While we had gone into the Parliament building on Freedom Day, we hadn’t done the full tour yet, so with the kids and Bret’s sister in town, we decided to rectify that situation today. Whether it’s St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, the Capitol building in Washington, DC, or even the Arkansas Capitol in Little Rock, domed buildings rock. Parliament is definitely on the high end of that scale, however. Magnificent, inside and out.
Imre Steindl was the architect of the Parliament building, and is memorialized in the massive great hall. Regrettably, he went blind and died only two years before his masterwork was completed, so he never saw it as we did today.
There’s an American connection, as well. The Holy Crown of Hungary, which now rests under 24-hour guard in the Great Hall, was discovered in Austria by US forces at the tail end of World War II, and was taken to Fort Knox for safekeeping. It remained in the US for over 30 years until a satisfactory arrangement could be struck that ensured its return to the Hungarian people as opposed to their Soviet overlords in 1978.
A cellphone camera just doesn’t do this building justice. It’s an expensive tour, but very much worth it. We’ll go along with anyone who visits us!