Our heritage, Budapest: a city history exhibition opened in FSZEK


King Attila the Hun is an inescapable figure in European history and, according to supporters of the Hun-Hungarian kinship, he is also closely connected to our people. However, his statue did not stand in the country even at the end of the twenties, so in May 1929 – 94 years ago – a large-scale plan was prepared to fill the gap, which would have occupied a significant part of the Vérmező.



It was once an elegant department store, which was called a palace when it was opened, then Corvin on Blaha Lujza tér became a dozen department stores mocked as cold stores, cans, and aluminum chests. After decades of “boxing”, it is slowly regaining its old glory, and according to the plans, its renovation will be completed at the end of the summer.



Tabán, one of the capital’s oldest inhabited districts of Buda, has been hit by various disasters over the centuries, but new life has always sprung up in the area. The last one, XX. however, it did not survive the 19th century town planning. Today, Tabán is one of the largest green surfaces in the inner part of the capital, on which no one wants to build.


Gyula Krúdy in the XIX. arrived in the then rapidly developing Budapest at the end of the 20th century. He was impressed by the millennium exhibition, the world of coffee houses, editorial offices, hotels, and theaters. He admired the city: its bustle, its new buildings, its modernity. He lived in apartments and hotels, then lived on Margaret Island, and spent his last years in Óbuda. We can get to know the scenes of his life from his works: in his writings, he painted a picture of the capital and its inhabitants with a special atmosphere. We visited the lovely places in Budapest of Gyula Krúdy, who died ninety years ago.


The Archduke József’s palace, completed in 1906, with its elegant, glass-topped lobby, magnificent ballroom and its colorful glass windows designed by Miksa Róth, was one of the decorations of Szent György tér in Budavar. The historical building did not suffer any fatal damage during the siege of Budapest, but in 1967 the fire department shot an educational film here so that the fire could be filmed, so it was set on fire and then demolished. It was not possible to make up for the deficit that arose in its place for more than 50 years, but in 2021, the reconstruction of the building began: and the reborn palace is regaining its original shape every day.


Budapest VIII. district, at the junction of József körút and Baross utca, there is a square that has been called Harminckettesek tere since May 14, 1933. The square dates back to the 19th century. It was created in the 19th century during the subdivision of the surrounding area, when Nagykörút and Baross utca were created, but before 1933 it had no separate name, and the buildings lined up here were numbered as belonging to Baross utca.



There was a huge railway accident in Budapest 150 years ago, in the year of the unification of the city. Many lessons could be learned from what happened about making the railway plant safe. At that time, the railway companies had no liability for compensation to passengers, and a law was passed on this only a year after the accident.


The central building of the eponymous institution on University Square in the city center was built in 1900 in the neo-baroque style, but the interior was covered with rich Art Nouveau decorations. However, the eye-catching design did not take into account usability, which thirty years later was already considered very confusing. For the 300th anniversary of the university’s existence, it was therefore modernized and handed over in a ceremonial setting on May 12, 1935.



The demolition of Tabán, which began in 1933, is a defining date in the history of the district. But this is also an important date for two people who were chroniclers of Tabán. That’s when one of them ended, and that’s when the other’s artistic career began.


The renovation of the headquarters of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Széchenyi István tér, which is preparing for the 200th anniversary of its founding, will soon begin. In the first phase, the roof will be fixed, the windows will be modernized and restored, the hall, the picture gallery, and the exhibition spaces will be renovated. I would like to transform the space in front of the Neo-Renaissance palace designed by Friedrich August Stüler and completed in 1865 for the jubilee year, 2025.


The XIX since the end of the 20th century, a small, triangular square in the heart of Erzsébetváros, which was named after a significant figure in Hungarian theater history, has been serving cultural life almost without interruption. Sándor Square in Hevesi undoubtedly owes its fame to its theater, but we can also find other interesting things here: the birthplace of Jenő Rejő Rejő is also located on this square.



The bridge to be built between Buda and Pest dates back to the 19th century. at the beginning of the 20th century, it was of great concern to engineers. Many plans were made, but none could be built. But 200 years ago, engineer György Baritz proposed a bridge structure that was considered a relatively new solution at the time: he believed that the two cities should be connected by a permanent bridge suspended on chains.


The spring of 1928 was an important turning point in Budapest bus transport. At that time, the capital ordered a hundred new buses, namely from the Hungarian company MÁVAG, and at the same time it was decided that Budapest’s buses should be blue instead of the bad memory red color.



Everything on Budapest’s Bécsi kapu square is meant to express strength: the gate’s thick walls and the neo-Romanesque style of the National Archives radiate protection, and the evangelical church guarding the entrance puts it into words: Our God is a strong castle! The latter means steadfastness in faith, the building itself, with its graceful tower and neo-baroque style, rather expresses the rich imagination of its designer, Mór Kallina, who just passed away 110 years ago.


The XX. In the 20th century, there was twice a great chance that Hungarian-made trains would run on the metro lines, not only in the Little Land. First, a prototype was made in the 1950s, and then another in the 1980s, with the aim of replacing the by then rather outdated subway trains with a more modern vehicle.



