One hundred and fifty years ago, in 1872, the Ludovica Academy, the military school for the training of officer cadets, was opened. The 1808 Diet decided to start Hungarian officer training, but the education actually started only 64 years later. The academy's own building in the 8th District was already built between 1830 and 1836 from public donations, according to the plans of Mihály Pollack, but the classicist palace was unused for decades. However, a law of 1872 once again ordered the establishment of the Hungarian Royal Hungarian Defense Academy.
Although the history of Budapest's Jews is as old as the city itself, it is less well-known how many places we can find memories of the community and how many houses preserve stories from the Middle Ages to the 21st century. The tour guide of the Buda Castle Walks of the Castle Headquarters has now provided an insight into this during the Shalom, Buda! castle walk to Pestbuda.
One of the large-scale masterpieces of Art Nouveau school architecture is bounded by three streets, Lenhossék, Vendel and Balázs Béla. Its main facade is so huge that people have to walk at least 50 metres away from it to admire its beauty. When it was completed, it stood out among the single-story houses in central Ferencváros. Nowadays, it is mostly surrounded by modern residential buildings, and perhaps there would be a residential building in its place too if it had not been given a new function a few years ago.
At the end of November 1887, the people of Budapest could see a miracle that had not been seen before. A carriage moved by itself, it was not pulled by a horse or a steam locomotive. Although this vehicle ran on rails, the cars were pulled by horses in the city and huge steam locomotives on the railways. The first tram had a lower pantograph and travelled at a speed of 10 kilometres per hour, and was accompanied by a police officer at Oktogon.
Thirty-six square metre flats with a room and kitchen, into which families of 4-5 people moved, there was only one water tap per three apartments in the corridor. This was provided by the Kén Street model workers' housing estate, handed over 125 years ago, in 1897. Compared to the housing conditions of the time, a new home here really represented progress, but the 96 flats handed over at that time remained a drop in the sea of misery. The microdistrict, later known as Kis-Dzsumbuj, was demolished a few years ago.
Hugó Máltás is one of our lesser-known architects, even though he had an extremely long career and life: he died at the age of ninety-four, in 1922. The fact that his name did not enter the public consciousness can be attributed to his much more busy contemporaries, primarily Miklós Ybl. However, Máltás also designed quite a lot, especially during the period of Romanticism. A summary of his works is presented below.
In Budapest, several of the previously destroyed buildings of historical importance have been recreated in recent years, but due to the lack of skilled craftsmen, the implementation was a huge challenge. The reconstructions currently underway and planned in the future will be helped by the fact that starting next year, a training course will be launched in which these crafts, which also require artistic talent, can be mastered at a high level - it was announced at the Hauszmann Foundation's conference in Buda Castle on Thursday.
When the predecessor of today's Petőfi Bridge was completed in 1937, there was hardly any traffic on it, as the Buda side was largely undeveloped. It was only given a short time as it was destroyed eight years later along with the other Danube crossings in Budapest. When the reconstruction of the bridges began, it was preceded by the restoration of several crossings, then it was finally handed over only in 1952. The new structure was three metres wider, and it also had a bicycle track, which was also important at the time because many people used it to go to work since cars were not allowed for private use.
Aviation became available to civilians after World War I. New flights appeared one after another in the passenger and mail traffic of European countries, and more and more cities were connected by aeroplanes. However, Budapest could only join air traffic later, because the ban on flights that hit Hungary based on the Treaty of Trianon remained in force until 17 November 1922.
The garden of the Hungarian National Museum is a symbolic place, the emblematic location of the events of 15 March 1848, which earned its name: the garden of the nation. It is one of Budapest's most popular public parks, which was already a popular resting place for city residents in the 19th century. In the Museum Garden, visitors can see the statues of famous writers and heroes of liberty, among its oldest trees is the Japanese acacia, which already saw the funeral of Lajos Kossuth in 1894, and it is where the Paul Street boys played in Ferenc Molnár's famous novel. Pestbuda's video reveals how much people had to pay to sit on the bench in the past, what the future Queen of Albania did here and how long 15 March has been celebrated in the garden of freedom and love.
The elegant arches of Margit Bridge are one of Budapest's jewels. This graceful and beautiful structure was also destroyed by the Germans in World War II. The bridge was rebuilt in two parts, the southern side was handed over 75 years ago: it was open to the public from 16 November 1947.
Lechner is a well-known name in the world of architecture and engineering: the former is mainly due to Ödön Lechner, and the latter to Lajos Lechner. Despite the same family name, they were not related, and their artistic and technical talent developed independently of each other. Lajos, who died 125 years ago, moved on a completely different path than Ödön, who was a good decade younger than him. Take a look at a summary of what Hungary and especially Budapest, owes to him.
In a quiet green area of Buda, on Szilfa Street in the 2nd District, the building of the Franciscan order can be found, which also houses a kindergarten and a day care centre for the elderly. The house was completely renovated and remodelled this year, the slate roof was replaced, and its ceremonial inauguration took place a few days ago.
Lovers of literature must have thought many times about the circumstances under which a masterpiece of their favourite author was born. In what environment was that particular poem or novel written, in what state of mind was the poet or writer, did he work in a coffee house, or did he write down the famous lines and sentences at home, or sitting in the open air, in the shade of a tree. Pestubda now presents Kálmán Mikszáth's home on Lónyay Street, where the writer wrote several novels.
The asphalt track of the Chain Bridge has been completed in the past few days, and the load testing has already been carried out. This is the umpteenth roadway of the bridge, and it has probably changed the most in the last nearly 175 years.
