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Architecture of Hungary

Hungarian Architecture - Holloko
Holloko

The earliest standing architecture in Hungary is in the Roman city of Sopianae (Pecs). Little remains today, but the Christian burial grounds (or necropolis) along with the partial remains of the aqueduct are impressive. Additionally, the Roman city of Aquincum (Budapest) has some standing architecture, although it is less impressive than that in Pecs.

The Romanesque period brought more lasting architecture; the most impressive being the Pannonhalma Archabbey (1000s), which was originally built in the style, but many later additions represent various styles. The Gothic style also made a small impact on the country, with Buda Castle (1200s in Budapest) being perhaps the finest example. However, both the Romanesque and Gothic styles strongly influenced traditional Hungarian architecture in later periods.

The Renaissance brought, like the earlier styles, very little that remains in Hungary today. Some of this architecture was destroyed, while the Turkish invasions delayed or eliminated building in any substantial proportions. The best examples of architecture from this time period, and even into the prior Gothic period can be found on Castle Hill in Budapest.

Hungarian Architecture - St. Stephen Basilica
St. Stephen Basilica

Under Turkish occupation most of the introduced architecture was in the Turkish style, including the building of the Szechenyi and Gellert Baths. However, the village of Holloko was also built during this time (1600-1700s) and is the premier example of Hungarian village architecture.

Hungarian Architecture - Gothic St. Matthias
St. Matthias in Budapest

The 1800s received a substantially larger number of buildings, partly due to the relationship the Hungarians forged with the Austrians. Unlike Baroque Vienna, Hungary developed later and received many more neo-Classical buildings, including the very visible Parliament (1883-1902). This prosperity continued in Hungary in the early 1900s with the advent of Art Nouveau.

The Art Nouveau style is most prevalent in Budapest, although distinctly Hungarian Art Nouveau sights can be found throughout the country and even in parts of neighboring Serbia and Romania which were under Hungarian rule at the time. Perhaps the most impressive and distinct of these monuments is the Museum of Applied Art (1893-1896) and the Geological Museum of Budapest (1896).

This page was last updated: March, 2013