What does it mean to be from Budapest? Is there such a thing as “Budapestness”? How does the capital affect the people who live and work here, and how do they react to it? On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the unification of the city, the Budapest History Museum in Buda Castle sought answers to these questions with a very unique exhibition. At the exhibition that opened today, we got to know the Hungarian capital through the personal stories of Budapest residents.



Architect Ignác Alpár passed away 95 years ago. His work was conceived in the style of historicism, proving that by appreciating the art of old times, by evoking their individual details sometimes precisely, sometimes only in their mood, a valuable work of art can be created. His most important creations were realized in Budapest, namely in a world city where the clients’ respect for the past and modernity, the need for well-usable spaces appeared at the same time.


One of the main attractions of Budapest is Andrássy út, which is part of the world heritage: it is lined with magnificent Neo-Renaissance palaces. In the middle, not far from the Oktogon, you can find the Old Art Gallery and the Old Music Academy next to each other, which are related not only in location but also in the person of their creator: both were designed by Adolf Lang, who just passed away 110 years ago.


Pope Francis spent three days in Budapest between April 28 and 30, 2023, during which time he visited several locations in the Hungarian capital. We will show you at which point in Pest and Buda, in which buildings, the Jesuit priest born in Buenos Aires, who has been in his position since March 2013, and who came to the Vatican from Argentina, appeared.


The XI of the Eötvös Loránd University was completely renovated. district sports hall, Bogdánfy út. After a long time, the 2,400 square meter hall built in 1987 provides a worthy environment for elite and competitive university sports, and at the same time, students can also play sports here in their free time.


Decades ago, they wanted to turn Budapest into a car-friendly city, and Rákóczi út, which stretches between Erzsébetváros and Józsefváros, played a big role in this. The arcades of the buildings here, the routing of pedestrian traffic under the houses made it possible to widen the road, and then the elimination of tram traffic led to the creation of the current six-lane road. Fifty years ago, it was considered a huge achievement that twice as many cars could pass through Rákóczi út, freed from tram tracks, than before.



A huge explosion rocked Budapest 60 years ago, a 60,000 cubic meter gas tank was destroyed in the XIII. district. The cause of the explosion was a lightning strike, the first recorded case in the world of a gas tank being destroyed by lightning.



Emil Tőry was a recognized member of the elite group of architects active at the turn of the century: he did not create a new style and did not gather an army of followers around him, but he designed his buildings to a high standard. He conscientiously carried out his teaching activities at the University of the Arts, but not only with words, but also with numerous books and studies, he contributed to the training of future generations of architects.


In 1989, the Budapest Hosiery Factory was looking for a colleague for its Balaton vacation home in a classified ad. Back then, probably no one could have guessed that the legendary Óbuda company, which could celebrate its 100th anniversary this year, would cease to exist within a few years. The fact that the buildings of the former factory are still standing today can serve as scant consolation for fans of industrial history monuments, as well as for the factory’s former workers and their descendants, and hopefully – as industrial historical monuments – they will continue to stand in the future.


There was already a housing shortage in Budapest at the time of the unification of the city 150 years ago, the enormous development that started at that time attracted a lot of people to the rapidly growing capital, which at the time only had a few hundred thousand inhabitants. The situation became even more serious at the end of the 1950s, when the population of Greater Budapest, which had been established a few years earlier, reached 1.8 million. In order to alleviate the housing crisis, the decision was made 65 years ago to make homes out of offices.


Budapest in the XX. in the first half of the 20th century, it was almost flooded with press products, showing enormous diversity both in terms of the duration of existence and the frequency of publication. The Budai Napló stood out from the crowd with its local patriotism, which could be read by the citizens of the capital living on the right bank of the Danube from 1903 to 1938. Its editor-in-chief, the interestingly named Béla Viraág, always made sure that the paper represented a high standard.


Although he was basically connected to Szeged and the Great Plain, the important scenes of Gyula Juhász’s life can also be found in Budapest. He studied at the University of Pest, where he met Mihály Babits, Dezsó Kosztolányi, and Géza Csáth. He visited the capital many times, visited the headquarters of newspaper publishers, and was treated in several capital hospitals and sanatoriums to help his lethargic condition. In our article, we remember the great lyricist of the first generation of the West, one of the first Baumgarten prize-winning poets, on the 140th anniversary of his birth.


Sixty-five years ago, the newspapers reported the launch of a small boat service: the motorboat Attila traveled between Batthyány and Kossuth tér in 1958. Although these two important points of Budapest were connected by a bridge at the time, namely the Kossuth bridge, it was closed to traffic and replaced by a motorized ferry.



A lightning strike, a reckless cooper or alien agents? To this day, it is not known exactly what caused the great fire in Buda 300 years ago, in which the city was almost completely destroyed.


The XX. The Hungarian architectural society of the beginning of the 20th century could boast of many special personalities. Many of them gained international fame for themselves, and there were even more people who left a oeuvre that still defines our cityscape to posterity. There were also those who changed careers after a few particularly beautiful works, and their names sank into oblivion. Among them is Rezső Waczula, who died 100 years ago.


The article is in Hungarian

Tags: heritage Budapest city history exhibition opened FSZEK


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