In the spring of 1944, the Royal Castellanship of Buda decided to have a bunker constructed for Regent Miklós Horthy, his family and his immediate entourage in Queen Elizabeth’s Garden. The building work was supervised by the Ministry of Home Defence and thus the necessary materials were procurable despite the ongoing wartime conditions.
The architect dr. Pál Csonka (1896–1987) was invited to plan the bunker, which could hold a maximum of twenty people. The side walls of the ten-metre deep refuge were constructed of 150 to 170-centimetre thick concrete. The bunker had two entrances – an inner one, with a narrow, tunnel-like corridor leading from ground level, and a surface entrance, accessible from the front garden. The bunker was about 55 m2 and it consisted of two rooms. According to the interior plans, these rooms had wooden floorboards, beams in the ceiling and wood-panelled walls. The fittings were made of Borov pine and included tables, chairs, benches, cupboards, and sofas with open-out mattresses. A telephone line was also installed.
At the end of 1944, the palace was occupied first by German and then by Soviet troops. Miklós Horthy never inhabited his bunker and we have no data concerning the further uses it may have been put to. The concrete housing of the external entrance to the bunker was broken up in spring 1996, when the front garden was reconstructed to resemble its Monarchy-era state.
The renovation of the bunker was financed by a European Union grant in 2010. Today visitors can see a reconstruction of the original fixtures and fittings in one of its rooms, while the other contains details of the history of the building of the bunker.