Hungarian National Museum - History and Facts | History Hit

Hungarian National Museum


The Hungarian National Museum is a museum of history, archaeology and art in Budapest.

Antara Bate

21 Jul 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Hungarian National Museum

The Hungarian National Museum exhibits a comprehensive collection of historic artefacts, documents and works of art. It covers an extensive number of time periods and exhibits pieces from throughout the historical and global spectrum.

Hungarian National Museum history

The Hungarian National Museum dates back to 1802 when Count Ferenc Széchényi set up the National Széchényi Library. A year later, his wife  donated a mineral collection which led to the creation of the Hungarian National Museum as a general and natural history museum, rather than just a library.

The museum’s collections are incredibly diverse, ranging from bone tools from the Palaeolithic era to 45,000 20th century posters relating to significant political, social and cultural events. One of the main sections of the Hungarian National Museum is its archaeological department, which is divided according to time periods.

Amongst the myriad of exhibits overseen by this department, they cover the Paleolithic era, the migration period of the early Middle Ages, the Middle Ages generally and the Hungarian Conquest.

The Hungarian National Museum also houses an impressive Roman collection containing 65,000 artefacts including an incredibly large mosaic from Balácapuszta dating back to the third century – though they aren’t all on display at any one time. The Roman collection also includes Roman gravestones, sculptures, milestones and statues of Roman gods.

A particularly interesting aspect of the Hungarian National Museum is its Zalavár collection, made up of grave and cemetery finds, mostly from the ninth century. It also has almost 80,000 archaeological animal bones, some dating back to the Palaeolithic era.

Hungarian National Museum today

There is quite a lot to see, but themed audio guides are available to rent, offering a structured tour. An abridged audio guide can be downloaded from the Hungarian National Museum website whilst the full versions are available on site.

Alternatively, you can either plan your route in advance or book a guided tour. Guided tours of the Hungarian National Museum are available in a variety of languages and themes but should be booked at least a week in advance.

Getting to the Hungarian National Museum

The nearest metro stops are Kálvin tér stop and Astoria stop. There are also a variety of bus routes that run to the museum and the tram and trolley bus also stop at Kálvin tér.

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