.

Parlament

Construction from the winning plan was started in 1885 and the building was inaugurated on the 1000th anniversary of the country in 1896, and completed in 1904. (It is to be noted that the architect of the building went blind before its completion.)

There were about one thousand people working on its construction in which 40 million bricks, half a million precious stones and 40 kg gold were used


Parliament Building Budapest

Features

Similar to the Palace of Westminster, it was built in Gothic Revival style; it has a symmetrical facade and a central dome. It is 268 m long and 123 m wide. Its interior includes 10 courtyards, 13 passenger and freight elevators, 27 gates, 29 staircases and 691 rooms (including more than 200 offices). With its height of 96 m, it is one of the tallest buildings in Budapest, along with Saint Stephen's Basilica. The number 96 refers to the nation's millennium, 1896, and the conquest of the later Kingdom of Hungary in 896.

The main façade faces the River Danube, but the official main entrance is from the square in front of the building. Inside and outside, there are altogether 242 sculptures on the walls.

On the façade, statues of Hungarian rulers, Transylvanian leaders and famous military people are to be seen. Over the windows, there are pictures of coats of arms of kings and dukes. The main entrance is the stairs located on the eastern side, bordered by two lions.

When entering the Parliament, the visitor can walk up great ornamental stairs, see frescoes on the ceiling and pass by the bust of the creator, Imre Steindl, in a wall niche. Other statues include those of Árpád, Stephen I and John Hunyadi.

At the danube

One of the famous parts of the building is the hexadecagonal (sixteen-sided) central hall, with huge chambers adjoining it: the Lower House (today the National Assembly meets here) and the Upper House (until 1945).

Further features include the stained glass and glass mosaic paintings by Miksa Róth.

Due to its extensive surface and its detailed handiwork, The building is almost always under renovation.

During the Communist regime, the government added a large red star to the central steeple at thew dome of the building, but after its downfall, the star was removed from the steeple. (wikipedia)



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