It is not just art lovers who will enjoy a visit to this wonderful gallery situated in the Royal Palace in Buda. It truly does have something for everyone.
The Hungarian National Gallery is home to the largest public collection of art in Hungary and moved to its current home, which had been specially refurbished for this very reason, in 1975.
The collections include Medieval and Renaissance stone carvings, sculptures from the nineteenthcentury, late Renaissance and Baroque art, Gothic winged altarpieces, and twentiethcentury art both pre and post 1945 featuring famous Hungarian artists such as MihályMunkácsy and BertalanSzékely. Included among the collections are also a fascinating selection of artist portraits and self-portraits which provide an intriguing insight into the lives of the very artists themselves.
There are also lots of big name temporary exhibitions always running, so whenever you go you might well be in for a real cultural treat.
The gallery is thoughtfully curated and takes the visitor through the various styles and schools of art throughout the ages, and in doing so also provides you with a beautifully depicted history of Hungary along with the lives of the Hungarian artists who paintedit.
In front of the gallery stands the Statue of Eugene of Savoy, the French born nobleman who became one of the highest ranking generals in the Austrian army and fought against the retreating Turks in Hungary. His brilliant military strategies saw him successful in many conflicts, and he was also to become one of the wealthiest men in Europe of the time. It was rumoured that even Napoleon Bonaparte regarded him as one of the seven greatest military commanders of all time. From a young age Eugene always wanted a career in the military, but was rejected by Louis 14 for serving the French army due to his frail physique and most possibly just because a general disliking of him. It was at this point that Eugene switched allegiances and went to Austria to serve for the Habsburgs. Ironically, during his long and successful military career Eugene also fought against the French in later conflicts. His great success and wealth also made it possible for him to become a patron of the arts. So it seems more than fitting that today there is a statue of him astride a horse that stands like a sentinel in front of the Royal Palace, guarding the National Gallery.
The forecourt of the National Gallery is also home to many festivals over the year, from culinary feasts to craft shows. There is always a buzz around this area which on top of everything else also offers some of the best panoramic views of the Danube both day and perhaps even more so at night.