Sándor Palace

Budapest, Hungary | C.1803

Photo Credit: Bridget J. Ge

Within the ancient Castle District of Budapest, one building has served as the country’s central place of political power for the last 200 years. Built in 1803, Sándor Palace has been home to aristocrats and prime ministers. Today, it is the official residence of the President of Hungary.

Commissioned by the Count Vincent Sándor, the neoclassical mansion was renowned for being so ornate that even its horse stables were constructed of marble. Although the Count had commissioned the building, the Palace is actually named for his son, a famous “devil rider” admired for his equestrian acrobatics.

After the Sándors, Archduke Albrecht owned the Palace until the mid-19th century, when the failed Hungarian Revolution resulted in the government renting out the buildings around the city’s square. Soon thereafter, the Palace became government offices and the residence of the Prime Minister. In all, 19 prime ministers occupied the palace.

The Palace remained a residence for prime ministers until WWII, when it was left in ruins after bombing by Allied forces. The ruins remained untouched until the fall of Communism in 1989. Over the next several years, a dedicated team of workers gradually restored the Palace to its former glory.

Now home to Hungary’s President, the Palace is once again a place of prestige. The public can tour the Palace on weekends during the summer, and can even enter through its southern main gate.

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