Andrássy Road - Andrássy út, Budapest
The Neo Renaissance Foncière Palace, is recognized as a World Heritage site. It's said to be a gem of Hungarian architecture.
It dates back to 1881, when the Fonciere Insurance Company, announced a tender for the site. It looked different to what I saw today, as it once had a dome, this was destroyed in WWII.
It has some interesting statues right at the very top of the building.
These are at the opposite end of Andrassy Avenue to where I began.
Much too expensive for me are the designer stores, which include Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Gucci, Zilli, Dolce & Gabbana and many more! Nice to window shop though and to see what they have to offer. Nearly all of them had a doorman, so I don't think I would have been let in any of the shops. Beautiful old Art Nouveau buildings in this area. If you like them, then you will like walking around here with your mouth open and happily snapping away! What a treat!
Check out the Art Nouveau faces I found on the buildings in my travelogue.
One building not to be missed in Andrassy avenue, is the University Building of Fine Arts.
Located on the corner of Epreskert street and Andrassy Avenue, this Neo-Renaissance building dates back to 1871.
Much of the wall is decorated with beautiful sgraffito, then below is brickwork with evil looking faces that stare at you!@
Right next to it at No. 69, in the old building of Mûcsarnok (Art Gallery), is the exhibition hall of the university that is open for the public.
Still on Andrassy street, I found two interesting wall plaques. One was on the building at 73-75 Andrassy avenue and were a "Monument to hero of the navigators."
The second statue is on the corner of Andrassy avenue & Rozna street, one block between the two statues.
The MAV War Memorial - the World War I monument railway heroes, is a bronze relief made in 1932.
Andrassy Avenue is now a recognized World Heritage Site.
It was 1872 when Andrassy Avenue was constructed. Back then, it would not have been as busy as today, nor would the trees have been as big and giving so much shade and added beauty to the area.
The avenue was named after former Prime Minister of Hungary, Gyula Andrassy. It is split into three distinct parts - Downtown streching from Bajcsy-Zsilinszky Avenue all the way to Oktogon square. This area is lined with rows tall residential apartment houses and expensive shops in the housefronts. The Middle section between Oktogon to Kodály Körönd, used to be paved with wooden cubes for the nobility on horseback, today this is a bicycle path and a walkway. The third section between Kodály Körönd and Heroes' Square, is where I saw magnificient mansions, Villas and Embassies, giving a feel of a very wealthy part of the Avenue.
Brochures describe the avenue has having "the crème de la crème of Eclectic-style buildings" in Budapest, a statement I agree with ! It is also one of Budapest's main shopping streets, with smart cafes, restaurants, theatres, and luxury boutiques.
I couldn't help but like this tree lined Avenue in the big City, what could be nicer!
Good for the atmosphere and lovely to walk under on a hot summers day OR sit on one of the many garden seats along the way. I walked the 2.5kms more than once to view the beautiful Neo-renaissance mansions and townhouses featuring designer facades. I kept on noticing something new, this time were flags flying by some beautiful villas. Being curious, I stopped and read the bronze plague on the fence, to find out this was a countries Embassy. From there on, I kept and eye out for more and found quite a few. I believe there are many more in the streets behind.
After viewing all the statues, it was time to move on, not far though, as at 88-90 Andrassy Avenue, I came across the Kodály Institute MAV Pension tenement. This was an old building, that looked in need of renovation, which I hope will happen, as the whole exterior of this Renaissance style building is covered in sgraffito painting.
This building was built between 1880-1881 and the sgraffito decoration was done by Bertalan Székely. He was a well known Mural and Romantic painter.
The final and 4th statue I came across in Kodály Zoltán square, was of Vak Bottyán (1643-1709)
Bottyán was born into a poor noble family of Protestant religion.
He fought against the Ottomans under the Habsburgs, liberating Buda. Later he became a general of the Kuruc army, fighting in the war of independence against the Habsburgs under Prince Rákóczi Ferenc in 1705. He is “blind” because he lost an eye while fighting the Ottomans, so he was known as "Blind Bottyan
Zrínyi Miklós (1508-1566) was the third statue in another small garden in Kodály Zoltán square.
This important man was an ardent Hungarian patriot, who held close to his heart, a dream of an independent Hungary. He wanted to liberate his country from the Habsburg Empire. Zrínyi Miklós bravely fought against the Ottomans and died during the defeat.
He is remembered in Hungary and Croatia as a great son of the nation and as a great defender of the Kingdom of Hungary against the Ottomans.
The Bronze statue has Zrinski with flag and sword. At the foot of the pedestal, is a stone scupture of a dead Turk.
I am in the next small garden at Kodály Zoltán square.
