Budapest Local Customs

  • Zoltan Kodaly - Hungarian composer
    Zoltan Kodaly - Hungarian composer
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    Budapest Art Nouveau
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    Budapest Art Nouveau
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Most Recent Local Customs in Budapest

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    The Jewish District continued

    by budapest8 Written Nov 5, 2005

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    The National Jewish Museum situated by the Great Synagogue.
    On display are artifacts and art from the long history of Hungarian Jewry. The last of the four rooms is given over to a moving exhibit on the Holocaust in Hungary. (Note the open hours: May-Oct only, Mon-Thurs 10am-5pm, Fri 10am-3pm, and Sun 10am-1pm.) The synagogue courtyard can be entered through the rear of the complex on Wesselényi utca.
    Inside the courtyard is the still-expanding Holocaust Memorial
    Designed by Imre Varga, a wonderful contemporary Hungarian sculptor, the memorial is in the form of a weeping willow tree. Thin metal leaves, purchased by survivors and by descendants to honor relatives who were victims, are slowly filling the many branches. The courtyard behind the memorial is called the Raoul Wallenberg Memorial Park, in honor of the Swiss diplomat who saved thousands of Jewish lives in wartime Budapest. The names of some of Budapest's "righteous Gentiles" are inscribed on four pillars.

    close up of the front of the synagogue View of the synagogue from the boulevard. close up of the corner of the synagogue close up of old gravestones in the synagogue close up of the side of the synagogue
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    The Jewish District

    by budapest8 Written Nov 5, 2005

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    Klauzál tér

    This is the district's largest square and its historic center. A dusty park and renovated playground fill the interior of the square.
    At Klauzál tér 11, you'll find the District Market Hall (Vásárcsarnok)
    One of the half dozen or so great steel-girdered market halls built in Budapest in the 1890s, this one is rather run-down and now houses a Skála grocery store. The entrance area is filled with smaller vendors selling fruit or vegetables.Walk down Dob utca, this is where I live in the week and work when I'm not in Nagykata. I live opposite the Kosher Bolt (shop) next to the Carl Lutz Memorial.On the right, against a cement wall near the corner of Rumbach utca and Dob utca, is the rather bizarre-looking Memorial to Charles Lutz the Swiss consul who aided Wallenberg's heroic attempts to save Budapest's Jews from the Nazi death camps. The inscription from the Talmud reads: "Saving one soul is the same as saving the whole world." Another, rather lonely, memorial to Wallenberg stands on Szilágyi Erzsébet fasor, far away in Buda. Ghetto Wall
    This wall kept Budapest's Jews inside this district during World War II. This is not actually where it stood, however; it was situated on Károly körút, the nearby stretch of the Inner Ring boulevard.
    To the left of the wall, on the spot marked as the birthplace of Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism, is the National Jewish Museum

    Corner of  Kazinczy utca and Dob utca Dob utca Corner and Kazinczy utca old Jewish Bazza Kazinczy utca Corner of Kazinczy utca facade of building Wesselenyi u
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    The Jewish District Budapest

    by budapest8 Written Nov 5, 2005

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    Head back to Rumbach utca and proceed down that street. Take a right onto Király utca, which forms the northern border of the historic Jewish district. At Király u. 13, head through the long series of:
    Connected courtyards........
    These courtyards emerge onto Dob utca, back in the heart of the Jewish district. This kind of complex -- residential buildings connected by a series of courtyards -- is typical of the Jewish district. As you can readily see, these courtyards are in extremely poor condition, dirty and run-down with graffiti-covered walls and abandoned apartments, though the appearance in recent years of several flashy retail shops may presage a general improvement.
    Take a Break--Frohlich Cukrászda, Dob u. 22, is the only functioning kosher cukrászda (sweet shop) left in the district. Here, you can purchase pastries, rolls, or ice cream. (Be aware that the shop closes for 2 weeks at the end of Aug.)
    Half a block to the left off Dob utca on Kazinczy utca, at no. 41, is the:
    Kosher Salami Workshop (Szalámi és Kolbászáru üzem).
    Salami, famous throughout Hungary, is handmade here with ancient machinery. If you make a purchase, be sure to admire the equally ancient cash register in the corner. The sign outside directing you to the entrance is deceptive; simply enter via the doorway in front of you. Open Monday through Thursday from 8am to 4pm, Friday from 8am to 1pm.
    Back on Kazinczy u., no. 29 is the Orthodox Kazinczy Synagogue
    Built in 1913 and still active, this synagogue is being slowly and beautifully restored. It has a well-maintained and lively courtyard in its center. There are a number of apartments in which members of the Orthodox community live. While hundreds of travelers visit the Dohány each day, far fewer make the trip here.
    Go all the way through the courtyard, emerge onto Dob utca, turn right, and head into Klauzál tér This is the district's largest square and its historic center. A dusty park and renovated playground fill the interior of the square.

