Page 137

tv

ös

ut

ca

An

ös tv Eö

dr

ás

t

sy

út

ca ut

Oktogon ca ut

. .u M

G

ca

sy ás

Sz

óf

ca ut ös

E

ut

tv Eö

F

út

Jókai tér

z ré Te

ia

ca ut

Liszt Ferenc tér t rú kö

D

D Statue of

C

Há rsf a

u.

t be zsé Er

B b Do

ca ut

ca ut bu

tca

rú t

Do

ca ut

A Madách Theatre B Grand HotelAdy, Royalpoet Endre C Academy of Music Statue of Mór Jókai, DFStatue of Ferenc Liszt E Statue of Endre Ady, poet novelist F Statue of Mór Jókai, novelist Copy of Palazzo GG Copy of Palazzo Strozzi, Florence

ly rá Ki

rt Kü

38 E  Statue of

Ferenc Liszt

sz rté Ke

A

Strozi, Florence

Asta Nielsen, Shalapin, Professor Barnard, Anna Moffo, Renata Scotto, and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf. It was the most elegant hotel in town until the new riverfront hotels opened. The full makeover of the Hotel Royal took place between 1999 and 2002 and cost about 100 million dollars. The Maltese Corinthia Group bought the building and commissioned Miklós Marosi, a Hungarian architect, to do the restoration. He pulled down everything except for the façade and the ballroom. He rebuilt the rest, with the idea that it would be a venue for Budapest’s elite, as it had been in the grand old days. There are 414 rooms now, and an enlarged back wing facing Hársfa utca, which was previously a quasi-slum area. Now a bridge spans over it leading to the Valetta conference centre and an apartment building built around an elegant courtyard. This elegant space represents a sort of glitz that will probably age very well. The Bock Bistro – co-owned by (and named after) one of Hungary’s most prestigious winemakers – opens from the street and has been an instant success, for both the wine and the food.

Walk FIVE

Walk FIVE

éz

PARK_Budapest_belivek_v065.indd 268-269

38 i ka Jó

Grand Hotel Royal 38B VII. Erzsébet körút 49., http://www.corint­ hia.com/budapest, www.ohb.hu/royal ••• When it opened, this hotel was one of the largest in the Austro–Hungarian Empire. Built by Rezső Ray in 1896 in French neo-Renaissance style, the Hotel Royal was originally meant for visitors to the highly successful Millennium Exhibition. By this time the Nagykörút had become Budapest’s main artery and the hotel rooms had superb views of this most attractive part of Budapest. The hotel had 232 guest-rooms, 20 individual apartments in adjacent buildings, and attic rooms for the staff. Concerts were held in the Royal’s celebrated ballroom. In 1909 the first Hungarian airplane was exhibited in one of the hotel’s courtyards. With the growing popularity of motion pictures, the ballroom was turned into the Royal Apollo cinema. After World War Two it became the Red Star cinema, then it again became the Royal Apollo until it closed for good in 1997. From World War Two until 1953 the building functioned as an office building. In 1953 part of the building was restored as a hotel, but three years later the roof was destroyed by fire during the 1956 revolution. A thorough renovation became inevitable and was completed between 1957 and 1961 by István Janáky. During Christmas 1959 the Red Star cinema opened with an entrance on Hársfa utca. In 1961 the building was reopened as a hotel with 367 guest rooms. The long list of celebrities who stayed here includes Max Reinhardt,

r Te

Madách Theatre (Madách Színház) 37G , 38A VII. Erzsébet körút 31 – 33., www.madachszinhaz.hu ••• The Madách Theatre was completed in 1961 on the site of an old cabaret (or “orpheum”). It was designed by Oszkár Kaufmann, and soon became a flagship of new trends and a stronghold of innovation and fun. The first première was Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle, directed by trend-setting Ottó Ádám. When the original innovations faded, and became mainstream and tired, the original innovators retired and a new generation began to resort to musical comedies to attract larger audiences. Cats was the phenomenal first success in March 1983. The longest queue in living memory was on November 29, 2004 when all the tickets for the Phantom of the Opera performances in May 2005 were sold in two days. Budapest has more than 15 repertory theatres now, all but one of which are subsidised. Spectators pay roughly one third of the ticket prices. A thorough facelift was completed 1999 and retained most of the foyer’s inner design, which was a rare good example of Central European 1950s and early 1960s style. But the extensive new mural paintings are not harmonious with the original design. They are a bit too sweet.

dr

Millennium Quarter, along and ...

An

268

cost about 100 million dollars to the Maltese Corinthia Group. They commissioned Miklós Marosi, a Hungarian architect, who proposed to pull down everything except for the façade on the Boulevard and the Ballroom. He rebuilt the rest, with an ambition to build a hotel that can be a venue for the Budapest élite, as in the grand old days. There are 414 rooms now, and an enlarged back wing to Hársfa utca what was previously a quasiMillennium Quarter, along and 269 slum area. Not any more, with a bridge spanning over... it, to the Valetta conference center and the apartment block, built around an elegant courtyard. It is A Madách worth dropping in to look at the eleca Theatre t u gant spaces, which represent a sort di a of glitz that will probably age a B Grand tc Hotel Ar .u very well. (Official website: yJ h Royal c Zi http://royal. 2ms.hu, ca website, ut C a touristic Academy i d with veryofgood photos: ra u. Music A Ó www.ohb.hu/royal.)

2011.04.20. 15:49:54

Profile for Andras Török

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...

Profile for andraas
Advertisement