The National Trust of Monuments for Hungary was founded by the Ministry of the Environment in 1992 to protect and preserve the historic buildings and gardens of Hungary and, in some cases, any state-owned countryside surrounding the area.
In managing the common property of the Hungarian nation, the Trust’s activities are wide ranging. On receiving a new acquisition, the Trust conducts a survey of all the tangible and intangible elements of the property with historical or cultural value. Activities focus on practical care and conservation, including restoration and sometimes reconstruction, of the historic houses and gardens that were destroyed during the post-war period between 1945 and 1989. Before the Second World War most of these buildings housed important collections of fine art, furniture, textiles, china and metalwork, which were partly destroyed or stolen. The Trust also focuses on restoring the vanished splendour of these monuments by acquiring objects that once belonged to a particular building, through purchase, donation and legacy or by loan from different museums and collections in Hungary. Because of heavy losses during the wars and the post-war period, in many cases the objects displayed have a provenance other than the property in question, but still evoke the past through their style, quality and iconographical connections that establish a sense of belonging to the place. Most of these houses also have important gardens which are in need of renovation.
As well as the preservation, protection, conservation, maintenance, restoration and exhibition of monuments, gardens and associated artefacts, our educational and tourism resources also play an important role. By providing the public access to the properties and collections, the Trust aims to emphasise the importance of the past and the value of Hungarian cultural heritage, and to highlight the pleasure of learning. Throughout Hungary, the Trust provides jobs and promotes sustainable tourism. The Trust puts emphasis on the promotion of local characteristics by working in partnership with regional and local communities and authorities. In some properties there are cafés and accommodation, and cultural knowledge is promoted through publications as well.
The operational headquarters are in Budapest. Most of the Trust’s income comes from government support, but it also benefits from direct income through ticket sales, publications and rents. In 2009 the Trust managed 42 buildings of historical interest, comprising many of Hungary's most-visited properties.
The Trust strives to provide the experience, enthusiasm, passion and determination that will enable it to fulfil its core purpose: to provide the physical and intellectual access necessary for people to understand, live within, and enjoy their national cultural heritage.