The City Park Ice Rink is a public ice rink located in the City Park of the Hungarian capital Budapest, between the Heroes’ Square and the Vajdahunyad Castle. Opened in 1870, it is the largest and one of the oldest ice rinks in Europe. The official opening ceremony took place on 29th January 1870 in the presence of Rudolf, Crown Prince of Austria, and skating got underway immediately, with the first ever race held on 2nd February in the same year. This time the association had only 35 members, which increased to 432 by the end of the year.
The outset of figure skating in Hungary can be dated from 6th January 1871, when Jackson Haines, who is regarded as the father of figure skating, presented his show for the Hungarian audience. He repeated his visit in the next year, due to that figure skating gained ground quickly among Hungarian skaters.
In 1874 the original wooden cottage built by Ödön Lechner was burnt down, following that a new stable building was erected by the plans of Hungarian architecht Győző Czigler, who designed the present Széchenyi baths as well. For 1893 due to the increasing number of the visitors the main building was proved to be too small and was replaced by a bigger neo-Baroque style building designed by Imre Francsek. On the ground floor was found the changing room and warming room, while on the upstaris was placed the main hall and the music room. In 1879 floodlights were installed to ensure a skating opportunity at nights.
In summer months the area is filled up with water to create a pond, which is primarily used for boating, but also hosted several special events, such as the snowball fight world record attempt in 2009, or the Art on Lake exhibition in 2011.
Most recently the Városligeti Műjégpálya was renovated and expanded from 2009 to 2011. After the redevelopment the skating area grew by 15 percent, and now it consist a 180×67 metres skating rink and an international standard ice hockey rink. The quality of the largest ice surface in Europe is ensured by the about 210 kilometres (130 mi) long embedded cooling tube system.