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Hungarian National Museum

Hungarian National Museum
Budapest
Greater Budapest

The Neoclassical Hungarian National Museum in the Palace District presents the history of Hungary from the prehistoric period through the Middle Ages to modern times. The garden around the building is also the perfect venue for a leisurely stroll.

 

 

The Hungarian National Museum occupies an emblematic location in Hungarian history. In 1848, Hungary was not a sovereign state but was ruled and governed by the Habsburg Empire. The advent of the so-called Hungarian Reform Era in the 1820s brought about a yearning for national independence culminating here, on the steps of the museum, on 15 March 1848, when (the legend goes) young romantic poet Sándor Petőfi recited his revolutionary poem Nemzeti dal (“National Song”) to an enthusiastic crowd. In reality, he addressed his gathered compatriots in a fiery speech rather than a recital, but the legend was born. However it happened, the Hungarian National Museum is regarded as an outstanding historical site by every Hungarian man and woman.

 

 

The Building and the Museum garden

The Hungarian National Museum lies in District VIII of Budapest – the Palace District, surrounded by luxurious palaces built for the upper class and high society by the most renowned architects. Most of these lavish bourgeois city palaces have retained their full splendour to this day. Still, the cityscape here is ruled by the Neoclassical building of the Hungarian National Museum, surrounded by a splendid garden that has been renovated quite recently, and which offers a secluded nook in the centre of the throbbing heart of this beautiful metropolis. The garden was among the first public parks in Budapest, and was hugely popular among the local children in the 19th century – this fact is commemorated by a retro playground built within the garden, offering an atmosphere of days gone by, akin to what is depicted in Ferenc Molnár’s legendary youth novel The Paul Street Boys, whose plot takes place in the neighbourhood. The playground features a genuine and working barrel organ, a steampunk-style kids’ castle, a miniature horse tram and a marble dispenser (marbles play an important role in the novel). The garden and the steps of the museum are also a favourite meeting spot for students at the nearby Eötvös Loránd University: you will see them in dozens if the sun is shining.

The collections of National Museum

The Hungarian National Museum is your best choice if you want to learn about the history of Hungary. The museum boasts a collection of several million items, including works of art, collections and archaeological finds that lead visitors through the history of the Hungarian state and nation, from the prehistoric period through the Middle Ages to the modern day. The exhibitions include priceless items such as the coronation mantle of Saint Stephen, founder of the Hungarian state, and the so-called Seuso Treasure: a truly invaluable collection of ornate silverware from the late Roman imperial period.

MOVE AROUND LIKE A HUNGARIAN