Overview : Most of Budapest’s landscape was shaped in the last third of the 19th, beginning of the 20th century. Art Nouveau marks this... more »
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Most of Budapest’s landscape was shaped in the last third of the 19th, beginning of the 20th century. Art Nouveau marks this... more » definitive period- come and explore its main quarters (Leopold Town and City Park’s surroundings), learn the legends encircling the magical buildings, have a peep into the lives of their makers.
This walk starts close from the Parliament, crosses Andrássy Road (the 'Hungarian Champs-Élysées'), and finishes in a Ruin Bar in the old Jewish District.
There are many more sights along the road, but in this tour, we focus on Art Nouveau!
If you wish to have a local guide accompanying you on an Art Nouveau tour, check our website: http://underguide.com/art-nouveau-tours-budapest less «
Dive into Art Nouveau mood - it is the style wich established the Modern style... it has its influences even... more » still now. less «
House of Hungarian Art Nouveau – the Magyar Szecesszió Háza.
It is a gallery and café.
The house was built by Emil Vidor in 1903, for the Bedő family.
Emil Vidor, the architect was one of the most important figures in Hungarian Art Nouveau. Art Nouveau had its peculiar style in each country. Gaudy, Horta and Hungarian Art Nouveau architects... More shared a vision of modern and revolutionary style, giving more emphasis on the ornaments and decorations and using new materials. However, they had different ways of expression.
In Hungary, Art Nouveau often turns to folcloristic motifs, using flowers (especially the tulips. On this building, though, you can mostly recognize Belgian Art Nouveau elements.
Some opposed the novelties of Art Nouveau. One such disputant was the first Hungarian to win an olympic gold in swimming, Alfréd Hajós. Also an architect, he designed the swimming pool on Margaret island. Although a student of Lechner, the creator of the Art Nouveau ' Golden Bull' Hotel in Debrecen, he was appalled by Vidor's design. Hajós's office was located opposite the building, and, as legend has it, he many a time stormed out of his workplace to curse at the ongoing construction of Bedő's building, and demand instant demolition of the eyesore.
The founder and owner of the Hungarian House of Art Nouveau, Tivadar Vad, established a collection showcasing prime examples of the artifacts of the time, and a café reminiscent of the era. They offer an insight into the bourgeois drawing rooms and milieu of turn of the century Budapest. Temporary exhibitions, round-table discussions and music events fill the House of Art Nouveau with life.Less
Hungarian National Bank
The building was originally planned as the headquarter of the Budapest branch of the Austrian- Hungarian Bank. It became the independent Hungarian National Bank only in 1924.
The location couldn't have been more symbolic of a nation striving for financial and political independence. The so-called 'New Building', an... More ominous barrack serving as the centre of Habsbourg rule, and where the country's first PM, Count Lajos Batthány was executed, finally got torn down in 1897. Rebaptized as 'Liberty Square', the freed space gave home to the major institutions of the country's economy, becoming the 'City' of the state with the second highest GDP in Europe (still the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy).Construction sought to express this eminence in proportion, pomp, marble and gold.
Ignác Alpár won the tender for the headquarter of the Austrian- Hungarian Bank in 1901. The ornate facade looking onto Liberty square is in accordance with the palace of the Stock Exchange opposite, another work of Alpár's.
Walking around the structure and gazing at the walls, one can notice representations sciences, arts, professions and all kinds of human economic activity during history. Almoast like a pciture book :)
And can you find the architect, Alpár himself? He is close to the arts...
Mainly late eclectic, the rich decorations of the interior shows a strong Art Nouveau influence. Miksa Róth's colourful stained glass windows adorning the staircase are perhaps the most noteworthy of these. Venetian mirrors, marble columns and chandeliers further embellish the building.
There is a Visitor's Centre open in the weekdays from 9-4pm. Go inside, it is free!
The Hungarian Royal Postal Savings Bank was established in 1885. Being a state institution, therefore entitled to state warranty, social considerations were prominent from the very start. This in turn ensured the institution’s positive reception, spurring a dynamic growth of clientele.
The building’s design reinforced the bank’s programme; bees, ... Moresymbols of frugality adorn the pillars, as if making their way towards the ceramic hives. This motif reappears on the captions of the courtyard columns. Other imaginary and realistic creatures inhabit the edifice: snakes, hens, dragons come to the view of the observer.
