Buda Roller Mill (Budai Hengermalom)

The history of steam mills in Budapest started in 1839, when the Pesti Hengermalom Részvénytársaság (Pest Roller Mill plc) was established based on the proposition of Count István Széchenyi, who was also a shareholder of the company. Though the first steam-driven mill in Hungary was put in operation in 1836 in Sopron, actually, the Pest Roller Mill was the first steam mill using state of the art machinery of cylindrical rollers (the mill in Sopron was using traditional stone milling technology).

The Pest Roller Mill was built on an estate between 1839-1841 in Lipótváros, which was mostly an industrial area that time, and in the following decades another six mills were put in operation in Lipótváros and Újlipótváros. The Pest Roller Mill was standing just few hundred meters NE from the Parliament building (built 1885-1904). Since Budapest was growing fast around the Millennium, the factories, steam mills in the area had to cease operation and they were closed down or moved to other locations.

In 1907 the shareholders’ meeting of the Pest Roller Mill plc decided to build a new roller mill on the Buda side at Lágymányos, which was an unused, underdeveloped area at the turn of the century. The flour mill was constructed between 1909-1910 and commenced full-scale operation in 1911. The same year the mill in Lipótváros was demolished.

The mill was using the most up-to-date technology and grain was stored in steel reinforced concrete silos designed by Szilárd Zielinski.

Due to high construction and investments costs, and the decline of the mill industry in the 1910s, the Hengermalom mill was partially (1916) then fully acquired by Első Budapesti Gőzmalom Részvénytársaság and merged into it in 1928.

The mill was nationalised in 1948 and was in operation as a state-owned company under the name of Budai Malom (Buda Mill). After the change of regime (1989) in Hungary the Budai Malom was privatised in the 1990s and was working as Budai Malomipari Kft. until 2005 when it terminated the milling operation. Currently the buildings of the mill are utilised for office and warehousing purposes.


Copyright ©: Text and photos by Károly Teleki Industrial Heritage Hungary

Source: 1) Technikai fejlődésünk története 1867-1927. Magyar Mérnök- és Építész-Egylet, Stádium Rt., 1928. 2) Klement Judit (szerző). Apák és fiúk gazdasági stratégiái: egy magyar család a 19. és 20. században. AETAS 20. évf. 2005. 1–2. szám, 2005.