Buda Castle (Budavári Palota) is the historical castle and palace complex of the Hungarian kings in Budapest, first completed in 1265. In the past, it was also called Royal Palace (Királyi-palota) and Royal Castle (Királyi Vár). Buda Castle was built on the southern tip of Castle Hill, bounded on the north by what is known as the Castle District (Várnegyed), famous for its Medieval, Baroque, and 19th-century houses, churches, and public buildings. It is linked to Clark Ádám Square and the Széchenyi Chain Bridge by the Castle Hill Funicular. The castle is part of the Budapest World Heritage Site, declared in 1987.
The first royal residence on the Castle Hill was built by King Béla IV of Hungary between 1247 and 1265. It is uncertain whether it was situated on the southern tip of the hill or on the northern elevation near the Kammerhof. The oldest part of the present-day palace was built in the 14th century by Stephen, Duke of Slavonia, the younger brother of King Louis I of Hungary. Only the foundations remain of the castle keep, which was known as Stephen's Tower (István-torony). The Gothic palace of King Louis I was arranged around a narrow courtyard next to the keep.
King Sigismund significantly enlarged the palace and strengthened its fortifications. Sigismund, as a Holy Roman Emperor, needed a magnificent royal residence to express his primacy among the rulers of Europe. He chose Buda Castle as his main residence, and during his long reign it became probably the largest Gothic palace of the late Middle Ages. Buda was an important artistic centre of the International Gothic style. Construction began in the 1410s and was largely finished in the 1420s, although some minor works continued until the death of the king in 1437.
The castle and its gardens have been decorated with works of art since their foundation in the 14th century. Only written sources speak about the most important medieval works, but detailed pictorial and written information exists about the 19th-century artistic decoration of the palace, which was mainly created by the most important Hungarian artists of the era. Many of the statues survived the destruction during the siege of Budapest in 1944–45, and were later restored. On the other hand, important works of art were destroyed during the controversial reconstruction of the castle during the 1950s and 1960s.
The Hungarian National Gallery is located in Building A, B, C, and D. The museum presents the history of Hungarian art from the 11th century until the present, with a special exhibition concentrating on Gothic altarpieces (housed in the former Baroque Ballroom). The only surviving interior from the pre-war Royal Palace, the Palatinal Crypt, belongs to the museum. "Building F" is occupied by the National Széchényi Library, the national library of Hungary. Its collection of rare and antique books, codices and manuscripts contains 35 Corvina pieces from the famous library ofKing Matthias Corvinus. The original Bibliotheca Corviniana was housed in the medieval Royal Castle of Buda.
Inside of Buda Castle you can also find: Budapest Castle Hill Funicular ,