The Parliament Building (also known as Országház) took 7 years to be constructed. It followed the design developed by Imre Steindl, a professor at the Technical University in Budapest, and it ended up measuring 118 m in width and 268 m in length.
The construction is enormous, having 691 chambers, 10 courtyards, 27 gates and staircases which combined measure more than 20 km. The constructors used 40 million bricks, half a million of gemstones and 40 kg of gold in building the edifice.
The Parliament Building is actually the second largest edifice in Europe after the House of Parliament in London. The impressive stature of 96 m makes it one of the highest edifices in Budapest – the other one being St. Stephen’s Basilica.
The architectural style belongs to the Gothic Revival period but there are Renaissance elements incorporated every here and there. More so, the foundation of the edifice is constructed after the Baroque style while the interior design is representative for the Byzantine style.
The structure is symmetrical, the Parliament having two identical halls – one is used for governmental purpose and the other is used for touristic purpose. The walls of the edifice are adorned with 242 sculptures, both inside and out (90 at the exterior and 152 in the interior).
The ones located on the front of the edifice are representations of the most valuable public figures in the history of Hungary: Hungarian and Transylvanian leaders, as well as important military personalities. The main entrance to the Parliament consists of a staircase limited by two lions made out of rock.
The interior decoration is art in the true sense of the word. There are murals on the ceiling, the staircase is beautifully adorned and the central hall (which has sixteen sides) is impressive. Another point of reference is the glass mosaic work performed by Miksa Róth.
The immense structure and the craftsmanship of the architectural design require constant maintenance work (especially since the rock used in the construction tends to corrode easily), that is why the Parliament Building is in a continuous state of renovation.
At present, the Parliament Building is the place where the National Assembly.
Groups of tourists can visit the Parliament Building only if they have reservation. The reservation can be made during the working hours of the tourist department. Individuals cannot make reservations in advance. The tickets can be bought from Gate X in the Kossuth Square. The ticket booth is opened as follows:
1st of October – 30th of April:
Monday to Saturday: 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Sunday: 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
1st of May – 30th of September:
Monday to Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Sunday: 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
UE citizens can visit the Parliament Building free of charge as long as they bring proof of their nationality. Non-UE citizens have to buy tickets as follows:
Adults: 2640 Hungarian forints;
Students: 1320 Hungarian forints.
You should know that the Parliament is closed to the public during governmental meetings and official receptions. If these periods coincide with the reservation date, then the tours are postponed. During the tour, you will receive a guide that will present the history behind the edifice. (This is available in several foreign languages: English, French, Russian, German, Spanish, Italian, Yiddish).