The Bank was erected between 1889 and 1901, after plans by Ödön Lechner, with Vilmos Zsolnay contributing to the decoration of the tiled roof, and Miksa Róth crafting the glass windows and mosaics. All three artists studied their trades abroad, to develop their distinctive styles and techniques once back in the home country.
A feat of Hungarian Art Nouveau, the Postal Savings Bank is also the epitome of Lechner’s art. Lechner’s head of hair was already turning white, when on the verge of retirement, he found his genuine style, and to quote his own words, ‘really started working’. Considered as his masterpiece by many, the Postal Savings Bank does not so much invoke Asia in its elements, but establishes a uniquely Hungarian style. Detaching itself from the past, it looks forward to the future; even a lay viewer can attest that none of its parts refer to a bygone style or era. Round the windows and doors, the battlement, the familiar floral patterns of Hungarian folk art undulate. When asked, why he had put such effort into designing the tile patterns on top of the roof, when no one would be able to see it, Lechner’s cryptic answer ran that 'the birds would...'
Bookshop and beautiful Café.
The property was bought in 1884 from the agency managing the construction of Andrássy boulevard, with the purpose of erecting a casino. Construction ensued to realize Gusztáv Petschacher's design, in grand neo-reneissance style. The Teréz Town Casino had a vaulted hall on the ground floor, accommodating József... More Petanovics's famous beer hall and restaurant. The first floor fitted a billiards room, flanked by podiums held up by columns for the onlookers. The Paulay Ede street wing housed the glamorous ball room still visible today. The second floor had further reading and game rooms, while two luxury suites occupied the third floor.
Sámuel Goldberger purchased the real estate in 1909 and promptly started rebuilding: he wished to resurrect the Great Parisian Department Store demolished by fire on its previous location. The first of its kind in the capital, the jewel of the most attractive avenue in the city, the modern structure stunned shoppers from 1911 on. Luckily much of the building's elements were preserved and incorporated by the architect, Zsigmond Sziklay. As a result, visitors may still marvel at the dazzling Lotz Hall.
Akin to the fate of many of Budapest's notable buildings, the Paris Department Store didn't emerge unscathed from World War 2 bombardments; and also suffered from ensuing nationalization. To delete the memory of bourgeois grandeur the building was used for storing books for two decades.
Orco Property Group eventually bought the property from the state, and renovated the building. The Art Nouveau edifice was thoroughly rejuvenated, an air of beauty and elegance again surrounds it.
The design elements (columns decorated with Zsolnay ceramics, Art Nouveau decoration, stone casing), as well as the neo-reneissance ball room qualify the Parisian Department Store for heritage listing.
Not art nouveau, but worth a stop by.
The quarter we are in served as a red light district up till the 18th century. Music halls, inns, hotels and brothels, even wine cellars lay behind the walls of houses in and around Király street. From the 19 hundreds Jewish traders and other nationalities settled in Erzsébet Town, shaping the character of the neighbourhood. Multinational yet also... More distinctly Jewish, the district served the community of several tens of thousands with its tabernacles, smokehouses, kosher grocery stores, coffee houses, barber shops. The area now gives a perfect setting for ruin pubs and the thriving underground culture of Budapest.
The building housing Lokál was erected in 1845. Initially L-shaped, the structure was extended with a wing in 1863 to fit Hoffer's Smokehouse. Classicist in the beginning, the building was refurbished in 1906 in Art Nouveau stlyle. This is when the ornate plasterwork was also added. The richly decorated gateway, the wrought-iron railings of the staircase, and the 3 tracts of the street front wing unusual in similar buildings all make it a true memorial of 19th century Budapest architecture. The Art Nouveau facade further heightens the house's significance, and makes it worthy of protection.
As with many of the neighbourhood's older buildings, stories circulate about the past of Dob 18.
According to some sources, the Hungarian Royal Railways Archives, and the staff's apartments were to be found here. Others claim a brothel functioned among its walls, a hardly surprising supposition given that several dozens of such establishments dotted the nearby streets up till the 19th century.
First the ruin pub 'Mumus' (Bugbear) operated here, later Lokál took over. Even the paintings on the wall recall the turn of the century; witness the mural with Lokál's logo quoting the cover of Nyugat, a renowned literary journal of the time.
Another account has it, that when the pub was being done up, walled in photographs of a Jewish family emerged. Apparently the family had been hiding from the Nazis in the cellars, and before being transported to death camps wished to preserve the photos by bricking them in.