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The Almásy Mansion in Gyula.

Following the reduction of the territory occupied by the Ottoman Empire, Baron Johann Georg Harruckern of Upper Austria was allowed to purchase almost the entire territory of Békés County fromHoly Roman Emperor Charles VI, the King of Hungary, in return for his services in the wars against the Ottomans. He set about intense repopulation in Békés County. A large number of Hungarians, Slovaks, Germans and Romanians arrived and settled in the county.

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The Harruckern family’s permanent residence was in Vienna. In accordance with the usual practice of the time, they had a mansion in town as well as a summer residence set in a large park in the country. The latter was designed by Franz Anton Pilgram, a well-known architect of the age. The layout of the building, which is no longer standing, bore a striking resemblance to that of the former mansion in Gyula. Baron Harruckern was probably satisfied with his mansion near Vienna as he did not commission new plans for the one in Gyula. He simply had a replica of his pleasant Viennese mansion built on his more remote estate.

The construction of the baroque block of the mansion in Gyula was commissioned by his son, Franz Harruckern, upon whose death the building was inherited by Mrs Joseph Wenckheim, née Baroness Maria Teresia Gruber. The mansion had its heyday when it was taken over by Franz Wenckheim, her son, who had extensions added to the building, turning it into a place unparalleled even by Viennese standards. He also had a ridingschool built and exotic plants grown in the park and the conservatory.

Members of the Wenckheim family hosted reigning monarchs on three occasions: Franz I and his daughter Maria Ludovika (the future wife of Emperor Napoleon) in 1807, Emperor Franz Joseph I and his wife Elisabeth in 1857 and Franz Joseph I when he visited military exercises in 1876.

10 of the 13 generals later to be executed in Arad for their part in the Hungarian Revolution surrendered on the premises of the mansion on 23 August 1849 and left for Arad to meet their fate.

The Almásys, an old noble family from Zsadány and Törökszentmiklós, were linked to the mansion through the marriage of Countess Stephanie Maria Wenckheim and Count Kálmán Almásy. Their son Dénes (Dennis)and his wife Ella Károlyi Almásy were very popular in Gyula due to their “infinite modesty”. The count’s wife donated large sums to support the building of the grammar school and the nearby József Sanatorium.

The last Almásy heir, Alajos, committed suicide in 1945. His younger brother Kálmándecided to stay in Britain when World War II broke out. After the war the mansion was nationalised and was used to house first a trade school, then a nursing school with halls of residence, and finally an orphanage.In the 1960s a large portion of the mansion’s park was converted into a building site for thermal baths. Occupancy of the mansion gradually ended in the 1990s.

The Harruckern-Wenckheim-Almásy Mansion in Gyula also played an important role in Hungary’s cultural life.In 1746 it was the first mansion in Hungary to house a theatre performance.The grandfather of Ferenc Erkel, the composer of Hungary’s national anthem,lived in the mansion as a house musician and master of ceremonies. The great composer Ferenc Erkelhimself was a frequent visitor. Members of more than one generation of the Erkel family gave piano concerts during soirées at the mansion. The famed artists Mihály Munkácsy started his career as a painter under the tutelage of Elek Szamosy, who was in charge of making copies of and restoring old family portraits and other paintings in the family’s collection.

Tales from the Almásy Mansion

Who was responsible for the smooth daily running of mansions? For the luxury? How did things look behind the scenes in the homes of the nobility?


Services

Museum and Souvenir Shop

Thinking about taking some memories back home in a tangible form? Come and visit our souvenir shop, where a wide selection of gifts can help you talk even more vividly to your friends and loved ones about your experiences in the Almásy Mansion. Our selection of gifts includes the products of craftsmen from Békés County as well as some fine replicas of the objects displayed at the exhibition and souvenirs with the logo of the mansion.

Event space

The Almásy Mansion Visitor’s Centre not only provides an insight into daily life at the residences of the nobility but also offers space for family and corporate events in the unique setting and cosy atmosphere of the chapel or the meeting room adjoining the caf&eacute. Contact us by e-mail or call the Visitor’s Centre (+36 66 650 812) and ask for the prices.

Mansion Café

Top quality, impeccable service standards - as befitting a mansion. We strive to treat visitors like nobility. Also accessible through a separate entrance and with opening hours independent of those of the mansion museum, the Mansion Café offers beverages, exquisite coffee and gateaux.The Mansion Café is open to both visitors to the exhibition and members of the general public.

Mansion Café's page

Permament exhibition

Daily Life and Holidays in the Mansion

The life of the invisible domestic staff has always been a secret. The Almásy mansion reveals this secret.
We offer an insight into the exciting life of the nobles who once lived in the mansion and the daily life of the domestic staff serving them.

