For those looking to spend some time on a Budapest short break the Hungarian Parliament is a must see !
Budapest is made up of 2 main cities – Buda and Pest , with the Danube river flowing in between. The Parliament building on the Pest side looks remarkably like the British Parliament in London. The main façade also overlooks the Danube, just like the Houses of Parliament in the UK look over the Thames.
It was designed by Steindl who won a competition to design it and building started in 1885. Though it was inaugurated only 11 years later he sadly went blind before its completion. Over a thousand people were involved in its construction, during which 40 million bricks, half a million precious stones and 88 lbs of gold was used.
Visitors can see stained glass and glass mosaics, marvel at the frescoes on the ceilings, walk up the spectacular main ornamental staircase and see the Hungarian Coronation Jewels in the Dome Hall
The highlight is the famous sixteen-sided central hall with 2 huge identical symmetrical chambers which represent the Lower and Upper House. Unlike the British system, there is only one parliamentary house and so the modern National Assembly meets in the Lower house, whilst the Upper House is used as a conference room and is available for visitors to see.
Tours have to be pre-booked and during Parliamentary sessions, and other official receptions, the guided tours are cancelled.
Budapest is situated on the beautiful Danube River, and a lovely way to extend your stay is to travel via a boat on the Danube to Vienna for a few days.