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The Castle Area and Váci Utca

The building is evidence of all the knowledge the hardworking 19th century had of the Gothic period. But at the same time, it is able to quickly arouse emotions, rather like a momentarily glimpsed set in a film. Anyway, the average man in the street likes this church a lot.

A former residential block

Walk ONE

Walk ONE

108

Budapest is an Institute for Advanced Studies, founded by and similar to the Wissenschaftskolleg of Berlin. The scholars come for six months or a year. They work here in the house, but live nearby, in an attractive purpose-built hostel a stone’s throw away on the hills of the Castle. Once I was invited to have lunch with the Dean. I expected a sort of High Table, but found myself in a noisy, lively cafeteria – in the heart of an institution that looks really like The Castle Area and Váci Utca some of the smaller Oxford colleges. This cafeteria hosts small and well-109 curated exhibitions. It has been on the art map of Budapest recently.

Holy Trinity Column (Szentháromság-szobor) 5F ••• In the middle of Szentháromság tér, which is the highest point of Castle Hill, this 14-metre-high monument was erected between 1710 and 1713 by the inhabitants of Buda to fend off another plague epidemic. In the Middle Ages, the square here was much smaller, only 10 metres wide. House of Hungarian Wines (“Magyar Borok Háza”) I. Szent­ háromság tér 6., www.magyarborokhaza.com, open daily noon to 8 p.m. ••• Unless you hate wine, make sure you pop into the House of Hungarian Wines, which is evocatively installed in the cellars of this Neo-Gothic building which was the pre-war Ministry of Finance. With tasteful and informative décor, there is text in four languages. For a reasonable sum you will be guided around the cellar which has a representative selection (several hundred different types) of wine from all of Hungary’s wine regions. You’ll be offered a choice from the 80 different wines for tasting – but, naturally, it doesn’t include the most precious bottles. All exhibited wines are also for sale. If you are a Hungarian-based business with frequent visitors from abroad, you might be tempted to rent some handsome storage space of your own, from where you can offer your own wine to your visitors whom you especially want to impress. The Old Town Hall of Buda (Collegium Budapest) I. Szent­ háromság utca 2. ••• The first session of the City Council was held here in 1710. A prison, which had such a low ceiling that even the shortest man could not stand upright, was once in located in the yard. In 1873, the year when Buda and Pest united, the building lost its function. The statue at the corner of the building is a copy of the original which was made by an Italian sculptor in the late 18th century and represents Pallas Athene (the guar­ dian of towns). The building is much admired for the fine proportions of its windows and for its inner, forked staircase, which is trod these days by foreign scholars. The place now functions as the Collegium Budapest, which is an institute for advanced studies founded by and similar to Berlin’s Wissenschaftskolleg. The scholars come for six months or a year and work in the house, but

PARK_Budapest_belivek_v065.indd 108-109

A Former Residental Block

A former residential block I. Szentháromság utca 1–3. In some

places “neutral” buildings were built on the site of buildings destroyed in the war, but today only “non-polluting-modern” buildings, which harmolive inenvironment, an attractive thatThe is,planning as we say inare Hungarian, nizenearby with their arehostel permitted. rules strict: in the acase of away this corner house, theof bulk, height and even the roof strucjust spit on the hills thethe Castle. ture were strictly prescribed (György Jánossy, László Laczkovics, 1981). I was once invited to have lunch with the dean. Expecting Traditionally the aesthetic of Hungarian towns favour verticality, with lines a running sort of upwards. high table, insteadwhy found myself omitted in a noisy, lively ThisIexplains the architects the third hori-cafzontal in linethe under the roof. the pillars in athat way repeat vertical eteria heart of Thus an institution looksthelike onedirecof the tions of the churchcolleges. opposite, only a smaller scale. broken façade smaller Oxford Thisoncafeteria hostsThe small and wellechoes the medieval site. (Other successful modern buildings in the Castle curated exhibitions. District: Úri utca 4., 10., 32.; Fortuna utca 16.; Tóth Árpád sétány 30., and one of the best buildings erected after World War II: Fortuna utca 18, on the of Kard utca, by PéterBlock Reimholtz, 1999.) Acorner Former Residential I. Szentháromság utca 1 – 3. ••• In

some places built on theonsite Tárnok utcaunadorned was the site ofmodern the weeklybuildings market of thewere German burghers breadinwas fromBut tables, blackonly loaves“non-pollutfrom mats. ofWednesdays. buildingsOrdinary destroyed thesold war. today Until the middle of the 15th century, bread was unleavened. There was a ing modern” buildings, which harmonize with their environwide choice of game and fruit. Only live fish were sold; on the second day ment, are permitted to be built in the Castle. The planning rules are strict and in the case of this corner house (György Jánossy, László Laczkovics, 1981), the bulk, the height, and even the roof structure were strictly prescribed. Traditionally the aesthetic of Hungarian towns favours verticality, with lines running upwards. This explains why the architects omitted the third horizontal line under the roof. Thus, the pillars in a way repeat the vertical directions of the church opposite, only on a smaller scale. The broken façade echoes the medieval site. Other successful modern buildings in the Castle District are Úri utca 4., Úri utca 10., Úri utca 32., Fortuna utca 16., and Tóth Árpád sétány 30. One of the best buildings erected after World War Two is Fortuna utca 18. (on the corner of Kard utca) which was built by Péter Reimholtz in 1999. In medieval times Tárnok utca was the site of the German burghers’ Wednesday market. Ordinary bread was sold from tables, black loaves were sold from mats. Until the middle of the 15th century, bread was

2011.04.20. 15:49:13

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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...

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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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