Monday, April 2, 2012

Budapest: Hungarian Parliament Building (1904)

The Hungarian Parliament Building is in Budapest, the capital, and sits on the eastern bank of the Danube River. It remains the largest building in the country.

In 1880 the Hungarian parliament held an international competition for the design of the building. This competition was won by Hungarian architect Imre Steindl. Construction began in 1885. The building opened in 1896 as part of celebrations marking the 1000th anniversary of the settlement of Hungarians in the valley of the Danube River. Construction was finished in 1904.

The building is Gothic in style, symmetrical in design, and has a central dome. It is 879 feet (268 meters) long, 404 feet (123 meters) wide and, at the highest point of the dome, 315 feet (96 meters) high.

Originally the building was used equally by the upper and lower houses of parliament. Since 1945, when the existence of the upper house ended, the remaining National Assembly has used only one side of the building.

Another Hungarian architect, Alajos Hauszmann, also submitted a design for the Hungarian Parliament Building. Although Steindl won that competition, Hauszmann’s design was used to construct the Ministry of Justice. Construction on it began in 1893 and finished three years later. In contrast to the Hungarian Parliament Building, Hauszmann’s Ministry of Justice is Roman in style and dominated by Greek columns. Sitting opposite the Parliament Building, Hauszmann’s building is used as a museum today.

Copyright © 2012 by Steven Farsaci. All rights reserved. Fair use encouraged.