Archive for Budapest Articles


The Revival of Józsefváros, Budapest’s Eighth District

Posted in Budapest Articles by arpiboy on July 10th, 2014

Budapest’s Eighth District, on the Pest side of the river Danube, used to have a pretty poor reputation as rough, crime-ridden and best avoided. This was a mark of its sad decline: from its former grandeur as an area of large and ornate aristocratic town houses to one that was synonymous with the seamier side of Budapest life. The area suffered a great deal of damage during World War II, and it still bore the scars of the 1956 revolution. However, the past decade or so has seen Józsefváros shaking off this image to become one of Budapest’s most interesting and lively districts, where its faded and picturesque 19th century glamour provides the setting for everything that is lively, trendy and bohemian, with an attractive mix of modern café culture, art galleries, live music venues and interesting little specialist shops. These days, any tour of Budapest that leaves out a few hours exploring the Eighth District is missing out on one of Budapest’s most distinctive attractions.

Regeneration

In a marked contrast to the fate of the city centre, which received a large injection of state funding following Hungary’s joining of the EU in 2004, the Eighth District struggled financially and culturally. Its revival began in 2000 with the installation of security cameras. It never looked back. Crime rapidly began to decline in the area, which then became attractive to entrepreneurs aiming to take advantage of the low rents and grand architecture. This is an irresistible mix, which has made similar unloved areas of cities the world over come back to life.

While some travellers may still be wary of exploring Józsefváros, especially at night, these concerns have been outdated by the years of development and its transformation into one of Budapest’s most colourful districts, which might be a little shabby in parts but is not dangerous. Additional investment by the Budapest City Council is helping to ensure a bright future for the district as the country begins to recover from the banking crisis, while numbers of tourists looking for good deals in developing travel markets such as Hungary are beginning to rise. Most people travelling to Budapest will probably be new to the country, so getting updated information about the exchange rate, your likely day-to-day expenditure, travel cover and health protection, and learning something about the culture and history of Hungary is essential. Eastern Europe is rapidly changing. This means that it is becoming on the one hand more tourism-friendly, but on the other hand it may be more expensive than you expect. Budapest is still one of the best destinations in terms of value, and in up-and-coming areas such the Eighth District you can experience a city on the cusp of that change between a place that is devoid of tourists to one that is beginning to attract them and welcome them without changing its essential character.

Art and music, food and drink

The Eighth District extends south behind the Hungarian National Museum, between the river Danube to the west and the People’s Park to the east. Beyond a block of typically huge mansions is the hub of the district’s developing bohemian life, with a proliferation of cafés, restaurants and shops along Krudy Gyala Street and around Mikszáth Square—a peaceful little space with gardens, seating and a statue of the 19th century Hungarian writer and politician, Kálmán Mikszáth, to whom it is dedicated. On a corner of the square is the Zappa Café, named after the musician, Frank Zappa, who performed here in the 1990s when it was an alternative rock music venue called Tilos az Á. Hungarian punk music, rock ’n’ roll, blues or jazz can still be heard in the café’s basement, in the atmospheric Trafik Klub—great if you like relaxing on a beanbag and singing along.

Continuing the musical line of exploration, farther along the street is a shop called Ethno Sound. From the outside this may at first seem like your average hippy shop, but it actually houses an incredible collection of what seems like the world’s most exotic and unusual percussion instruments—guaranteed to get any visitor tapping, banging or shaking everything in sight. The Budapest Jazz Club is the best if not the only venue in Budapest that showcases Hungarian and international jazz artists: find it just around the corner from the National Museum. It’s open every day except Sunday from 4.00pm till midnight. If contemporary photography is more your scene, the nearby Lumen Kávézo, holds regular exhibitions of foreign and Hungarian photographers as well as being café, pub and wine bar, where you can relax over a coffee or a beer, or come back in the evening when it becomes another live music venue.

