News Archive

Fort Csillag is open to public from today…

… to showcase the plaster casts of the Museum of Fine Arts (posted 8 October, 2021)

Fort Csillag is part of the Fort System of Komárom which consists of three modern age forts on the right side of the Danube (Fort Monostor, Fort Igmánd and Fort Csillag). Fort Csillag received its name after its star-shaped layout.

Fort Csillag pic

In 2013 the government decided to renovate and revitalise the fort and to move the plaster (gypsum) casts of the Museum of Fine Arts in a new exhibition hall to be built inside the fort. A 6 billion Forint budget was allocated to the project. Fortunately, the plans of the fort were found in the military archives of Vienna so -where was possible- the fort was restored based on original plans, using 115,000 recycled bricks. Renovation completed in September 2019.

Exhibition Hall pic

In the past two years work continued inside the fort. Nearly 300 outstanding pieces from the Museum of Fine Arts' neglected collection of plaster replicas were transported to the fort, were renovated, and installed. Copies of outstanding works from the world of sculpture from antiquity to the Renaissance found a new home.


Renovation of the Fort Csillag received Construction Industry Award in 2020.The designer of the reconstruction was Mányi István Architect Studio. Watch this video to see the steps of renovation.

To see more pictures, visit our Facebook site.

Call for student design competition …

… to design logo, info boards, visual style for Rail4V4+V project (posted 8 September 2021)


In June 2016, the “Rail4V4 + V - Railway Heritage for Sustainable Tourism” project, a Strategic Project of the Visegrad Fund has started. The name of the project Rail4V4 + V indicates that we will present the railway heritage of the V4 countries and Vojvodina using online and traditional tools. In the first phase of the project, we will present 5-5 (25 in total) railway heritages and monuments of the participating countries.


Aim of the competition: to design the visual style and logo of the project, as well as the information boards and visual elements to be placed at the railway heritage sites

Announcer of the competition: on behalf of the project, the Faculty of Architecture and Design of the Slovak University of Technology (STU)

Application deadline: November 1, 2021.

Applicants: secondary school, university students and young professionals from V4 countries and Serbia, max. 30 years of age

Language of the application: English

Awards: winner EUR 250, second EUR 150, third EUR 100

Student design competition banner pic

Yo can access the "Call for student design competion" here or you can download the "Call for student design competition in pdf format" from here here...

Old Warehouse Caught Fire …

… in Budapest on Sunday night (posted 09 August, 2021)

Sunday (8th August 2021) night around 10.30pm an old warehouse building caught fire at Kerepesi út 15 in Budapest, near to Aréna Mall. Twenty fire engines and near 100 firefighters were working to extinguish the fire. After 12 hours fight the fire brigades put out the fire today around noon.

Old warehouse fire pic

The old warehouses used to belong to the first taxi company in Hungary and Budapest, which was established in 1913. According to Blikk the warehouses are used nowadays by film makers, who usually store sets and props in the old buildings. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Fire extinguished pic

To see more pictures visit our Facebook page.

125th anniversary of the Budapest Underground …

… temporary exhibition at BKV Underground Railway Museum posted (6 August 2021)

The Budapest Underground Railway (M1 Yellow Line), which many refer to as the Millennium Underground Railway, or as a “small underground”, is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year. On the occasion of the anniversary a new temporary exhibition was opened in the Deák Square Museum of BKV.

Millennium underground 125th anniversary pic

The Underground Railway Museum commemorates the first underground of the continental Europe, handed over on 2nd May 1896. The museum was established in an authentic setting, in the tunnel section of the Millennium Underground Railway, which was closed down during the construction of the East-West Metro Line (M2 Red Line) in the 1950s.

In addition to the vintage railcars, the exhibition showcases material heritage, original documents, blueprints, maps, photos and models throughout Millennium Underground Railway’s 125 years history.

Temp exhibit pic

The temporary exhibition complements the collection of the permanent exhibition with several interesting information, stories and images. Among other things, we can get acquainted with the London underground which served as a model for the Millennium Underground, the person behind the idea, the millennium events which promoted the construction, the architectural and technical innovations of the underground, the vehicles, and we can get an insight into the world of contemporary drivers, conductors and inspectors.

The permanent and temporary exhibition well worth a visit for a price of a bus ticket (350 HUF appr 1 EUR).

To see more pictures visit our Facebook page.

Inota Thermal Power Station …

… derelict but astonishing (published 31 July 2021)

We have visited Inota Thermal Power Station on a guided tour organised by Túrajó Egyesület. Inota power plant was built between 1950-1954 as a greenfield investment near to Inota village. Its trial operation started on 7th November 1951, that’s why it was named “7th November Thermal Power Plant”. (For younger generation, the Great October Socialist Revolution started on 7th November 1917 and people in the Soviet bloc had to celebrate the anniversary each year until the change of regime). The power plant was connected to the national grid on 6th December 1951.

The chief architect of the power plant was Gyula Mátrai, the internal construction works were supervised by Károly Mokk. When completed in 1954 the plant had 7 boilers and 6 steam turbine generators. Total capacity of the six electric generators was 120MW.

Inota main building pic

The power station was using lignite from the Várpalota mines. In 1954 a cableway was installed between the S.II. Várpalota mine and the power plant, but its transport capacity did not cover the needs, so the coal needed for production had to be supplied by rail from other mining plants.

In the 1970s it became evident, that peak power plants should be added to the network to satisfy peak demand in electricity. Construction of “peaker” proved to be the most economical at the Inota, 7th November Thermal Power Plant site. Two gas turbines with a nominal capacity of 100 MW each were authorised and purchased from the Soviet Union.The gas turbines were connected to the national electric grid on the winters of 1973-74 and 1974-75.

Inota Power Station pic

There were two major reconstructions at Inota power station. As part of Reconstruction I, boilers 3 to 7 were renovated between 1975 and 1986. The steam energy produced by the boilers was utilized by the aluminum smelter, and the thermal energy provided heating and hot water to the city. During Reconstruction II, in parallel with the boiler renovations, fly-ash separating electrofilters were also installed until 1990.

Power House pic

In 1991 Ajka Thermal Power Plant Company and 7th November Thermal Power Plant Company merged, and later in 1992 the merged company was transformed into a joint stock company Bakonyi Power Plant Plc. In 1998 Bakonyi Plc. was privatised. By this time the Inota Power Station was in a bad technical condition, several boilers and generators were dismantled either for material fatigue or for making space for new technology. The capacity of the power station has been reduced to one tenth of the original. In the autumn of 1999, Hungarian Electrical Works cancelled the planned long-term power purchase agreement, and closure became inevitable. The Inota Power Plant finished operation end of 2001 and officially closed on 1 January 2002.

