Reconstruction of the former headquarters of the Red Cross Society is expected to begin in the fall. The building on the southeast corner of Dísz Square was an integral part of the Castle District until the end of World War II. Despite the shots of the war, it could have been saved, but in 1946, politics still opted for its complete dismantling. Reconstruction of the building is now underway as part of the National Hauszmann Program - read on the National Hauszmann Program Facebook page.

Design render of the building on the south-east corner of Dísz Square (Photo: National Hauszmann Program)

Design render of the palace from Színház Street (Photo: National Hauszmann Program)

As the announcement recalls, the building complex under 1-2 Dísz Square was purchased in 1900 by the Red Cross Association of the Countries of the Holy Hungarian Crown, which was established in 1881 to participate in the healing and care of soldiers wounded in wars and organise cross-border humanitarian aid. The headquarters of the Red Cross Association was created according to the plans of Alajos Hauszmann and Dezső Hültl.

However, it soon became clear that the imposing palace would be too big for the aid organisation, so some parts of it were leased to the state, so the Ministry for Croatian-Slavonian-Dalmatian Affairs moved there. From 1920 to the Second World War, the Dísz Square palace housed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. For this purpose, the building was expanded according to the plans of Guido Hoepfner, who, at the invitation of Alajos Hauszmann, undertook significant subtasks at the turn of the century in the large-scale renovation and reconstruction works of the Buda Castle.

Dísz Square, from the left, the Apostolic Nunciature, the Batthyány Palace and the building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, opposite the Headquarters of Hungarian Defense Forces, 1943 (Photo: Fortepan/Archiv für Zeitgeschichte ETH Zürich/Agnes Hirschi, photographed by Carl Lutz)

Ruined building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1947 (Photo: Fortepan/No.: 96585)

As they write, the neglected plot has long been a cityscape wound, with more than half a century of debt being repaid by rebuilding the imposing building. As part of the National Hauszmann Program, the exterior of the building, which will be renovated, will faithfully follow the original corner domes. At the same time, modern solutions are used in terms of interior design, building engineering and operation.

As already reported, during the archaeological excavations before the reconstruction, the specialists brought several valuable finds to the surface. Among them stand out the two statues depicting Leader Álmos and Előd, which once decorated the Fisherman's Bastion. The works of Ferenc Mikula emerged from the ground during the excavation of the cellar system under the plot.

The sculptures depicting Álmos and Előd were found in the cellar below the plot (Photo: National Hauszmann Program)

Under the cooperation with the Buda Castle local council, the Várkapitányság will also begin the partial monumental renovation of the Batthyány Palace adjacent to the former headquarters of the Red Cross Society, which includes the renovation of the gate, the southern staircase and the eastern castle wall and the wall insulation works.

The partial renovation of the Batthyány Palace, adjacent to the former headquarters of the Red Cross Society, will also be carried out (Photo: National Hauszmann Program)

Work will begin with demolition tasks and the removal of debris from the area. Reconstruction of the former Red Cross headquarters is expected to begin in the fall.

Cover photo: Reconstruction of the former Red Cross headquarters in Dísz Square begins in the fall (Photo: National Hauszmann Program)