Budapest Secession

101. Kazinczy Street Synagogue

Kazinczy utca 29-31, Erzsébetváros
Sándor Samu & Béla Löffler, 1912-1913

The Orthodox Synagogue on Kazinczy Street is the most important public building that the Löffler brothers designed in the 1910s. It is late-Secession early-Art Deco and reveals the influence of the Parisiana club, designed by their master, Béla Lajta. The main façade reflects the orientalistic traditions of Central European synagogue architecture and foresees Art Deco’s attraction to the exotic. It is clad in brick and coloured artificial stone. The quotation inscribed in Hebrew under the moulding sill reads: ‘This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of Heaven.’ As for the interior, the furnishing are unusually cheerful, but the colours are not original. The vaulted windows were made by Miksa Róth.

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102. Wekerle Estate

From 1908 to the early-1930s

The Wekerle Estate is a garden city located in the suburb of Kispest. It is named after Sándor Wekerle, the prime minister of the Kingdom of Hungary at the time when its construction was launched. The idea for the development came from architect József Fleischl.

The streets of the estate are rationally arranged and form a spider-web-like structure. The avenues are tree-lined. In the centre of the estate, there is a large square with a park.

The buildings constructed are rather small. One-storey buildings, located on smaller streets, have 2-4 apartments. Two-storey buildings that make up the bigger alleys contain 6-12 apartments. The houses have spacious gardens.

The design of the buildings follows the Transylvanian style, established by Károly Kós. Many high roofs and wooden structures strike in the eye. A lot of buildings also show the influence of Art Nouveau.

Apartment building on Kós Károly tér 2-3 (Károly Kós, 1912-1913)

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Apartment building on Kós Károly tér 1 (Zoltán Tornallyay, 1912-1913)

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Apartment building with a cinema on Kós Károly tér 4 (Lajos Schoditsch & Béla Eberling, 1912-1913)

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Apartment building on Kós Károly tér 15 (Béla Heintz, 1912-1913)

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Apartment building on Pannónia út 13 (Lóránd Lechner)

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103. Villa on Garas utca 12

Andor Wellisch, 1914

This German-looking building is located in a villa district on the Buda side.

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104. First National Savings Bank of Pest

Váci utca 1-3 / Deák Ferenc utca 3-5, Belváros
Ignác Alpár, 1909-1915

This building was originally constructed as the headquarters of a bank. It also had shops on the street level, a kindergarten of the employees of the bank on the side of the Deák Ferenc Street, and some rental apartments on the top floor. It now houses an H&M department store, making it one of the most beautiful fast-fashion stores in the world.

The façade of the building has a rich plastic decoration executed in the workshop of Géza Maróti. The stained-glass windows were made by Miksa Róth. The foyer, the meeting hall and the wooden doors were prepared following the designs of Ödön Faragó. Ignác Alpár, its architect, is the author of many other notable buildings, such as the Vajdahunyad Castle, the Anker Palace and several banks in Budapest, as well as a number of structures in the province, most notably in Transylvania.

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105. Glückmann House

Dob utca 8 / Rumbach Sebestyén utca 6, Erzsébetváros
Miklós & Ernő Román, 1913-1915

This massive building is located a few steps away from the Rumbach Street Synagogue.

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106. Saint Ladislaus Gymnasium

Kőrösi Csoma Sándor út 28-34, Kőbánya
Ödön Lechner & József Vágó, 1914-1915

This building with a curved corner is one of the most outstanding works of the late phase of the Hungarian Secession. It is also one of the last works of Ödön Lechner. The stylized coat of arms of Hungary can be seen on the façade, together with Hungarian folk motifs and some eastern elements. From the street, only corridors can be seen. There are no classrooms that have a street window. Many Hungarian celebrities have been students here.

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107. Hernád Court

Hernád utca 36-40, Erzsébetváros
Géza Ziegler, 1913-1916

This huge U-shaped building is adorned with colourful mosaics. It is one of the most interesting late-Art Nouveau buildings in the city.

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108. Gellért Hotel and Thermal Baths

Kelenhegyi út 4, Gellérthegy
Ármin Hegedűs, Artúr Sebestyén & Izidor Sterk, 1912-1918

References to healing waters in this location date back to the 13th century. In the Middle Ages a hospital was located here. During the reign of the Ottoman Empire, there were baths here known as Sárosfürdő (‘muddy bath’), because of the mineral mud that settled at the bottom of pools.

The current building is from 1912-1918. It is big, late-Secessionist and has rustic domes. The interior is richly decorated with sculptures, mosaics and stained-glass windows. The walls of the thermal bath areas are covered with colourful Zsolnay porcelain. In the men’s thermal bath there are figures of kissing children by Miklós Ligeti. There are swimming pools inside and outside. The lobby and the inner swimming pool are covered by glass roofs.

This is the most beautiful bathhouse that I have ever visited.

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I haven’t been able to date the following buildings.