Control Room pic

In the following months and years, the equipment was dismantled and some of the buildings and the chimneys were demolished. The closed down power station is utilised for film making (e.g. Red Sparrow) or photo and urbex tours, the cultural center used as retro theatre or event venue.

To see more pictures visit our Facebook page.

Once there was the Északi …

… the story continues (posted 25 July 2021)

We have visited the temporary exhibition of the Hungarian Museum of Transport. The new home of the Museum of Transport is expected to open to the public on the former Northern Train Maintenance Depot (Északi Járműjavító) territory in 2026. With the temporary exhibit, the museum aimed to demonstrate how the new home would look like.

Szellem pic

Beside showcasing historic locomotives and train cars the exhibition wanted to show the history of the Northern Train Maintenance Depot, and present what life and work were like at the formerly largest railway maintenance depot in the country.
Visiting the exhibition, you can see see the first of the iconic steam engine 424 (001), the Árpád railbus, as well as the futuristic steam engine with the nickname Szellem (Ghost), which is the speed record holder among steam engines in Hungary and the V60 electric locomotive designed by Kálmán Kandó.

Arpad railbus pic

You can also see design plans of the new Transport Museum, watch videos of the cultural life of the Északi, learn how the public transport network developed in Budapest.

To see more pictures visit our Facebook page.

Celebrating 175th anniversary of the first Hungarian railway line …

… with opening of temporary exhibitions in Göd and Budapest (posted 15th July 2021)

On 15th July 1846 Hungary’s first railway line was handed over. The 33km line between (Buda)Pest and Vác was privately financed and operated, It was the first steam-powered railway in Hungary. (The first horse-drawn railway between Pozsony-Nagyszombat /Bratislava-Trnava/ started operation in 1840.)

First railway line of Hungary pic

Celebrating the anniversary, a memorial plaque was inaugurated at Göd station and a temporary exhibit was opened.

Memorial Plaque at Göd pic

The Hungarian Museum of Transport has also commemorated the 175th birth anniversary of the Hungarian railway and opened a temporary exhibition (from 16 July till 31 October 2021) at Northern Train Maintenance Depot.

Temporary railway exhibition pic

You can see vintage trains and buses at Lake Balaton …

… on the weekends 10-11 July and 6-8 August (posted 07 July 2021)

This weekend (10-11 July 2011) you can see several vintage trains and buses on the northern shore of Lake Balaton. MÁV Hungarian Railways together with Volánbusz a Hungarian coach operator will organise a so-called “Retro Weekend”. Volánbusz will operate shuttle buses between Balatonföldvár and Tihany, Tapolca and Szigliget, Badacsonytomaj and Salföld, Zánka/Balatonakali and Hegyestű. You can travel on legendary Ikarus 55, Ikarus 66 and Ikarus 266 buses (see schedule here).

Banner pic

MÁV will use vintage locomotives such M40, M61, M62 on different lines, for timetable and details visit this site.

If you missed this opportunity, MÁV and Volánbusz plan to organise the next “Retro Weeekend” at Balaton on 6-8 August 2021.

Railway Heritage for Sustainable Tourism Development Rail4V4+V …

… project kickoff was held online on 28th June 2021 (posted 5 July 2021)

On 28th June 2021, the Kick-off meeting of the project Railway Heritage for Sustainable Tourism Development - Rail4V4+V was held online. This long term Visegrad Fund Strategic Project is going to last for 18 months and engage five partners from Serbia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Poland. The project aims to highlight the tourist potential of the railway, particularly through its history and heritage, recalling the role that rail has played in creating the Central European collective identity. In line with the aim of the European Year of Rail and strategic priorities of the Visegrad Group in 2021, the main goal of the proposed project is to raise awareness about the role of railways for V4 sustainable tourism development, through unique branding and presentation of railway heritage, in situ and on a digital platform.

Banner pic

At the Kick-off meeting, five partner organisations: Cultural studies platform CULTstore, Novi Sad (SRB), Industrial Heritage Hungary (Aviscon Ltd.), Budapest (HU), Research Centre for Industrial Heritage FA CTU Prague (CZ), the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava Faculty of Architecture and Design (SK), and Foundation for the Protection of Silesian Industrial Heritage, Wroclaw (PL) planned and prepared detailed framework of activities and agreed on common goals and results. Partners discussed and talked through various parts of the project, including research, student design competition, workshops, dissemination of the results, evaluation of the activities. Although there were only a few hours and many topics to discuss, partners came back with new ideas and motivation and hope to keep up with such good work. The project is co-financed by the Governments of Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia through Visegrad Grants from International Visegrad Fund. The mission of the fund is to advance ideas for sustainable regional cooperation in Central Europe.  

Temporary exhibition of Transport Museum …

… open from 16th July till 31st October 2021 (posted 1 July 2021)

The Hungarian Museum of Transport in Városliget (City Park) was closed on 15 April 2015 for renovation, as part of the large scale Liget Budapest Project. The museum will move to the Northern Train Maintenance Depot in Köbánya (10th disrict of Budapest) into the Diesel Hall (built in 1962), a 22,000 sqm large workshop. To design the museum building and amenities an international design competition was announced on August 9, 2018. The winner of the competition was Diller Scofidio + Renfro. The award ceremony took place in the Diesel Hall on 28 February 2019. The Transport Museum planned to be opened with significant delay in 2026 (instead of 2022).

Banner pic

After the third wave of the covid pandemic a temporary exhibition will be open from 16th July to 31st October at the new premise. In the temporary exhibition not just the famous steam (424 and 242) and electric (v60) locomotives and railcars will be showcased, but the plans of the new museum and the infrastructure (rails, gantry cranes, walls, and pipes) of the the Diesel Workshop can be studied as well. You can buy tickets here, and see short introduction video below (for English part go to 00.50) 

You find updated information of the Transport Museum here...

Old mill in Géderlak renovated …

… and transformed to a luxury family house (posted 3rd May 2021)

The old mill in Géderlak (a small village North from Kalocsa) was built around the turn of the 20th century. After terminating the milling operation, the mill was used as a granary or warehouse. Since the 1950-ies the building was unused and degraded see Googlemaps photo from 2011. The mill is a listed architectural heritage of Géderlak.

Derelict Becsemalom pic

István Tóth Managing director of Dunativ FM Kft. fall in love with this industrial heritage building and decided to save and restore the mill. At the beginning he was thinking to transform the building to a workers’ hostel, but the structure was so exciting, so he decided to rebuild it to a luxury home.

