One of the most popular tram lines, the last of which was the iconic tram 58, was discontinued 45 years ago, on 17 January 1977. One of the first tram lines on the Buda side was the one in Zugliget, which started in 1896, the year of the millennium, and although it was replaced by the 58V replacement bus after the 1977 shutdown, then the 158 bus, and today the 291 bus, to this day, many are waiting for the revival of the tram line in the capital.
Palatine Joseph [József nádor in Hungarian] died 175 years ago in Buda. Although the archduke born in Florence was destined for a different career, he did much for Hungary, Pest and Buda from 1795 as a governor, then from 1796 as Palatine until his death in 1847. On the anniversary of his death, we put together a bouquet of what Budapest owes to him.
Between Astoria and Blaha Lujza Square, in the metro tunnel under construction, but on the already drilled section, a water intrusion took place in 1967, which shocked the people of Budapest and raised questions about the possible safety of the metro. The unexpected sand and water intrusion 55 years ago not only caused alarm among prospective passengers, but also experts feared that the residential buildings on Rákóczi Road could be endangered. After averting the danger, the builders tried to reassure the people of the capital that there would be no need to fear similar accidents in the finished metro tunnel.
A house, respecting the historical past, which closely matches the image of the Castle District and the UNESCO World Heritage Site, will be the new conference centre of the Pallas Athene Domus Meriti Foundation in Szentháromság Square, said Ádám Reisz, head of Rapa Architects, the designers of the building. He also explained that the starting point for the reconstruction of the facade was the pre-war state, as there is a wealth of visual information available about this age on which they could based it.
On Pestbuda, we recently introduced the Mol Tower under construction, which will be the first real high-rise building in Budapest. It will be no real skyscraper, because we call that buildings with a height of up to 150 meters, and the Mol Tower, albeit just by a little, remains below that limit. High-rise buildings have been designed in Budapest for almost 100 years, and several architects would have surpassed the 96-meter-high height of the Parliament and St. Stephen's Basilica.
The new headquarters of MOL will be completed later this year, and will be the first skyscraper in the capital. Together with the technical equipment placed on the roof, a 143-metre high-rise building will be constructed in Buda, in the Lágymányos District, but a building of a similar size was planned on the banks of the Danube in Pest between the world wars. In the plan of Jenő Lechner's Tower of Hungarian History, the everyday tasks of a tourist service centre and the sublime functions of a national pantheon appeared at the same time.
When the Central Market Hall in Fővám Square was handed over in 1897, the leaders of the city believed that the process of food industry development and freight transport, which had been going on for decades at the time, had come to an end. Steam mills, slaughterhouses and meat plants were lined up along Soroksári Road, and the needs of retailers and wholesalers were fully met with the establishment of the Danube Coast Freight Station and the construction of public warehouses between the Southern Railway Link Bridge and Fővám Square. However, it soon became clear that this was far from the case, and there was an urgent need to ensure the daily flow of goods through a wholesale market.
In Budapest, from the 1960s onwards, the narrow streets of the Downtown were completely occupied by cars and barely accessible to pedestrians. At first, cars were banned only from Váci Street, but 45 years ago, car traffic was stopped in several Downtown streets, and from then on, only pedestrians could use them.
The Magyar Divatcsarnok [Hungarian Fashion Hall] moved from Rákóczi Road to Andrássy Avenue in 1957, to the former building of the Párisi Nagy Áruház [Párisi Department Store], which was nationalized after the war and used as a book storage. In the 1956 revolution, the store of the Fashion Hall at 72 Rákóczi Road was so damaged that a new location had to be found. The building on Andrássy Avenue was available, only 10 wagons of unsold books had to be disposed of.
In the 1980s, the private sector also played an increasingly important role in the socialist system. The change in taxiing came 40 years ago, and private taxis have been able to work in the capital since 1982. At first, the passengers were transported by Ladas, Zastavas and Dacias.
The Hilton Hotel, handed over 45 years ago, was built on the site of the city’s most beautiful Baroque monument, a Jesuit dormitory damaged in World War II. Only the western wall of the old building facing András Hess Square remains. Some say that the modern building has been incorporated into the castle environment, others believe that it disturbs the harmonious view of the Matthias Church and the Fisherman's Bastion with its huge block.
The 660-meter overpass above the BAH junction plays an indispensable role in the traffic of Budapest, as it is actually the gateway to Lake Balaton. The huge bridge was built 45 years ago, and since then tens of millions of people have crossed it to reach Lake Balaton or the Adriatic. However, the construction also came at a price: a total of 73 flats disappeared due to it, and the old customs house was also demolished.
Ice skating is one of the most popular winter sports done by many in Budapest. Few people know, but one of the busiest junctions in the country, Széll Kálmán Square, was once home to a famous and very popular ice rink in Buda with a huge, richly decorated skating hall. By the end of the 1930s, the square had been completely transformed and today we only have pictures and stories of the former famous skating rink and sports fields in Buda.
After the unification of the city, construction works in Budapest started at a dizzying pace, huge, multi-storey houses were erected in a few months, but accidents on construction sites were rare. One of these happened during the construction of the Ferenciek Bazaar, when a falling wall buried eight workers. At the wailing of the injured, the people of Pest flooded the area in no time. Our reminiscent article gives an insight into how the authorities dealt with construction accidents in the 19th century.
