The capital of Hungary, Budapest was created from a merger of three ancient cities – Buda, Pest and Óbuda – in 1873. The ancient capital of the Kingdom of Hungary was Buda, founded by Béla IV of Hungary around 1250 as a fortified town on the Castle Hill rising above River Danube. The Royal Palace built here became one of the most monumental royal residences in Europe by the end of the Middle Ages. Thereafter, Buda was under the rule of the Ottoman Empire for 145 years, and in 1686, the medieval Royal Palace fell victim to the recapture of Buda. After that, Hungary became part of the Habsburg Monarchy and Buda lost its capital status.

The reign of King of Hungary Franz Joseph I brought radical changes, as, following the Compromise of 1867, for the first time in the history of the House of Habsburg, the court regularly resided in the ancient Hungarian royal centre. In 1868, the fourth child of the royal couple, Marie Valerie, was born in Buda, and this joyful event maybe eased the pain felt for the death of their first child, Sophia, who died right there in 1857. Queen Elisabeth was particularly pleased to stay in Buda, in the mornings she took long walks in the royal gardens accompanied by her Hungarian lady-in-waiting.

In 1867, during the coronation ceremony, it became evident that the Royal Palace of Buda needs substantial modernisation. Its expansion to be one of the most monumental and magnificent royal residences in Europe started in 1890. However, the queen didn’t live to see it completed, although her requests were far and wide taken into consideration by chief architect Alajos Hauszmann upon planning the palace. After the death of the beloved queen, in 1908, the Queen Elisabeth Memorial Museum was opened in the Royal Palace, preserving and cherishing Sisi’s memory until the Second World War.

Hotel Sissi

Angyal utca 31
H-1094 Budapest
Tel.: +36 121 50082

Read more …