Ranked #41 of 212 attractions in Budapest
Category: Concerts; Theatres
The Danube Palace was built between 1883 and 1885, in a splendid Neo-Baroque style according to the plans of Vilmos Freund....
The Danube Palace was built between 1883 and 1885, in a splendid Neo-Baroque style according to the plans of Vilmos Freund. At that time it was known as the casino of Lipótváros – but not in the term of gambling, but an aristocratic club for entertainment. From its built till the Second World War the Palace served as a place of culture, supported many young artists, and even Bartók, Kodály, Dvorák played in its first-class concert hall. Since 1951 the building was carrying out the cultural programs of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.Nowadays the beautiful halls and rooms of the Danube Palace are hosting cultural, social and gala events like weddings and theatre performances. The restaurant on the first floor of the building is only open for private events. It often holds welcome receptions for diplomats arriving to Budapest. The balconies, the staircase and the ceiling were made from wood of oak. In the restaurant the viewer can see how an original baroque ceiling should look like. Originally, the whole palace was decorated with gold motifs, what can be familiar from Baroque churches.The Brown Salon and the Széchenyi Salon are also very nice and elegant rooms of the Palace. For example some parts of the film Evita - with Madonna in the main role - was shot in the Brown Salon. As the other rooms of the Danube Palace, these salons are often rented for various events.After the Second World War the building was nationalised by the communist government. Some changes were made in the house during that era; however, most of them were restored to their original shape. Only a stained-glass composition remained unharmed above the staircase of the restaurant. It is really unique in its own way: It’s an artistic composition from the socialist regime. Artistic, but propagandised: Happy labourers dancing and feasting, while in the foreground a Hungarian soldier holds our national flag, accompanied by two young ladies with red flags – reminding us to the Soviet Union.The beautiful theatre hall is the reason why the building is under protection as part of our national heritage. One of the reasons is the ceiling because the dome is inside. The other reason is that the theatre hall has an air-conditioning system from the 19th century. Simple, smart and effective: The cleverly covered tunnels on the wall are dragging cold air from the cellar based on simple pressure difference. Nowadays this old system is assisted by a modern air-conditioning system as well. Above the stage a lyre can be seen. It is an original decoration, but in the Socialist regime, the Soviet coat of arm could be seen there.The paintings of the theatre hall were painted by Lajos Márk.