Thursday, 9 November 2017

Budapest Dreaming I

We're on a trip away from Budapest and, although its only been a few days, I'm missing the city already. To help explain why, here is a little post showing the numerous things I saw that I thought lovely or intriguing during a really pretty short walk that I made the day before we left the city.

The walk took me from the city's main market up the bottom end of the famous pedestrian street called Vaci utca to the bank we use, where I had to organise some stuff. I've done that walk lots of times before but, as always, I quickly realised that there is always more to see.

To begin, I deliberately came out on the river side of the market so that I could look up the street to my right and admire this lovely building:

Then I crossed the ring road and walked toward the building I'd been admiring - and then past it and round the corner, noticing for the first time this rather charmingly gormless person on the facade of a dashingly salmon-painted building a little further along the same stretch:

and a lion on another nearby:
 In fact quite a few lions:
Lions can get a bit boring - their sculptors never seem to make as much effort to give them character as they do with the faces of people.

I've walked this stretch so many times but until the other afternoon I'd never noticed all the decorative faces and figures there were to admire:

The best discovery was an adorable sequence of what you might call scenes from childhood stretching across the front of a Serbian church edifice:

A little further on I stopped to admire one of my favourite buildings on that stretch of Vaci utca - I love the eaves especially:

I don't know how I could never have noticed that the next section contains buildings whose decorative features give the Brussels Art Nouveau facades I grew to love a good run for their money:

Before I reached those though, there were a few more traditional decorations I hadn't really taken notice of before, including one building with the kind of peering out of porthole faces that I first saw on an ancient bank in Siena and that I particularly love:

I cannot have walked even a kilometre but there was so much to look at. Budapest is an endlessly visually interesting city - I don't think I've been anywhere that quite rivals it:

Right at the end of my walk, I came upon these two intriguing memorials. This attractive scene seems to be in honour of King Charles XII of Sweden who rested on the spot where it hangs after riding to Budapest from Turkey in the early 18th century - flipping long way to come without any rest earlier:

This one presumably indicates that once a pottery operated on the spot where a rather lavish building now stands. Intriguing. I will have to try to find out more
When your other home is Canberra, a planned city brought into being by bureaucrats in the early 20th century, (and a very lovely place to live, don't imagine I'm criticising, only comparing and contrasting), it is exciting to feel history all around you in the way one does in Budapest. And perhaps after all I am criticising just a little, in the sense that Canberra's architecture is mostly post-1960 and rarely reveals new details to the passer by, in the way Budapest's invariably does.  


  1. I have never been to Budapest but might have to add it to my list now. I am particularly taken with the art nouveau on the poles (near the gorgeous owl).

    1. There is a lot of crumbling art nouveau around, mostly with its own special Hungarian twist. When spring comes and it is less cold and more sunny, I will go out with my camera and take some snaps for you.

  2. "Some busybody must have decided this was unsafe - or some idiot must have fallen in and drowned." I hate that. Not what you said, but that phenomenon. One of the things I most enjoyred about Great Britiain, the first time I visited, was those signs of silhouetted figured falling that were posted by the edges of things, like castle ruins. In the US they fenced you out; in the UK, they told you: look, you can fall and die...don't say we didn't warn you. It's such a shame when people with good sense have to have the beauty of their surroundings corrupted because fools have lawyers. (Also, hi! I have been out of the blogging workd for a while...glad to be back and reading your posts.)

    1. Hello Mr Mattress. Hope all well with you. Maybe the British chose to leave the EU because they want to go back to falling off castle ruins without having to climb EU imposed occupational health and safety fences first?