Muzeum Korut 14-16
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The Hungaryan National Museum is the most significant, and one of the oldest collection of Hungary. As the first museum of Hungary, it was founded by a highly educated peer, count Ferenc Széchenyi, in 1802, who offered his manuscript, map, numismatic and print collection to form a core material for a national museum to be built. The bill passed in 1808 which ordered the construction of the Hungarian National Museum (and library) which was designed and built by Mihály Polláck, one of Hungary’s most well-known architects of his time, between 1837-1847. The monumental building of neoclassical design was opened in 1847, as the fourth largest museum in Europe. Major donations and purchases played important roles to grow its collection including large donations by the Kubinyi, Pyrker, Marczibányi families and the most outstanding purchase from the Jankovich family. Embraced by trees and bushes, the most impressive part of the two-story building is its portico in the middle. Eight corinthian columns support a frieze with an ornamental cornice and a large pediment on the top. The pediment hosts a high relief which was made after the miniature sculpture of Raffaello Monti of Milan, Italy. In the centre, the allegoric figure of Pannonia (name of Hungary in the ancient Roman Empire) sits with the Hungarian coat of arms on her shield, surrounded by Science and Art on her both sides, as group figures of three members. In 1848, only one year after it was opened, the National Museum witnessed epochal moments of the Hungarian history. On March 15. 1848, Sándor Petôfi , a foremost patriotic poet of his country, stood up on the left-pillar of the stairway of the National Museum and recited to the crowd his fiery poet called “National Song” which he finished only hours earlier.This poem appealed to the nation to launch a revolution to liberate Hungary from the Habsburg oppression. Between 1870 and 1902, the Upper House of the Hungarian government held its session in the National Museum which continued to extend its collection to the area of archaeology, fine and applied arts. Later in the 19th century, large collections were separated from the museum to form new specialized museums of the country, such as the Museums of Fine Arts, Applied Arts, Natural Science, and National Culture. The main exhibitions of the National Museum today focus on the history of Hungary as geography and ethnography, from the palaeolithic era to present. With its five major divisions (archaeology, middle ages, new era, numismatics, historic paintings), two permanent exhibitions, and an archaeological library with over 100,000 volumes, the National Museum is one of the richest museums in Middle Europe. It is the home of the Hungarian Holy Crown and the coronation jewels, and its two permanent exhibitions cover the history of the peoples of Hungary from the prehistoric ages until the arrival in Transylvania (896 A.D.), and from 896 until 1848. (From: fsz.bme.hu
The Hungarian National Museum is housed in an impressive building. The permanent collection can be found up two flights of steps and is divided by era. It is easy to navigate as each room is numbered and includes plenty of signs in English. I felt it was weighted heavily towards more ancient history as opposed to WWI, WWII, or after. I easily spent two hours at browsing the artifacts and learning about Hungary’s history. The museum was not crowded perhaps because it was hot and the building has no air conditioning. Photography was not permitted, but I managed to capture a few images.