"A feature of all karst cave systems is the perpetual dripping of water, and this one is no exception. The temperature is a constant 57 degrees Fahrenheit (14°C) and the humidity around 90 per cent. The system stretches for over six miles beneath the streets and buildings of the ancient Castle District of Buda.
It is believed those cave chambers originally fashioned by the action of thermal waters were already in use over a half a million years ago as both hunting ground and shelter. It was much later, during the Turkish period, that for military and economic reasons the system was expanded.
Individual chambers were not only joined together with each other but also to the cellars belonging to the houses above. Thus a real labyrinth was formed in the very belly of Castle Hill.
Further systematic construction of tunnels linking the caves was carried out in the 1930’s. There was even an underground shelter built that could accommodate up to ten thousand people. Its value became obvious during the siege of Budapest towards the end of the Second World War. Thousands of people took refuge here in the winter of 1944/45.
There is a story – perhaps apocryphal, nobody really knows any more – that for a time post was delivered to families sheltering in the caves. Nowadays 43,000 square feet of caves can be explored and enjoyed in Buda Castle’s unique Labyrinth.
(Open 9.30 a.m. – 7.30 p.m.)"