The development of a large city is always accompanied by the demolition of buildings, as old ones are replaced by new ones that already meet modern needs. Mátyás Zitterbarth Jr., who created in the first half of the 19th century, largely fell victim to this phenomenon. However, he was a brilliant architect, which is proven by the fact that the mayors of the city of Pest entrusted him with the design of important public buildings. Pestbuda now presents his demolished and still-standing works.
Gas heating in Budapest was only built en masse in the 1970s, and after that, it became so popular that it was much easier to sell such apartments than those with electric or district heating. Due to the significant increase in energy prices, the way of heating apartments in the capital will likely have to be changed again. But take a look at what they used to light and how our ancestors heated in the past century and a half.
Hermina Road, which marks the eastern border of City Park, is primarily known for its churches: the Hermine Chapel, which also gives its name, and the Church of the Immaculate Conception on the corner of Ajtósi Dürer Way. However, between the two hides a lower, yet dignified-looking building, which was originally built by the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary and handed over ninety-five years ago.
In Budapest, at the corner of Bérkocsis and Bodzafa Streets in the Józsefváros district - at the intersection of today's Gutenberg Square, Scheiber Sándor and Somogyi Béla Streets - in October 1877, a solemn event took place that was rare even in the world of the time. The rabbinical seminary, in which Israelite students began their studies, opened its doors to the Hungarian Jewish people.
Sixty thousand people showed up at the inauguration of the Kossuth Statue that day, wreaths were laid by the country's top leaders, representatives of Hungarian settlements, the delegation of the United States and the city of Turin, representatives of countless foreign countries, but the Catholic Church was left out, and members of the Czechoslovak, Yugoslav, and Romanian embassy did not participate either. The monument was inaugurated 95 years ago today, on 6 November 1927, but the event was accompanied by huge controversies.
Péterfy Sándor Street is one of the characteristic streets of Külső-Erzsébetváros, the so-called Csikágó [Chicago, written as it is pronounced in Hungarian] quarter. It owes its fame mostly to its hospital and the events that took place there in 1956, but its namesake, the Hungarian "Father of teachers", also lived here. Its characteristic streetscape consists of residential buildings with circular corridors built during the Dualism, but it is also in contact with the country's first official kindergarten teacher training institute, a former brewery warehouse and a former market square. Take a look at what this street is all about.
In the 1960s, experts assumed with horror that a time bomb was ticking in the buildings of Budapest. A hotel ceiling crashed in, an apartment building began to crack incredibly fast right in front of an architecture professor. Bauxite concrete was responsible, so they searched and examined all the affected buildings in the capital. All this happened 55 years ago.
Although his name lives on in the public consciousness as a hermit of Eger, Géza Gárdonyi was a regular figure in the cultural and literary life of Budapest at the turn of the 19th century. He was an eyewitness to the development of the city, as a journalist he reported for years from the Old House of Representatives, he visited the famous artist's salon of the Fesztys, but he was also considered a regular guest at the Centrál, the Valéria or the New York Café. Pestbuda now remembers Géza Gárdonyi, who died 100 years ago today.
Around the Day of the Dead, many of us visit the graves of our loved ones, and at this time we can discover that the cemetery is also a repository of real works of art. At the beginning of the 20th century, Art Nouveau, which broke with classical forms, permeated this area as well, and artists tried to offer new solutions to those who ordered tombstones. One of the most enthusiastic of them was the sculptor Richárd Füredi, who together with two of his colleagues organised an exhibition to introduce his works reflecting the new taste to the general public.
By the beginning of the 1870s, the first railway station in Pest - the predecessor of Nyugati (Western), then known as Pest Station Building - was no longer able to handle the ever-increasing railway traffic smoothly. The owner railway company started the expansion, but then it turned out that the building stood in the way of the planned Outer Ring Road. Therefore, the old hall was "halved" and a new railway station was built over its northern part. The Nyugati Railway Station, as it is known today, was handed over on 28 October 1877, i.e., 145 years ago.
Large-scale construction had been going on in Ráday Street, and especially Markusovszky Square, in recent years, the veil has recently been lifted: the new building of the Ráday Dormitory, which burned down in early 2019, has been completed. The works also included the renovation of the original centre, so an entire block of buildings was reborn in the heart of Ferencváros. Old and new blend together harmoniously, perfectly expressing the Christian values prevailing between the walls.
The most important Hungarian railway bridge was handed over on 23 October 1877 on the southern border of Budapest at the time. It served railway traffic for only 36 years. The construction of the original structure was accompanied by many disputes, and several lawsuits were started after the investment was completed.
One of the symbolic locations of the 1956 revolution in the capital was the Hungarian Radio building on Bródy Sándor Street. It was here that the flame of freedom was ignited for the first time in Pest, which spread not only to significant areas of the capital, but also to many other parts of the country, and even to some settlements beyond the border. Pestbuda now revives what happened at the Radio in the recollections of those who themselves were there during the fighting or took part in the siege.
Although the party office with a dark past has been continuously deteriorating for years in the former Köztársaság, today's II. János Pál pápa Square, it has not yet been possible to demolish or rebuild it. Moreover, its immediate surroundings were recently declared life-threatening and closed, so instead of being converted into a residential building as planned, the socialist realism style building continues to remind us of the bloody events of the 20th century and the 1956 revolution.
Several well-known symbols of oppression of Hungary and Budapest stood in the centre of the capital even in the decades after the Austro-Hungarian Compromise. One is the Citadella fortress built to intimidate the city after the defeat of the War of Independence on top of Gellért Hill, and the other is the huge New Building, also known as the prison of soldiers of the 1848 national army, with a bad memory, on the site of today's Szabadság Square. Budapest acquired these two military facilities in October 1897. The New Building was demolished in a short time, but they could not do anything with the Citadella for decades.