Buda Castle: Kingdom of Many Nations

Submitted to Spring 2019
Uploaded 11 May 2019 — 7 favorites
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© Raje Esteban
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Photo license: © All rights reserved

A trip to the Budapest Castle is a must for history and architecture enthusiasts. This area of Budapest is a Unesco World Heritage Site. It’s home to many of the city’s most important medieval structures and monuments. The Buda Castle has a storied history, and it is undoubtedly one of the top things to see in the city.

The first castle built on a hill was meant to provide protection against any Mongol invasion. The fortified complex was constructed in the 13th century by King Bela IV.

By the 14th Century, King Sigismund (Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire) altered much of the castle to suit his needs. During his reign, he expanded the complex into the largest Gothic palace of the day.

The years when King Matthias Corvinus ruled are called the "golden age" of the Kingdom of Hungary. Buda then was the center of political and social life. In the 15th Century, the Royal Castle was further developed by Italian architects and sculptors. They created luxurious buildings and a palace embellished with marble, mosaics, sculptures in the Renaissance style. It became one of the most beautiful architectural complexes in Europe.

In 1526 the Buda area was for the first time conquered by the Ottoman army, who although impressed, plundered and burned the castle anyway. Under the Turks, the palace was badly damaged. Their long rule, that lasted a hundred and forty years, was a very sad period for the city. From a magnificent Royal Palace, the wonderful buildings of Buda were used as regular barracks and warehouses.

Endless attempts made by Hungarians to retake the castle were not successful. By the time it was recaptured by the Christians, the palace was fully destroyed.

After this destruction, several palaces were built in its wake. The first attempt was a small Baroque palace in 1715. More construction took place in the mid-18th century, under the guidance of Queen Maria Theresa.

In 1867, Franz Joseph was crowned ruler of Hungary and made the palace one of his residences. The Palace had been rebuilt in a Neoclassical Baroque style.

During World War II, the Buda Castle again was ruined. The Nazi army blew up and burnt the most beautiful Buda buildings.

It took another few decades to reconstruct it. It was not until 1966 when it regained its former appearance, and the historical interior was only reconstructed by 1980.

Despite its checkered past and many architectural styles, the Buda Castle is certainly a prominent feature of Budapest history.

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