Budapest Secession

41. Apartment building on Csokonai utca 8

Gyula Fodor, 1902-1906

This house, located behind the Blaha Lujza Square, is now in a dilapidated state, as many other buildings in the area. Its most noticeable elements are the beautiful entrance door and the small stained-glass window above it.

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42. Apartment building with shops on Dob utca 18

János Senger and Dezső Bán under the supervision of Gyula Fodor, 1904-1906

This low Secessionist building in the Jewish District has hosted at least a café and, in the recent years, a ruin pub.

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43. Szenes House

Thököly út 46, Istvánmező
István Nagy Jr., 1905-1906

This apartment building was constructed by Mór Szenes, who was active in the insurance sector. The architect was István Nagy Jr., who also designed the Schwarz House on Dob utca and the House of Jenő Rákosi on Szűz utca.

The plan originally included a wine cellar and a restaurant on the ground floor on the northeastern side, where the garden is. In reality, the entire ground floor was given to a casino owned by Mór Szenes. In 1907, the building was sold to Count István Bossányi of Nagybossány and Countess Emilia Bossányi of Nagybossány and Kispróna. It was then that the spaces occupied by the casino were divided into apartments.

The façade of the building is similar to that of the Postal Savings Bank, except that here the decorative elements are made of plaster instead of ceramic.

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The marvel of the building is its courtyard, where beautiful wrought-iron railings in the shape of a butterfly can be found between the columns on the street side. That makes it surely the most beautiful Art Nouveau courtyard in Budapest.

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The Szenes House is a private building, and its courtyard is not accessible to the public. However, as of June 2019, some flats of the building are rented out to tourists. Staying there one or a few nights is the most straightforward way to access this wonderful courtyard.

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44. Engel Tenement House

Semmelweis utca 9, Belváros
Emil Vidor, 1905-1906

This building stands on the site of a house where a notorious nymphomaniac countess had lived. With my poor Hungarian skills I haven’t been able to figure out if she was a real person or a literary character, but I read about orgies that had taken place here, in the hotels of Budapest and Vienna, and in a villa in the Bois de Boulogne in Paris. The scandalous house was demolished in 1904 by merchant Mihály Engel. The façade of the new building was covered with plant-inspired stucco decoration, featuring grapes and poppies.

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45. Török Bank

Szervita tér 3, Belváros
Henrik Böhm & Ármin Hededűs, 1906

This building with three narrow glass-covered bay windows was constructed for the Bank A. Török & Co. Its façade culminates with a mosaic by Miksa Róth called Patrona Hungariae. Virgin Mary stands in the middle of it, surrounded by angels and peasants as well as by famous Hungarians from the past, such as Ferenc Rákóczi, István Széchenyi, and Lajos Kossuth. The building was originally crowned by a huge crystal globe.

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46. House of the Civil Brewery / Dreher House

Népszínház utca 22, Józsefváros
Emil Vidor, 1906

This building, also called the Beer Palace, has a striking mosaic above the top-floor windows of its corner façade. The author of the mosaic is either Miksa Róth or Andor Dudits.

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47. Apartment building with shops on Rákóczi út 86

Géza Kiss, 1906

This building with abundant floral decorations was designed by Géza Kiss, who had worked together with Albert Kálmán Kőrössy.

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48. Weisz House

Dózsa György út 19, Istvánmező
Nagy & Benedict, 1906

The central part of this façade is adorned with female figures held by curved structures.

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49. Elementary school on Dob utca 85

Ármin Hegedűs, 1906

This façade has curvilinear lines made of interconnected bricks and a number of mosaics. On the roof there was a playground for boys.

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50. Philanthia Flower Shop

Váci utca 9, Belváros
Albert Kálmán Kőrössy, 1906

This flower shop has, in addition to the elegant façade, a beautiful interior. I don’t know any other Art Nouveau flower shops anywhere.

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51. Gresham Palace

Széchenyi István tér 5-6, Lipótváros
Zsigmond Quittner & József Vágó, 1904-1907

The London-based Gresham Life Assurance Company bought the property at the end of the Chain Bridge on the Pest side in 1880. At the beginning of the 20th century it decided to build its foreign headquarters here. The company’s offices were located on the ground floor. On the other floors, there were luxury apartments of mostly the senior staff.

The different parts of the building are organised around a T-shaped covered passage. Its glass roof has a dome and is geometrically patterned. The stained glass was designed by Miksa Róth. The walls are covered with ceramics. The symmetrical main façade has very elegant decorations.

The famous Gresham Café was located in the building. After World War II the Red Army used the palace as a barracks. In the Socialist era, it was used as an apartment building. Today, the Four Seasons Hotel operates in it.

Together with Ödön Lechner’s Museum of Applied Arts, this is my favourite building in Budapest.

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52. Villa of Sipeki Balás

Hermina út 47, Herminamező
Ödön Lechner, Marcell Komor & Dezső Jakab, 1905-1907

This villa stands out for its extra-slim turret, contrasting with the bulging shape of the winter garden. The Hungarian National Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired currently operates in it.

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53. Gutenberg House

Gutenberg tér 4, Palotanegyed
József & László Vágó, 1906-1907

This huge white building with a curvy façade was constructed for a book printing association. It comprised the offices, library and lecture halls of the association as well as rental apartments. The architects also designed a studio apartment for themselves, and there were shops on the ground floor. Parts of the façade are covered with majolica decorations. These remind me of those of Villa Vojcsik in Vienna. Ödön Lechner lived here.

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54. House of Jenő Rákosi

Szűz utca 5-7, Józsefváros
István Nagy Jr., 1906-1907

This building behind Saint Joseph Parish Church was home to Jenő Rákosi, a writer, journalist, theatre director, editor, and member of Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

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55. Jónás Hecht & Son’s Wholesale Textile Shop

Szent István tér 15, Lipótváros
Béla Lajta, 1906-1907

The front of the textile shop is adorned with light-green tiles and embossed copper plates. There are eosin ornaments on the pillars between the windows. Inspiration comes from folk art.

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56. Steinhardt Court

Alsó erdősor utca 8, Erzsébetváros
Gyula Fodor, 1907

This building is thought to have been constructed for Géza Steinhardt (Géza Szekeres). Its façade is decorated with sculptures by Ney Simon. Among them are a happy and a sad mask, dancing figures, and a tragic scene with a female figure holding a dagger. The building also has an impressive wrought-iron gate, with glass above it by József Schneider.

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57. Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music

Liszt Ferenc tér 8, Terézváros
Flóris Korb & Kálmán Giergl, 1907

This building houses an educational institution as well as a concert hall. Its façade is dominated by a statue of Liszt, sculpted by Alajos Stróbl. The two female figures on the upper part of the façade are reminiscent of those on the building of the Österreichise Postsparkasse in Vienna. The interior is decorated with frescoes, Zsolnay ceramics, and statues, among which those of Béla Bartók and Frédéric Chopin can be found. Originally, there were also stained-glass windows made by Miksa Róth here.

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58. Apartment building with shops on Visegrádi utca 17

József & László Vágó, 1907

The upper floor of this façade is marked by an interesting belt of circles.

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59. Apartment building on Kruspér utca 10

János Fedor Csák, 1907

This is one of the several Art Nouveau façades on Kruspér Street.

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60. Apartment building with shops on Akácfa utca 30 / Wesselényi utca 36

Zoltán Bálint & Lajos Jámbor, 1907

This is another Art Nouveau building in the Jewish District that is in a bad shape.

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