This early twentieth century Budapest castle is a unique blending of many different architectural styles.
History of the Castle
Situated in City Park, which at 1 square km is the largest park in Budapest, Vajdahunyad Castle began its life as a structure made of wood and cardboard. It was built for the city’s millennium exhibition in 1896 and was a huge hit with both the locals and those visiting Budapest.
The castle, actually an enclave of buildings rather than just one structure, was designed by architect Ignác Alpár and is said to be modeled from a castle of the same name in Transylvania, Romania.
Because the castle became so popular with residents, the city decided to make it a more permanent structure. Therefore, in 1904, reconstruction of Vajdahunyad Castle began, using brick and stone and following Alpar’s original plans with just a few small changes.
About the Castle
What makes this castle so unusual is its combination of architectural styles. If you’re visiting Vajdahunyad, a glance from one side may determine that the structure is Gothic. A walk around the castle may give one the impression that this is a Baroque building. Indeed, it’s a combination of Gothic, Renaissance/Baroque, and Romanesque, built that way, according to some, to show the world all the architectural styles that can be found in Budapest.
The architect, considering what was to be the use for the castle, intended the different buildings to represent the following: the period of the kings of the House of Árpád - Roman style; the period of the kings from different families-Gothic style; the period of the Habsburg family-Renaissance and Baroque style. During the millennium celebration, the castle housed an exhibition that outlined the significant periods and events of Hungary’s one-thousand year history.
Several years after the millennium exhibition ended and all the artifacts were returned to their rightful owners, the Hungarian Royal Agriculture Museum (1907) opened inside the walls of the castle, despite the fact that the permanent building wasn’t yet complete.
The museum continues to this day and guests can visit to learn about animal husbandry, forestry, fishing, Hungary’s wine industry, and much more.