 

109. Apartment building on Jókai utca 36

This façade has some mascarons announcing the arrival of Art Nouveau.

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110. Apartment buildings on Szinva utca 1-4

These apartment buildings form a whole with their rows of pilasters decorated with mascarons.

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111. Apartment building on Szarka utca 7

This apartment building is decorated with abundant rectangular motifs and has very interesting balconies.

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112. Apartment building on Dembinszky utca 45

The bulging window frames and the trapezoid roof-floor solution are interesting.

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113. Apartment building with shops on Zichy Jenő utca 31

This building is located in a notorious red-light district of the turn of the century. It housed a brothel, which must have been familiar to writer Gyula Krúdy, who lived around here.

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114. Apartment building on Rökk Szilárd utca 9

The upper part of the façade contributes well to the general vertical accent of this building.

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115. Hungarian State Railways (MÁV) Estate

The MÁV Estate was created for railway workers in the Rákospalota neighbourhood in the early-1900s. Some façades show influence of Art Nouveau.

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Below Secessionist funerary art of Budapest is introduced.

 

116. Arcades of the Kerepesi Cemetery

Fiumei út 16-18, Józsefváros
Lajos Gerle & Ármin Hegedűs, 1904-1908

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The cupolas of the arcades in the Kerepesi Cemetery are adorned with mosaics by Miksa Róth, Aladár Körösfői-Kriesch, Andor Dudits, János Stein, and  Zsigmond Vajda.

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117. Tomb stones of the Kozma Street Jewish Cemetery

Kozma utca 6, Kőbánya

The Jewish cemetery on Kozma Street has many wonderful Art Nouveau tomb stones. The most interesting of them is the tomb of Schmidl family, designed by Béla Lajta, possibly together with Ödön Lechner, in 1903-1904. Lajta’s work before 1905 clearly shows Lechner’s influence in terms of the dynamic handling of mass and the powerful polychromy. This is the most unusual funerary monument that I have ever seen.

Tomb of Schmidl family

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Tomb of Mór Montag

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Tomb of Fleischl family (Károly Stern)

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Tomb of Imre Weisz

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118. Miksa Róth Memorial House

Nefelejcs utca 26, Erzsébetváros

Miksa Róth’s stained-glass windows and mosaics can be admired all over Budapest, starting from the most important structure in the city – the Hungarian Parliament Building. I have already mentioned his contribution in some buildings listed above. Many of his works are scattered around the current and former territories of Hungary, notable examples including the City Hall of Szabadka (Subotica, Serbia) and the City Hall and the Palace of Culture of Marosvásárhely (Târgu Mureș, Romania).

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In Budapest, some of the best examples of Miksa Róth’s art are showcased at a small museum operating in a house where he lived since 1910 (Miksa Róth Memorial House). Below are photos of some notable Art Nouveau stained-glass windows and mosaics from the collection of that museum (all designed by Róth).

Nocturnal Landscape with Lilies (1898)
One of the most famous works by Róth

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Opalescent three-light window
(1900; commissioned by Lajos Freisinger)

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Opalescent panel of a screen
(1900; commissioned by Lajos Freisinger)

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English Art Nouveau window
(before 1907)

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Portrait of a Girl
(around 1910, based on a design by Sándor Nagy)

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Putto (around 1910)

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Geometricised tulip motif

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The following four Secessionist mosaics were shown at the 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris. Here Róth innovated Hungarian mosaic art by using the opalescent Tiffany glasses as well as the glazed elements produced by the Zsolnay Porcelain Manufacture.

The Rising Sun (1898)
Example of international Art Nouveau

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Mosaic with Tulips (before 1900)
Example of Hungarian Secession; hand-painted porcelain flowers in Hungarian style are placed on a base consisting of eosin-glazed tesserae (cf. Ödön Lechner)

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The Tree of Knowledge with Pomegranates (1898)
The pomegranates project from the plane and the eosin colours glitter vividly.

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Pax (1898-1900)
This mosaic was awarded the Silver Medal at the Exposition Universelle in Paris.

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Oriental Princess (between 1900 and 1910)

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Mosaic with Lambs and Excerpts from the Psalms (1910)

In this mosaic, Róth placed gold leaves between different layers of glass and put a glass on the surface. The uneven surface was then coated with a schwarzlot finish, which further increased the contrast. Schwarzlot is a technique that had been used since the Middle Ages, and Róth expected it to be adopted in the contemporary Hungarian ecclesiastical art. It did not find any followers, however, which makes this mosaic unique. Róth was very proud of this work.

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Finally, some other museum pieces are given.

 

From the exhibition Lechner, a Creative Genius of the Museum of Applied Arts

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János Vaszary, The Return of Spring (The Living Key)
(1899; Hungarian National Gallery)

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József Rippl-Rónai, Mrs Miksa Schiffer with Her Daughters (Panneau of the Schiffer Villa)
(1911; Hungarian National Gallery)

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