Budapest Bug

Luther Palace, Kecskemét

Built by Valér Mende as tenant house of the reformed church of the city between 1911 and 1917 for the 400th anniversary of the Reformation.

The Old Stock Exchange of Budapest

The immense buildings at the Freedom Square were designed by the Hungarian architect Ignác Alpár, who is best known for his Vajdahunyad Castle. The former Stock Exchange Building (Tőzsdepalota), graces the west side of Freedom Square. Its design is neoclassical in style with Secessionist decorations. This is particularly noticeable at the building’s impressive entrance which is crowned with two temple-like towers. In 1948 the Communists closed down the stock exchange and the building became the headquarters of the Hungarian Television up to 2010.

Széchenyi Square anno - the Stein House and the LLyod Palace

Stein House was built in 1867, when the Dunacorso and the present quay was completed. Its tragic past refers on the day, when Pál Nyári, colonel of the revolutionary Hungarian army during 1848/49 comitted suicide, jumping down from its roof in 1871.The house was demolished in 1909. On its place the legendary Hotel Ritz, the most northern building of the old hotelrow was erected (also demolished during WWII).

LLyod Palace was maybe the most beautiful classicist style builidng of Budapest, built in 1828 by the plans of Joseph Hild. Its construction was supported and personally supervised by Palatine Joseph. The palace gave home to the Commercial and Industrial Association of the city. It was demolished in 1948, actually with no reason, as its walls survived WWII, only the roof was damaged.

Statue of Baron József Eötvös was placed on the square in 1879, after that it was named Eötvös Square for a while.

The pearl of Kecskemét’s art noveau - the City Hall

The City Hall of Kecskemét was built at the end of the 19th century in the style of Art Nouveau and was designed by Ödön Lechner and Gyula Pártos. The building reminds the visitor of the Renaissance castles of the Highlands with its dignified simplicity, varied facade (decorated with majolica), and colourfully glazed tiled roof. It is a significant element of the Main Square of Kecskemét, and the building’s carillon has been heard hourly since 1983 from its 1st floor balcony. Inside, the most beautiful part of the building is the Ceremonial Hall, which is the venue of the General Assembly meetings of the city, and also wedding ceremonies and ceremonial receptions. The period furniture of the Ceremonial Hall is hand-crafted, and its walls are decorated with historical seccos of Bertalan Székely.

Lechner Atelier House

Buda, Lágymányos, 11th district, Bartók street.
Architect: Lechner Ödön, designed for his brother, Lechner Gyula.
Built in 1898-1899

Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest

The Museum of Applied Arts is a masterpiece of Hungarian Art Nouveau, built between 1893 and 1896 to plans by Ödön Lechner and Gyula Pártos.

Lechner created a national architectural idiom with international aspirations, drawing on Eastern, Western and Hungarian vernacular architecture. The Museum stands as one of the outstanding buildings of European Art Nouveau, with many special features: on the outside it is topped by an enormous dome, and the interior evokes oriental splendour, with glass-roofed halls surrounded by two-storey arcades. The tiles of the rich Hungarian-style ornamentation on the exterior and interior walls and the roof were specially made by the world-famous Zsolnay company of Pécs.,History+of+the+Building

Gazi Kasim Djami, Pécs

The djami of Pasha Gazi Kasim, who later became Pasha of Buda, is the most prominent Ottoman-era building in Hungary. Today it houses the inner-city church of Pécs.

The Turkish djami was built between 1543 and 1546 on the site of the former St Bartholomew church. After the Turkish left the Jesuits dismantled the minaret and modified the building. However, it retains Islamic elements. The djami remained intact following the recapture of the town after which the Jesuits used it as their church. It was modified in 1702 and again in 1766; the entrance hall and the minaret connected to the supporting wall of the entrance hall on the right corner were dismantled.

Between 1939 and 1942 the djami was freed from the walls of the previous additions and extensions. At the same time the current semicircular building to the north was added. Visitors will first step into this part of the building which is decorated with paintings by Ernő Gebauer. Passing under an arch, visitors step into the former mosque, which is covered by a 28-meter-high cupola. The mihrab, a niche which points in the direction of Mecca, can be seen in the southeastern wall.

The fairies of Tokaj-Hegyalja - the legend of the golden wine

“Some fairies used to live on the hills of Tokaj. The ‘Hill of Fires’ used to make them many troubles. Especially to those who were in love with each other. One of the fairy boys even fell in a crater. His love had been searching for the lost fairy boy everywhere, and had been dropping her teardrops by the sides of the hill. The teardrops of the fairy girl had got deep into the roots of the vines, and that is the reason why the Tokaj wine is so sweet and has the colour of the Sun.”

Its international reputation makes the Tokaj-Hegyalja region a symbol for the whole of Hungary. It is located in the north-east corner of the country and produces one of the greatest sweet white wines of the world - the famous “Aszú” which the French King Louis XIV called “the wine of kings, the king of wines”.

Tokaj Hegyalja became the king of Hungarian wine regions after the Turkish reign, and practically the Tokaj wine took an international fame and with it the legends and fairy tales appeared among the people in Hungary and abroad as well. For example, the legend of the golden vine, according to the above tale, had been alive for centuries. Even Paracelsus mentioned it: ”During my travels in Upper-Hungary, through Tokaj and its region: Mád, Tarcal, Tállya, I met a host who cut a vine-root into two. Inside of the vine there were golden lines which are used for weaving.”

