Grassalkovich Palace, Gödöllo
On Szabadság tér, in an extensive park in the center of Gödöllo, lies this famous Baroque stately home (kástely), designed by Andreas Mayerhoffer in 1744-48. It is named after its first owner, Prince Antal Grassalkovich, a favorite at the court of Empress Elisabeth. In the 19th C it was rebuilt by the famous Hungarian architect Miklós Ybl. After accommodation had been reached between Austria and Hungary in 1867 Hungary bequeathed the palace to the royal couple as a summer residence. The gift was no doubt intended mainly for Empress Elisabeth ("Sissi"), who enjoyed great popularity among Hungarians and used Gödöllo as her favorite escape from the rigors of Viennese court life where she enjoyed hunting and horse-riding. Today visitors can view the grounds from horse-drawn carriages.Her former summer residence is now an old people's home and visitors are not allowed inside. The palace chapel in the right-hand wing now serves as the Parish Church of Gödöllo. Following many years of neglect the buildings are at present being renovated; on completion of this work they will probably be put to a different use. The buildings comprise three wings surrounding a courtyard; in the middle wing the dominant feature is a high, domed central ressaut embracing the ground floor entrance. The projecting gable on the front of the central ressaut is emblazoned with the royal coat-of-arms. Although badly weathered, the characteristic "Schönbrunn Yellow" favored by the Habsburg monarchy can still be detected on the façades of the side wings to the palace.
Gödöllo Royal Palace Museum
In 1996 the Gödöllo Royal Palace Museum was opened in the renovated palace. The rooms open to visitors include the prestigious state room, decorated with marble stucco, and the apartments of Franz Joseph I and his consort, as well as the Queen Elisabeth Memorial Exhibition. There is a pleasant café on the ground floor.A palace hotel with 13 rooms and a royal suite have been added; there are also plans for a conference center.