We can see another part of the surroundings of the Budavár Palace in the same form as it was once created by the great masters of the turn of the century, the architect Alajos Hauszmann, the sculptor Gyula Jungfer, the sculptors Károly Senyei and Gyula Donáth. Yesterday, the Habsburg Gate, its staircase, and the Fountain of the Fishing Children were handed over, after being renovated together with their surroundings. We visited the site, where we could not only see the demanding restoration of these artistic works, but also see a special festive exhibition as well as an intimate Advent fair.
We headed to one of the most easily accessible heights in Buda: despite its name, Ördög-orom [Devil's Peak] is a nice, excellent excursion place for people used to the city, we don't even have to wear boots. There are plenty of sights and attractions in the area, now we present a small slice of it as a short tour.
The Erkel Theatre was People's Opera, City Theatre, a variety show and the House of Hungarian Culture, later a cinema and then a scene of the Opera House. Its original façade and interiors have been rebuilt over time, and in 110 years, just one thing hasn't changed: it is still the largest permanent stone theatre in the country.
The thousandth anniversary of the Hungarian conquest of the Carpathian Basin provided the basis for the creation of many famous works of art and buildings, as a nation proud of its past lived in an economic heyday. However, the memories of high culture were only a slice of the diverse entertainment industry at the time, and the wider audience also longed for lighter entertainment, which was served by a number of places of amusement. It is interesting how similar they were in some respects.
Széll Kálmán Square has undergone huge changes in recent years and although we have become accustomed to the modern environment, the renovation program actually ended only on Thursday: the gateway connecting the square with Krisztina Boulevard was handed over. The passage was short, but the construction was all the more complicated. Still, it was worth it, as it is another, very big step towards an accessible Budapest.
At the corner of the Nagy templom and Nap Street in Józsefváros is a beautiful house made in the Neo-Renaissance style. It is already important because of its designer, Miklós Ybl, but the client, the First Pest Nursery Association, also makes the building - still operating in education - special.
The designer and contractor were sought for the Margit Bridge in an international design competition. There was a lot of discussion about the location of the bridge, as the second bridge of Budapest, which was still waiting to be united at the time, was imagined by many people elsewhere, in the southern part of the city. The tender was won by a French engineer who also built the bridge, which was very similar to the way we know Margit Bridge today.
There are many monuments in Táncsics Mihály Street in Buda Castle, including the Baroque palace at No. 1, which has played a special role in the field of monument protection: until its restoration in 1970, the National Monument Inspectorate and its successor organizations have operated here until recently. The building has now been sold by the Hungarian state, so it will be given a new function in the future. However, this is no stranger to it: during its long history, it had many different owners who used the palace built in the 18th century differently.
Tibi chocolate, Ropp wafer and Zizi dragee. Generations have known and loved the popular products of the Stühmer Chocolate Factory. How did Frigyes Stühmer create Hungary's first and largest chocolate factory in Józsefváros during the Compromise-period and why did the factory have to move to the neighbouring Ferencváros? The factory was nationalised after World War II, and descendants who moved to Canada tried unsuccessfully to reclaim it in the 1990s, yet the brand name, founded more than 150 years ago, has not been forgotten.
The western side of the Buda Castle has been loud from truck noise in recent years, as the former Royal Riding Hall and the Royal Guard building have been rebuilt as part of the National Hauszmann Program. These beautiful buildings have been completed before, and more recently they have been working on the Csikós Court that surrounds them, which was finally opened to the public in mid-September. We invite the Reader for a short journey, during which we will pass through the court, and the end of our journey will be the also rebuilt, charming Stöckl Stairs.
The building, which houses the Puskin Cinema and was built in 1895 according to the plans of Czigler Győző, has had a cinema in it since 1926, before which the Magyar Világ Café was located on the ground floor of the building. An audio film was first screened in Hungary at the former Fórum film theatre in 1929, although this was almost thwarted by a patent lawsuit.
Budapest gave Pilinszky the experience of the city: when he was young, he absorbed the colours and atmosphere, and although he got to know many big cities in the world (he visited Rome, Paris, London, Vienna or New York), the real remained Budapest for him. The poet, born 100 years ago, spent his infancy in the city centre, in the immediate vicinity of the Károlyi Garden, he lived with his family for long in Molnár Street, he got his first home on Izabella Street at the age of forty. Cafés, editorial offices, bars and cinemas were also important venues for his life and poetry.
Imre Makovecz, a master of organic architecture, designed many churches in addition to many buildings. The plans for the Church of the Ascension in Rákoskert were made between 2008 and 2009, for which the necessary financial resources were not available at that time. However, construction of the church began two years ago and is now nearing completion. The new bell has been placed in its tower these days.
Bertalan Árkay was undoubtedly one of the excellences of modern Hungarian architecture. He made one of his most emblematic works, the Városmajor Heart of Jesus Parish Church, with his father, Aladár Árkay, but he also made his mark in modern villa architecture between the two world wars.
95 years ago today, on 20 November 1926, the mechanically cooled skating rink in City Park was handed over. Thanks to the artificial ice, the season has been extended, allowing ice skating even when the temperature does not drop below zero degrees. The one in City Park was the first artificial ice surface in the country and the second in Europe.
A fine example of historicist architecture is the Church of Saint Vincent de Paul at the intersection of Mester Street and Haller Street in Ferencváros, which was consecrated in 1936, 85 years ago. Its creator was Gáspár Fábián, who, as one of the most outstanding architects of his time, designed about fifty church buildings. The carved sandstone building, modelled on Romanesque churches in northern Italy, can accommodate up to 2,000 people. From the top of the 55-metre tower, an amazing panorama is a delight for those climbing the staircase.