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Riding School at Buda Castle now open to visitors, revamped Csikós Courtyard also unveiled

Writers

  • Zsanett Fürdős

21/09/2021 9.35am

After the Főőrség Palace and St Stephen’s Hall, other features undergoing renovation at Buda Castle have just been completed: the Riding School and the Csikós Courtyard. Each has regained its elegance from the previous major rebuild in the 1890s by Alajos Hauszmann, who lends his name to today’s far-reaching Hauszmann Project. This will not be wrapped up until 2022, with the construction of Pasha Karakas Tower.

The reconstruction of the former buildings around Buda Castle, some of them from scratch, is slowly coming to its conclusion. Today, a café, a restaurant and an exhibition can be seen at the Főőrség Palace, while in Buda Palace itself, St Stephen’s Hall now functions as a major tourist draw.

Photo: Várkapitányság

The largest project undertaken by Alajos Hauszmann was the expansion and reconstruction of Buda Castle and its surroundings. He was construction manager for 14 years, during which time Vienna did not make his task any easier, as he was hindered step by step.

Photo: Várkapitányság

Hungary’s greatest architect probably didn’t think that a world war and the ensuing dictatorship would ruin his many years of work, nor that its rebuilding would be the subject of such debate. More and more buildings are now open to the general public, the spaces filled with life and less and less historic decoration.

The connection between the Csikós Courtyard and the palace courtyard was another Hauszmann concept, the architect placing a complex interlinked with the palace: the Royal Riding School, the Főőrség Palace and the Stöckl Staircase. A ramp system was set up to facilitate access to the castle.

The riding school, reborn as a multifunctional event space, was originally built in 1901, and did not suffer serious damage during World War II, after which the authorities decided to dismantle it anyway. The building, as well as the royal stables and carriage house, were instigated by the Archduke Stephen, the last Palatine of Hungary, in the 19th century.


During the spring uprising of 1849, they suffered serious damage, before a new riding school was built according to the plans of Alajos Hauszmann.

Royal stables

Photo: Várkapitányság

When Charles IV was crowned in 1916, a horse trained at the Viennese court was kept here, the one the new king sat on during the coronation ceremony. Until 1938, the riding school was used only by the royal court, and later by the Spanish riding school of the guard. Both the façade and the interior have been restored with this heritage in mind.

During the works, the Neo-Renaissance Stöckl Staircase, demolished in 1971, was also rebuilt. In the 19th century, it stood near the Stöckl, the collective name in Austria for outbuildings adjacent to castles. At Buda Castle, these were offices.

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