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.
The palace of Liszt Academy in Liszt Ferenc Square was handed over on 12 May 1907, just 115 years ago. One of the most important buildings in the field of music was designed by the excellent architects Kálmán Giergl and Flóris Korb, but the outstanding craftsmen of the age also took part in the works. The architects worked on the plans for years to erect a modern building decorated with Hungarian elements according to the customer's request.
We can count on the help of paramedics in Budapest for 135 years now. The Budapest Volunteer Ambulance Association started its operation on 10 May 1887 in today's Szent István Square, but soon after, they were able to move into their new headquarters on Markó Street. The paramedics initially rode in horse-drawn carriages, but in 1902, 120 years ago, they already rushed in an electric car to help those in trouble.
Finding and viewing pieces of the architectural heritage of a city with a long history is an eternal tourist hit. Budapest stands out in this area mostly with the legacy of dualism and the two world wars: almost everyone have encountered the names of Miklós Ybl, Imre Steindl or Ödön Lechner, but if we dig deeper, it is impossible to list how many undeservedly lesser-known talents contributed to the decoration of the Hungarian capital. The building of the Buda Postal Palace, which adorns the south-western side of Széll Kálmán Square, is also connected to such a genius: a remarkable volume came out this year about Gyula Sándy's life and work, both from a professional and a layman's point of view.
Another sculpture with a long history was renewed in the capital: the Immaculata statue in Krisztinaváros, erected 320 years ago in 1702 - the oldest public sculpture in Budapest - has been replaced by a copy since 1928, and in the meantime this work has also needed to be restored. The work was carried out at the Department of Restoration of the Hungarian University of Fine Arts recently, and yesterday the sculpture was placed at the Krisztina Square erection site.
The statue of Ferenc Rákóczi II has been standing on Kossuth Square for 85 years now. Its erection was decided on the 200th anniversary of his death, and two years later, in 1937, the statue stood. Since then, only the inscriptions have been changed, sometimes for political or grammatical reasons.
Today, we take it for granted to buy a plane ticket and simply get on the plane. Few think about since when we can do this. And now we are celebrating an anniversary: our predecessors were first able to board a passenger plane in Budapest 100 years ago. Since then, the industry and tourism have also undergone tremendous development: almost 16 million passengers turned up at Liszt Ferenc Airport in the year before the epidemic.
The Austro-Hungarian Compromise, established in 1867, ushered in one of Hungary's heyday. Under the Compromise of 155 years ago, a dual system was created - hence our common word dualism, which is used to characterise the period up to 1918. This upswing has brought about great changes: as a result of industrialisation, more and more people have moved to the cities, and the population of Budapest has grown exponentially. But what was the capital like in the second half of the 1860s?
The hot air balloon lookout opened in Városliget is not the first such contraption in Budapest: it was already possible to rise above the city with a balloon at the millennium exhibition. However, the balloon, Turul, launched 120 years ago on 1 May 1902, was not intended to entertain the public, but to do research. In addition to meteorological observations,we can also thank it for a number of aerial photographs, which show how Budapest looked from above at the beginning of the 20th century.
Television is nearly a hundred-year-old invention that many Hungarian researchers worked on in the beginning. In Hungary, however, work began only in the 1950s to enable Hungarian broadcasting in Hungarian households. The experimental broadcasts started in 1956, and after the revolution, on the evening of 26 April 1957, a film was shown on television, but the first "official" broadcast, the Heroes' Square parade, was broadcast by the Hungarian Television only on 1 May 1957, for political reasons.
In the vicinity of Szabadság Square, the Postatakarékpénztár [Postal Savings Bank], which was built at the turn of the century, has been being renovated for months. In addition to Ödön Lechner's main work, three other works by the master are also being restored: the Museum of Applied Arts, the Balás Sipeki Villa next to the Városliget and the Drechsler Palace on Andrássy Avenue. While the latter are undergoing a larger-scale change visible from the outside, in the case of the Postal Savings Bank, its internal box office will get back its original dome. Once upon a time, this was also characterized by an imaginative ornamentation similar to the façade, but it was remodelled over time according to the needs of its use, but it was not spared by the storms of history.
One of the most charming open-air venues in the city centre is the Museum Garden, which once again shines in its full splendour: looking at its sculptures and memorial plaques, or relaxing on one of the museum’s steps and benches, can reminds us of the rich past of this special historical site. This extraordinary richness is illustrated by a gap-filling publication, the Museum Garden Guide, which - worthy of its title - guides us through the garden, recalling the events of the past, with many surprises in store for the reader.
One of the newest buildings of the Buda Castle connects the Hunyadi courtyard with the Csikós courtyard, starting next to the Royal Guard. Walking along the Hauszmann ramp that is the same as the original, we can not only admire the panorama of Krisztinaváros, but also discover exciting details: the walls of the building preserve the memories of several eras.
Budapest's traffic was at a crossroads 60 years ago as well as now. Experts sought answers to questions about how much the then outdated public transport network needs to be developed and how to prepare the city for the expected car traffic. Studies have also helped to make these decisions. Based on a work published 60 years ago, we present the transport dilemmas of Budapest at that time.
To this day, Törley champagne is one of the most famous Hungarian products, an almost obligatory element of the celebrations in Hungary, and the brand is also present in many foreign countries. Like almost everything, the roots of this factory date back to the second half of the 19th century, the period of dualism: József Törley founded his plant in Budafok in 1882, exactly one hundred and forty years ago. However, not only the drink made there is of a very high standard, but also the family's buildings in Budapest.