1996 World Monuments Watch
The Royal Garden Pavilion reflects the style of grandeur and vision of Budapest in the nineteenth century, shortly after the towns of Buda, Óbuda, and Pest merged to create the city. A striking component of Budapest’s baroque Royal Palace, it was built by Hungarian architect Miklós Ybi between 1875 and 1882 on the embankment of the Danube River. Also known as the Buda Palace, the pavilions were part of a large-scale remodeling and enlargement of the palace. Several rooms were created under the arches and used by artists for cultural events and as painting schools for women. The pavilion is one of the few structures that remained largely intact after numerous assaults on the property in the twentieth century. During the siege of Budapest in World War II the site suffered heavy bombing, and in the 1960s, planned restoration activities were never fully realized. In the 1970s and 1980s, the complex was home to the Budapest Youth Park, the birthplace of Hungarian pop and rock music, and much visited and used. However, the site could not handle the masses of visitors and after serious damage to the property, the park and pavilion were closed.
The work allowed the pavilion to be returned to public use
In 1996 the possibilities of public use of the site were assessed with funds from American Express. With this assistance, World Monuments Fund was able to undertake emergency stabilization measures. The work allowed the pavilion to be returned to public use and to be connected to the Castle District as a public venue. A new roadway was constructed, and tourist traffic was redirected into the Royal Garden Pavilion, easing stress on the Castle District and bringing new life to the pavilion. In addition, approach ramps, terraces, and pergola systems were reconstructed to restore a sense of the dramatic beauty. The gardens were also restored to their original designs. The Royal Garden Pavilion was a particularly important large-scale development as Budapest’s cultural identity was transforming into a modern city. It is an important work by Miklós Ybl, who also designed the Opera House, additions to the Royal Palace, and university buildings in the city.