The castle and its vicinity
Once inhabited by the Celts and Romans, it was after the Mongol invasion in 1242 that King Béla IV brought the Hungarian royal seat from Esztergom to the strategically well-situated Buda Castle Hill.
The Castle and its immediate vicinity underwent a period of rapid development, and reached its golden age in the reign of King Mátyás Hunyadi, when the reputation of Buda as an important court for Renaissance art and science travelled far and wide throughout Europe. Its history has been a stormy one: after 150 years of Turkish occupation, it was also taken over in succession by the Habsburgs, the Germans and the Soviets. Since 1987, Budapest’s Castle District has appeared on the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites. Many historical monuments from mediaeval times, as well as residences and public buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries, can still be found here. The Royal Palace of the Buda Castle and the Castle District gained their current form after the unification of Buda, Obuda and Pest in 1873, as part of the Hungarian millennium celebrations.