    Kazinczy utca Mikve Before a Ghetto now just space for cars
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    Jewish District in vth District

    by budapest8 Updated Nov 5, 2005

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    The Jewish district in Pest has a long and ultimately tragic history. It first sprang up in medieval times just beyond the Pest city wall (which stood where today's Inner Ring boulevard stands), because Jews were forbidden to live inside the town. Later, Pest expanded beyond its walls, and the Jewish district actually became one of the city's more centrally located neighborhoods. The huge synagogues that you can see may give some idea of the area's former vitality. Under German occupation in World War II, the district became a walled ghetto, with 220,000 Jews crowded inside; almost half perished during the war. Sadly, the neighborhood is now more or less in a state of decay; buildings are crumbling, garbage is strewn about, and graffiti covers the walls. Nevertheless, this compact little neighborhood is filled with evocative sights.

    The Dohány Synagogue
    This striking Byzantine building, Europe's largest synagogue and the world's second-largest, was built in 1859 and is still used by Budapest's Neolog (Conservative) Jewish community. The synagogue is newly cleaned and restored.
    The small, freestanding brick wall inside the courtyard, to the left of the synagogue's entrance, is a piece of the original:
    Rumbach Synagogue
    This handsome but decrepit yellow-and-rust-colored building is, in its own way, as impressive as the Dohány Synagogue. Built in 1872 by the Vienna architect Otto Wagner, this Orthodox synagogue is no longer in use. You can't go inside, but the facade itself is worth seeing.
    Continue down Rumbach utca and make a left on Madách út to look at the giant archway of:
    Madách tér
    In the 1930s a plan was drawn up for the creation of a great boulevard similar in form and style to Andrássy út. World War II put an end to the ambitious project, and the grand Madách tér leads only to itself now. Looking through the arch on a clear day, you get an unusual view of Gellért Hill, crowned by the Liberation Monument. Several new art galleries can be found on Rumbach utca and Madách út.

    Orthodox Kazinczy Synagogue Frohlich Cukr��szda, Dob u. 22 kosher cukr��szda (sw Religious Jew coming from the Yashiva Orthodox Kazinczy Synagogue entrance to Hanna Rest
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    Folk music and dances

    by draguza Written Oct 23, 2005

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    Hungary has won high renown in world musical history. Though the country's history has repeatedly prevented uninterrupted development, talented Hungarian musicians in classical music and jazz alike are world famous in our days as well. The history of Hungarian music stared with folk music and it was through adaptations of folk music in compositions of Béla Bartók that it joined the vanguard of international music in the last century.

    Hungarian dances
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    Egg painting

    by draguza Written Oct 23, 2005

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    Egg Painting in Hungary is a very common tradition: there are many different painting method alive. The simplest way is to cook the egg envelopped into a dented leaf, in painting water. The covered part of the egg remains white and will show the pattern of the leaf.
    The most beautiful eggs are painted by hand following traditional folk patterns.

    Painted eggs
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    No holding hands with your children?

    by Dabs Written Aug 27, 2005

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    We wondered what these signs could possibly mean, could you not hold hands with your children? Or men and children not allowed?

    In reality it signifies the end of the pedestrian only zone on Vaci Utca but that's rather evident as you see the cars whizzing by.....

    Men and children not allowed!

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    Clinking glasses

    by Dabs Written Aug 21, 2005

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    As we were enjoying dinner at Fatal, no sooner had my husband read the section on why you don't clink beer glasses in Hungary from one of our guidebooks, did the people at the table next to us do it (actually they had wine glasses so maybe they were OK).

