At the beginning of the 20th century, Hungarian-style schools were built throughout the country, mainly due to Ferenc Baumgarten and Zsigmond Herczeg, architects of the Ministry of Religion and Public Education. Interesting brick strips and decorative elements from folk art are common on the facades - they were used under the influence of Ödön Lechner's buildings. However, Papszi - as his close acquaintances called the master - himself also designed school buildings, although the Szent László Grammar School is actually a joint work with József Vágó.

Portrait of Ödön Lechner (Source: Vasárnapi Ujság, 6 February 1898)

Kőbánya started to develop rapidly in the second half of the 19th century, which was also reflected in the growth of the population. In educational institutions, however, it was far behind, and until 1904 it did not have a grammar school at all. Secondary education was launched that year at the Civil Service that was then in the 10th District, but this institution proved to be very short-lived. Therefore, in 1907, the Ministry of Culture re-established a grammar school, which was officially called the Main State Secondary Grammar School of the 10th District. It took the name of Szent László (St. Ladislaus) in 1921 and still bears it today.

The grammar school on a 1928 postcard (Source:

Education took place in the first years in the houses at 10, 12 and 13 Füzér Street, but due to the increase in the number of students, it became necessary to build a new, larger building. The plot was acquired at the intersection of Belső Jászberényi (today Kőrösi Csoma Sándor) Road and Indóház (today Ónodi) Street. The design was entrusted to Ödön Lechner and József Vágó, who created a V-plan building, adapting to the lines of the streets. The two wings are approximately the same length, connected by an arcuate central block. Due to the number of students, both tracts have been upgraded to three floors, although the end of the wing has only one floor from Ónodi Street and two floors from Kőrösi Csoma Sándor Road. The undisturbed nature of the teaching was ensured by placing all the classrooms on the courtyard side, so less noise entered the building.

Floor plan of the building (Source:

At first glance, this is no longer resembles the well-known Lechner-style: the gables with interesting lines are missing, and a significant section of the facade is closed by a strongly protruding main ledge supported by pairs of wall pillars. These divide the building vertically, and the narrow windows grouped in threes also rhyme with the vertical aspiration. The central role of the corner block, on the other hand, is indicated by the thickening of the wall pillars and the ornamental details marching over the main ledge.

The building seen from the Kőrösi Csoma Sándor Road (Source: Csilla Halász - Mihály Ludmann - Zsófia Viczián: Lechner's Works, Látóhatár Publishing House, Budapest, 2018.)

Even from the first plans of the building, it can be deduced that the will of Vágó prevailed in the cooperation. However, he paid tribute to his exemplary companion and applied ornaments from Hungarian folk art to the facade: tulips, pomegranates and peacocks, among others, can be recognised in the reliefs, and the part of the corner block consists of drinking bottles. In addition to some ornaments, Lechner's monogram also appeared. The function of the building is indicated by "tondos" (circular ornaments) containing figures of children. The flat dome that gives the roof of the corner block is also very typical. At the foot of its attic is the inscription: ÁLL. GIMNÁZIUM (STATE GRAMMAR SCHOOL) (originally MAIN GRAMMAR SCHOOL) and the year of construction: 1914.

Monogram of Ödön Lechner on one of the tulip ornaments of the building (Source: Látóhatár Kiadó)

Representative interiors are also concentrated in the corner block: the arched foyer on the ground floor, which shows the influence of Josef Hoffmann's school of applied arts in Vienna, and the two-storey high ceremonial hall above it. Due to its special, ornate design, the building is also a popular filming location. For example, several scenes from the 1999 film by István Szabó called Sunlight were recorded here.

Hungarian decorative elements can also be seen around the entrance of the building (Source: Csilla Halász - Mihály Ludmann - Zsófia Viczián: Lechner's Works, Látóhatár Publishing House, Budapest, 2018.)

Teaching began within the walls of the Grammar School in the autumn of 1914, but Ödön Lechner no longer lived to see this, he died in the summer of that year. It can be called almost symbolic that the first world war broke out at that time, which also marked the end of the efforts to create the Hungarian architecture form.