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Andrássy út and Városliget

The Statue of Géza Hofi, Actor ••• This section of Nagymező utca was controversially redesigned in 2002. Many locals, along with the artsy folks working in the “Pest Broadway”, think that it was self-indulgence on the part of designer Péter Török. They hate the never-operating pool that eats up a substantial part of the new car-free zone. The statue that was erected in 2004, on the contrary, is generally liked. It honours the eccentric standup comedian Géza Hofi (1936 – 2002), and sits in front of the Microscope Theatre where he was a star. He was a unique improviser, a crusader of the underdogs, who struggled to rise from underdog working-class status to stardom – from a tolerated one to a favoured one, in dictatorship and liberty alike. The statue by Géza Stremeny attempts to express his double character and both his light and dark sides. A rest Falafel Faloda VI. Paulay Ede u. 53.

Alexandra Bookshop and Book Café 26J VI. Andrássy út 39. ••• On November 9, 2009, with a long-awaited ceremony, the renovated Parisian Department Store became accessible to the public. On the ground floor and first floor a new Alexandra Bookshop was opened, a space worthy of Rizzoli, New York or Hatchard’s, London. It is an elegant, spacious, happy interior, complete with minimalistic design, and especially pretty lighting. It is a welcome addition to the neighbourhood, which was so far known only for theatres and luxury goods. The inward-looking grand café is in the lavish NeoRenaissance space that was built in the 1880s as the ballroom of the Theresa Town Casino. The meticulously restored and grandiose café can host about 100 guests at a time, in chairs that either torture (the black wooden ones) or pamper (the Athenaeum Club, London-type armchairs). Service is attentive, choice and price range is OK. It is a great addition to the Budapest café scene – not a revival, but a genuine addition based on old virtues.

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Klassz Bistro VI. Andrássy út 41. ••• The name of this restaurant is difficult to translate: it is more or less “terrific,” “classy” or “great.” Just to the left to the nicely restored landmark department store, this ingeniously devised cosmopolitan bistro was an instant success. There are two secrets: dozens of wines by the glass are served and there is a “no reservations” policy. The back section is a wine shop, the kitchen is upstairs. Soups walk 4 ang 2006/11/22 17:40 Page 148 are a forte. At the cros­sing of Andrássy út and the Nagykörút, the buildings form 148 WALK FOUR an octagonal square, hence its name: Oktogon. The name Oktogon was “House of Terror” Museum 27D VI. Andrássy út 60. The always used during 40 odd-years whenFeszty, the signs read “November building,those originally designed by Adolf in 1880, attracts attention from far away, mainly because of calendar the “black passepartout” (the day decoration 7 Square” (according to the Orthodox that was the when entablature, the blade walls and the granite sidewalk) which especially the “Great October out in St. Petersburg). this works in Revolution” sunshine when thebroke word Terror is written on the wall by theAt sun… concept, room interior for design: F. Kovács, renovation: point the road(“passe-partout”, widens and makes fourAttila rows of trees. There is János Sándor and Kálmán Újszászy, architects, 2002). now a strip of pavement between the trees, which was once a riding 60 Andrássy has been a meaningful address with dark connotations for many track. The road was paved with ofwooden to Fascist absorb thethenoise years. From the beginning 1937, the cubes Hungarian party, Arrow of Cross Party, rented more and more space in the house. 1940 they made it cartwheels and hooves. Trees were planted when theInstreet was built their headquarters. The party´s leader, Ferenc Szálasi named the building and were undisturbed about 90 years until the when late 1970s whenNazis some “The Housefor of Loyalty”. In the autumn of 1944, the Hungarian came with to power, the basementone was morning used as a prison. Soviets liberated Budaworkers appeared chainsaws andAsremoved the crowns pest from the Nazis (without the slightest intention of leaving), the commufrom most of them. This shocked Budapesters, whoinwere somewhat nist-dominated Political Police claimed the house February 1945, and comcreated a prison labyrinth byDepartment’s joining the cellars explanation of the block. The State forted by the Parks and Garden that Security it was a Police possessed the building until 1956. After they moved out the house was choice betweenrenovated, pruning thealltrees watching themof die. It didn’t prove erasing traces or of its past. The mission the museum is declared the following to be enough,in and most way of in the extesive website the trees have(also since had to “House of Terror” Museum in English): “Havsurvived two terror be replaced. ing The new-old regimes, it was felt that recast lamps thewere time erected had come for Hungarypaid to erect in the late 1980s, fora fitting memorial to the entirely by donations. victims, and at theAsame time to present a picture small plaque commemorates of what life was like for the names of the mostly corHungarians in those […] House of porate donors.times. Terror Museum – the only one of its kind – is

a monument to the “House of Terror” memory of those held Museum (Terror captive, Háza tortured and killed in this building.” Mú­ze­um) 27D innovative and VI. Andrássy The út 60., original institution was www.terrorhaza.hu, built with utmost care and no effort and moopen Tuesday to Friday ney was spared, as 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., the pet project of the between Saturday andgovernment Sunday 10 1998 and 2002. (In 2004 ••• it wasThis awarded a.m. to 7:30 p.m. the “Museum of the building, originally Year” Prize, for its visicharacter.) designed by tor-friendly Adolf Feszty in 1880, attracts attention because of its black passé

Walk FOUR

Walk FOUR

Divatcsarnok Department Store 26I VI. Andrássy út 29. ••• This seven-storey building, built for the old Parisian Department Store, opened in 1911. Earlier there had been a casino on the site. The architect succeeded in persuading the new owners to preserve the casino’s large ballroom, which was called “Lotz terem” (Lotz Hall) and was at the back of the store between the first and the second floors and held sales and Christmas toy sales.

Andrássy út and Városliget

“House of Terror” Museum

2011.04.20. 15:49:46

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András Török's Budapest: A Critical Guide  

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