December 22, 2017

3223 HUNGARY (Budapest) - Buda Castle - part of Budapest, including the Banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter and Andrássy Avenue (UNESCO WHS)

Located on the south tip of Castle Hill, Buda Castle is the historical castle and palace complex of the Hungarian kings. It was first completed in 1265, during the reign of King Béla IV of Hungary, but the massive Baroque palace today occupying most of the site was built between 1749 and 1769. The oldest part of the present-day palace was built in the 14th century by Stephen, Duke of Slavonia, who was the younger brother of King Louis I of Hungary. King Sigismund significantly enlarged the palace and strengthened its fortifications.

The most important part of Sigismund's palace was the northern wing, known as the Fresh Palace. The southern part was surrounded with narrow zwingers. Two parallel walls, the so-called "cortina walls", run down from the palace to the River Danube across the steep hillside. The most imposing structure, the Broken Tower, remained unfinished. The last phase of large-scale building activity took place under King Matthias Corvinus, who rebuilt the palace in an early Renaissance style. Only fragments remain of this Renaissance palace: some red marble balustrades, lintels and decorative glazed tiles from stoves and floors.

After the Battle of Mohács, the medieval Kingdom of Hungary collapsed, and Buda became part of Ottoman Empire and the seat of the Eyalet of Budin. The palace was left on decay for more than 150 years, being destroyed in the great siege of 1686 when Buda was captured by allied Christian forces. In 1715, King Charles III ordered the demolition of the ruins, and a small Baroque palace was built according to the plans of Johann Hölbling, which is identical with the core of the present-day palace.

The foundation stone of the new palace was laid in 1749, with the support of Queen Maria Theresa. Its layout followed Jean Nicolas Jadot's plans. After a seven-year break, in 1765 the work recommenced according to the plans of Franz Anton Hillebrandt. In 1777 the palace was hastily adapted to use as a university, but in 1791 it became the residence of the new Habsburg palatine of the Kingdom of Hungary, Archduke Alexander Leopold of Austria.

The palace was rebuilt between 1850 and 1856 by Josef Weiss and Carl Neuwirth, being transformed in a more austere Neoclassical Baroque building, and again between 1875 and 1912. In 1945, Buda Castle was the last major stronghold of Budapest held by Axis forces during the siege of Budapest and suffered massive destruction. After the WWII the first reconstruction plan of the medieval remains was written by László Gerő in 1950 and finalised in 1952. The palace was rebuilt by 1966, but the interior spaces were ready only in the 1980s.

The Buda Castle is part of Budapest, including the Banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter and Andrássy Avenue, an UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987, about which I wrote here.

About the stamp

The stamp, designed by Barnabás Baticz, was issued on May 5, 2017 under the name Paintings - The 150th Anniversary of the Birth of Béla Iványi Grünwald, 1867-1940. Béla Iványi Grünwald was a leading figure in Hungarian painting. His oeuvre divides into three main periods: from 1889 to 1909 the characteristic traits of the artists' colony in Nagybánya (today Baia Mare, Romania), while in the next period endeavours to stylise are evident in his paintings, and then, after the 1920s, the signs of impressionism fused with the influence of the Great Plain painters appear in his works. He won numerous international exhibition prizes and state honours. Today his works are to be found in a number of well-known museums and private collections.

Buda Castle - Wikipedia

Sender: Anikó / ancsisan (postcrossing) HU-134886
Sent from Budapest (Hungary), on 17.12.2017

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