According to today's Magyar Közlöny, the Hungarian State exercises its right of pre-emption and buys the 12th district 3 Szilassy street Haggenmacher villa. They decided this in the 1013/2022. (I. 25.). decree. 

Balázs Fürjes, the Secretary of State for Budapest and the development of the metropolitan agglomeration, said on his Facebook page that the villa had been abandoned for years. “Citizens carry the values of Buda in their hearts. Now there is an unparalleled alliance for the salvation of the host of God: civilians concerned about the fate of our local values, local patriots, several local council representatives and myself have spoken out to save the monumental villa and its once magnificent park, ” the secretary of state writes.

The Haggenmacher villa has been destroyed for years (Photo: Balázs Fürjes / Facebook)

Fürjes reminded that the Ownership Committee of the local council of Budapest had decided to sell the monument last November, and the contract of sale had already been signed. "If the Haggenmacher villa becomes privately owned, the new owner would use it for business purposes, for profit - without the involvement of the Buda community," he declared.

He also highlighted that the intention to sell the monument had caused enormous outrage in the Highlands. As indicated, last week Gergely Karácsony asked Mayor for information about the sale and drew his attention to the right of pre-emption of the Hungarian State.

The villa was built by Károly Haggenmacher between 1884 and 1885 (Photo: Balázs Fürjes / Facebook)

The Secretary of State emphasized that the property to be purchased for HUF 508 million will remain in public ownership and, after careful renovation of the monument, will only be available for community purposes. As he added, it can no longer be sold on a commercial basis.

The predecessor of the villa was built on the estate of Johann Karl von Stettner, a court councilor, and was already a guest house in the 1760s. The inn is named after a pond, called the Istenszeme-pond. The small lake was fed by the water of the nearby Disznófő spring. The restaurant was initially known in German as “Zum Auge Gottes” and then became known as the “Eye of God”. The inn was one of the favorite places for hikers in the first half of the 19th century.

Lajos Kossuth stayed in the inn in Zugliget in May 1837. As he wrote in his notes dated 6 April, 1837: "prepayment for the summer apartment in Zugliget is HUF 7 30 pennies", on 23 April he wrote: "then I went out into the mountain". By dawn on 5 May, Kossuth was arrested here. A memorial plaque refers to the event today.

The sign reminds of the capture of Lajos Kossuth (Photo: Balázs Fürjes / Facebook)

It was also possible to swim in the lake next to the villa, and in winter the locals even went ice skating here. (Unfortunately, the small lake is now swampy and dry.)

The villa burned down in 1846 but was restored. In 1860, Károly Haggenmacher became the owner, and between 1884 and 1885 he built a completely new villa in its place. The huge and once beautiful park was created by him, and chestnut trees were planted on the shores of the lake at this time.

The building in 1968 (Photo:

Haggenmacher's heirs gave the property to the capital in 1941 as part of an exchange. From 1949, the Kossuth Lajos Children's Home and Primary School and a small Kossuth Museum operated within its walls. In 1990, both the orphanage and the museum moved out of the house. It has since been unused, although it was given monument protection in 2001.  

According to the plans, the community use of the state-owned building will be decided together with the population, and the local government and, of course, the people of Buda will be involved in the planning.

Cover phot: The Haggenmacher villa remains the property of the people of Buda, it is intended for community use (Photo: Balázs Fürjes / Facebook)