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The History of Buda Castle after 1686

Between the two World Wars

The reception of Italian King Victor Emanuel III in the Castle Garden, 21 May, 1937After the collapse of the Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy in 1918 Buda castle became the centre of Hungarian government administration.

Between the two World Wars the government offices primarily determined the character of the castle quarter. The apartments and offices of the head of the state, the governor of the "kingless kingdom" and the eponym of the era, Miklós Horthy, were located in the castle from the 1st of April 1920. When Horthy moved in, the palace became the permanent centre of symbolic and actual state life.

The Crown Jewels displayed, 13-17 August, 1938The governor did not reside in the former royal apartments, which looked onto the Danube, but he had the guestrooms in the wing towards Krisztinaváros (in the place of today's Széchenyi Library) furnished. He occupied only nine out of the 814 rooms. In 1940 when his elder son - who was elected vice-governor - was married, another four-room apartment was furnished for his family. His life was that of a simple bourgeois and of a pedant officer. The only times he made an exception to this were during events of protocol, where - as the embodiment of the state - he was surrounded by neo-baroque pageantry.

The Sándor palace, the building of the former Prime Minister in the Buda Castle

Life in the castle was ensured by various charity garden parties, the respectful marches of various social and political organisations, name-day ceremonies, and New Year's receptions for the diplomatic body - which were the social duties of the head of the state. The complimentary or memorial marches were usually held in the huge, inner, Lion courtyard: these marches often arrived here in the evening, illuminated by torches and lanterns, accompanied by an army orchestra, while the participants were greeted by the governor from the balcony of the palace.

The buliding of the Ministry of Finance on Szentháromság square

Besides that of the head of the state there were other offices in the castle quarter. The Prime Minister's office was in the Sándor Palace; opposite the palace there was the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defence. The Ministry of Finance was in Szentháromság tér, and the Home Office operated in Országház utca - as a heritage from the age of Dualism. The residences of some foreign representations could also be found in the castle (Polish, German, Portuguese and the Vatican).

The majority of the private houses remained in the hands of aristocratic families, and the castle was still considered the gathering point of old and wealthy families. Some of the richest families of the bourgeoisie bought their palaces in the castle.

The building of the Ministry of Defence in the Buda Castle