The construction of the Hungarian National Museum began 185 years ago. Alfalfa was previously grown on the then suburban plot, which had already been purchased for the museum in 1813. The Parliament voted for a huge amount of 500,000 HUF for the construction, and it began on 22 June 1837.
The Déli Pályaudvar [Southern Railway Station] has been serving rail traffic since 1861. The current one is its third station building since its opening. The most interesting was probably the second building, which was handed over 60 years ago, in 1962, and which stood in its original form for barely 13 years. We remember this first “modern Déli”.
Between today's Vörösmarty Square and József Nádor Square, on the site of the Gerbeaud confectionery and its surroundings, there was a very valuable plot. 240 years ago, the Thirtieth Office (Customs House) was built here, which was considered old-fashioned and demolished after 70 years. After that, several people wanted to use the area: Count István Széchenyi would have built the National Casino, the city of Pest would have built the new town hall on the site. The plot was finally divided into four parts in the 19th century. The houses built here still stand today, valuable pieces of the architectural heritage of the inner city.
95 years ago, hikers in Buda surprisedly found on Svábhegy that their favourite, century-old tree had disappeared overnight. The excursion place without the beech tree called Normafa from 19 June 1927 was no longer the same as before.
In the huge tenement house in the centre of Pest, at the intersection of Károly Boulevard and Dohány Street, renovation works will soon begin: it will get its characteristic towers that were demolished after World War II. It is a building that is especially important from the cityscape point of view, and in addition to the interesting roof elements, there are also large reliefs on it. The huge facade of the house is a very high-quality work from the beginning of the 20th century.
For more than two hundred years, Városliget has been a popular excursion destination for people from Pest, where the gates of some restaurants have always been open to people who are tired of walking and boating. The golden age of the Liget fell by the time of the millennium: the millennium exhibition of 1896 was attended by nearly six million visitors, and accordingly catering services switched to a higher level.
Do you know where the Burgerberg or the Feldhut or the Reiche Reid are in Buda? In fact, when they say they have to travel to Dreihotter, no one thinks of getting on bus 21. Today, the districts of Buda bear beautiful, sonorous and sometimes ancient sounding Hungarian names, but this has only been the case since 1847, when almost every area of Buda was renamed in one fell swoop. It was the famous dűlőkeresztelő [ridge baptism].
Ágoston Pollack, the son of the outstanding classicist architect, Mihály Pollack, designed several public and private buildings in Pest and Buda. Most of it has been demolished and rebuilt, many of his plans have survived only in the form of documentation. Ágoston Pollack also collaborated with Miklós Ybl and his own father, for example on the expansion of Szent Rókus Hospital. Ágoston Pollack's activity and appreciation were relegated to the background in the shadow of his father's masterpieces, although at the sight of his plans we can say that he was one of the outstanding architects of his time.
The Danube is still an important trade route to this day, but in the first half of the 19th century the navigable waterway was even more important. Among other things, salt was transported on it, for the storage of which and the administration of the related taxes, a Salt Office was erected on the banks of the Danube in Pest. South of it, in the building of the Thirtieth Office, customs duties for commercial goods could be handled. However, the development of the city forced their demolition, and the József Nádor Square was established in its place.
A major event in the life of the Museum of Transport took place 35 years ago, after 8 years of construction, the new wing of the building was handed over. Although the museum's severe lack of space was alleviated, the new wing, which was modern in the era, did not solve all the problems.
150 years ago, there was no unified Budapest, but there was already a unified plan for the development of the future capital.
The Trianon peace treaty brought ruthless provisions to Hungary from a military point of view as well: the number of the army was maximized in an extremely small number of 35,000, the number of weapons was determined, and the Hungarian military industry was essentially abolished. With the restrictive provisions, the victorious powers wanted to ensure the military superiority of the surrounding countries, and on the other hand, they wanted to ensure that Hungary did not have the opportunity to question the borders drawn in 1920. The Military Provisions Act came into force in 1922, and we commemorate that a hundred years later.
Already in the time of King Matthias, the Hegyvidék wells provided water to the Buda Castle, but Queen Elizabeth and Palatine Joseph also drank water coming from Svábhegy - revealed at the new exhibition on the relationship between Hegyvidék and the water, which opened on Wednesday in the building of the Hegyvidék Local History Collection next to the Horse Railway Cultural and Event Centre.
King Franz Joseph decided 125 years ago to donate ten statues to the nation, and he himself would cover the costs of making public works of art that would depict the famous personalities of the Hungarians. The first two of these monuments were inaugurated 120 years ago on the Kodály Körönd, but today only the first of the statues of Miklós Zrínyi and Gábor Bethlen can be seen in its original location. On the occasion of the anniversary, we followed the fate of the statues of the Kodály Körönd in the last century.
The new exhibition building of the Hungarian Museum of Architecture and Monument Protection Documentation Centre is in fact an exhibition object in itself. The institution has not had its own exhibition space for more than half a century, but now it has got a truly authentic one: a modern villa where visitors can not only get information about this style from wall texts and pictures, but also perceive its features in the space.
The residential house at 17 Üllői Road, on the corner of Erkel Street, does not stand out from its surroundings, it has no special decorations, it is proportionate and simple. Yet it is important and worth presenting because it was the home and meeting place of prominent personalities who had a tremendous impact on Hungarian literature, theatrical life, fine arts, and architecture.