Renovated Becsemalom pic

The facades and roofing were meticulously renovated, and interior architecture turned the indoor industrial spaces of the old building into liveable housing. The house is also equipped with all facilities to be a “smart home”. Planned completion of the project is September 2021. Architect: Róbert Kernya. Interior design: Plan-E Art Studio. Furnishings, visual design: Flóra Orosz.

Becsemalom interior pic

For more photos and additional information, see our Facebook post and on the website of Becsemalom.

BIVAK studio won International Architectural Design Competition …

… for the renovation and redevelopment of Wholesale Market buildings (posted 29 April 2021)

BFK Budapest Development Agency announced an Open International Architectural Design Competition on 17th December 2020. The goals of the competition included the preparation of plans for the renovation of industrial heritage Wholesale Market buildings, the identification of their new functions, as well as the design of the first student housing of the Budapest Student City, the development of the immediate environment of the buildings and their integration into the envisaged new university district.

The jury evaluated 23 applications and announced the winners on 27th April 2021. The first prize was awarded to BIVAK studio Kft, a “young architecture practice based in Budapest characterized by an experimental attitude and a flare for manual techniques”

Wholesale-Market-Concept1 pic

Redevelopment of the great hall building of the Wholesale Market would include auditorium, sound studios and rehearsal rooms, fitness & bodybuilding studio and handball/basketball courts on the basement level and multifunctional spaces, marketplace, sport and dance facilities, shops, bars, restaurants on the ground level. On the gallery level restaurants, cafes, meeting rooms and various sport facilities -including a 500m long running track- would be developed.

Wholesale-Market-Concept2 pic

The jury emphasised that the plans preserve the industrial and architectural values of the buildings while adding new functions to them. The dormitory building’s façade is in harmony with the Klinker-bricked heritage office building.

Wholesale-Market-Concept3-Dorm pic

For more photos and additional information, see our Facebook post.

New hopes for saving Wholesale Market buildings …

… and revitalising a 135 hectares brownfield (posted 28 April 2021)

On 3rd July 2018 KKBK Centre of Key Government Investments Nonprofit Plc. announced an International Master Plan Design Competition to develop a master plan for the Budapest South Gate (BSG) priority project. The goal of the project is to revitalise a 135 hectares brownfield area near and around the Wholesale Market by the construction of a student city for 12,000 university students and sports facilities including an athletic stadium with a capacity for 15,000 spectators.

Brownfield pic

Out of 17 applications the winner of the Master Plan Design Competition was the joint application of Snohetta Innsbruck and Verkehrsingenieure Besch und Partner. You find details of their Master Plan on Snohetta’s website and on the BSG Project’s website.
Since the power plant has not seen any major renovations for a half century, low efficiency, poor technical condition, and requirement for ensuring long-term operability demanded renovation and modernization of the power plant.

Winner Master Plan pic

The refurbished Wholesale Market and adjacent office building would be an integral part of the Student City, they would be used as event venues, canteens, community spaces, sport facilities, pubs. Additionally, a spacious public plaza would connect these historical relicts to the river.

Spacious plaza pic

Since the announcement of the winner of the Master Plan Design Competition on 19th December 2018 not much was heard about the Budapest South Gate project. Until mid-April 2021, when it was revealed that construction of the Fudan University campus would take place at the site of the Budapest Student City – Southern City Gate Development Program. The Fudan University project supported by the government is criticised for its financial structure and for various political reasons.

For more photos and additional information, see our Facebook post.

Mártély Train Station Nicely Renovated…

… …but its sustainability is a question (posted 17 March 2021)

In the third wave of the Covid pandemic it has not received much media coverage, but the renovation of Mártély train station was completed in January 2021. The Mártély railway station is situated along the Szentes–Hódmezővásárhely HÉV railway line (HÉV is Railway of Local Interest), which was built in 1894. The Mártély station building was erected in 1900 based on the type plans of MÁV Hungarian Railways. The building nicely combines the traditions of vernacular architecture with the functions of a railway station.

Mártély train station pic

In the 1980-ies the passenger facilities were modernised, and a covered porch in similar style was attached to the building. The Mártély train station is one of the loveliest railway stations in Hungary, and its 1:25 model can be seen in Mini Hungary Model Park.

Mártély village pic

We are a bit concerned about the sustainability of this renovation, since the service of the station was terminated on 11 December 2020. For more photos and additional information, see our Facebook post.

Kelenföld Station Building will be refurbished…

… and will serve as an exhibition venue for the Transport Museum (posted 11 February 2021)

The Kelenföld Railway Station is among the 4 busiest stations in Budapest. It was built in 1876, but after the inauguration of the Southern Railway Bridge in 1877 its traffic was increasing rapidly. So, in 1884 a new station building was erected, which area was twice as big as the type plans of standard stations buildings of the era. During the past 137 years the building has not undergone any major renovation work, and in 2019 it was closed down. On 9th February 2021, the Hungarian Government declared the refurbishment of the Kelenföld Station Building a priority project (55/2021. (II. 9.) Government Decree).

Kelenföld Station Building pic

Based on the concept of the Hungarian Museum of Transport, the Kelenföld Station Building will be renovated and transformed to a railway exhibition venue. The main attraction of the railway history exhibition will be a model railroad table covering several hundreds square meters. The building will also contain a bistro and a so-called train spotting terrace. Landscaping around the station building will include a train themed playground, open-air movie and exhibiting a 100+ years old locomotive.

Kelenföld Station Building inside pic

Renovation of the industrial heritage building and adding new functions to the building and its neighbourhood will be done based on the plans of Építész Stúdió an architect studio. For more photos and additional information, see our Facebook post.

Gibárt Hydropower Plant renovated and upgraded …

… by ALTEO Group with an 1,2 billion HUF investment (posted 16 December 2020)

Gibárt Hydropower Plant is situated in N-E Hungary at River Hernád near to Encs. The plant was built by Baron János Harkányi who wished to supply with electricity his holdings and the neighbouring settlements within 30-40 kms. The diversion-type hydroelectric power plant was designed in 1901, built in 1902 and put into operation in 1903. The plant was built on the site of a former water mill, so the power plant could use the diversion channel of the mill.

