On this special night lots of museums in Budapest stayed open until very late at night to enable people to see their collections in darkness.
Visitors to museums were invited to “have a sleepover with history” find out if museums really do come to life after hours. Museums opened their doors to visitors until 2:30 am for this annual event. Participating museums included famous museums and galleries, like the Hungarian National Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Budapest History Museum, the House of Terror Museum, the Hungarian National Gallery, the Museum of Applied Arts and the Hungarian Natural History Museum.
There were also some unusual museums on the list including the Hospital in the Rock Museum and the Budapest Children’s Railway, which also ran until after 0100. You don’t have to be a child to ride on this railway, which runs a regular service throughout the summer months in a suburb of the city.
The House of Terror Museum usually closes at 6pm but on this one night of the year it remained open until much later. It commemorates the victims of both the Communist and the Nazi regimes in Hungary. The building served as the Nazi party headquarters in 1940, and as the headquarters of the Hungarian state security organisation during the communist era.
The Museum of Electrotechnics showcases Hungary’s pioneering role in electrical engineering, including inventions such as the first electric motor and generators for electric locomotives. The museum’s exhibits include a fascinating mix of neon signs and a wonderful collection of early electrical household items.
The Hungarian National Gallery in the Royal Palace complex is also worth a visit. The museum includes Medieval and Renaissance stonework, Gothic wood sculptures and altarpieces as well as more modern paintings.
For a contrast, visit the Museum of Applied Arts which is housed in a beautiful Art Nouveau building. Here you’ll find traditional Hungarian and Art Nouveau designs merging with Islamic and Hindu motifs. The museum is richly decorated with terracotta tiles made by the Hungarian Zsolnay factory.
There’s a whole range of museums for anyone visiting Budapest, whatever your interests may be. Those who were able to visit some of them on the Night of the Museums will no doubt have had an extra special experience.