Odysseys' Hidden Gems: Vajdahunyad Castle

Odysseys' Hidden Gems: Vajdahunyad Castle

Posted March 9, 2017

Castles can be found all over Europe, but Vajdahunyad Castle in Hungary’s capital city of Budapest has a particularly interesting history.  Designed by architect Ignác Alpár in 1896, the castle was originally a temporary exhibition made of wood and cardboard. 

The exhibition was commissioned for Hungary’s millennial celebrations, which commemorated 1,000 years since the medieval Magyars (a Hungarian tribe) first settled the area. At that time, it was known as Pannonia, an ancient province of the Roman Empire that stretched across present day Hungary, eastern Austria, northern Croatia, northwestern Serbia, northern Slovenia, western Slovakia, and northern Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, the attraction was so popular with both locals and visitors that a permanent structure made of stone and brick was built in 1904. 

To add to its unique history, the castle has four sections – each showcasing a different architectural style including Gothic, Baroque, Renaissance, and Romanesque.  The clash of colors, patterns, engravings, and architectural styles provides a wistful ambiance. The structure is divided into 21 smaller buildings linked together, and each section is designed as a replica of other landmarks throughout Hungary and Romania.  In fact, the Gothic wing of the castle is modeled after Corvin Castle in Romania, which was the historical home of János Hunyadi, the Hungarian noble from whom the castle gets its name.

The castle is now home to the Museum of Hungarian Agriculture, the biggest agricultural museum in Europe.

For those on our “Discovering Eastern Europe” small group tour, who have time at leisure to explore in Budapest, we suggest a trip to this castle and museum. The castle sits in the city park – just a short 15-minute taxi ride from the famed Dohány Street Synagogue. 

Opening hours

Monday - Closed

Tuesday - 10:00-17:00

Wednesday - 10:00-17:00

Thursday - 10:00-17:00

Friday - 10:00-17:00

Saturday - 10:00-17:00

Sunday - 10:00-17:00

The opening hours apply to the Museum of Agriculture.

Photo 1 courtesy of Flickr.

Photo 2 courtesy of Flickr.