Budapest -HDR 2011
Buda Castle (Hungarian: Budavári Palota, German: Burgpalast, Turkish: Budin Kalesi) is the historical castle and palace complex of the Hungarian kings in Budapest, first completed in 1265. In the past, it was also called Royal Palace (Hungarian: Királyi-palota) and Royal Castle (Hungarian: Királyi Vár, German: Königliche Burg).
Buda Castle was built on the southern tip of Castle Hill, bounded on the north by what is known as the Castle District (Várnegyed), famous for its Medieval, Baroque and 19th century houses, churches and public buildings. It is linked to Clark Ádám Square and the Széchenyi Chain Bridge by the Castle Hill Funicular.
The castle is part of the Budapest World Heritage Site, declared in 1987.
After the Battle of Mohács, the medieval Kingdom of Hungary collapsed. The Ottoman army occupied the evacuated town on 11 September, 1526. Although the town of Buda was sacked and burned, the Royal Palace was not damaged. Sultan Süleyman I carried away all the bronze statues (the Hunyadis, Pallas Athene and Hercules) with him to Constantinople. The statues were destroyed there in a rebellion a few years later. The Sultan also took many volumes from the famous Corvina library.
In 1529 the Ottoman army besieged and occupied Buda again. The palace was badly damaged at that time. On 29 August 1541 Buda was occupied again by the Ottomans without any resistance. The Hungarian capital became part of Ottoman Empire, as the seat of the Eyalet of Budin.
Although Turkish travel writers wrote enthusiastically about the beauty of the palace of the Hungarian kings, the new Ottoman government left the palace decaying. It was partially used as barracks, a storage place and stables, otherwise it stood empty.
The palace was called Iç Kala ("Inner Castle") and Hisar Peçe ("Citadel") by the Turks. The name of the cour d'honneur was "Seray meydani". The favourite nickname of the complex was "Palace of the Golden Apples".
In the era between 1541 and 1686, the Habsburgs tried to re-capture Buda several times. Unsuccessful sieges in 1542, 1598, 1603 and 1684 caused serious damage. The Ottoman authorities repaired only the fortifications.
According to 17th century sources, many buildings of the former Royal Palace were roofless and their vaults collapsed. Nonetheless the medieval palace by-and-large survived until the great siege of 1686.