Walking in the Buda Castle, between the one- and two-storey houses of the narrow Országház Street, we would not even think that one of them hides a huge ceremonial hall. Although it is actually logical, as the name of the street already suggests that the greatest lords of the country once appeared here, and a representative hall was built for them. The life of the adventurous room took a turning point at the end of May 1929, as it was restored to its old glory after decades of neglect.
The Fiumei Road Cemetery deserves special attention not only as a resting place for the country's greats, but also the sculptures and works of art belonging to the tombs are invaluable. From now on, visitors can use their phones to get to know them more thoroughly: they can read about the most outstanding sculptures and their creators with the help of a QR code.
The former house at 6 Váci Street is named after the huge statue of St. Christopher of the pharmacy in it, after which the area in front of the building was called Kristóf Square. However, according to the plans of József Hild, the building, which was expanded to two and then three floors, housed several other shops in addition to the pharmacy, including the fashion store of the clothing retailer Jakab Rothberger, which also won the title of imperial and royal court supplier.
The one-storey listed building at 9 Országház Street will be renovated. One of the most researched residential buildings in the Buda Castle District was built in the 15th century, then rebuilt in the Baroque style in the 17th century. It underwent another major transformation in the 19th century. The Gothic sedilia in the front door of the house are of outstanding value in the Castle District, but its facade is also remarkable.
The name of the Templom (Church) Square in Kispest is eloquent, as three denominations also built their churches in this beautiful place: the Catholic, the Reformed and the Lutheran. The latter is the newest, although it is no longer young, since it was inaugurated on 22 May 1927, just ninety-five years ago. The special shape of its tower faithfully reflects the approach of the age of its construction, and its interior reflects Lutheran traditions.
The new building of the Museum of Ethnography in the Városliget was ceremoniously handed over on Sunday. It is the first headquarters of the institution that was built for museum purposes during its hundred and fifty years of existence, although plans have been made for it earlier. Nearly a hundred years ago, in 1923, a tender was held for which various plans were submitted.
Once again, the issue of the Aquincum Bridge is on the agenda, and the capital is asking the public for their opinion on what the new Danube crossing should look like and between which areas should it create transport connections. Although its construction is not expected in the near future, as it is conditional on the construction of the section of the M0 motorway between roads 10 and 11, and it is also preceded by the Galvani Bridge, but a suggestion has already been debated: alternatives include a plan of a car-free bridge.
The Józsefváros railway station, the third of Budapest's railway stations, was originally built for a private railway that later went bankrupt. The company was taken over by the state, and this decision brought about significant changes in Hungarian transport policy.
It was damaged in World War II, so one of the charming villas on Andrássy Avenue was demolished, which was built as the family house of the director of the Western Railway company in the early 1880s. The building was bought by the Hungarian state at the beginning of the 20th century, which later handed it over to a female monastic order, so it is not surprising that a chapel was built there at that time. After the war, the decision-makers did not spare the villa, building a modern residential house in its place.
The classicist corner building at 13 Váci Street and 15 Régiposta Street is the oldest still standing house on Váci Street, and according to research, it was the first three-storey residential building in the capital. The first art shop in Pest opened its doors here, then in the second half of the 19th century, it housed one of the most prestigious fashion salons in Europe, the Alter and Kiss Fashion House. Kálmán Mikszáth was a famous tenant. The house has undergone several mutilations over the past 215 years, but thanks to the restorations, much of its original beauty is still preserved today.
Among the innovators of Hungarian painting at the turn of the century, we consider Béla Iványi-Grünwald, who was born 155 years ago. He studied at the Mintarajziskola [Design School] on Andrássy Avenue, later becoming a popular and defining figure in Budapest's art life, one of the founders and core members of the Fészek Klub [Nest Club]. He is also the founder of the Nemzeti Szalon [National Salon], an association of artists dissatisfied with official art policy, with its headquarters in Erzsébet Square. When he died at János Hospital in 1940, his contemporaries said goodbye not only to a talented artist but also to an always cheerful social man.
A foreign tourist may not even believe that Gellért Hill was not created by human hands. Towering in the middle of the city, it offers stunning views, so the idea that it was built for tourism may be obvious. Yet it is a gift of nature, and the view could be used not only for pleasure but also for military purposes. This justified the construction of a fortress on the hilltop called the Citadel. The building will be completely reborn thanks to the Várkapitányság, we now have the opportunity to see the work in progress.
A bridge was designed in the 1970s to replace the former Lágymányosi, now Rákóczi Bridge, and a tender was also announced for the task. The winning plan would have been a concrete bridge, but ideas later changed about both the structure and the role of the bridge, so it was finally built only decades later, in a completely different form. The results of the first competition were presented to the general public 50 years ago, in May 1972.
Ede Telcs is an outstanding figure in Hungarian sculpture, and his works in Budapest include representative public monument, tombstone and architectural sculpture. His works adorning the Hungarian capital were mostly placed in City Park and the National Graveyard on Fiumei Road, as well as in the city centre. His work is intertwined with the life of the famous personalities, mainly with the architect Ignác Alpár, of Budapest which was developing into a world city.