Before World War II, there were three different buildings on the corner plot at the intersection of Szentháromság Street and Országház Street (today's 7-8 Szentháromság Square and 1-3 Szentháromság Street), two of which were destroyed during the siege, and the third suffered serious injuries. For three decades after their demolition, a neglected empty plot stood near one of the capital's most popular tourist destinations, the Mátyás Church.

The houses in a 1909 photo (Source: FSZEK Budapest Collection)

Finally, between 1979 and 1981, the two architects of the Public Building Design Company, György Jánossy and László Laczkovics, designed a modern building to accommodate diplomats returning from abroad and visiting us from other countries. While there were six spacious apartments lined up on the first floor, the Pressinform offices assisting foreign journalists and a hall for events were located on the ground floor.

The former diplomatic residence at the end of 2021 (Photo: Péter Bodó/

It was privatised by the state in 1997, and the new owner has broken up the large apartments and made the building a three-star hotel called Burg Hotel. The hotel welcomed guests until 2019 when the building was purchased by the Pallas Athene Domus Meriti Foundation of the Hungarian National Bank. The demolition permit was issued by the Government Office of the Capital City Budapest last December, and although part of the architectural profession has spoken out in favour of keeping the building, the demolition has largely been completed by now.

Remains of the building - some details can still be recognised (Photos: Péter Bodó/

For the time being, the plot is still covered with reinforced concrete debris several metres high, but after its removal, the construction of a new building reminiscent of the pre-war houses, designed by Ádám Reisz, the architect of RAPA Architects, can begin. It will function as a conference centre, with apartments for performers coming to Hungary from afar. Due to modern needs, therefore, a completely authentic reconstruction will not take place, but the new building will fit harmoniously into the street view.

Design render of the future conference centre (Source: RAPA Architects, Szabolcs Császár)

Cover photo: The location of the demolished Burg Hotel in Szentháromság Square nowadays (Photo: Péter Bodó/