The Renovation of Szent István Hall

After Ferenc József was crowned King of Hungary in 1867, it became increasingly important to expand the Royal Palace on Castle Hill and develop it into a real royal residence. After the death of Miklós Ybl, another renowned architect of the time, Alajos Hauszmann, took over the management of the turn-of-the-century reconstruction and expansion of the Buda Castle , thanks to whom the palace became one of the most prestigious royal building complexes in Europe at the beginning of the 20th century. 

The Szent István room was located in the south connecting wing of the palace, which was a real jewel box. The interior was made in Romanesque style, but at certain points the creators made room for, for example, Hungarian ornamentation and Hungarian character. Hauszmann gathered around him the best Hungarian industrial masters to create together the masterpiece of Hungarian industrial art of the turn of the century. The central element of the room, the monumental pyrogranite fireplace, was made in the factory of Vilmos Zsolnay.


4.5 metres tall and 2.5 metres wide, the fireplace is the most distinct item in Saint Stephen’s Hall of the Buda Castle. Specialists at the Zsolnay manufactory worked on this exact replica of the original piece for five years. With 120 types of elements and 611 pieces altogether, this is the largest fireplace in Hungary.
It is an honour that with its expertise the Pécs-based Zsolnay Porcelain Manufactory could contribute to the significant, historic project of reconstructing the Saint Stephen's Hall. The talented artists at Zsolnay have great expertise and were well-prepared for the thorough research and the preparatory phase of the project.

In the first year, they experimented with the colours, materials and design drawings to develop proper quality and consistency. This included the right temperature for firing and paint thickness.
In the reconstruction of the fireplace in Saint Stephen’s Hall, Zsolnay relied on the traditional technology used by the manufacture worked over a hundred years ago.

The newly renovated Saint Stephen's Hall is now open to the public. You will hear a true tale of developers and builders, while the story of the construction of one of the most impressive royal palaces of its time unfolds.


The National Hauszmann Program is a program of responsible action that opens a new era in the regeneration of the city district.In parallel with the construction, the redesign of the demolished buildings and the complete survey of the Budavári Palace are taking place in order to make a sufficiently well-founded proposal for the possible reconstruction and utilization of the building.

The National Hauszmann Program is an unrepeatable opportunity for the Buda Castle Palace District to regain its old splendor and show to the world the greatness of Hungarian architecture. The goal of the National Hauszmann Program is to return the Castle to the Hungarians, to create a place in the center of the capital that has a "call" where everyone can feel at home again.