Gibárt Hydropower Plan

Demand for electricity was growing fast, so in 1907 a new 294.4 kW turbine and three-phase generator was added, and in the following years another 294,4 kW turbine and generator was installed, replacing the original low-capacity equipment. The Gibárt plant was connected to a 12kV/3kV grid. The generators and the turbines were made by Ganz and Partner Plc. Though the generators were re-wired to 400V in 1958 and 1959 and the Francis turbines’ runners were replaced due to wear, but this setup was in operation till 2019. The Gibárt Hydropower Plant and its surrounding were classified as historical monuments in 2005.
Since the power plant has not seen any major renovations for a half century, low efficiency, poor technical condition, and requirement for ensuring long-term operability demanded renovation and modernization of the power plant.

Gibart Power House pic

The hydroelectric power plant is owned by Észak-magyarországi Áramszolgáltató Nyrt. ALTEO Group is the lessee and operator of the plant. In 2019 ALTEO started the renovation and upgrade of the Gibárt Hydropower Plant. One of the key elements of the 1.2 billion HUF investment was the replacement of the turbines with state-of-the-art high-efficiency turbines that provide higher water yield and have a capacity of 5.75 GWh/year, representing a 70% increase in performance. The lifetime of the plant is extended by an additional 35 years. The renovation and the modernization were completed during 2020 and the new technology was put in operation in October, but official inauguration will be after the pandemic.

Power House inside pic

The modernization enables the monument character and status of the power plant to be preserved and showcased in the long-run. The old turbines, generators and other equipment removed from the facility will be put on display for the public.

For more photos and additional information, see our Facebook post.

Industrial reuse project receives Construction Industry Award 2020…

… for transforming industrial building to dance theatre (posted 11 December 2020)

Ganz Electric Works -which history dates back as far as 1878- was a prestigious company producing generators, transformers, electric motors, and power plant supplies. After successful decades, the company was nationalised in 1946, and its workshops in Buda ceased operation around the 1990s. The rehabilitation of the industrial area started in 2000. During the process, the former industrial buildings were turned into public buildings and spaces with cultural and entertainment functions. The brownfield revitalisation project also created a new public park called Millenáris Park, a nice example of landscaping.

Millenáris Teátrum pic

In 2001 Building “E” -the transformer workshop- of the Ganz complex was converted to an event hall and theatre called Millenáris Teátrum. In 2014 a government decree was issued, to relocate the National Dance Theatre from the Buda Castle to the building of the Teátrum and transform the building to a state-of-the-art dance theatre. ZDA Zoboki Design & Architecture was mandated to prepare the plans. Construction started by internal and external partial demolition works in March 2017 and the building was inaugurated on 15 February 2019. Budget of the investment was 4.6 billion HUF.

National Dance Theatre pic

As the National Dance Theatre introduces its new home: “The 6950-square-meter building received a new main façade and lobby, and a large auditorium with a capacity of 368 seats, a small auditorium with 120 seats, two rehearsal rooms, a chamber room, together with the related service rooms and changing rooms. There is also a recording studio in the building, which extends the artistic possibilities of dance productions. Specially designed for dance performances, the main building meets the most modern technical requirements and has a special stage of 16x24 metres. The café, which is constantly open in the new lobby independently from the theatrical season, also serves the concept of creating a new community space.”

Large auditorium pic

For more photos and additional information, see our Facebook post. Details about the building and stage technique you find in this pdf magazine (in Hungarian only).

Open Factory Weekend at the Csepel Works …

… organised by KÉK on 3rd October 2020 (posted 4 October, 2020)

The Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre - KÉK is an independent professional organisation founded in 2006 with the aim of opening new perspectives in architectural and urban thinking in Hungary. Yesterday (3rd October, 2020) KÉK organised its second Open Factory Weekend at the Csepel Works. Though, because of the coronavirus epidemic only a few manufactures, workshops opened their gates to public but the many open-air programs (guided walks, techno-party, factory tours, open-air exhibitions, dessert tasting, talks) attracted hundreds of urban explorers, industry and industrial heritage enthusiasts.

Banner pic

At Carborobot Kft. – producing multifuel boilers – we could visit the workshop, where several vintage metal fabrication machines (lathes, milling machines, drills, shearing machines) from the 1950-1960ies are still in use. In the workshop of Iamart Manufacture we could see the full cycle of cement tiles’ production (mixing, moulding, pressing, drying and QC). We hope next year the tradition continues and we can visit the Open Factory Weekend the 3rd. time.  

Guided tours pic

You find more photos of the Art Studio at the Open Factory Weekend here...

Travel limitations to Hungary …

… because of the coronavirus pandemic (updated 09/11/2020)

Update 09/11/2020: New measures to take effect at midnight on November 11: A curfew will be instated between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. All forms of assembly will be forbidden. Restaurants must close, but food delivery will remain possible. Shops and services (e.g., hairdressers) must close by 7 p.m. Hotels may only host business travelers. There will be a general ban on events.

Update 04/11/2020: Government is reintroducing the state of emergency in connection to the coronavirus epidemic. Curfew restrictions between midnight and 5 am. Closing of entertainment venues (bars, dance clubs). Free parking. Distancing in theater, cinema, stadium.

Update 28/08/2020: BREAKING - New travel restrictions to take effect starting September 1: No foreigners are allowed entry to Hungary... The travel restriction measures will stay in force for at least a month...

Update 11/04/2020: the government is extending indefinitely restrictions on movement introduced in Hungary on 27th March 2020 to combat the novel coronavirus epidemic...

Update 27/03/2020: today morning PM Viktor Orbán has announced curfew between March 28 and April 11...

Cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) have been confirmed in Hungary. The Hungarian authorities have introduced a number of measures to limit the spread of the virus.

The Hungarian Prime Minister announced on 16 March that Hungary would close all borders to foreigners at midnight on Monday 16 March. Only Hungarian citizens and EEA citizens (including UK nationals) holding a Permanent Residence Card or a Registration Certificate and Address Card will be allowed to enter the country.

The restrictions will remain in effect indefinitely, until revoked. Further restrictions to daily life may be announced over the coming days and we are monitoring the situation. The situation may change rapidly, including in neighbouring countries, where some airports have closed or ceased direct flights to the UK, USA, Canada and other countries.

coronavirus pic

A case study of Industrial heritage in the Ruhr Area …

… online event organised by CEU (posted 09 July 2020)

Happy to share with you the invitation of CEU Central European University to their online event „Benefits and Disadvantages of a Unitary Mindscape? A case study of Industrial heritage in the Ruhr Area. In memoriam Dr. Dagmar Kift”. The event is scheduled at Friday, July 10, 2020, 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm.


You can find details of the program and link to the online platform here.

