The main goal of the National Hauszmann Program is for the Buda Palace to once again shine in the turn of the century, as dreamed up by Alajos Hauszmann. For the same reconstruction as the original, it is essential to know the details of the turn of the century that were not affected by the simplistic reconstructions made for post-war ideological reasons. As part of this, the experts of the Várkapitányság and the experts working with them continue to search the cellars and enclosed spaces of the palace in several places, as a result of which a number of pieces from fireplaces has been found - according to Várkapitányság.

Pieces of decorative fireplaces discovered in a utility tunnel (Photo: Várkapitányság)

Although a significant portion of the fireplaces survived the siege of Budapest and were in their original location even in the late 1940s, demolition work soon began, dismantling the fireplaces so they could probably be in their present location. Now that the most decorative parts of the fireplaces have been discovered, they were presumably hidden in the past, or the hundreds of kilos of items could not be transported through the cellar tunnel. Later, the corridor was narrowed into a utility tunnel, enclosing valuable stone carvings from the outside world for nearly 70 years.

The dining room of the royal suite after the turn of the century (Photo: National Széchényi Library)

Pieces of the marble fireplace in the dining room of the royal suite have also been unearthed (Photo: Várkapitányság)

As they write, after identifying the finds, it was found that the largest group of 16 belonged to the fireplaces in the Andrássy and Deák foyers in the former halls of the Krisztinaváros wing at the turn of the century. In addition, two pieces of the particularly nicely carved marble fireplace in the dining room between the royal suite and the princely suite were found. There was also an element that belonged to the corner fireplace in the so-called Cercle Hall between the dining room and St. Stephen's Hall.

The fireplace of the Andrássy foyer at the turn of the century (Photo: National Széchényi Library)

Decorative elements of the fireplaces of the Andrássy and Deák halls (Photo: Várkapitányság)

Such carvings also decorated the fireplaces of the waiting halls (Photo: Castle Captain)

As the press release points out, the design and color scheme of the fireplaces in the palace have always been in keeping with the rooms they were in. Their maker was Béla Seenger, a sculptor and master sculptor, who created all the sculptures himself by painting and polishing the carved stone blocks. The material of the fireplaces was Hungarian white marble and Gyid marble. For his work, Béla Seenger received the gold medal of the National Industrial Association in 1903, and Emperor Franz Joseph and King awarded him the title of stonemason in the royal court.

During the research work in the building complex, a number of valuable finds have already been found, which were used to determine the color, use of materials and texture of the turn-of-the-century palace. As we have previously reported , in addition to the pieces from the original roof of the palace, the experts also found pieces of the floor coverings and colored Zsolnay tiles in each of the service rooms.

Source: Várkapitányság

Cover photo: Several pieces of decorative fireplaces have been unearthed in the Buda Castle (Photo: Várkapitányság)