Vajdahunyad Castle is a beautiful fairy tale like castle built by an artificial lake in the biggest green park called City Park in Budapest. The castle may look old, but it is in fact about 100 years old. How come it looks so old and historical?
Vajdahunyad Castle is a special architectural complex, mixing and merging several attractions all over Hungary. The various buildings best represent a certain architectural style in Hungary: Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque structures are all fused in a beautiful monumental building in the City Park of Budapest.
‘Vajdahunyad Castle’, the name which refers to the whole eclectic structure is in fact only one part of the building.
The original Vajdahunyad Castle or Hunyad Castle is not in Budapest, it is located in a Transylvanian town, (formerly part of the Hungarian kingdom): the Gothic castle belonged to the Hunyadi dynasty, which gave the most popular Hungarian king to the Magyars, King Matthias Rex. Matthias Church on the Castle Hill on the Buda side bears the name of King Matthias Hunyadi. The Gothic castle can now be found in present day Romania.
It is free to enter the grounds of Vajdahunyad Castle, so even if you do not wish to go inside the castle, where you can see lots of agricultural exhibitions and collections, it is worth taking a romantic and historical walk through the courts, and see how the various styles fit together. Take a visit to the countryside of Hungary in Vajdahunyad Castle.
History of Vajdahunyad Castle
Originally Vajdahunyad Castle in Budapest was a temporary showcase building quickly put together for the ‘big happy birthday party of the 1000 year old Hungarian state’, i.e. for the Millenarian Festivities in 1896. Just like the nearby Millennium Monument in Budapest.
By 1899 the nice castle had to be demolished as the makeshift structure made from cardboard and wooden frames had collapsed, but Hungarians loved the idea of the mixture of churches, castles and palaces so much that Vajdahunyad Castle, designed by Ignac Alpar, was built for good.
The Castle is right next to an artificial lake in the City Park, and since 1907 it has hosted the Hungarian Agricultural Museum (old trades, tools, clothes, customs, plants, Hungarian indigenous stuffed animals, hunting trophies, old rifles, etc.- all the agricultural exhibitions in an unusually nice building).
Hungarian Agricultural Museum
The Hungarian Agricultural Museum has several permanent exhibitions, some of which are specifically concentrating on Hungary (a historical overview of the Hungarian agriculture from the beginnings to 1945, or the Hungarian wines and vinery in Europe, etc.) and others are more general, like Forestry, or the History of house animals.
While the permanent exhibitions are rich and nicely presented, they were made in an era when museum exhibits were being looked at, and not being touched or interacted with. However, temporary exhibitions are made with a more modern approach, with several interactive exhibits, so kids and families can most probably enjoy them.
Opening hours: Tue – Sun 10 am – 5 pm (closed on Mondays)
Entrance fees: 1600 HUF for adults, 800 HUF for students and seniors
Address: Magyar Mezőgazdasági Múzeum
Budapest, XIV. (14th district), Városliget, Vajdahunyadvár
Getting there: the easiest way to get to Vajdahunyad Castle is by the M1 (yellow) metro line: get off at Szechenyi Baths (Szechenyi Furdo) and walk towards the Millennial Monument on Heroes’ Square. From there, directions are easy as You will see the turrets and towers of Vajdahunyad Castle.
Further options: bus number 105, trolley buses number 70, 72, 75, 79
Vajdahunyad Castle shows a different face from a different angle: