Today car access to the castle is limited, and only midi-buses run within its ancient walls. Restrictions on access were introduced 35 years ago because traffic endangered historic buildings and the caves beneath the streets of the castle.
One hundred and fifteen years ago, in 1906, Children's Day was first held in Budapest and we would be very surprised if we could go back in time to the streets of the capital with the help of a time machine. The event was actually a relief operation for the benefit of orphaned and ill-fated children, but it was all accompanied by a public festival that, according to contemporary accounts and images, moved every stratum of society. The most distinguished women sat next to the fundraising boxes, musicians and stuntmen marched in the streets, and a multitude of people had fun and donated generously.
One of the important squares of Budapest was named after him during his lifetime. One hundred years ago, he was a hero celebrated by the whole country, on whose birthday the people of the capital filled the streets. The nation's lawyer, Albert Apponyi, born 175 years ago. He earned his title with his famous speech in the negotiations leading up to the Treaty of Trianon. Although he was considered one of Hungary's greatest statesman in his life and after his death, communism tried to make people forget him after the war. Not much is reminiscent of the once-respected politician in the Hungarian capital today.
A war against rats was launched in the capital in 1931, but a mistake slipped into the thorough and long-planned campaign. Fewer rats died than planned, and there were many "civilian" casualties, like dogs, cats, and birds.
An escalator transported passengers for a few years from May 1956 at the Hűvösvölgy terminus of the Children's Railway. It was built as a kind of test. Its primary purpose was not to ensure the comfort of the passengers on the Children's Railway, then called the Pioneer Railway, but to educate the operators and users. At the time, the Budapest metro was already under construction, and the escalator needed testing too.
Although Csarnok (Market Hall) Square in Ferencváros did not exist before 1896, after the opening of the Central Market Hall, a busy life began on the 9th District's smallest, but all the more special square, where hundreds of graves were unearthed during a 2016 hotel construction, highlighting a small detail of the area's vibrant past.
One might think that the Cave Church on the side of Gellért Hill is an old church, although it is surprisingly young, not a hundred years old, as construction of the chapel itself began in 1924 and it was consecrated in 1931. During the communist era, a reinforced concrete wall closed it off from worshippers, which was only demolished in 1992.
The story is almost like a fairy tale because from the moment Sándor Ember, a legal adviser, and later Member of Parliament accidentally learned about the intention to parcel the area near Békásmegyer during a rowing tour on the Danube and bought the land after a quick decision, it was as if everything turned into gold. It soon became clear that the area had unparalleled archaeological finds across Europe and then on Whitsun in 1934, medicinal water was found on the plot, where soon, in the summer of 1935, a bath now known as Pünkösdfürdő ('Whitsun Bath') opened.
The Római-part (Roman Beach) was already a popular resting place on the Danube in the 1900s, and it became really popular in the 1920s. The former boathouses tell us about our architectural, sports and cultural-historical values – today mostly only from photographs.
Hadrian was one of the most successful emperors of the Roman Empire. Once, he was the governor of the province of Pannonia. His governor's palace, built in the 2nd century, was in the settlement of Aquincum. The remains of the former huge building were discovered 170 years ago when the Óbuda shipyard expanded its site. The ruins have since been excavated several times on today's Hajógyári (Shipyard) Island.
Donations were raised in several places throughout the country to alleviate the damage caused by the floods of February 145 years ago and to help the flood victims. Related to these efforts was the exhibition of applied arts presenting the unique treasures of art, which was organised not in a public collection, but in the palace of Count, Alajos Károlyi built behind the National Museum in May 1876.
Although World War I did not directly affect the home front, Budapest was not bombed by the enemy like in World War II, but because of the battles, the capital was struggling. In 1916, the state wanted to help. Food kitchens were set up to deliver vegetable dishes and pasta to the poorer quarters of Budapest.
Budapest owes a lot to Vilmos Zsigmondy: the enterprising mining engineer was one of the first international experts to successfully extract thermal resources in Hungary. He drilled the artesian well of Margaret Island. The drilling of one of the deepest wells in the world at the time, almost a kilometre away, in City Park, which made it possible to open the Széchenyi Baths, is also connected to his name.
Many foreign masters made a significant contribution to the development of Budapest city. Professionals from German-speaking countries excelled in the fields of architecture and applied arts in particular. A somewhat forgotten master who chose the Hungarian capital as his homeland instead of sunny Tuscany is worth noting. Raffaelo Vignali, or Rafael Vignáli in Hungarian, came to Budapest for the works of the Millennium Monument.
The development of the Budapest underground network entered a new phase 50 years ago when the construction of the city’s third metro line began. Although the ideas changed a lot and the work planned for 15 years took 20, today’s Metro Line 3 is one of Budapest's most important transport corridors.
The name of Csillebérc is still associated with the former pioneer camp and the children's railway. Children spent their holidays in the camp known as Pioneer Republic, and later Csillebérc Pioneer Camp, from 1948. Eventually, a lawsuit that lasted 15 years from the 2000s settled the ownership of the area. Soon, a children's camp will open on Csillebérc again.
Fortunately, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences set the date of the Hungarian conquest of the Carpathian Basin as 896, rather than the originally planned 895. In 1896, the official national millennium was celebrated with miracles such as the first domestic film screenings. The general public could see the screenings in two places: that of the Lumière brothers were held at the Royal Hotel, and Edison’s were shown in Lágymányos.
A large number of architects played a huge role in making Budapest a metropolis. They created numerous beautiful plans between the 1870s and 1910s. Many of our public buildings and dwellings that still stand are the fruits of their work. While this view is generally accepted, the names of several masters have almost been forgotten. Such is the case of Sándor Aigner, who designed many churches as a master of Gothic Revival architecture. His most important work is the Perpetual Adoration Church in Ferencváros.
Fülöp Haas founded the most high-quality carpet manufacturer in the age of dualism in Vienna. The company, which later became world-famous, had two factories in Hungary and a central department store and warehouse in Budapest: one of the most beautiful palaces of today's Vörösmarty Square. The company, which made the production of carpets an applied art, also made the ornate wall tapestry of Saint Stephen Hall in the Royal Palace of Buda Castle, which will soon be reborn in the reconstruction.
Suburban railway lines (HÉV - helyiérdekű vasút) have been running from Boráros Square to the 21st District for seventy years. Csepel had a rapid transit connection before, with trains running on Gubacsi Bridge. The suburban railway line to Csepel is record-breaking in many aspects: it is the shortest line, the site of the most serious accident, and currently home to the oldest trains.
Several hostels and inns awaited local and foreign guests on the banks of the Danube in Pest during the Reform period. What would become the Danube Promenade south of Chain Bridge, was a stronghold of hospitality. Most of the houses constructed in the 1870s were not originally built as hotels, and it was not until the millennium that these developments began in the area. Upscale luxury hotels such as the Grand Hotel Hungária and Bristol awaited guests at the end of the 19th century and from the 1910s, the Ritz.
A law promulgated 185 years ago made it possible to build the first permanent Danube bridge connecting Buda and Pest. A long debate preceded the adoption of the bridge law because neither Pest nor Buda supported a private company building the bridge, as they did not want to waive their customs rights.
The first telephone exchange started operating in Budapest on May 1, 1881. Tivadar Puskás and his brother Ferenc built the equipment. Initially, the phone centre had only 25 subscribers, but its popularity grew steadily. Based on the telephone network and the telephone exchange, Tivadar Puskás's truly great invention, the Telephone Herald (Telefonhírmondó), was born and presented at the Millennium Exhibition.
The central event of the millennium celebrations of 1896, held on the anniversary of the Hungarian Conquest of the Carpathian Basin, was the National Millennium Exhibition held in City Park. The exhibition, which was open for half a year, offered insight into the past of Hungarians and provided an opportunity to present the results achieved during the extraordinary economic development after the Austro-Hungarian Compromise.
Recently, an announcement was published about reusing the pieces of the soon-to-be-demolished Southern Railway Bridge in Budapest for other, smaller bridges, such as connections to Hajógyári Island. At first glance, it sounds like a rather strange idea to create a new bridge from a used one, but it is not uncommon at all, even in Budapest. There are several bridges in the capital, the elements of which were once parts of other structures.
The building complex of the University of Veterinary Medicine Budapest has been serving Hungarian veterinary training for exactly 140 years. The building complex in Erzsébetváros, located between today's Rottenbiller and Bethlen Streets, was designed by Imre Steindl, decorated with Zsolnay majolica and stained glass by Miksa Róth. On the World Day of Veterinarians, 28 April, PestBuda presents the history and building complex of the University of Veterinary Medicine Budapest.
The theoretical foundations of communism were laid by a German philosopher and a wealthy German merchant. Neither of them were workers, yet they hatched plans for a perfect state of workers. In addition to Lenin, socialism considered Marx and Engels to be the “apostles” of the system. Their portraits hang in all the most notable places and events, yet a statue of the two founders was only erected in Budapest relatively late, in 1971 on Jászai Mari Square.
It has been operating in its current location for 174 years, its oldest trees, the fern pines, have lived through 200 springs, and its fairy roses were admired by members of the royal family. In its area, which once was the park of Festetics Palace, there were once 5 lakes, and its glasshouse was known to generations from The Paul Street Boys. Take an imaginary walk in the 250-year-old Füvészkert (ELTE Botanical Garden; 'herb garden') with ten carefully selected pictures.
The life of one of the first modern churches in Budapest may soon be given new impetus: the investment on Pasaréti Square, next to the church designed by Gyula Rimanóczy and completed in 1934, has begun. The project will renew the parish building, create an up-to-date library and community centre that follows the style of the modern church. Due to the works, the 2nd District church will be closed in July-August, the reconstruction is expected to be completed by Autumn.
The renovation of the Western Railway Station, which started last year, has entered a new phase. After 95% of the passenger and track hall reconstruction has been completed, the whole building is now being closed for maintenance work on 19 June and will only reopen on 18 July. One of the busiest railway stations in the capital that handles 18 million passengers a year, was last renovated between 1978 and 1988.
Preparation for the renovation of Chain Bridge has reached its final stage. The 30-metre-high crane capable of lifting loads up to 30 tonnes already been assembled next to the Pest bridgehead. On 16 June the bridge will be completely closed. The bridge first opened in 1849 will be reopened to motorists next year and to pedestrians in 2023.
Although in a simpler form than before, the renovation of one of the most important traffic and transport junctions in Budapest, which has been neglected for decades, will begin in the summer. As part of the project, the surface of the square will be rebuilt, and connecting roads and pavements will be renewed.
After the external restoration carried out a few years ago, the interior renovation of the Reformed Church on Szilágyi Dezső Square has been completed. Consecrated 125 years ago, the church, designed by Samu Petz, has been given restored benches, glass windows and new floor tiles.
The renovation of Batthyány Square aims to increase pedestrian-friendly and green areas and to better serve the needs of pedestrians, the Budapest Transport Center has announced. Due to the works, traffic rules will change in the area, and the stops of buses departing and terminating here will be moved.
The outdoor exhibition, opened on the Day of National Unity, will be visible over the weekend. The exhibition presents selected photos from the competition announced in the spirit of the Year of National Re-Start, allowing visitors to travel to near and far away places to learn how Hungarians see the world in 2021.
After its restoration and partial reconstruction, the column donated to Hungary by the Italian capital in 1929 was re-erected in the garden of the Hungarian National Museum. The column originates from a former temple of the Forum Romanum in Rome.
Today, a belfry on Döbrentei Square is the only memory of the former Serbian Orthodox Church, which was consecrated on 3 June 1751, 270 years ago. The church dedicated to Demetrius of Thessaloniki was demolished in 1949 for political reasons.
The renovation of the jungle playground in Gazdagrét will be completed by the summer. The old, worn toys will be replaced with new ones, with plants added to the space.
The Budapest Transport Center has issued a call for tenders for the planning of four cycling routes in Budapest on the European Union public procurement notice website. The roads will be part of the European cycling network, EuroVelo.
The construction of Saint Stephen's Hall in the southern connecting wing of the Royal Palace of Buda Castle has entered a new phase. According to the announcement from Várkapitányság, the spectacular ceiling and parquet have been installed, and most of the custom furniture has also been completed. The next task will be to recreate the lavish wall covering
At the Pest end of Margit Bridge, a gray granite block more than 7 meters long and one and a half to two meters high stands as a memorial to the tragedy of the Hableány riverboat that was sunk two years ago. The names of the 28 victims have been engraved on the monument and are illuminated with spotlights.
The Kútvölgyi Wing of the Új Szent János Hospital, commonly known as the Kútvölgyi Hospital, will be strengthened, and the previously discontinued facade renovation will be continued. The doors and windows will be replaced during the works, and new thermal insulation and air conditioners will be installed. Renovation of the block is scheduled to be completed later this year.