In Memoriam Cattle Slaughterhouse…

… near 150 years old industrial heritage demolished (published 26 February 2020)

Cattle Slaughterhouse was one of the most significant food industry heritages in Budapest and Hungary. It had a major role in Budapest’s food safety and hygiene reform to fight against epidemics. Its story started in 1868 when the city council decided to terminate the operation of the private slaughterhouses in Pest and would build and supervise a public slaughterhouse. Construction works of the Cattle Slaughterhouse started in spring of 1870, and the opening of the 14-hectares complex took place on 27th July 1872.

The Abattoir complex had an impressive main entrance: 28.5 m wide and decorated by two sculptures (a bull and a buffalo) of Reinhold Begas. Opposite of the entrance was the most impressive building of the slaughterhouse complex; the water tower, attached to it the trial slaughter chambers, inspection laboratories, boiler room, and the engine room, where the steam-powered pumps were operating. Left and right from the entrance were standing the slaughter, splitting and wholesale cutting as well as the cold chambers. These meat processing buildings were especially valuable from industrial heritage point of view. They were very modern at the time of construction: for example the cold chambers had steel ceilings with ice holding trays, which cooled down the air temperature to 2C.

Cattle Slaughterhouse anno pic

Now, everything is demolished: only the gate, the water tower (but without its wing buildings) and an office building (left to the gate) are standing.
A large-scale real estate development is ongoing, which “would transform a derelict former slaughterhouse complex into a dynamic residential and office district with complementary retail and leisure provision and two underground levels of parking”.
Chapman Taylor’s London and Brussels studios created the masterplan concept on behalf of APD Real Estate Kft. for this project. APD Real Estate Kft. is owned by Turkish businessman Adnan Polat who has excellent connections with high-ranking Hungarian and Turkish politicians. Not surprisingly, the investment enjoys a privileged priority project status.

Cattle Slaughterhouse demolished pic

According to Chapman Taylor’s: “The historical structures on the site – the Bull Gate, the water tower and the two main elevations of the old slaughterhouse buildings – are sensitively incorporated into the masterplan design.” And this is what the visualisation of the plan foreshadows, but in fact the side buildings of the water tower and both slaughterhouse buildings (the facades as well) and all other buildings of the complex are completely demolished.

Visualisation pic

Architects, heritage conservation professionals have serious concerns what will happen with this iconic industrial heritage, since the visualisations of the master plan has disappeared from Chapman Taylor’s website, but still available here.  Unfortunately, the Cattle Slaughterhouse was not classified as an industrial monument, however enjoyed some type of local protection.

CEU course on Industrial Heritage revitalisation …

… to be held in Budapest 6-15 July 2020 (posted 01 February 2020)

Central European University (CEU) is organizing a Summer University course on “Industrial Heritage as a Source of Social Empowerment and Economic Revitalization” in Budapest, Hungary, 6 July – 15 July 2020.

Through this course, you can learn how an industrial site can be converted from a problematic legacy into a social and economic resource. The multidisciplinary faculty includes practitioners and academics, featuring researchers, policy experts, spatial planners, managers, cultural actors, and artists. Based on their personal experience, they will present model projects such as ExRotaprint in Berlin. The course will look at tangible and intangible heritage – landscapes, buildings, industrial equipment and artefacts, practices, knowledge, and social structures – linked to industrial areas.

CEU course pic

The course is composed of three modules focusing on three broad areas connected to industrial heritage as a social and economic resource: value assessment; policies including spatial and urban planning; best practices (as well as problem cases). Industrial Heritage site visits in Budapest and a field trip in Northern Hungary are integral parts of the course.

First application deadline: February 14, 2020. You find more information on the course and application on CEU Summer University website. You can download the course flyer here.

Renovation of Fort Csillag completed…

… and will be opened as collection of plaster casts of Museum of Fine Arts (posted 22 September, 2019)

Fort Csillag is one of the most exciting fortress of the Fort System of Komárom which consists of three modern age forts on the right side of the Danube (Fort Monostor, Fort Igmánd and Fort Csillag).

Fort Csillag pic

Fort Csillag received its name after its star-shaped layout (csillag means star in Hungarian). The Fort is standing on the site of the former Saint Peter palisade of the Ottoman era (16th century). The fort was re-built between 1850-1870 at a strategically important point, opposite to the Old Fortress of Komárom. Its main tasks were to protect the central fortresses, supervise or block ship traffic on the Danube, defend existing bridge or possible pontoon bridges on the Danube. The Army of the Austro-Hungarian Empire used the buildings of the Fort partly as barracks and partly as a storage facility. Between the two World Wars Fort Csillag was mostly used for storing ammunition. Fort Csillag also served as a safe-haven for Polish soldiers and officers at the beginning of World War II and it was also used for internment camp for Jews and Gipsies. After World War II several emergency accommodations were established in the Fort, later a company was operating in the fort storing vegetables and grocery products. In the past decades the fort was not utilised and degraded

Exhibition Hall pic

In 2013 the government decided to renovate and revitalise the fort and to move the plaster casts of the Museum of Fine Arts in a new exhibition hall to be built inside the fort. A 6 billion Forint budget was allocated to the project. Fortunately, the plans of the fort were found in the military archives of Vienna so -where was possible- the fort was restored based on original plans, using 115,000 recycled bricks. To exhibit the plaster replicas of huge sculptures like equestrian statues, a modern 7000sqm cultural centre was built in the inner courtyard of the fort.


This weekend (21-22 September 2019) the fort was temporarily open, and in the coming month the plaster (gypsum) casts will be moved to the new exhibition venue. Fort Csillag and the gypsum cast exhibition will be opened to public in March 2020.

UPDATE (16 December 2020): Renovation of the Fort Csillag received Construction Industry Award 2020. The designer of the reconstruction was Mányi István Architect Studio.

Csepel Automobile Factory 70th anniversary…

… celebration with open factory day and exhibition (posted 9 September, 2019)

On 8th September 2019 was an open day at the site of the former Csepel Automobile Factory (Csepel Autógyár) in Szigetszentmiklós. The organisers commemorated the 70th anniversary of the establishment of Csepel Autógyár and showcased more than 30 models of the factory on an open-air exhibition and in the Csepel Autó Museum. Hundreds of residents, car lovers, automotive industry enthusiasts and former employees (usually with their families) visited the event.

