Who was Miklós Ybl?

Miklós Ybl is one of the most prominent Hungarian architects and had a huge influence on the design of Budapest during the late 19th century. His work can still be seen in many parts of Budapest today.

Miklós Ybl was born 6th April 1814 and after studying for a degree in Vienna, Austria became the assistant to Mihály Pollack, another prominent Hungarian architect who designed the Hungarian National Museum.

Miklós Ybl  worked under Mihály Pollack until approximately 1840 when he moved to Germany and Italy to continue his studies.

On his return to Budapest he became business partners with Mihály Pollack’s son and they became heavily involved projects commissioned by Count Lajos Batthyány de Németújvár, the first Prime Minister of Hungary.

St Stephen's Basilica in Budapest, Hungary

St Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest, Hungary

Miklós Ybl’s early work was in a Nordic-influenced architectural style (known as National Romantic) although elements of Eastern architecture is also present.

Following a further period of study in Italy at the beginning of 1860s Miklós Ybl returned to Budapest to re-invent the famous Italian renaissance style.

The hugely impressive neo-classical buildings he designed and oversaw the construction of still dominate Budapest with their presence.

Responsible for overseeing the construction of St Stephen’s Basilica from 1867, following the death of József Hild, Miklós Ybl re-designed the church’s dome after the first dome had been destroyed by heavy rain.

Other famous examples of his work in Budapest include numerous churches, the Hungarian State Opera House and large parts of Buda Castle including the throne room.

Miklós Ybl died on 22 January 1891 at the age of 76 and was buried in Kerepesi Cemetery in Budapest alongside many of the nations most significant cultural and political figures from the 19th and 20th centuries.

He has been honoured by Ybl Miklós tér which can be found between Buda Castle and the Danube. Hungary’s most prestigious architecture award, the Miklós Ybl Prize, which was founded in 1953 is also named in his honour.

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