Magyar Nemzeti Bank The main building (at Szabadság tér 8-9) was originally built as the headquarters of the Austro-Hungarian Bank. In the summer of 1900, the bank held a tender, inviting eight famous Austrian and eight famous Hungarian architects. At the meeting on 10-12 May 1901, the jury of two Hungarian and two Austrian architects) unanimously awarded the first prize to Ignác Alpár. Work began in 1902 and was completed in 1905. Compared to the original budget of three million koronas, the final cost was four and a half million. The building is a monumental structure with a palace-like facade and rich exterior and interior ornamentation. Of the latter, the stained glass windows in the main staircase designed by Miksa Róth are worthy of note. The building has been a protected historical monument since 1976.