The story of Rác Bath has reached another milestone, after standing empty for ten years since its renovation. During the liquidation procedure, Budapest Gyógyfürdői és Hévizei Zrt. (BGYH) was the only bidder to buy the spa and the hotel built at the starting price of about five billion HUF. However, the opening will have to wait, as the building needs further renovations.
Let's meet on Örs, at the Mushroom! The common sentence marks a meeting place almost as well known as the clock on the old Moszkva Square. The Mushroom once housed a traffic control centre but on 1 June 2021, even the ticket offices are closing. The fate of the building remains unknown.
Parcel 52 of the National Cemetery is reserved for members of the military who died a hero's death. The newly renovated area was inaugurated on the Day of Hungarian Heroes. During the renovation, the plot was expanded, and new paving stones were laid. Public lighting and benches in the area were replaced and the site relandscaped.
Archaeologists have found two medieval carved stone cannonballs in the Danube riverbed. One is so huge that they were unable to bring it to the surface. The projectiles may be from the late Middle Ages. Many other valuable archaeological finds have also been unearthed.
The Imre Kertész Institute has commemorated János Pilinszky, who died forty years ago and was born a hundred years ago. As the opening of the half-year event series, a memorial plaque was unveiled today at the poet's former home on Izabella Street. Pilinszky's life will be presented at an outdoor exhibition on Benczúr Street.
Two major reconstructions in Budapest will begin this summer. In a week and a half, the renovation of a section of the lower embankment of Pest between Margit Bridge and Parliament will begin. The renovation of Blaha Lujza Square is scheduled to start in July, but according to simpler designs than previously planned.
Fourteen stone statues have already been erected on Golgota Square in Józsefváros. Bronze reliefs depicting the stations of the cross have been placed within them. The restoration of the stations was initiated by the Józsefváros Local Council in 2019 and is being carried out with state funding.
The Insula Lutherana in Budapest that is the building complex of the Lutheran church, grammar school and museum on Deák Square has been named a National Memorial Site. Supported by the government, the National Memorial and Remembrance Committee and the Institute of National Heritage, the site was listed as a memorial on 22 May 2021.
On the centenary of the founding of the central bank in 2024, the headquarters of the institution will be renovated to their original form on Szabadság Square. The building was built in 1905, its external appearance has not changed since then, but its interiors were significantly remodelled after World War II, undermining its historical value. Now its original beauty will return, inside and out.
The suburban railway line to Csepel will be extended in both directions, and the work will be carried out in several stages. In the first phase – from 2023 – a new terminal will be built in the 21st District on Erdősor Street, in parallel with the modernization of the line from the Kvassay Bridge outwards. In the second phase, the line will be connected to the Ráckeve line at the Public Slaughterhouse and extended underground to Kálvin Square. Implementation of the second phase will begin in 2024 at the soonest.
The 12th District local council has begun preparing the snow cannon investment planned for Normafa. As part of the works, pipes are being laid in the ground, to which the cannons will be connected in the winter. Once completed, lovers of winter sports will be able to use the area for over 3 months each year.
The MOME Campus building complex has won an award in one of the most prestigious design competitions in the world – the University has announced on its website. The competition awarded works that are characterised by technological innovation, ingenuity and outstanding design.
The Budapest Transport Center (BKK) has agreed with the manufacturer of CAF trams. Until mid-May 2022, BKK will be able to call the 51 optional vehicles included in the 2014 contract at the original price.
The Lajta monitor, one of the most modern warships of its time, was launched 150 years ago, on 17 May 1871. The surviving river boar of the former Austro-Hungarian Navy is now a museum. Its special feature is that the Lajta monitor is the only one in the world from the monitor type river version.
An excavation is taking place in the 11th District on Rupp Hill. Archaeologists are reviewing the area before construction. Although the site is mainly Roman, valuable objects from other eras have been found; such as medieval coins, metal works from the Hungarian conquest of the Carpathian Basin and the foundations of a building from the 2nd or 3rd century.
The Guard House (Főőrség) building opened on Friday. Visitors are invited to the cafe and an exhibition of the 260-year history of the Hungarian Royal Guards. The building designed by Alajos Hauszmann and built in 1903 originally served as the headquarters of the Palace and Royal Guards.
Another detail of the old Budapest is set to disappear, as the demolition of the building at 23/A Tömő Street in Józsefváros will begin soon. The four-storey building, built in the 1880s, in which actress Irén Psota was born, was sold by the local council in 2019, and the new owner has already received a demolition permit.