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accompanying slides. (You can see some of the surviving slides on the A Café H Merlin website: It was converted to project films in 1917 and Puskin Theatre became a cinema proper in 1930. On 4(!) February 1945 it started again, B  H eadquarters of the Budapest Citycinemas Hall, were while savage fighting was still going onI in Buda. Though World Alliance of overnight, the former hospital privatized after 1990, almost Uránia was re-nationalized, and, after a total reconstruction, 2002 as the Uránia National Hungarians (former it reopened infor aged soldiers Motion“House Picture of House. Together with the two entirely new small halls in Soviet J   Main the basement 547 seats in the cinema now,Post plusOffice a fancy café upCulturethere andare Science”) stairs and a cosy one in the basement. It is a hotspot, you can use your lapK   Servite Church C  or   Bpalmtop lock oftoflats top browse the Internet everywhere in the cinema. Uránia is the elegant venue for premières of new LHungarian films, various festival   Parking block D The events, andGreat has aSynagogue busy programme of art films, as part of the Europa M   Lutheran Church Cinemas network. E Spinoza House The rest of the building, since 1905, has N been used by the National Drama   Blocks of flats, the F Pestofficially Countya Hall Academy, university now.



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Café Gerlóczy 23G V. Gerlóczy utca 1.,, open Monday to Friday 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. ••• The Gerlóczy is a cross between a Parisian bistro and a carefully-developed, but regular, Budapest eatery which attracts not particularly well-off academics and lower-middleclass neighbourhood locals. It is not only for tourists, that’s for


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Merlin International Theatre and Club (Merlin Nemzetközi Színház) 23H V. Gerlóczy utca 4.,, www. ••• This theatre is a lively egghead hangout which comprises a club and a restaurant, with sophisticated video screens that make everything visible at all tables. Plays are occasionally performed in English, but they are rarely the lighthearted entertainment that tourists or travellers might get hooked on. During lunchtime you can meet both eggheads and city hall staff here. The theatre has no company, but accepts offers from alternative companies, among them some very young, new companies.

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County Hall (Pest Megyei Közgyűlés) 23F V. Városház utca 7. ••• If you follow this route, you can enter the County Hall building from the back, between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. on business days. Pretend you belong here and you won’t be stopped. The building consists of three parts which were completed in 1811, 1832 and 1841. This surprising oasis also once contained the county prison and the prisoner’s chapel. If the gate is locked, walk around the building from the right, via Vitkovics Mihály utca, where there is another entrance.


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Röser Bazaar (Röser Bazár) V. Károly körút 22. ••• In Farsi the word bazaar means marketplace, or a broad street. In Budapest, it usually refers to a building with a passageway full of shops and workshops and these have recently begun to come to life again. This particular one is between Károly körút and Semmelweis utca. It is nothing fancy, just a series of small shops, slowly changing owners, with a slightly changing specialization and more or less the same clientele. The most traditional shop of the neighbourhood does not belong to the arcade, in the strict sense of the word. It is to the left of the exit on Semmelweis utca. It is a shop that sells chicken and fried chicken (rántott csirke), the indispensable main course on tens of thousands of lowermiddle-class and working-class Sunday lunch tables. Follow the smell, and you’ll find it.


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monthly magazine. There are also three reasonably priced rental apartments for tourists in the building.

Gellérthegy and The Old City



A Café Odeon B Headquarters of the World Alliance of Hungarians (former House of “Soviet Culture and Science”) C Block of flats D The Great Synagogue E Spinoza House F Pest County Hall G Café Gerlóczy H Merlin Theatre I Budapest City Hall, former hospital for aged soldiers J Main Post Office K Servite Church L Parking block M Lutheran Gellérthegy and The Old City Church N Blocks of flats, the beginning of a never completed avenue203

beginning of a never

G Great completed avenue Café Gerlóczy The Synagogue 23D VII. Dohány utca 2–8. This is one of

the largest synagogues in Europe (Ludwig Förster, 1854–59). The two onionshaped domes are 43 metres high. Above the main entrance the Hebrew line reads: “Make sanctuary and I will dwell amongwho them”has (Exodus 25:8). sure. Tamásme T. aNagy, a small-businessman gradually

re-introduced quality cheese to Budapest’s markets and restaurants, opened his cheese shop in the mid 1990s in the next building. This restaurant followed in 2005, a salami shop next door in 2006, and 18 rooms were added to the restaurant in the winter of 2007. You can see people from all walks of Hungarian life at this café: city council members, business people, diplomats, elderly people celebrating their silver anniversary. At noon there is a discounted lunch menu, at night there is harp music, there are oysters and there is crème bruˆlée. Service is attentive and

2011.04.20. 15:49:40

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András Török's Budapest: A Critical Guide  

The Celebrated Insider's Guide, upgraded many times, probably the deepest and funnieast and truest portrait of any major European city. With...

András Török's Budapest: A Critical Guide  

The Celebrated Insider's Guide, upgraded many times, probably the deepest and funnieast and truest portrait of any major European city. With...

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