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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 café. 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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Relics of the Martyrs of Arad in Gyula

The exhibition entitled ‘Final Surrender’ aims to honour the memory of those heroes who, during the 1848-49 revolution and war of independence, fought for a national cause that resulted in the creation of a civil and newly free Hungarian homeland for their compatriots.

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In the spring of 1849 of the protracted war, the Hungarians were poised for victory over the Austrians and yet the struggle would end in blood due to the Russian intervention that gave numerical superiority to the enemy. Hungary had already been continuously at war for a year when the Russian Tsar, Nicholas I, sent such a large army that it guaranteed the success of the campaign through size alone.
On 13 August 1849, the Hungarian army led byArtúrGörgei, which some months before previously had freed the homeland through a series of decisive victories, laid down its arms before the Imperial troops of General Rüdiger on the plain of Szőlősbesides Világos.
It is little known that at the time of the surrender at Világos, the side arms of the Hungarian officers were not taken away, in recognition of their “heroism and unwavering steadfastness”.The full surrender of the detachment of over two thousand officers took place when the Russians handed them over to the Austrians. This sad event took place in the city of Gyula, in the square between Gyula castle and Harruckern-Wenckheim-Almásy mansion and in a large ground-floor hall of the mansion.
The exhibition shows the fate of the army officers who ended up in Gyula on 19-20 August 1849 and who, a few hopeless days later on 22-23 August, were forced to relinquish their weapons before the Tsar’s army and in the presence of the Austrian general Montenuovo, carrying out orders from Field Marshall Lieutenant Haynau. The importance of the exhibition is, on the one hand, that a century and a half later the relics, personal effects and weapons of the heroes have been returned to precisely the building in Gyula where they were surrendered and, on the other hand, that such a large number of the items can be seen for only the third time at an exhibition space in Hungary.
On August 24-25 1849, the army officers were transferred to Arad’sGolgotha, where Haynau and his Blood Council waited for them all.
Between 7 October 2016 and 19 March 2017, an exhibition of the priceless objects of the former Arad Museum of Relics will be held in the Visitor’s Centre of Almásy Mansion in Gyula. A small group of patriotic locals founded the Museum of Relics at the beginning of the 1880s. The collection later gave cultural status and a role as a shrine tothe city of Arad. The commemoration in Arad of the 40th anniversary of the deaths of the martyrs demonstrated such broad social desire to cultivate the cult of the heroes that it could never again be neglected. Country-wide interest grew in the following years and in 1890 the unveiling of the Liberty statue made Arad the main location of the cult of the war of independence. 1891 was the year of the birth of the Arad Museum of Relics – the collecting of relics spread across the country and the number of donations increased significantly. The temporarily-housed relic collection first appeared before the general public on 6 October 1892 and the official opening only took place on 15 March 1893. There was tremendous interest in the museum and so it was further developed. The collection soon outgrew the building that was only intended to house it temporarily, therefore in 1909 the city of Arad made a promise to the Museum of Relics to build the Palace of Culture, which the collection took possession of in 1913. Roughly though the tempest of history treated the unparalleled collection of the Arad Museum of Relics, it never managed to destroy it.
The exhibition is on view until 19 March 2017 during the opening hours of the Almásy Mansion.

Contact

Opening hours

  • Tuesday through Sunday: 10:00-18:00
  • Monday: Closed
  • Cashier's desk closes at: 17:00

Contact Us

  • Telephone number: (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

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Tickets

    • Permanent exhibition "Daily Life and Holidays in a Country Mansion":
    • Entry fee: HUF 2200
    • For groups (15 persons or above): HUF 2000 per person
    • Discount fee: HUF 1100
    • Discount fee for groups (15 persons or above): HUF 1000 per person
    • Tower look-out
    • Entry fee: HUF 300
    • Discount fee: HUF 150
    • One in four - Permanent exhibition ʻDaily Life and Holidays in a Country Mansion’ + Tower look-out + temporary exhibition + Gyula Castle
    • Entry fee: HUF 3,200
    • For groups (15 persons or above): HUF 3000 per person
    • Discount fee: HUF 1,600
    • Discount fee for groups (15 persons or above): HUF 1500 per person

    • Discount fees are available to daytime students aged 6-26 and adults aged 62-70.

    • Further discounts:
    • 50% to parents with 2 or more children
    • 50% to residents of Gyula with a permanent address in Gyula
    • free entry for people with disabilities and children under 6