Var Barlang

Castle Cave


Useful Information

Location: Budapest, below the castle on Castle Hill.
Meeting point: Holy Trinity Column, Szentháromság Square, next to Matthias Church (address: 1014 Budapest, Szentháromság tér).
(47°30'06.2"N 19°02'00.7"E)
Open: No regular open hours.
See online booking system for vacancies.
[2020]
Fee: Adults HUF 3,500, Student HUF 2,500, Senior HUF 2,500, Teacher HUF 2,500, Children (0-11) not allowed.
HungaryCard: Adults HUF 3,000, Student HUF 2,100, Senior HUF 2,100, Teacher HUF 2,100.
Tickets must be purchased online, no tickets sold on meeting point.
[2020]
Classification: SpeleologyTufa cave
Light: electric.
Dimension: L=3,300m, T=12°C.
Guided tours: D=2h, L=1,500m.
Photography:
Accessibility:
Bibliography:
Address: Várbarlang, 1014 Budapest, Szentháromság tér. E-mail:
Danube-Ipoly National Park Directorate, 1121 Budapest, Költő u. 21., Tel: +36-1-391-4610, Fax: +36-1-200-1168. E-mail:
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.

History

1987 inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Description

Var Barlang (Castle Cave), also called Budai Várbarlang (Buda Castle Cave), located below the castle on Várhegy (Castle Hill) in the middle of Budapest. It is said to be the largest system of cave-cellars in Hungary. The cellars belonged to private buildings on the castle hill but were connected over time and finally formed a labyrinthic maze several kilometers long. During medieval times, the cellars were used for food storage. The wells of the cellars provided drinking water for the city. Parts were used for valuables or as a hiding place. Later the cellars were abandoned and almost forgotten.

At the end of the 19th century an increasing number of passages caved in. As a result the cellars were surveyed and then started to fill in. In the 1930s the natural parts of the cellars were recognised as tufa caves. At this time parts of the caves accommodating some 10,000 people were converted into air raid shelters by the wartime defence program. Parts were used for military purposes by the German army. Later, during the Cold War, the cellars again housed secret military installations.

A part of the system of cellars was guided for decades as show caves, but around 2000 they were closed for the public. During a 40 minutes long guided tour wells, former storerooms, and remains of World War II, like combat stations and baths used by the Germans, were shown. The tours are now reopened but with different content and they take at least 1.5 hours. The caves are now operated by the Danube-Ipoly National Park. Another part of the 3.3 kilometer long system is open to the public, which is called Budavári Labirinthus.