In Hungary's largest building, Parliament, on the Danube, is a spectacular sight both in and out. The interior, which has almost 700 rooms, is worth a visit, especially a guided tour of the Congress hall and National Assembly. My experience of touring is often memorable for the small details, something seldom featured in guide books. On entering the Assembly, one of those small details jumped out: a row of cigar holders, for legislators deliberating on their decisions and politicking outside the Assembly. A rich detail was the way in which they were numbered, so that they could be revisited before the votes were decided. Made me wish oddly, as a non-smoker, that I knew the word for cigar in Hungarian.
By Pam O'Brien
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Budapest, Kossuth Lajos tér 1-3, 1055 Hungary
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