The National Hungarian Opera House, Magyar Állami Operaház, is a neo-Renaissance opera house located in central Budapest. It was opened in 1884. The opera house has hosted many important international artists, including composer Gustav Mahler, who was the opera’s director from 1888 to 1891. The building is richly decorated and stands out as one of the world’s most beautiful. The decorations of the façade follow a musical theme, and visitors are greeted by the sculptures of two of Hungary’s most notable composers on either side of the entrance: Ferenc Erkel and Franz Liszt. Marble columns adorn the foyer inside, and the vaulted ceilings are covered in murals of the nine muses. Today, the opera house is home to the Budapest Opera Ball, a society event dating back to 1886.