Of course, there are no gold vines in Tokaj Hegyalja, however the value of the wine is undoubted. It is unquestionable that wine-marketing started in the 16-17th century. The King had to make a law to protect the Tokaj wine in 173, as everyone in the near wanted to sell wine under the name of Tokaj, so was the first closed-wine-region born.

Although, before the philloxera-epidemic (grape disease) there had been many kinds of vines, the most dominants had always been the furmint, hárslevelü, and yellow Muscat. After the epidemic, for a long period, only these three kinds were grown in the Tokaj Wine Region. Only in the recent years the kövérszóló, zéta (oremus), gohér are having their renaissance.

All the three kinds can be used to make Aszú wine. According to the legend, under the Turkish reign, one year the people had run and hidden away from the fights. They had only come back at the end of October, when the grapes started to get “aszú”-Ed (rotten). This year the wine had been especially very good- so this is the reason why the harvest is started on the day of Simon –Jude (28th October) in the Tokaj Wine region. So are the two main wines born: the Tokaji Furmint and the Tokaji Hárslevelü, very characteristic white wines and the Sárga Muskotály (Yellowmuscat) must be also mentioned, which couples the Muscat aroma with smart acids. For the late –harvest wines, the over-ripped (sometimes partly bothrytised) grapes are harvested even later than Simon-Jude day, at the end of November. So is the sugar content of these wines are so high, with a pleasant, fruity smell.

According to tradition the first Aszúwine was produced by Szepsi Laczkó Máté in Erdőbénye for the queen Lórántffy Zsuzsanna. May the legend be true or not, it’s still a fact that Tokaji Aszú was first mentioned in written form in the 16th century. It got its name after the characteristic aszú-ing (rottening). This over–ripping continuoum that gives the special quality can come only after a long and warm autumn. When raindrops reach the grape, they got hurt and the Botrytis Cinerea, the grey mould, finds the hurt-grape-berries easily. If the weather is dry the grey-rottening turns into a so called noble-rottening, even in the healthier grape-berries. This way, in these berries, the sugar content increases highly. During the harvest, the aszú berries are separated. They can separate 3-4-5-6 puttony of aszú berries, depending on the wished quality of aszúwine. Then they pour a gönci barrel (136 litres) of wine to the aszúberries. It is mixed together for 12-48 hours. If the time is over, the top of the wine, the so called aszú-hat is taken away. According to tradition, the aszú wine is in small size barrels for as many years, as many puttonys it has got. Today it must be a minimum of 3 years.

Beside the aszúwine, another speciality of the wine region is the szamorodni. It’s a Polish word, meaning “as it was born”. It’s produced from partly aszú-ed grapes without separating the noble-rotten berries. Another special wine is the Tokaji Fordítás, which is made from the above mentioned “aszú-hat” (which was taken away from the top of the wine). New wine is poured on the used “aszú-hat” to gain the sugar and aroma from this. “Máslás” is a dry wine made from the rest of the used aszúgrapes.

The “esszencia” is the most unique product of the wine region. This is honey-like nectar which originates from the dropping of the noble rotten grapes, without outer pressing. It’s a unique and rare thing all over the world. Being very thick it reaches very low alcohol content, even untouched for years.

There were two characteristic kinds of barrels in Tokaj-Region Gönci and Szerednyei. The first one is 138 litres made of oak. During history, its size has changed many times in the 16th century it was 407,24 litres, in the 18th century it was 152,72 litres and in the 19th century it was 135,75 litres. Having a small size it was easy to use for transporting wine. The Szerednyei barrel is 220 litres, made of Zemplén oak. (Zemplén is the name of mountains in the Tokaj region.)

Carmelite Church, Győr

The Carmelites settled down in Győr in 1697. Their church was built by the plans of lay brother Athanasius Wittwer from the same order, between 1721 and 1725. The monastery was completed in 1732. The main facade of the building shows Italian-like character, behind which a domed nave of elliptical shape and a square sanctuary can be seen. Mario Altomonte painted the main altarpiece. The “Black Mary” statue from 1717 stands in the famous Loreto-chapel of the building complex.

Djami of Jakováli Hasszán, Pécs

Among the djamis built in the time of Turkish occupation in Hungary the Djami standing on Kórház square in Pécs is the only one to remain intact together with its Minaret. The Djami was built on quadrangular layout, domed with a cupola built of stone and brick and oriented towards Mecca. On the right side of the Djami stands the dodecagonal minaret which seems even more slim because of the slightly arched furrows. From inside the tower 87 stairs are leading to the 22,5 meters high balcony. It is used to be decorated with a stone handrail and was lit by oil lamps on religious feasts. Once also a medrese (school) and a servish cloister used to stand next to the Djami and Minaret, both founded by Pasha Jakovali Hasszán. The cloister was used by mevlevi (whirling) dervishes.

The djami was built in the 16th century and turned into a hospital chapel in 1714. Its renovation into a historical monument started in 1955. Thanks to contributions from the Turkish government, the interior reflects the atmosphere of traditional Turkish mosques. An exhibition inside the building displays related artifacts unearthed in the area.

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