The southern connecting wing is a relatively narrow part of the building complex, which was built according to the plans of Alajos Hauszmann at the same time as the new Krisztinaváros wing. The internationally renowned Saint Stephen's Hall was built in this section of the palace in 1902 and could be reached from the eastern and western wings. The facades of the connecting wing were designed to be the same. Károly Senyei's sculptures entitled War and Peace were placed on either side of the northern gate to the Lion's Courtyard.
Facade of the southern connecting wing of the Royal Palace of Buda Castle before and after restoration (Source: Várkapitányság)
The southern connecting wing suffered severe damage in World War II. The facade overlooking Gellért Hill was simply rebuilt on the instructions of the state party instead of being restored. For decades only its courtyard side was reminiscent of the original conditions.
Facade decorations and windows were restored according to Hauszmann's plans (Source: Várkapitányság)
Saint Stephen's Hall was also destroyed, and during reconstruction, offices and storage rooms were built on the site. On the south side, the first restored façade of the Royal Palace of Buda Castle can be seen. The facade was reborn in the turn of the century style as designed by Alajos Hauszmann.
The ornate facade ornaments were not restored after World War II (Source: Várkapitányság)
Instead of the stripped walls and uncharacteristic windows created after the Second World War, the columns and reliefs made of Süttő limestone were returned to the facade. Várkapitányság also restored the original windows designed by Hauszmann and manufactured by Endre Thék.
With the help of archaeological excavations and archival photos, the smallest details were restored on the facade
For authentic restoration, the south façade was demolished and then rebuilt according to the original plans, just as the interior structure was reconstructed. The work began with wall research, conservation and archaeological research, during which artefacts from several eras were unearthed. The excavated details and archive photographs were also used for an authentic result.
The newly restored wing in an archive photograph (Magyar Iparművészet, 1906/4)
The windows were made according to Hauszmann's plans, now they have been reconstructed (Source: Várkapitányság)
On the north side facing the Lion’s Courtyard, restorers are currently cleaning and repairing the stone elements. The restored windows have been installed, and the wooden gates of the entrance put in place. New decorative lighting will further enhance the beauty of the palace wing.
Facade of the south connecting wing facing Lion's yard during restoration (Source: Várkapitányság)
The reliefs are made of Süttő limestone (Source: Várkapitányság)
The first phase of the exterior renovation of the Buda Castle can also be interpreted as a test. Reconstruction will continue: work will begin at Szent György Square and move from north to south.
The entrance of the southern connecting wing, restored to its original beauty, and Saint Stephen's Hall will be opened to the public on 20 August 2021. Entry will be free of charge in the first days.
Opening image: The southern connecting wing of the Buda Castle, restored in its original beauty (Source: Várkapitányság)