As the millennial celebrations of 1896 approached, the nation's demand for representation channelled the conception of a unique Parliament building. The Palace of Westminster in part inspired the design, but a well-known Hungarian architect, Imre Steindl, laid out the plans in their entirety. The building stretches 268 meters in its length, along the Danube embankment. Ornamented with white neo-gothic turrets and arches, it forms the most outstanding landmark of the Pest side horizon. Statues of Hungarian monarchs and military commanders decorate the outer walls. The unique interior design includes huge halls, over 12,5 miles of corridors, a 96-meter high central dome, and 691 rooms. When the Parliament is not in session, all these can be visited (cameras are allowed); tours are offered in English, French, German, Russian, Hebrew, Japanese, Italian and Spanish.
The Hungarian Parliament Building is the seat of the National Assembly of Hungary, one of Europe's oldest legislative buildings, a notable landmark of Hungary and a popular tourist destination of Budapest. It lies in Lajos Kossuth Square, on the bank of the Danube, in Budapest. It is currently the largest building in Hungary. Similar to the Palace of Westminster, the Parliament Building is in the Gothic Revival style; it has a symmetrical facade and a central dome. It is 268 m (879 ft) long and 123 m (404 ft) wide. Its interior includes 10 courtyards, 13 passenger and freight elevators, 27 gates, 29 staircases and 691 rooms (including more than 200 offices). With its height of 96 m (315 ft), it is one of the two tallest buildings in Budapest, along with Saint Stephen's Basilica. The number 96 refers to the nation's millennium, 1896, and the conquest of the later Kingdom of Hungary in 896. The main façade faces the River Danube, but the official main entrance is from the square in front of the building. Inside and outside, there are altogether 242 sculptures on the walls.
On the façade, statues of Hungarian rulers, Transylvanian leaders and famous military people are displayed. Over the windows, there are pictures of coats of arms of kings and dukes. The main entrance is the stairs located on the eastern side, bordered by two lions. When entering the Parliament, visitors can walk up great ornamental stairs, see frescoes on the ceiling and pass by the bust of the creator, Imre Steindl, in a wall niche. Other statues include those of Árpád, Stephen I and John Hunyadi. One of the famous parts of the building is the hexadecagonal (sixteen-sided) central hall, with huge chambers adjoining it: the Lower House (today the National Assembly meets here) and the Upper House (until 1945). The Holy Crown of Hungary, which is also depicted in the coat of arms of Hungary, has been displayed in the central hall since 2000.
Further features include the stained glass and glass mosaic paintings by Miksa Róth. Due to its extensive surface and its detailed handiwork, the building is almost always under renovation. During the Communist regime, the government added a large red star to the central steeple at the dome of the building, but after its downfall, the star was removed from the steeple. This pretty post card was sent to me by Katalin from Budapest. She pasted some pretty stamps on the card too.