Hungarians consider that their civilisation dates to 896. In the next 1000 years the Magyars went from being a nomadic Central Asian tribe rampaging through the Continent, to a legitimate power, helping the Habsburgs rule one of the mightiest empires Europe had ever seen (according to Rick Steve’s guidebook).
The millennium celebrations of 1896 were an excuse to build many fine buildings and monuments, and 96 is a key number in construction. For example, there are ninety-six steps on the red- carpeted staircase that we climb at the Budapest Parliament Building. It is a symmetrical building, two hundred and sixty-eight metres long, with a central dome that is ninety-six metres high.
The facade includes 90 statues, while the interior walls are decorated with 152 statues. The building has 27 doors, 29 staircases, and 13 elevators.
In other words, it is a very big, and very impressive building.
The symmetrical arrangement of the building is designed to serve a double chamber system, similar to the Australian system of the House of Representatives and the Senate, or the House of Lords and House of Commons in England. Indeed, the external design is reminiscent of the Palace of Westminster in London.
At the end of 1944, Hungary resorted to a single government system, so one wing of the building is now used for conferences, and is open to guided tours.
Friday Morning 9th August 2013, Garrulous Gwendoline, Budapest Hungary