Over the past decade, the Castle District has undergone a major transformation within the framework of the National Hauszmann Program. In addition to the restored Castle Garden Bazaar, the completed Royal Riding Hall, the Main Guardhouse and the Stöckl Staircase, visitors will soon be able to enjoy the renewed look of several other attractions as well.
The Castle District was severely damaged during World War II, including the building of the Ministry of Finance. The originally neo-Gothic palace was first converted into a conventional building in 1962. It was used as an office building for many years, until 2018, when the restoration of the pre-war style began. According to Pestbuda, the partial framing of the larger courtyard of the Ministry of Finance, built based on the design of Sándor Fellner between 1901 and 1904, will preserve the inner courtyard atrium while the office space will be significantly increased. The newly enclosed courtyard will also house the engine room, parking, bicycle storage and the archives. The new building will replicate Sándor Fellner’s side corridor system, but here offices will face the inner atrium, while corridors will face outwards onto the courtyard façades of the old office wings.
The completed building is planned to be handed over by the end of 2023, after which the Ministry of Finance will move back in. The reconstruction will also include the restoration of the ornate gate on Parliament Street.
In World War II, the Crown Guard engaged in a firefight with an invading SS unit in the basement of the building. During the fight, the building’s roof structure was significantly damaged. Although the damage was not irreversible, due to ideological reasons the Communist regime that took over in 1947 declared it a ruin and instead of restoring it they gradually let it be demolished to the height of the first floor. Since then, the building has stood as a war memorial and only a partial renovation was carried out between 2012 and 2014.
As part of the National Hauszmann Program, reconstruction work began in 2021, during which the building of the Headquarters of the Hungarian Defence Forces will be rebuilt to reach its original height. The functional area of the building will be tripled – reported Pestbuda.
In the future, the former Headquarters of the Hungarian Defence Forces will serve as a visitor centre with exhibitions, community space and gastronomic functions.
The former building was located on the western side of Szent György Square, opposite the Sándor Palace. In 1968, it was blown up, after which the empty square was often used as a rubbish dump and became a disgrace of Budapest’s World Heritage Site.
The reconstruction work started last year. The walls of the building can already be seen erected from the ground. Along with the residence, the Neo-Renaissance stables and the palace enclosure will also be restored, all of which will be open to the public. Once completed, the garden will provide access to the Jewish baths below.
On the site of the former Red Cross Headquarters, all that remained was a brick fence and a shabby seasonal market hall. However, the building’s reconstruction is well underway. In April, the highest point of the building has been reached. As the Hungarian news portal Növekedés reports, the works will also include the partial historic renovation of the adjacent Batthyány Palace.
The ornate fountains of the Buda Castle District are splashing again – writes the National Hauszmann Program’s Facebook post. In recent years,
the two popular ornate fountains – the Mátyás Fountain and the Fountain of the Fishing Children – have been completely renovated in the Palace Quarter.
As a result of the restoration, the statues have been repaired, the fountain’s machinery has been renewed and the structure’s drainage problem has been resolved.
At the Fountain of the Fishing Children, which was non-functional for many years until its recent renovation at the end of last year, not only the statues and the fountain’s basin but also the surrounding area have been restored, so that visitors can once again admire the statues as they were originally designed by Alajos Hauszmann.
Source: novekedes.hu, pestbuda.hu