Csepel Automobile Factory pic

Csepel Automobile Factory was established in November 1949 on the premises of the former Danube Aircraft Works (Dunai Repülőgépgyár). Csepel Automobile Factory started to operate in November by using the licences of Steyr Austria wich was acquired by the Hungarian State end of 1948. The first 4-cylinder engine was made in December 1949 and the first three D-350 Diesel trucks were finished on 3rd April 1950. Between 1950 and 1994 the factory produced more than 74,000 trucks and road tractors, 10,000 trailers and 28,000 undercarriages. Till 1983 the company produced 294,000 2-4-6 cylinder engines. Csepel Automobile Factory also supplied undercarriages (more than 210,000 pieces between 1971-1991) for Ikarus buses. In the 1970-ies were the golden years of the company, when more than 10,000 people were working in the factory.

Csepel D420 pic

In 1990-1991 the bus manufacturer Ikarus lost its markets in the communist block and could not pay for the 1000 undercarriages produced by Csepel Autógyár making Csepel Automobile Factory bankrupt. A liquidation process started in 1992. The state owned Csepel Automobile Factory was transformed into smaller companies like the Csepel Autógyár Kft. (1996), but these enterprises were not viable and after a liquidation process starting in 1999 the Csepel Automotive Factory was ultimately closed down in 2002. ÁTI-Sziget Kft. acquired the 80 hectares estate of the automotive company and operates an industrial park on the site.

Open day pic

On the open day participants could see the historical vehicles, visit the Csepel Autó Museum and the huge bomb shelter on the premise, sit in or travel on oldtimer buses and attend on several side programs.

European Heritage Days in Hungary…

… will be held on 21-22 September, 2019 (posted 06 September, 2019)

European Heritage Days (Kulturális Örökség Napjai) will be on 21-22 September, 2019 (SAT-SUN). In Hungary hundreds of heritage sites, buildings, museums can be visited, including a dozen of industrial heritage facilities. This year -as the banner suggests- houses and venues of entertainment (e.g. theatres, cinemas, ball rooms, music halls) are in focus. Though most of the guided tours are available on the Heritage Days in Hungarian only, there are some tours in English as well. You can find English tours and programs here.

Heritage Days pic

In Budapest, the industrial heritage tours will be conducted in Hungarian language. Industrial heritages are open to visit: Underground Museum, Lechner Competence Center (former Tobacco Factory), Kőbánya Reservoir, Ferenc Transformer, Rákoshegy Watertower.

Open Factory Weekend at the Csepel Works …

… organised by KÉK on 29-30th June 2019 (posted 30 June, 2019)

The Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre - KÉK is an independent professional organisation founded in 2006 with the aim of opening new perspectives in architectural and urban thinking in Hungary. This Saturday/Sunday (29-30th June, 2019) KÉK organised an Open Factory Weekend at the Csepel Works. Some twenty factories, manufactures, workshops opened their gates to public. Hundreds of urban explorers, industry and industrial heritage enthusiasts visited the workshops and attended guided tours of KÉK and other programs of the event.

Szoke showroom pic

The Art Studio of Gábor Miklós Szőke -the renowned sculptor famous for his public animal sculptures like the Fradi Eagle, Atlanta Falcon or Horse of Somorja- was open as well. The studio complex comprises of 5 factory buildings of the Csepel Works: some of them were nicely renovated and rebuilt for the purpose of offices, exhibition or event hall; other buildings are used as workshops or stores; and some recently acquired buildings are waiting for renovation and reuse. Gábor and his partner Berta Hauer (Branding & Sales Director) welcomed the appr 50 participants and talked about their projects, how they developed the studio complex and about their future plans. It was nice to see the renovated old buildings, the revitalised brownfield area and to listen the anecdotes of Gábor about his projects.

Szoke warehouse pic

You find more photos of the Art Studio at the Open Factory Weekend here...

Industrial Monument Brewery will be Refurbished …

… in Keszthely from TSDOP fund (posted 19 June, 2019)

The old derelict building of the Reischl Brewhouse is just 800 m South of the Festetics Palace in Keszthely. Though the brewery enjoys an industrial monument status, it’s out of use since decades and constantly degrading. The first buildings of the E-shaped brewery complex were built by Count Pál Festetics around 1770 (architect Kristóf Hofstädter). In 1793 the building was transformed by architect György János Rantz, and significantly extended and upgraded in the second half of the 19th century by Vencel Reischl a master brewer from Bohemia.

Reischl settled down in Keszthely in 1844 and acquired the brewery from the Festetics family in 1864. The Reischl family operated the brewery until 1948, when the brewhouse was nationalised, and the family emigrated the same year. The brewery operated till end of 1950s, from the 1960 a cheesemaker was working in the complex.

Reischl Brewhouse pic

The brewery will be renovated and refurbished from HUF 850 million sourced from the Territorial and Settlement Development Operational Program (TSDOP). From another HUF 250 million TSDOP fund the baroque annexes will be renewed. The renewed Reischl brewhouse will accommodate a craft brewery with pub, restaurant, a business incubator house, offices, community and commercial spaces. The project planned to be finished by end of 2020.

Visualisation of brewhouse pic

You find more photos of the project here. This video shows a short summary of the development.

Historic István Mill in Békéscsaba Burnt Down …

… and might need to be demolished (posted 26 May, 2019)

Tuesday (21st May 2019) afternoon around 5pm the industrial heritage István Mill in Békéscsaba caught fire. The fire was very fierce and large so fire brigades from Békéscsaba and 6 other neighbouring towns were alarmed. Fifteen fire engines and 67 firefighters were working to extinguish the fire. The fire spreaded to a side building and the roof of the mill has collapsed inwards at 18.30. The fire was brought under control by 20.45pm and put out by 22pm. Firefighters have worked extremely hard to prevent the fire spreading to adjacent buildings and hospital.

Békéscsaba István Mill pic

The burnt down historic mill (named after its owner the Rosenthal Mill) was built in 1912 (a 5-storey building), and after a fire in 1915 the mill was upgraded to the current 6-storey building and 7-storey tower (1916). Need to mention, that on the premise of the mill a steam mill had already started operation in 1853, which was acquired by Márton Rosenthal and after several developments became the second biggest steam mill in the countryside of Hungary in the 1890-ies.

The mill was nationalised in 1948 and renamed to István Mill. Machines, rollers were re-equipped and electrified in 1961.  After the change of regime (1989) in Hungary the István Mill was privatised in 1999 and was working until 2005 when it terminated the milling operation. Before the fire the mill was waiting for redevelopment.

Békéscsaba István Mill Burnt Down pic

You find more photos of the fire here. This video shows the mill in 2018. The video here shows the fire.

ICOMOS Awards for exemplary renovations …

… were given to six nominees on 25th April (published 28/04/2019)

The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) is a global non-government organisation, that works for the conservation and protection of cultural heritage places around the world. The Hungarian National Committee of ICOMOS each year acknowledges the exemplary works in the field of monumental protection and restoration.

