The official residence of the Hungarian president is the Sandor Palace. Sandor Palace is situated in Budapest, on the northern side of Buda-Castle complex, which was the previous home of the governors and kings of Hungary. It has served as both the office of the president and the presidential residence since 2003. It is the thirty-seventh largest palace in Hungary.
History of the Sandor Palace
The original Neoclassical-style palace which was built between 1903 and 1806, was commissioned by Count Vincent Sandor, who named it after himself. Count Sandor was an aristocrat and philosopher in the Austria-Hungary Empire. The second owner of the palace was Archduke Albrecht who owned it until the unsuccessful 1848 Hungarian Revolution. After this event, the castle became government offices. The most prestigious individual to ever lease the palace was prime minister Andrassy Gyula. The prime minister leased the building from the Pallavicini family for the Hungarian government in 1867. Andrassy obtained the building later after doing a property swipe. The prime minister renovated the palace, which needed some repairs at that time. He made the first floor his home and the ground floor his office. Sandor Palace has been home to 19 prime ministers.
Sandor Palace continued serving as the prime minister’s residence until prime minister Teleki committed suicide in the building in 1941. Sandor was bombed by the allied aircraft during the Second World War and left in ruins. The palace was left in ruins until 1989. After the communist rule ended in Hungary, a group of restoration workers erected a roof over the remaining ruins. The palace was restored, and by 2002, its interior was renovated. A considerable percentage of the objects furnishing the restored palace are replicas of the original ones which were destroyed during the Second World War. The restoration team used the original blueprints of the Sandor Palace which had been recovered in 1983.
Architecture and Design
The southwestern façade of the building has light green doors with the phrase Koztarsasagi-Elnoki-Hivatal (meaning the office of the president) inscribed right above the doors. There is an iron railing above the inscription with the country’s current coat of arms on top. The coat of arm is flanked by two flags (EU and Hungarian flags). The southeastern front also features similar green doors with the flag of the EU and Hungary alongside the country’s old coat of arms.
All visitors can access the palace through the southern main-gates and then through the staircase. The palace entrance lobby has some simple striped-damask tapestries decorations. The president uses the small-empire salon, which used to link the public and private parts of the building, for informal meetings while the Gobelin Hall is used for bigger meetings. The most elegant room in the building is the Maria Theresa Salon, which features a picture of Empress Theresa. The president uses the lavish hall-of-mirrors for formal events. The conference room is situated on the southwestern corner of the building. The conference room was reconstructed during the 1990s and it overlooks the Buda Castle and the Danube River.
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