Topping the crest of Castle Hill, close by the point where the funicular railway emerges, stands Buda Palace. The fortifications and interiors have been endlessly remodelled, with the palace’s destruction in World War II only the latest in a long line of onslaughts since the thirteenth century. The National Gallery (Tues–Sun 10am–6pm, last ticket 5pm; 1800Ft; t 01 201 9082), which occupies the central wings B, C and D of the palace compound, contains Hungarian art from the Middle Ages onwards including heavily symbolic nineteenth-century representations of idealized national myths.

On the other side, facing the Palace’s Lion Courtyard, the Budapest History Museum in Wing E (Tues–Sun: March–Oct 10am–6pm; Nov–Feb 10am–4pm; 2000Ft; T01 487 8800) gives some further historical context with a gathering of artefacts from Budapest’s dark ages and medieval past, but is rather old-fashioned, and arguably underwhelming for the price.

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