    The reason why you don't want to clink beer glasses dates back to 1848 during the Hungarian War of Independence when Austrian officers drank beer and cheered while clinking glasses between the execution of some of the Hungarian officers.

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    The "Giraffe" of Beer

    by johngayton Updated Jul 24, 2005

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    This is something that I have never seen before in all my (too) many years of partaking in liquid refreshment of the alcoholic variety.

    Whilst all bars serve beer either by the pohar (about 25cl) or by the korso (pronounced korsho, usually 50cl) in some of the larger bars they also serve by the "giraffe".

    This is a tall cylinder containing 2.5 litres with a solid base and a tap at the bottom. If you are are out in a group this is the ideal way to order because you ask for a giraffe and the requisite number of glasses and then help yourself at your own leisure.

    When I first came across it I initially thought that they had mis-spelled "caraffe" on the beer list, but then when I saw one being served I realised that they really did mean giraffe.

    Here is a photo I found of one taken by batemalc on communitywebshots.com
    NB This is not from Budapest.

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    Hungarian beer

    by HORSCHECK Updated Jul 24, 2005

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    The most famous beer brand of Hungary is Dreher. The Dreher brewery was founded by Antal Dreher in the mid 19th century. It is located in Kobanya which is the X. district of Budapest. In local pubs or at market stalls you get a Pint of Dreher for around 200 HUF (2004).

    Dreher beer
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    Another hang out area :)

    by MedioLatino Written Jul 5, 2005

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    In summer actually all the city is a big hang out area...but still, there are some sopt which are better then others :)

    Like this one, on Szent Istvan ter at the Basilica. On the corner where Leroy is, you can "make your own seat" if there are no more free tables. Or you can just stop by talk a little with your friends and watch the beauty of the Basilica.

    Nearest underground: Arany Janos utca (M3).

    Crown on Szent Istvan square

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    Hang out if the weather allows you

    by MedioLatino Written Jun 20, 2005

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    People in Budapest (just like everywhere else :) like to hang out if the weather is good.

    One of the newest "hang out spots" in the city is the little park on Erzsebet square. You can sit down for a chat or for some relaxation, and there is still a café downstairs if you get thirsty.

    The place was originally ment to be the site of the new national theatre, but after the city/government changed it's mind, it bacame a underground parking place and the part above was converted to give place to some recreational areas (park, benches, etc.) and also to an exposition/concert hall.

    It's on the side of Deak ter, so all the 3 underground lines will take you there.

    Erzsebet square - Park above the

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    Danubeside - Good kissing spot :)

    by MedioLatino Written Jun 20, 2005

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    Need some intimate moments but want to enjoy the view of the city and the power of the Danube at the same time? The Danubeside is the answer! :)

    Best place to hang out: between Lanchíd (Chainbridge) and Margit Híd (Margaret Bridge) on the Pest side.

    The steps of love :)

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    Budapest,'Vajdahunyad Vara'..Castel of Vajdahunyad

    by mariettz Updated Jun 15, 2005

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    Budapest,'Hungary,Vajdahunyad Vara' Castle of Vajdahunyad.It is close to the Washington monument.On the left of the monument there is a 'Tree of
    the Liberty 'Szabadsag fa' .It was given as a present
    to the habitant of Budapest by workers of the Monumental
    General Insurance Company, USA,MD Baltimore, on the day:08.29.
    1990.
    See more the photos on these topic: VT page,Budapest,General trips (by mariettz)/2005

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    EUROPE,HUNGARY,BUDAPEST,VÖRÖSMARTY...

    by mariettz Updated Jun 15, 2005

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    EUROPE,HUNGARY,BUDAPEST,VÖRÖSMARTY TÉR IN THE CENTRE OF THE CITY,IN THE END OF THE FAMOUS VÁCI UTCA:
    AT THE STATUE OF POET VOROSMARTY, ON MONDAYS AT SIX O'CLOCK YOU CAN LISTEN TO THE TEACHING FROM THE BIBLE AND YOU CAN HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH THE PEOPLE FROM COUNTRIES AND SPEAK WITH THEM IN MANY LANGUAGES.

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Budapest Local Customs

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