The Buda Castle Labyrinth is, by formation, a nature attraction of Budapest and, in fact, one of the highest rated underground attractions in the world. On the other hand, the intricate maze system underneath the Buda Hill, within the Buda Castle District, is, in its current condition, also the result of human intervention. The Buda Castle Labyrinth is, next to the Castle Cave, the Palvolgyi Cave and the Szemlohegyi Cave, part of the wider 200-cave system which stretches under the Buda Hill region.
In all likelihood, the deep calcareous soil layers of the Buda Hill were affected, some 5 hundred thousand years ago, by the activity of the thermal springs for which Budapest is so appreciated at international scale. The generous hot water bed led to the formation of isolated caves which were subsequently interlinked either by force of further natural processes or by human intervention. Indeed, the locals of Budapest found the light soil underneath their houses to be ideal for their practical purposes, that is, for digging cellars. Such works have resulted into the creation of an amazing labyrinth which, on the other hand, bears little resemblance with what it used to look like during the prewar period.
Indeed, during World War Two, as well as during the Cold War, the labyrinth was constantly used to military and strategic purposes. The restoration works carried out between 1996 and 1997 removed the traces of the war, and the labyrinth became in time home to sundry theme exhibitions, collections and tours. At present, the 10,000 square meters large system stands out as a top attraction of Budapest, and not only by cultural and tourist reasons, but also by force of the scientific interest it draws.
For instance, it is precisely in the Buda Castle Labyrinth that the remains of prehistoric animals and traces of an ancient human culture were found. This is a fact which rightfully stimulates visitors’ curiosity, enhancing the tourist appeal of the labyrinth.
The labyrinth is open for visits at night two, operating 24 hours a day, and it is accessible by two entries (in Uri utca and in Lovas utca), of which one can be resorted to by people with reduced mobility.
Budavari Labirintus, 9, Uri utca, 1014, Budapest, Hungary