Palaces that once only a royal invitation could invite you into are today open to the general public giving all the chance to live a moment within a Budapestian palace. Each palace”s architecture is a stylistic telling of Europe”s architectural influence in Budapest over history.Once upon a time, palaces were built for nobility but today Budapestian palaces are for the appreciation of all.
Royal Palace‘s regal roots stem back to the 13th century and since its conception it has transcended time through numerous face lifts. It was the Gothic palace of the middle ages but centuries later fell to ruins when Buda was liberated by the Turks. It’s also suffered severe damage in Second World War but through it’s constant reconstruction over the centuries, the palace has undergone Gothic, Renaissance, Neo-Baroque and Neo-Classical design. Totally worth your time to see perhaps the oldest palace in Budapest that has seen more time than all who have come before it.
A former palace that not only housed British royalty but it also adapted to serve the times as it later held the residence of Soviet soldiers and then an apartment building during The People’s Republic of Hungary. Today it can now can be yours for an evening as it is the prestigious Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace. Once a Neo-Classical palace originally built in the 18th century, Gresham Palace now bears the style of Art Nouveau and Secession design with emphasis on its curved roofline, its ironwork and its peacock statues that reside in the courtyard. Even if you just enjoy a dinner or drink here, you have added your name in the regal guestbook of Gresham’s longevity.
Today it is the official residence of the President of Hungary but in it’s past it has also housed Archduke Albrecht, the Imperial Governor of Hungary as well as 19 Prime Ministers. Built in the 18th century for Count Sándor in Neo-Classical style, the building’s exterior posesses carved decorations of Greek Gods on Mount Olympus and of Count Sándor being knighted. Sándor Palace was demolished in Second World War but after reconstruction, Hungarian artists rebuilt the original friezes with replicas and what was earlier destroyed was respectfully restored. Palaces and especially Sándor have themes of reconstruction, preservation and evolution that deem respect.
Ballet Institute (Drechsler Palace) - temporarily closed
Built in 1893-1896, Drechsler’s facade is a superb example of Neo-Renaissance style. Located on Andrássy Avenue, the Drechsler Palace was formerly the State Ballet Institute and it faces the State Opera House whose design it was meant to imitate. In it’s heyday, the 1890s and 1900s, the Drechsler Café was bustling with patrons occupying outdoor tables. Today it isn’t a palace that boasts its interior and a tour rather its exterior facade is what is most admirable having been carved with Neo-Renaissance style it adds to the allure of Budapestian buildings on Andrássy Avenue.
Located in Pest, Péterffy Palace is also known as the Hundred Year Old Restaurant. It has served as an Inn for hundreds of years since first being built in 1755 and it’s one of the only remaining Baroque secular buildings in Pest. It stands below street level with a beautiful balcony above its entrance which is very telling of the Baroque style of having an external facade with a dramatic central projection. Upon entry once can dine at “Százéves Étterem” (Hundred Year Old Restaurant).
A truly breathtaking palace where you half expect your name to be announced before entering the room and today it’s beautifully maintained by the Boscolo Hotel. Once a 17th century Jesuit college, it houses a five floor motif mixed with Neo-Baroque and Secession styles as well as sculptures, chandeliers, marble pillars and the New York Café, a historic literary and artistic hubcap. It has maintained its original Baroque facade while its interior’s stylistic focus is Neo-Baroque. Check in for a moment and for the price of a coffee, absorb the rich energy of this fantastic modern day Palace!