Budajenő Granary pic

On 25th April 2019 in the Ozora Castle ICOMOS Award was given to four nominees in the category of exemplary restoration: (i) House of Jewish Excellence (a former church, later synagogue in Balatonfüred); (ii) Granary in Budajenő; (iii) Historic Town Hall of Buda; and the (iv) Reformed Church in Gacsály.

The ICOMOS Hungarian National Commitee also awarded the (v) Füzérradvány Castle and the (vi) Szent Lőrinc Church in Nagylózs for the exemplary work in the field of monumental protection.

Budajenő Granary Exhibition pic

The industrial heritage Budajenő Granary and its surrounding was officially inaugurated on 11th April 2019. For the excellent renovation and revitalisation of the granary acknowledgment to: Balázs Csóka architect, Zsolt Vasáros and Sarolta Bihary interior design and decoration of the exhibition, Mónika Buella and Eszter Nagy landscaping.

Eiffel Art Studios will be opened to the public …

… on 14th April 2019 with a Mozart pasticcio (published 11/04/2019)

In August 2015 a Governmental Decree was issued to establish a new art studios and rehearsal centre as well as modernisation of the Hungarian State Opera. The art studios will utilise the disused building of the Eiffel Workshop, built between 1883-1886 based on the plans of János Feketeházy (1842-1927).

Feketeházy was working for two decades for the Hungarian State Railways (MÁV) and designed most railway bridges built before the First World War, platform hall of the Keleti Railway Station, railway turntables as well as the Liberty Bridge and the roofing of the Opera House. The industrial monument Eiffel Workshop (a former locomotive repair and maintenance facility) is situated on the same 22 hectares premise of the Northern Train Maintenance Depot where the Hungarian Museum of Transport will be relocated.

Eiffel Workshop pic

The 5-nave, 22,000 sqm Eiffel Workshop and two auxiliary buildings on a 6,7 hectares area will be the base of the rehearsal, production and storage centre of the Opera.

The entire complex will encompass an auditorium with 400 seats, a rehearsal stage of the same size as the stage of the Opera House, a music studio suitable for recordings, warehouses for theatre sets and props as well as for costumes, nine workshops, 200 parking spaces, training and office facilities and a visitor center.

The opening performance will be Mozart’s pasticcio (performances sewn together from excerpts from multiple musical works) from two fragmentary comedies L'oca del Cairo and Lo sposo deluso.

Eiffel Art Studios inside pic

You find more information on the website of the Hungarian State Opera.

Industrial Heritage Paprika Mill Caught Fire …

… in Kalocsa in the afternoon hours 27-03-2019 (posted 29 March, 2019)

Wednesday (27th March 2019) afternoon just before 4pm the industrial heritage paprika mill in Kalocsa caught fire. The fire was very fierce so fire brigades from Kalocsa, Solt and Kiskörös were alarmed and were working together to extinguish the fire. Fine ground paprika stocks and some heritage paprika milling machines were damaged. The firefighters put out the fire by 7pm. The origin of the fire was likely the dust filters, fire investigations are in progress.

Kalocsa Paprika Mill pic

Kalocsa is famous for its embroidery, and it is also best known for the Hungarian paprika. The ground paprika from Kalocsa is also a Hungarikum. The first paprika mill in Kalocsa was built in 1861 and in 1900 already 3 mills were working in the town. The mill that caught fire was built in the early 1900s and has a nicely decorated facade.

Paprika Roller Mill pic

You find more photos of the Paprika Mill on the website of Kalohí

Diller Scofidio + Renfro won competition …

… to design the new Hungarian Museum of Transport (posted 01 March, 2019)

In December 2017 the Hungarian Government decided to relocate the Hungarian Museum of Transport from Városliget (City Park) to the premise of the disused Northern Train Maintenance Depot in Kőbánya (10th district of Budapest). Northern (Railway) Workshop, the predecessor of the Northern Train Maintenance Depot was among the first railway workshops of Hungary, which started operation in 1867. It’s most noteworthy building the so-called Eiffel Workshop (built between 1883-1886) will be utilised as art studios and rehearsal centre of the Hungarian State Opera.

The Museum of Transport will move into the Diesel Hall (built in 1962), another 22,000 sqm large workshop. To design the museum building and amenities an international design competition was announced on August 9, 2018. Thirteen Hungarian and international architectural firms submitted entries in the second round of the two-stage competition.

Diesel Hall pierpic

The award ceremony took place in the Diesel Hall on 28 February 2019. The winner of the competition was Diller Scofidio + Renfro. The world-famous American firm has designed several museums and brownfield redevelopments worldwide, one of their most famous works is the New York High Line.

The second prize went to the consortium of Reichen et Robert & Associés (FR), Ralph Appelbaum Associates (US) and PLANT Atelier Kis Péter (HU). The third prize was given to Építész Stúdió Kft and Honorary mentions were awarded to gmp International GmbH (DE), and a consortium of Foster & Partners (UK) and CÉH Zrt. (HU).

Visualisation pic

Assuming everything is on schedule the New Museum of Transport can be opened after 2022. You can see more visualisation of the plan here.

Budajenő Granary saved and received award …

… Facade of the Year 2018 on 8th November 2018 (posted 16 November 2018)

Austrian construction company Baumit created Facade of the Year Award to acknowledge outstanding facades constructed in Hungary. The competition for the Facade of the Year 2018 received 286 submissions from architects and general contractors in five categories: Single Family Home, Apartment Building and Non-Residential, and the two categories of Thermal Refurbishment and Monument Renovation. In the historic renovation category, the jury received and evaluated 35 entries. The winner of the Monument Renovation category was the Granary in Budajenő, the work of Balázs Csóka architect. He also received Pro Architectura award for this renovation few weeks before (on 24th October 2018).

Budajenő Granary pic

The granary was built end of the 18th century and was part of the manor of the Benedictines. In the Second World War it was seriously damaged, and the rear part of the building was torn down. During the communist era the granary was utilised for warehousing and manufacturing purposes, continuously degrading. After the change of regime (1989) it became an agricultural monument in 2005. Renovation works started in 2015 and completed in 2018. The ground floor will be utilised for conference and exhibition purposes. The second floor will function as a Youth & Pilgrim Hostel, the third flour and attic will host a permanent exhibition.

Drought revealed Margit Bridge central pier foundation…

… which you could walk around (posted 26 October, 2018)

In the past few weeks the water level of the Danube was extremely low in Hungary. Today morning (26 October 2018) in Budapest the water level was only 45 cm. (Till these days the lowest Danube level in Budapest was measured in 1947 at 51 cm). On many sections of the Danube the river bed became exposed. This happened to the central pier of Margit Bridge which you could walk around with dry shoes.