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Using 21st century interactive technologies, we offer visitors the thrill of discovering who stoked the stoves, how many litres of water were consumed in a day, who washed the countess’s lingerie, what the daily schedule of the domestic staff was like, who was responsible for what and, in general, where and how the domestic staff who invisibly served the daily needsof a noble familyand unnoticeably made their lives comfortable lived.

As the life of the aristocracy was not only about soirées, the exhibition also presents their daily life through their personal effects as well as their written and unwritten code of behaviour. It also familiarises visitors with the table manners of the time, the cuisine, the daily routines of the family, dress codes, the functions of the individual rooms, the heating and lighting techniques of the time and other interesting aspects. The mansion is located in a wonderful park where visitors can relax among maple, oak and rowan trees, enjoying the small-town ambience and a setting redolent of history.
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Temporary Exhibition

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THE BURIED CASTLE

Research on the Gyula Castle palisade redoubt

Research took place in 2015-2016 on the Gyula palisade redoubt. The temporary exhibition on this research and the results of the geophysical and archaeological surveys not only shows the scientific methods used but also presents the pictorial and written sources that are known.

Details
The exhibition is about the research, the diverse fields of study involved and the difficulties associated with them. It provides a glimpse into the everyday work of the excavation and the subsequent cataloguing, and illustrates how much work there is still to do.

The exhibition shows the current state of the research and a portion of the available, partly-restored artefacts as a “work in progress” record of the research programme as a whole. Although the researchers cannot yet draw a full picture of the palisade redoubt that surrounded Gyula Castle at the time of the Ottoman conquest, the exhibition will contain significant new results regarding individual aspects of the 1566 siege.

The latest technology was used in putting together the exhibition based on experience from creating the permanent exhibition. This is not technology for technology’s sake: it shows the town and castle of several centuries ago placed into today’s environment, providing a reference point that visitors can understand and interpret.

The exhibition can be seen from 5 December 2017 to 20 August 2018 during the opening hours of the Almásy Mansion Visitor’s Centre.

Contact

Opening hours

  • Monday through Wednesday: 10:00-18:00
  • Cashier's desk closes at: 17:00

  • Thursday through Sunday: 10:00-22:00
  • Cashier's desk closes at: 21:00

  • Almásy Mansion on the upper terrace:
    Friday through Saturday: 18:00-22:00

Contact Us

  • Telephone number: +36 (66) 650-218
  • Email: info@gyulaikastely.hu

Access

Adjoining the Castle Baths, the Almásy Mansion Visitor’s Centre in Gyula is situated across from the castle. Lying along the Hungarian-Romanian border, Gyula is accessible by road from Budapest along the M5 motorway and the M44 road and from Szeged and Debrecen along the 47 road via Békéscsaba.

City map




Tickets

Standard tickets

HUF 2200
  • Four-in-one package
    HUF 3400
  • Gyulakult package
    HUF 5000
  • Visit Gyula Card Gyula package
    HUF 4800

Discount tickets

HUF 1100
  • Groups (10 persons or above)
    HUF 1000 /persons
  • Four-in-one package
    HUF 1700
  • Four-in-one package for groups (10 persons or above)
    HUF 1600 /person
  • Gyulakult package
    HUF 2500 /person
  • Visit Gyula Card Gyula package
    HUF 2400 /person

Group ticket

10 persons or above
HUF 2000 /persons
  • Four-in-one package
    HUF 3200 /persons

Discount tickets

HUF 200

Standard tickets

HUF 400

Package deals

1.

Four-in-one package

Includes visit to: Gyulai Almásy-kastély Látogatóközpont állandó kiállítása, aktuális időszaki kiállítása és toronykilátója valamint a Gyulai vár

2.

Gyulakult package

Includes visit to: Gyulai Almásy-kastély Látogatóközpont állandó kiállítása (1 alkalommal) és toronykilátója, Gyulai vár, Erkel Ház, Ladics Ház, Kohán Képtár.

3.

Visit Gyula Card Gyula package

Includes visit to: Gyulai Almásy-kastély Látogatóközpont állandó kiállítása (2 alkalommal) és toronykilátója, Gyulai vár, Erkel Ház, Ladics Ház, Kohán Képtár.

Additional information
  • Day-time students between 6 and 26 years of age and adults between 62 and 70 years of age are eligible for discount tickets when showing their IDs.
  • Residents with a permanent address or place of stay in Gyula are eligible for a 50% discount.
  • Admission is free for the disabled and children under 6.