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GELLÉRT MEDICINAL BATHS, BUDAPEST, HUNGARY

Centuries ago thermal springs gushing forth at the foot of Gellért Hill created a muddy hollow where today´s baths are located. The first the open-air bath was named, for its muddy waters, Sárosfürdö (Muddy Bath).
In 1894, when construction of the Francis Joseph, later Szabadság (Liberty) Bridge commenced, the government expropriated and subsequently demolished the bath building. In 1902 the municipality of Budapest acquired ownership of the springs from the treasury and started to prepare a project for the construction of a new baths.
The actual construction of today´s Gellért Baths began in 1911 and the building, named St Gellért Medicinal Baths and Hotel, was inaugurated on 26 September 1918. The architects were Artúr SEBESTYÉN, Ármin HEGEDÜS and Izidor STERK.
The real attraction of this building, considering the many alterations undergone by the hotel, is the thermal bath still capable of evoking the milieu of the Hotel´s construction. Alongside those baths remaining from the Turkish period, the Saint Gellért Baths is one of the most internationally well known and most popular medicinal baths in Budapest. The exotic splendour, the glazed tiles and mosaics glittering with magnificent colour effects in a fabulous atmosphere heightened by the clouds of steam render the building a peerless gem of the bath architecture fashionable of the turn of the century. Although the architects began their careers under Ödön LECHNER´s influence, the master´s presence can no longer be discerned in this work. The main entrance, the corners and the bath entrance are crowned by baroque-like domes. Floral folk art motives decorate the entire building and reflect the geometricising tendencies of the ?Wiener Werkstätte?. The colourful and imposing 74-metre-long entrance hall covered by an arched glass roof - the transversal axis of the symmetrical ground-plan - evokes the atmosphere of Roman thermal baths. The whole complex is characterised by the abundance of a highly varied detail: the amazingly exquisite world of late Art Nouveau blends with the Neo-Baroque.(Sources: Csaba Meskó: Thermal baths, Our Budapest, 1998 and Budapest Architectural guide - 20th century, 6Bt, 1997)

www.budapestgyogyfurdoi.hu/hu/gellert/aktualis

© Horváth Edina, KÖH

THE CALVINIST CHURCH OF FASOR, BUDAPEST, HUNGARY

A superb example of late Art Nouveau architecture designed by Aladár ÁRKAY (1913), this Church synthesises the architectural trends of the turn of the century and international influences. A central layout (in the shape of a Greek cross) influenced by American evangelist churches is representative of the new Protestant church type which had spread primarily throughout German speaking territories. The reinforced concrete structure clearly utilises the possibilities and characteristics of the new material as opposed to the more commonly employed arches which recall medieval forms. The organisation of space reveals the influence of Finnish National Romanticism, the black and gold colours are the heavily emphasized geometric ornaments suggest the presence of the Wiener Werkstätte. Forms originating from Hungarian folk art interconnect and unify, appearing - in Árkay´s unique, abstract interpretation - on the carved wooden gates, the stained-glass windows, the ceramic tiles decorating the portal, the patterns of the wall-paintings and the surrounding fence. The entire building is still intact, including the interior. Several apartments are also contained within the church building for the use of the pastors. The adjacent college was built in the same style fifteen years later. (Source: Budapest Architectural guide - 20th century, 6Bt, 1997)

www.fasor.hu

© Rácz Jolán, KÖH

DUAL LANGUAGE PRIMARY SCHOOL AND CATERING TECHNICAL SCHOOL

The facade of the school designed by Ármin HEGEDÜS in 1906, richly ornamented with undulating ribbons of brick and mosaic friezes guarantees it a place amongst the most beautiful schools of the capital of Hungary. The mosaics, by Zsigmond VAJDA, depict children's game from the turn of the century. The interior layout - including the furnishing - conform to expectations of healthy living habits and contemporary pedagogical principles. The architect saw these elements, and architecture itself, as important components of children's education. (Source: Budapest Architectural guide - 20th century, 6Bt, 1997)

www.dobsuli.hu

© Papp Tímea, KÖH

GEOLOGICAL INSTITUTE, BUDAPEST, HUNGARY

The Institute, designed by Ödön LECHNER and built by Sándor HAUSZMANNN, serves the same function since its opening since 1899 - this naturally contributed to the conservation of the original appearance in a relatively intact state. The magnificent roof of ZSOLNAY tiles shining in several shades of blue can be overviewed from the roof terrace of the back annex of the building. One can feel the Oriental atmosphere inside the building: in the foyer, the stairways and the corridors. The way Lechner takes out motives from the small-scale world of embroidery and carving and shapes them into monumental spatial elements while preserving their original character is the culminating point of his brilliant style creation. (Source: Art Nouveau in Hungarian Way, Ödön Lechner, 1845-1914, Kulturális Örökségvédelmi Hivatal, 2004)

www.mafi.hu

© Horváth Edina, KÖH

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