There are a lot of old and interesting buildings in Budapest, but the Red Hedgehog House is one of the most fascinating places in the city. This is the oldest building in Budapest, and was built around 1260. This building is still open nowadays too, you can find it at one of the Hungarian UNESCO Heritage sites, in the Buda Castle Quarter. It is a Gothic building, but in the 18th century it had been renovated. There are a lot of legends and stories about this house, but let me tell you the facts.
As I said, it was built around 1260. It was a property of Miklós Korth, the palatine of Hungary, but after his death his widow and son gifted it to a monastery of a village. Till the end of the Medieval Times it had been called the “House of the Relic of St. Paul, the Hermit”, because his body relic had been kept here. We know that in the 15th century it was the home of a carpenter, and after that a glazier.
In the Medieval Times, the Turkish Empire occupied a part of Hungary, included Budapest. Even today it is a very mysterious thing, that in 1686 the last Turkish governor of Budapest, Abdurrahmám Abdi Arnaut Pasha lost his life in front of this house. Later, the house became a tavern, and for a long time this was the only one in the castle. The name of this tavern was the Red Hedgehog, but no one knows where this name came from. The documents of 1696 had called this house Red Hedgehog already, but there are debates about the origin of the name. Some researchers think the name came from times before it became a tavern, but others think it was the name of the tavern.
In 1764, the owners of the tavern built a room for dancing and after that Felix Berner, an Austrian theatre director proposed to build a stage here. The Red Hedgehog House is a very important place for the Hungarian theatre, because this was the first place, where dramas had been shown in Budapest in the 1760s. After that, this house was the theatre of Verner Company, which was the first child theatre in Hungary.
You can see, that the story of this house is very exciting. After the 18th century there were a lot of other functions of the Red Hedgehog House. For instance, it was a house for balls and parties and after that it had became a dentist’s surgery. The relief of the Red Hedgehog over the front door was made in 1820. Before 1959, when the building had been renovated it was a theatre of comedies.
In my opinion this place, the Buda Castle Quarter is one of the most beautiful places in Hungary and Europe too. It has been renovated already and now it is more beautiful than ever. You can find here the famous Fisherman’s Bastion or the Matthias Church and many other famous historical heritages. The buildings are very beautiful, the streets are narrow and cobbled like in the Middle Ages. A lot of important thing happened here, you can smell the history in the air. The view is very beautiful from here, you can see the Danube and the beautiful bridges through it, the really famous one is the Chain Bridge.
There are a lot of restaurants and bars in the Castle Quarter too. If you visit this heritage you have to try the famous Hungarian kitchen, for example chicken paprikash, fish soup, chicken soup or goulash. You could taste the best Hungarian wines here or the famous Hungarian aperitif, the Pálinka.
I love history that is why I am interested in these old sites and heritages. very much. If you want to travel back in the time and feel a historical atmosphere I suggest you visit Budapest, and especially the Buda Castle Quarter. To sit down on a bench with your friends and a bottle of delicious Hungarian wine and delight in the beautiful view of the city is one of the best program, that you can do here. I promise, you won’t regret it.