A short walk east of Lumen Kávézo, Ateliers Pro Arts houses artist’s studios in a converted pipe factory. You can visit its light and airy gallery space and relax in the cheerful and trendy Bar ApaCuka in the same building, which serves a robust menu of Hungarian dishes such as roast duck and potatoes. In the Café Csiga, which also has artworks covering its walls, you can enjoy another choice of Hungarian dishes, even though its owner is an ex-pat Irishman. Many Hungarian restaurants advertise a very reasonably priced lunch offer, and this is no exception. For less than €2 you can set yourself up for the day with a bacon and egg breakfast, or try a delicious lunch of buzdás kenyér, or bread dipped in egg, fried and served with cheese and sour cream.

Spend only a short time in the Eighth District enjoying its arty atmosphere, the people, the food and drink, and you’ll forget you ever heard this was the wrong end of town. It’s a testament to the enduring appeal of those simple pleasures shared in good company and in convivial surroundings, which only needs a little encouragement and investment to flourish again in a forgotten corner of any city.

Contributor: Susie Catesby


Ferenc Puskas Hungarian Football Legend

Posted in Budapest Articles by arpiboy on December 10th, 2006

Ferenc Puskas Hungarian Football Legend has died and makes Final Journey on Saturday 9 of December.

ferenc puskas photo
Ferenc Puskas died on 2006 November 17 aged 79 of cardiovascular.
Puskas was the best-known Hungarian of the 20th century’.
He was considered one of the best football players of all time, scoring more than 600 career goals between 1943 and 1966. Puskas has scored a remarkable 83 goals in 84 international matches for Hungary between 1945 and 1956.

The President of Hungary Laszlo Solyom was the first to lay a wreath at the foot of Ferenc Puskas’ coffin, as a guard of honor stood by beneath the Saint Stephen’s Basilica’s grand dome in Budapest.

Ferenc Puskas was called the most famous Hungarian man and “Ocsi” or “Little Brother,” or “Galloping Major” and “Booming Cannon”.
He won three European Cup titles with Real Madrid.


Budapest Riot – Budapest Protest

Posted in Budapest Articles by arpiboy on October 25th, 2006

During the 2006 October 23. Budapest Revolution Anniversary events there were some riots in Budapest streets. The first thing was some protesters stole a tank used in the 1956 revolution. The tank was on the street from a museum for the anniversary event. The tank driver was an old man who could drive the tank. Fortunately the tank has only minimal fuel so he could drive it for only 200 meters far.
The police arrested him and the other riots started to “demonstrate”. The policemen had to use tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon to disperse crowds of rioters on the street.

This happened on the Deak Ferenc square. I just go up from the subway and saw this battle of policemen and rioters. I hardly take a breath because of the tear gas in the subway station.
Deak square Budapest Demonstration
After this I went to the direction of the Astoria.

Astoria Budapest
At the Astoria (it is a crossing in Budapest and the name of the Astoria Hotel there) a big counter party event held by the FIDESZ many people there. After a while the event started to disperse and started to transform a Budapest riot demonstration against the MSZP and Ferenc Gyurcsany Prime Minister of Hungary.

Ferenciek tere tear gas
Tear gas in the air at Ferenciek tere Budapest.

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Some more tear gas from the police
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Budapest Riot
At the Ferenciek tere some rioters started to raise a barricade on the street.
barricade
Stuff for the barricade from a building reconstruction.
the mob building the barricade
The guy was wearing ski glasses against the tear gas
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The barricade was done on the Ferenciek sqare
Ferenciek Square is situated on the Pest bank of the Danube near to the Elizabeth Bridge, the bridge was closed from traffic.

RTL Klub Budapest TV
The reporter of the RTL Klub at the demonstration (one of the big commercial TV channel in Hungary)
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Motor riders on the Elizabeth Bridge

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policemen Budapest
The group of policemen on the Nyugati square in front of the Western Railway Station (Nyugati palyaudvar)

Rakoczi street Budapest
There were other brutal destruction in Budapest by rioters on the Blaha Lujza square and the Rakoczi street.

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barricade on the Erzsebet hid
The rioters started to raise a barricade on the other side of the Elizabeth Bridge to block the way from the other group of policemen coming from the other side.

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ambulance car

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Hir TV Budapest

Google earth image Budapest
A Google Earth image about the scenes of the above Budapest night photos.

Budapest Riot – Budapest Demonstration