Here I find a statue of Bálint Balassi. This gentleman didn't look like a warrior, he was dressed more like a scholar.....was I correct?
Not quite - He was a celebrated renaissance lyric Poet and the founder of modern Hungarian lyric and erotic poetry. He wrote mostly in Hungarian, but was also proficient in eight other languages:
In the 15 years war, he joined the Army, and died at the siege of Esztergom-Víziváros.
He is buried in Hybe, in today's Slovakia.
Szondy György 1500 - 1552. Who was he?
I came across his statue and three others at the intersection of Andrássy Avenue and Felsõerdõsor road.
This area since 1971, is known as Kodály Zoltán square, one of the two squares on Andrássy Avenue. Four buildings on the square form a full circle, each having a small garden with chestnut and sycamore trees and a statue each. The statues are of Vak Bottyán, Zrínyi Miklós, Szondi György and Balassi Bálint.
I loved the statue of this rather stern looking man!
The origin of this man is not really known, although its thought he may have been born to a Slovak peasant family. When his mother died, he was only 15. He joined the army with his younger brother.
It was here he met Ferenc Révay, a general officer from a prominent Hungarian noble family. Revay saw potential in him and at age 21, he made him a Lieutenant of the Hungarian Hussars.
Later, he was made Captain after a courageous night assault at a Turkish camp.
In 1544, he was captain of Drégely Castle, which had a small garrison of 60 men, 6 small cannon and 12 castle guns. With this small amount of ammo and soldiers, Szondy had to do his best to defend the Castle.
The Siege of Drégely began on 6 July 1552, when an Ottoman army of 12,000 men, led by Ali Pasha, arrived at the gates of Drégely Castle.
On 9 July 1552, Ali Pasha sent a Catholic priest to see Szondy and offer him a choice: he could surrender and be given safe passage and escort to Upper Hungary. Szondfy replied by saying "Spare the boys and let God settle the fate of this castle". Szondy led the attack and was shot through the knee. He was a courageous man and still fought on until he was brought down by the Turks.
One of the Turkish soldiers cut off his head and brought it to Ali Pasha.
Szondy was buried with full military honours and lies beside his enemy -Ali Pasha.
He is recognized as a great warrior. His sarcophagus is in Drégelypalánk, Hungary.
Rarely is a street so grand as to get it's own UNESCO world heritage designation but Andrassy UT has done just that. It starts at Deak Ter and extends to City Park and is lined with Baroque buildings and fine mansions. Most of the embassy's are located on this street.
This busy but very nice street leads to the Varosliget park. We got off the metro at Vorosmarty station to visit the House of Terror museum and decided to walk up Andrassy Road to the park to take in some of the architecture and sites. The street is lined with beautiful Neo-Renaissance mansions, with one of the nicest ensembles located around Kodaly Korond. Several high-end shopping stores (Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton, Armani, Gucci, etc.) are also located on the street, which ends at Heroes' Square, home to the Millenium Monument. Another statue we spotted on the street is that of Aruthur Koestler, who was born in Budapest and wrote the best-selling novel "Darkness at Noon".
I consider Andrassy ut, an UNESCO site, to be one of the best streets in Budapest. It is very long and beautiful and perfect for summertime walking since it's lined with big, shady trees. In the evening it's a very romantic place to go. This street has so many attractions. Near one end is St. Stephen's Basilica. The entire M1 (yellow) metro line runs the entire length of this street, so if you don't want to walk the whole thing, then you can easily use public transportation. You can shop in many designer stores like Gucci, Armani, Dolce and Gabbana, etc. The Opera House, Pest Broadway, Academy of Music, House of Terror, and the Museum of Fine Arts are all located here. On the other end of Andrassy is Heroes' Square. This street also contains many beautiful residences and embassies. Many fine restaurants and cafes are also here like Millenium da Pippa, Klassz, Pizza Eataliano, and Cafe Kara. Andrassy ut is a great place for walking on summer nights, shopping, sightseeing, and finding a good place to eat.
Andrassy Street and Heroes Square Budapest – Andrassy Street is the great boulevard of Budapest. Budapest is an unusual city in that many of the buildings were erected in the 19th Century for the Population explosion – see below. But this building by private nobility took an eclectic approach and you can see the extraordinary mix of styles and ornamentation on such as Andrassy Street.
The Andrassy Ut is THE main boulevard of Budapest, leading to the Heroes Square. Along the way you`ll find lots of architecture from the 19th and early 20th century, the splendid Opera House, squares, cafes, restaurants and shops. It is quite a long walk if you go all the way to Heroes Square, but extremely worthwhile. Rather take the metro on your return trip !