Hungarian National Museum
Hungarian National Museum, A Compendium of Hungarian History on Display
1. The Primary Exhibition, A Two-Parted History of Hungary
As the major permanent exhibition of the museum, the lengthy history of Hungary is separated into two parts for a better viewing. The first half tells us the beginning of Hungary from the medieval times of the Arpad kings in the 11th century, up until the occupation of Hungary by the Ottoman Empire in the middle 16th century and their expulsions that follows in the late 17th century. The second half begins with the Rakoczi War of Independence and the anti-Turkish wars up until the modern age that was marked by the era of communism in Hungary after the Russian occupation in the World War II. The whole exhibition takes place on the first and the second floor as it is quite a large collection.
2. The Coronation Mantle
There is a room in the first floor that holds another permanent exhibition of the Hungarian National Museum. Inside the room, we can witness the magnificence of the Hungarian Coronation Mantle, a peerless treasure that was worn by Hungarian monarchs during their coronation. The beautifully ornamented fabric was made from the Byzantine silk. A figure of King Stephen I of Hungary and his wife, Gisela of Bavaria was embroidered within the mantle. Other decorations inscribed on the mantle are two depictions of Christ, Old Testament prophets, and figures from Te Deum, a renowned hymn of the medieval times.
3. The East Meets West Collection
Another permanent exhibition displayed on the first floor is the archaeological relics from the prehistoric era of the Hungarian people. This section covers about the journey of Hungarian people from the Paleolithic period to their arrival in Carpathian basin during the medieval times. In the ancient times, people of the Carpathian basin were living in the borders between the Eastern and the Western civilizations, hence the name of the exhibit. During this era, prior to their settling down in the Carpathian basin, the Hungarian people was known as the Huns and they are greatly feared by the Roman Empire. It is certainly one of the most interesting facts of the Hungarian people that we can learn here.
4. The Roman Lapidary Exhibition
The final permanent exhibition is located in the basement of the Hungarian National Museum. This section tells us the history of the Hungarian people during the Roman Empire's rule. Relics and artefacts from the Roman Province of Pannonia (another name for the Carpathian region), such as stone urns, sarcophagi, sepulchers, and other inscriptions that survived the ravages of time are being displayed here. You can learn about the Roman customs, attire, and the daily life of the Hungarian-Roman culture during the antiquity period in this exhibition.
5. The Seuso Treasure
The Seuso Treasure or Sevso Treasure is a collection of silver objects, such as plates, pots, cups and other table wares, that was originated in the late Hungarian-Roman period. The treasure was belonged to a rich citizen of the Pannonian Province named Seuso. His name was inscribed in the silverwares and his existence was known through the surviving villas and luxurious manors found near Lake Pelso or Batalon, as it was known in today's world. These beautiful 15-pieces silverwares have a long history of legal ownership before half of them are finally brought back to the Hungarian government's possession in 2014. The rest of the collection is returned in 2017 and the full set is currently being displayed on the temporary exhibition of the Hungarian National Museum until 11 November 2018.
How to Get Tickets?
Tickets to the museum are sold in the ticket booths. Several types of entry are available, from the standard ones to the complete package that comes with a tour guide. You can also book the tickets online to save you from queueing.
How To Get Around?
The museum provides help to those with limited or disabled movement in the forms of staff and facilities. For those who are visually impaired, the museum also provides audio guide and touchable artifacts. Furthermore, the museum offers a discounted price on guided tours for the blind or visually impaired visitors.
What Should I Wear?
No special attire is required to visit the museum. However, some form of apparel, especially the head wear or accessories that covers face, is prohibited and guests might be asked to take them off by the security.
Best Time to Visit
Generally, it is better to visit the museum early as it opens in the morning to avoid getting crowded. Off-holiday seasons are also perfect time as the city will have fewer tourists than usual so most of the major attractions will be less crowded.
Hungary Forint (HUF)
Will I Need a Guide?
The museum provides a tour guide in 3 languages to help visitors to understand the collections better. It is compulsory and you can enjoy the majority of the collections by yourself, but feel free to take a guided tour if you are really interested for a more comprehensive study of the Hungarian history.
How To Get There?
The closest metro stop is the Astoria and the Kalvin Ter stop. You can take the M2 that stops at Astoria, or the M3 & M4 that stop at Kalvin Ter. You can also take buses number 909, 914, 914A, 950, 950A, 979, and 979A. All of which passes the Kalvin Ter stop. A more expensive but easier method is to take a taxi.