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was copied from Germany, along with the “constructive no-confidence vote” that assures a stable government.)

On January 1, 2000, which marked the 1000th anniversary of the establishment of the independent state of Hungary, the Holy Crown of Hungary and most of the regalia (the scepter, the sword, and the orb) were removed from the National Museum and solemnly transferred to a glass case under the Parliament’s dome. This was much criticized by those who thought the crown already had a very good place in the National Museum, but was supported by the voters of the heritageticket government. The crown has had a particularly spectacular history, having been lost, stolen or misappropriated at various times in history. Although it was made in the early Middle Ages, the crown probably has nothing to do with the actual one that was placed on the head of King Stephen, the founder of the Hungarian state, in 1000. The last Hungarian king crowned with it was the Habsburg Charles VI (who was Charles IV as a Hungarian king) in 1916. After World War Two the crown was taken out of the country by fleeing Hungarian fascists. It was held in the United States for decades until President Carter decided to return it to Hungary in 1978. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, escorted by a large American delegation, brought it back to Budapest.

Life in the Parliament Building Life is quite busy in the House and the whole building, except for January, July and August. You can get an idea of how busy the day will be by looking at Kossuth tér, where only MPs can park. Parliament is the workplace not only of the 386 representatives (half are elected in their constituencies, and the other half are appointed by their party; citizens cast two votes at the general elections, for a person and for a party) but also of the prime minister. The tone of the skirmishes here is reminiscent of the British Parliament. Opposition leaders often disrupt the work of the House with their belligerent “before the agenda” speeches on Monday afternoons. MPs often read newspapers, talk on mobile phones, and even nap (which is always recorded by the press). Hungarian citizens don’t really understand how Parliament operates. When TV news programmes show House debates with few MPs attending, they think the others are remiss

PARK_Budapest_belivek_v065.indd 148-149


in their duties, though they may be in committee meetings where the bulk of the work gets done. Also, polls show that voters hate walk 2 ang 2006/11/22 17:39 Page 92 debates. They think “good Hungarians should agree with each other”. There are guided tours of Parliament, but only in groups and WALK TWO only92when there is no plenary session. Groups form at Gate X, bulkisofthe the first work is done… Also,right polls show thatmain votersentrance hate debates. Theythe which gate to the of the with think “good Hungarians should agree with each other”. lions.

Ethnographical Museum (Néprajzi Múzeum) 11 B

V. Kossuth LajosMuseum tér 12. Showing a strong resemblance to the Reichstag in Ethnographical (Néprajzi Múzeum) 11B V. Kossuth Berlin, although much more elegant than its German counterpart, this neoLajosRenaissance tér 12.,, openthe Tuesday Sunday a.m. palace was built to house Supreme to Court and the10Chief to 6 Public p.m. Prosecutor’s ••• With Office a strong to theBuilding less-elegant (Alajosresemblance Hauszmann, 1893–96). another dome opposite the Parliament seemed out of the question. From the Ticket Reichstag in Berlin, this 125 meter-long neo-Renaissance Office (the permanent exhibitions of the state-owned museums are free) palace to househuge theand Supreme Courthall and theitChief youwas enter built an astoundingly richly decorated where is well worth looking around and up. At the back there are some chairs around a

Szalay utca SZALAY UTCA

Walk TWO

Walk TWO

The holy Crown

The City and The Víziváros Area


The City and The Víziváros Area

KossuthLAJOS Lajos tér KOSSUTH TÉR


Alkotmány utca ALKOTMÁNY UTCA

Ethnographical Museum, formerly the Supreme Court Ethnographical Museum, Formerly the Supreme Court

2011.04.20. 15:49:21

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