The building of the National Archives is being reborn - There will be an observation deck in the new tower

Hungarian version of the article: Újjászületik az Országos Levéltár épülete – Kilátó lesz az új toronyban

June 27, 2022 at 5:00 PM

The renovation and expansion of the National Archives building in Bécsi kapu square will soon begin, and its iconic tower will be built again, where it will become a lookout point. A visitor and education center will also be created in the new building wing, and a garden and terrace will also be connected to the archive.

The iconic building of the Hungarian National Archives is being renovated based on more than a hundred-year-old plans. Within the framework of the National Hauszmann Program, under the guidance of the Castle Administration, the complete renovation and expansion of the archive's Bécsi kapu square building will soon begin, and the public tender for the design of the building is already open, announced on the Facebook page of the National Hauszmann Program.

As they write, thanks to the development, an area that has been neglected for many decades, closed off from people, will be renewed again at the prominent point of the Buda Castle, with 21st century content, but with an impressive appearance matching the original historical environment.

Postcard from the National Archives in the 1930s (Photo: FSZEK Budapest Collection

The announcement also reports that the Hungarian National Archives will get back the land that was taken during communism. The building wing and building that the legendary architect Samu Pecz indicated in his original plans, but were never realized, will be built on it. A visitor center will be created in the newly built building wing on the empty lot, and public spaces will be created in which it will be possible to hold exhibitions, pedagogical sessions, methodological training and conferences.

The so-called director's accommodation building, which until now only existed in plans, and its gate will be built on the currently empty lot, which are organically connected to the archive building in their external appearance and style.

The original blueprints of the Archives

From the post, we can also learn that the tower damaged in World War II, which was blown up in 1945 instead of being saved is being reborn. The western part of the building connected to the tower will also be restored. The tower, which was damaged due to the destruction caused by the war and then blown up, serves tourist purposes after its reconstruction: the 75-meter-high structure will offer visitors a unique sight in the future.

As they say, a modern elevator in the tower will ensure easy and quick access for visitors. The primary goal is for visitors to get information about Hungary's oldest public collection in addition to viewing the special panorama.

The tower was seriously damaged in 1945 (Photo: FSZEK Budapest Collection)

The building of the National Archives without a tower in 1964 from the Kapistrán square (Photo: Fortepan/Image number: 50723)

The Archives with the reconstructed tower, the Vienna Gate to the left on a 2020 visual plan (Source: National Hauszmann Program)

In addition to the complete mechanical modernization of the main building on Bécsi kapu square, which is now in a dilapidated state, the facade will also be completely renovated, and the wall decorations will be restored. The Archives will also be enriched with a new green surface, and a garden and a terrace will be connected to the renewed building - they write on the Facebook page of the National Hauszmann Program.

Cover photo: The building of the Hungarian National Archives in 1933 (Photo: FSZEK Budapest Collection)

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