Sunday, 8 June 2014

The Belvaros district in Budapest

 
 
 
Most of the architecture in this district dates from the era when Budapest asserted its right to be an imperial capital, between 1860 and 1918. Neoclassical and Art Nouveau buildings abound. Wandering around is a real pleasure.
 
 
 

 
Ferenciek Tere (Franciscan's Square) is always full of life whatever the time, full of cafes and shops, and this pool that was put to good use when it was very hot during the time we were there.
 
 
 
 
 
The big wheel dominates the square 
 
 
 


I loved this building but could not find out anything about it, so I took lots of photographs to compensate




 
These are only a fraction 
 
 
 

 
a closer look at that imposing tower
 
 
 


and closer




 
detail 
 
 
 
 
 
 
and at night. 
 
 
 
 
 
The area is full of imposing buildings 
 
 
 
 
 
a sculpture outside one of the hotels
 
 
 

 
I had to go in to have a proper look at this astonishing flower display 
 
 
 

 
looking closer 
 
 
 
 
 
The Gerbeaud parisserie building that dominates Vorosmarty square
 
 
 
 
 
Budapest's most famous confectioners, founded in 1858, a popular rendez-vous for the middle classes at the time.
 
 
 
 
 
I went in to take this photograph
 
 
 
 
 
and then, 10 minutes later it started raining - the only time it rained during our stay in the city. Everyone rushed in, including us, so we had no choice but to sample the apple strudel with cinnamon ice-cream.
 
 
 
 
 
The gilded ceilings and the whole atmosphere recall the Belle Epoque. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The building also looks good when lit up at night. 
 
 
 
 

The Bershka store building which was completed in 1911. During the communist era it was the place to get your Western-style clothes. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bronze panels, plant motifs and imposing sculptures
 
 
 
 
 
 
one more view.
 
 
 
 


a grand entrance. 
 
 
  


Still in Vorosmarty Square, a modernist building




 
The statue of Mihaly Vorosmarty, poet, in the middle of the square 
 
 
 

 

 
Something different: a performance artist without the performer - just the shell
 
 

 


and another one




 
Three in all. People kept touching them trying to find out if they were made out of bronze. In fact they are made of cloth and other materials, and I saw the guy who put them there, occasionally going to the buckets and collecting the coins 
 
 
 

 
Different and ingenious 
 
 
 
 
 



This is the former Bank Palace, built in the heyday of Hungarian self-confidence, by Ignac Alpar. When the Budapest Stock Exchange reopened its doors in 1990, this was its new home. It has now been turned into a major retail centre.




 
Looking closer

 
 
 

An Art Nouveau building in a nearby square





And another one





looking closer.
 
 
 
 
 
This is Vaci Utca, one of the main shopping streets, and every building here is a marvel
 
 
 
 

some of the ground floors don't look so good now, as shops have spoiled the beautiful lines, so you have to constantly look up 
 
 
 
 






Beautiful lines in this building 
 
 
 
 

looking closer 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

every building is so different, even if in the same style 
 
 
 



a little sculpture that is not yet another man on his horse





One of the finest works of Miksa Roth at no. 3 Szervita ter, a square that contains the best and the worst of 20th century architecture, but we will just concentrate on the best. This is a former bath house dating from 1906



 
its gable has a superb Art Nouveau mosaic of Patrona Hungariae (Our Lady) flanked by key figures from Hungarian history.  
 
 
  


Still in Szervita Ter, one of the earliest modernist buildings in Budapest, with geometric motifs and decorative screws.




 
The third notable building in the square is the Rozsavolgyi building, built by modernist Bela Lajta whose earlier association with the National Romantic school is evident from the majolica bands on its upper storey.
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 



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