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received with enthusiasm. One of our new self-made millionaires, Imre A Pest F Piarist Franciscan Somody, along with his Church wife is responsible for this.School Gábor Gereben and Dóra Pataki were the designers and an old (pre-war) woodworking atelier B G Café Central  Inner City Parish in Francis Town was commissioned to supply the fittings. All of this has Church resulted in an authentic, credible, coffee-house and no hint of “updating” or C    D  Klotild Palaces of creating a museum piece. So genuine H is the atmosphere the journal Erzsébet hídthat (Elizabeth 2000 moved itself to here from the New York coffee-house. (Open ediE has Párisi udvar Bridge) torial hours are from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursdays, conducted on the ground floor at the Cukor utca side of the Centrál.) The building along with the original coffee-house went up in 1887 (architect Zsigmond Quittner) and soon established itselfrazed as a writers’ house. have a Prague-style Old Town, which was in coldcoffee blood. It Among the famous habitués of the time were Gyula Szini, Tamás Kóbor, was a “bad, bad decision”, Budapest lovers say a hundred years Ignotus and Jenô Heltai. The last named had to suffer the National Paprika later. It was “inevitable”, the city planners say. The graffiti Growers Company moving into his favourite coffee-house in 1949.and the

Walk THREE

Walk THREE

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PARK_Budapest_belivek_v065.indd 178-179

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Photographs by György Klösz ••• In the pedestrian underpass at the Pest end of Erzsébet híd (between the two sections of Váci utca), there are photographs displayed that were taken by a famous 19th century photographer. Klösz’s nearby studio was on the first floor of the building next to the Franciscan church. Originally taken on 18 by 24 centimetre glass plates, the photos portray the area around Erzsébet híd before and after the reconstructions that were made “necessary” because of the building of the bridge. From these photos it is evident that Budapest used to

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Klotild Palaces (Klotild-palota) 18C–D V. Szabadsajtó út 5. and 6. ••• These twin palaces were built at the same time as the original Erzsébet híd. Built by Flóris Korb and Kálmán Giergl in 1902, they are almost mirror images of each other. In the old days, one of the most conservative cafés of the city was located here. Typists and messengers were at the disposal of patrons, and the café had its own post box so regulars could have letters sent to them here. In the 1960s and 1970s it was very popular with students. Throughout the day there were ferocious chess games in the gallery. The students disappeared when an expensive self-service restaurant replaced it, followed by a posh, tourist-oriented restaurant/cabaret. In 2000, a café-like institution was opened, which somehow could not make its way to Budapest’s café map. Perhaps it was because of its mixed clientele, which made the faint-hearted classic café-types feel uneasy. One of the palaces (the right one) was being converted into a hotel with many stars when this edition went to press.

A Franciscan Church of Pest B Café Centrál C–D Klotild Palaces

H Elizabeth Bridge

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Budapest’s many grand cafés. Built in 1887 by architect Zsigmond Quittner, the coffee house opened at the same time and soon established itself as a writers’ coffee house. The Centrál flourished between the first and second World Wars, with the writers Lőrinc Szabó and Frigyes Karinthy being among the most noted of the regular customers. Karinthy was attacked by the illness – a brain tumour – that eventually killed him here, as the first page of his famous 1939 book, A Journey Round My Skull, reveals. Other famous customers included Gyula Szini, Tamás Kóbor, Ignotus Heltai and Jenő Heltai. Jenő Heltai even lived to suffer seeing the National Paprika Growers Company moving into his favourite coffee house in 1949. The Centrál reopened in 2000 and was enthusiastically received. One of Hungary’s new self-made millionaires, Imre Somody, and his wife are responsible for this. An authentic, credible, coffee house with no hint that it has been “updated” and no attempt made to create a museum piece. In 2010 the café was given a facelift, with a weird bar that blocks the entrance.

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E Párisi udvar F PiaristOld City School G Inner City Parish Church Gellérthegy and The 179

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beggars in the underpass show how far we have come since then.

The Centrál flourished between the First and Second World Wars, with the Klösz’s photographs appear in a continuously re-published book, writers Lôrinc Szabó and Frigyes Karinthy being among the most noted of Budapest Anno… (See “Reading”, page 352.) the regular customers. Karinthy was attacked by the illness that eventually killed him here, as the first page of his famous 1939 book, A Journey Round My Skull, reveals. Inner City Parish Church (Belvárosi plébániatemplom) 18G

••• You may remember this church WalkforOne. Then wehapdid When it was reopened, the Mayor and thefrom Minister Culture were not present, pause atand thethere statue the chancel’s outer wall. of pily wason a surprise flying visit from theThis Primestatue Minister St. Florian, the saint protects from erectedthe in himself. As guests startedwho to leave, there us were somefires, who was accompanied proprietor, following a hallowed 1723 afterbent the on great fires in Pest. tradition of throwing the key into the Danube: this coffee house should never close! Budapest’s location is so largely to aeven. 140 metre-high The proprietor himself is beautiful simply hoping todue break Open everydoloday, from a.m.which to midnight. mite 8rock descends steeply into the river­bed. The underground

part of this rock reaches 1,000 metres below Városliget. The western slope descends more gently. Its area, along with that of the northern slope, the Tabán, is almost 60 hectares. Naturally, the city tries to protect every single one of the 6,000 trees here (some of which are fig trees planted by the Turks). According to the legend, the hill was the dwelling place of witches who arrived here every night, riding on the

2011.04.20. 15:49:33

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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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