Palaces and mansions in Hungary

There are more than 2000 castles and mansions today in Hungary, with about 700 of them under protection. Castle construction thrived during the politically tranquil 18th century,which became one of the most important periods of construction in the history of the cultural development of the country.

The style of these castles varies according to age and region, but invariably they show their uniquely Hungarian character. In spite of being modelled sometimes on foreign examples and built by foreign masters, they still bear the stamp of a style rooted in the Hungarian way of life.

Throughout the Middle Ages, while the country struggled to survive wars followed by 150 years of Turkish occupation, most of the existing castles were destroyed and very few of any note were built. The replacement of the destroyed or derelict castles and forts did not start in earnest before the end of the 18th century.

Editing ends here. To be continued. Besides the older Esterházy wealth, the riches of the Festetiches, Battyanyis, Pállfys, Károlyis, Erdődys and Rudnyánszkys were developed then. They used their richness mainly for building. Leaving the out-of-date forts built on top of the hills, they chose the shelving surroundings of their estates as locales of their splendid castles. In the beginning of the Building was even more developing during the reign of Mary Theresa. Our open-handed nobles, who loved arts and sciences and lived within fine social norms, had significant influence on the building of the castles. So there are a lot of similar features in these buildings, which can be considered as Hungarian characteristics. The 19th country brings a new way of thinking. Living the social and political life according to the English sample can be felt in the castles of out nobles, too, one form of which is the strong building activity. The picture of our castles would not be complete without mentioning the gardens arounds them. SinceLouis XIV. gardens were even more important than the buildings themselves. Our nobles made their gardens planned after the parks of the French castles, the characteristics of which were orderliness, well arranged but great variety at the same time. The baroque garden strove for order and union. Because of our more narrow possibilities, our baroque parks are much more modcet than the foreign ones, and as the art of garden-building is the most fleeting art, today we can hardly find anything of the old splendour of these parks. Above all, the taste of the 19th country changed everything, the natural beauty of the trees and bushes got back its own rights. The botanist interest came into prominence, it was a kind of fashion collecting special and rare plants. After the monopoly of the baroque, the gardens reflect the idea of “back to nature”, which warmly surround our Greek-style pure castles. After the second World War the castles and their beautiful gardens became mainly state or co-operative property, most of them functions today as museum, house of culture, school, sanatorium or other public building.

Gallery



ee also

List of castles in Hungary


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