Founded in 1802, the Hungarian National Museum is the oldest public museum in Hungary and is home to the most important collection of historical artifacts in the country. It is also became an important symbol of Hungary’s national identity when the Hungarian Revolution of 1848 was launched after a reading on the museum’s front steps. For a time, the upper house of the Hungarian Parliament also met in the building.
The neo-Classical building housing the museum was built between 1837 and 1847 and today features seven permanent displays. Two sections provide an overview of Hungary’s history, while another focuses on modern history beginning with the Rakocizi War of Independence in the early 1700s. Yet another chronicles the rise and fall of Communism in Hungary. On the ground floor of the museum, you can find a collection of medieval and early modern stone carvings, while in the basement, ancient Roman stone inscriptions and carvings are on display. The first floor display of a medieval Hungarian Coronation mantle should not be missed.
The Hungarian National Museum (Magyar Nemzeti Museum in Hungarian) is located on the Pest side of Budapest. It is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and admission for adults is 1600 HUF. To get there, take streetcar 47 or 49, or take the Metro line M3 to Kalvin ter.