Sziklakórház Múzeum

Hospital in the Rock - LOSK 0101/1


Useful Information

Location: At the foot of the Buda castle. Lovas út.
Open: All year daily 10-20, last entry 19, tours every hour on the hour.
[2014]
Fee: Adults HUF 3,600, School Children (with ISIC) HUF 1,800, Children (0-5) free, Students (with ISIC) HUF 1,800, Disabled free, Family (2+2) HUF 7,200.
EU citizens: Children (6-25) HUF 1,800, Seniors (62-70) HUF 1,800, Seniors (70+) free.
Budapest Card, Legenda pass, Hungary Card: -33%.
Groups (15+): 10% discount, reservation necessary.
[2014]
Classification:  Casemates  World War II Bunker  Secret Bunker
Light: electric
Dimension: L=10,000m, T=15-18°C.
Guided tours: D=75min. A guide in Hungarian and English is always available.
Photography: not allowed
Accessibility: The hospital part is wheelchair accessible. The other tours have staircases.
Bibliography:  
Address: Sziklakórház Public Benefit Non-profit Ltd., H-1012 Budapest, Lovas út 4/c, Tel: +36-707-010101. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
Last update:$Date: 2015/08/30 21:55:46 $

History

 
1939start of transformation into a hospital.
1944-1945intensively used during air raids.
1946-1949rented by a company producing typhus vaccine.
1952because of the Cold War declared top secret and refurbished as hospital.
1956used during the revolution.
1958refurbished as bunker for atomic and chemical attacks.
1962secret bunker completed.
2004Krétakör Theatre used the facility for occasional performances.
2006facility first opened to the public on the Day of Cultural Heritage.
2007renovation by the Institute and Museum of Military History.
MAR-2008museum opened to the public.

Description

The Sziklakórház (Hospital in the Rock) was built during World War II in the caves which existed below the castle. This location had three benefits: the rock above protected the hospital from the air raids, the already existing caves minimised the needed work and also time, and the status of the castle as cultural heritage made hits on the castle hill less probable. And the hospital was located in the middle of the city, so it was a good air raid shelter.

The hospital was built at the begin of World War II, in 1939, and was operational between 1939 and 1945. It was intensively used in the years 1944 and 1945, when it housed up to 700 wounded, although it was actually built for up to 300 patients. It was not only a hospital but also a very good air raid shelter. After the end of the war anything was scarce, so the medical equipment was removed and used. The rooms were rent by a company which produced typhus vaccine underground. However, their factory was rebuilt and in 1949 the hospital was abandoned.

But in the early 1950s the Cold War started, and so in 1952 the former hospital was declared top secret and again refurbished as a hospital. It was a military installation and was equipped secretly under the code name LOSK 0101/1. But it came in handy in 1956 during the Hungarian Revolution. In this time Hungary tried to get rid of the Russian occupation, but the revolution was crushed bloodily by the Red Army. The wounded resistance fighters were treated in the underground hospital and then deported. Only a few were able to escape, most of them were imprisoned and then freed in an amnesty in 1963, after seven years.

In 1958 the renovation of the hospital started. The current state of the hospital is actually this extension for Cold War. The bunker was modernised with quarantine culvert and an air and water-handling system. A water pump system, an air filtering system, and a power supply with generators were built, so the hospital became autonomous. It should be able to withstand a nuclear or chemical attack. The interior was also renovated and equipped as a modern hospital. The equipment and furniture of the museum originates mostly from this era.

Obviously the usefulness ended with the end of the Cold War in 1989. But the facility was still a secret until 2002, when it was decommissioned. In 2004 staff from the nearby Saint John Hospital took over maintenance. The hospital became known to more people and between 2004 and 2006 the Krétakör Theatre used the facility for occasional performances. The citizens finally learned about the existence of this bunker when it was first opened to the public in 2006. It was open on the city wide Day of Cultural Heritage.

After the bunker was finally known, many people were interested to see this installation. In 2007 the Institute and Museum of Military History started to renovate it and opened it soon after, in March 2008, to the public. The exhibition is said to be unique in Europe, as it is not a classical museum with historic photographs and documents. Instead it is a sort of wax cabinet, reviving the daily live in the hospital during World War II. Tools and equipment, and also the clothes of the wax figures are from this era. The scenes show a makeshift operating room, operating doctors throwing blood-soaked bandages. In another scene nurses take bandages from the dead to help the live.

A funny thing we have never seen before, is how free entry is handled. Children under six, EU seniors over 70, and disabled are qualified for free admission. They are sold tickets for 1 Forint, which is less than a cent in other currencies, and for which no coin exists. Following official rounding rules this is then rounded to zero. That's almost British humour.


See also


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