Tag Archives: Building of the Day

Bibliotheque Nationale de France (Henri Labrouste)


Drool. Here’s today’s eye-candy: cast-iron hemicircular vaulting. I’m in heaven.



Building of the Day


In some research for one of my classes, I stumbled across a most lovely building–and when I saw it, I guessed, “I bet that’s Hungary.”  Sure enough, it’s the Budapest Parliament building.

I haven’t actually done any research on this building itself, so what follows is speculation just from looking at it:

At first glance, this building appears to be a true Gothic building.  Gothicism is a late medieval style, spanning from about the 1200s all the way up  to the Renaissance, and primarily focused in France and Germany (though it definitely had some influence in England and elsewhere).  But that can’t be right because Hungary was a monarchy until the very early 1900s (I want to say 1910 but I could be wrong).  Monarchy, however, does not necessarily mean it has no parliament–see England–and I don’t know much else about the history of Hungary.  But, based on its too-small-to-be-really-necessary buttressing and the more prevalent horizontality (most true Gothic buildings are extremely vertical), combined with the ribbed dome–first engineered by Brunelleschi at the start of the Renaissance–I would suggest that this was built during the Gothic Revival of the 1800s (1860s?) around the same time as Britain’s Parliamentary building (and, I suspect, the castle which everyone calls “Downton Abbey”).  …this is still all from memory, by the way.  I plan to check my facts at the end of the post.  Anyway, it exhibits some elements of what was called “horizontal Gothicism,” and that is exemplified by the Houses of Parliament.

Okay, fact-checking time!

1. It WAS from the Gothic revival but I was about 30 years off.  1896 is the year given for the Parliament Building in Budapest.  AND it was inspired by Westminster Palace (aka the Houses of Parliament).

2. The Austro-Hungarian empire fell in 1918.

3. The same guy who built the Houses of Parliament also built Highclere Castle (aka Downton Abbey).

4. Ribbed domes were around pre-Brunelleschi–early Islamic, 9th century.  So I think Brunelleschi just made them famous and more prevalent.