The tour of the Budapest Parliment building was more interesting then it might sound. The inside was as spectacular as the Libray of Congress is in Washington DC. The tour picked me up at my hotel and at the Parliment building we had headphones and a live guide. The guide was very good and told us all the details and some interring things too. You can only enter the building with a tour and must show a passport. The building was done in the Budapest grand period from the mid 1800’s until 1904 when they entered and lost WWI, then WWII siding with Germany, and then being occupied by the Soviet Union until their independence at the end of the Cold War in 1989. So the buildings are mostly all built in the 1800’s Baroque-style. There has been a lot of renovations since their independence to repair them to their original glory.
In the hallway of the Parliment building there was a gold cigar holder with numbered slots. The story was that back in the 1800 many of the men smoked cigars, and Havana cigars where favored. Since there was no smoking in the assembly room men (all men, no women back then) would go to the hall way to smoke between speeches. The holders were fo save their lit cigars until they could return from a session. But if a speaker was really good and they stayed too long their cigar would burn down. So a good speech was called a Havana!
We also got to see the famous Hungarian Crown (no pictures allowed). When one of the first Christian Kings, Stephen, became King of Hungary on Christmas Day in the year 1000, Pope Sylvester II made him the gift of this gold crown. During WWII the US acquired it. Remember the movie “The Presidents Men”. It wasn’t until after the Cold War the President Carter returned it to Hungary.