Margit Bridge pierpic

You could also go through the tunnel in the pier, which is usually under water. The tunnel has no function. When the bridge was built between 1872-1876 two cofferdams were used for the central pier another 2-2 for the two abutments and single cofferdams for the other four piers. The 2-2 piers of the central pillar (and the abutments) were connected by an arch, thus formed the tunnel. Between 1935-1937 the bridge and the piers were extended to the south direction.

Margit Bridge pier tunnel pic

European Heritage Days in Hungary…

… will be held on 15-16 September, 2018 (posted 27 Augus, 2018)

European Heritage Days (Kulturális Örökség Napjai) will be on 15-16 September, 2018 (SAT-SUN). In Hungary some 300 heritage sites, buildings, museums can be visited, including a dozen of industrial heritage facilities. Though most of the guided tours are available in Hungarian only, there are some tours in English as well. You can find English tours and programs here.

Heritage Days pic

In Budapest, the industrial heritage tours will conducted in Hungarian language, except the Wekerle Walks. Places are open to visit: Underground Museum, Lechner Competence Center (former Tobacco Factory), Martsa Stone Carver Workshop, Wekerle Estate.

Ybl Pump House renovation finished...

… and got a new function as an exhibition hall (posted 23 May, 2018)

The elegant neo-Renaissance pump house designed by Miklós Ybl was built between 1875 and 1879. The pump station provided water supply for the Castle and from 1881 also for the Castle District. Unfiltered water was taken out directly from the Danube and was pumped through an artificial gravel bed deposited in an underground cistern system. Pumps were driven by steam engines, and the chimney of the boiler room was hidden in a nicely decorated tower. The pumping station ceased operation in 1905 and the building was used as concert hall, ball room or banquet hall. In WW2 the pump house suffered severe damage. In 1992 the building was renovated and worked as a casino for some 15 years.

Ybl pump house pic

In 2016 the Ybl Pump House was acquired (for 10.5 million euros) by PADI Pallas Athéné Domus Innovationis, foundation of the Hungarian National Bank (MNB). According to the plans it would have been renovated from 600 million Forint and would’ve been reopened for public in autumn 2017. Finally, the building was handed over 18th May 2018, and restoration costs reached near 1 billion Forint.

Ybl pump house cafe pic

The pump house received a new function as an exhibition hall and was reopened under the name Ybl Creative House Buda. The nicely restored building contains exhibition halls, community spaces and a richly decorated cafe with a terrace.

Ybl pump house ceiling pic

The ceiling of the terrace is decorated with scgraffito technique, a masterpiece of Róbert Scholtz. The stairway to the basement level contains a pixelated portrait of Miklós Ybl, artwork of Zsolt Áron Majoros.

Ybl pump house portrait pic

The opening exhibition displays the sculptures of Gábor Miklós Szőke a talented and creative artist famous for his bird’s sculptures. The exhibition closes 10 June 2018. Here you can see more photos and visit the website of Ybl Creative House Buda.

Buda Roller Mill (Budai Hengermalom)

... in the Spotlight in 03/2018 (posted:27/03/2018)

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.

Budai Roller Mill pic

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.

See more photos here...

66 m tall chimney demolished today ...

… in a controlled explosion in Győr (posted 23 March, 2018)

Today (23 March 2018) at 11am the 66 m tall chimney of the former oil factory in Győr was demolished in a controlled explosion. Originally it was planned to be demolished end of November 2016, but several architects and locals demanded to save it as the last iconic remnant of the oil factory.

The brick chimney expanded by a water tank was built in 1911 and though it was not listed as an industrial monument many notable architects argued to save it.

Győr oil factory chimney pic

Győr oil factory chimney demolition pic

You can see more photos and a video of the explosion.

World Water Day 22th March, 2018…

… excellent opportunity to see the Kőbánya Water Reservoir (posted 19 March, 2018)

In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly officially designated March 22 as World Water Day. The day focuses attention on the importance of universal access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene facilities in developing countries. The day also focuses on advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.

On the World Water Day, and on 23-24 March as well, the Budapest Waterworks opens the Kőbánya Water Reservoir. You can visit the reservoir with registration only, on 22 March and 23 March morning hours. From 23 March afternoon you can visit the reservoir without registration. The reservoir is a masterpiece of brickworks, well worth a visit.

Kőbánya Water Reservoir pic

You can see more information and photos of the Kőbánya Water Reservoir

Industrial Heritage Warehouse Caught Fire …

… in Budapest in the morning hours 07-03-2018 (posted 07 March, 2018)

Today (7th March 2018) morning the warehouse building of the industrial monument Concordia Mill caught fire. Concordia Mill was built in 1866 and was the first of the five steam mills on Soroksári út, in Ferencváros.

Thirteen fire engines and 45 firefighters were working to extinguish the fire. Since the warehouse was in an office and residential area and very close to Zwack distillery firemen were fighting bravely to put out the fire.

Concordia Mill Fire pic

It’s worth to mention that in its history the mill had burnt down 3 times (in 1892, 1902 and 1923). You find here more pictures on the fire.

Open Days of EU Developments 2018…

… between 1-31 March all over Hungary (posted 2 March, 2018)

Open Days of EU Developments will take place between 1-31 March in Hungary. On these open days several castles, visitor centres, spa complexes, museums, thematic parks all over the country offer programs and guided visits, many times for free or at discounted price.
Those venues participate in the program which were developed with the aid of EU funds.

Two noteworthy brownfield rehabilitation projects are also among the venues: the National Film History Theme Park (Fúvógépház) together with Digital Power Plant in Ózd and the Reptár Aviation Museum in Szolnok

Blowing Engine House pic

Digital Power Plant Outside pic

Digital Power Plant Inside pic

Indóház pic

Reptár Museum pic

The official page of the Open Days of EU Developments is here.

Gödöllő Royal Waiting Room

... in the Spotlight in 02/2018 (posted:24/02/2018)

The 68 km long section of Pest-Hatvan railway started operation on 2 April 1867. Soon the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 signed by Emperor Franz Joseph and Ferenc Deák was ratified by the restored Diet of Hungary on 29 May 1867. On June 8th, 1867, Emperor Franz Joseph and Empress Elisabeth were crowned king and queen of Hungary.

As a coronation gift, the royal couple were given the Baroque palace of Gödöllö (also known as Grassalkovich Palace. After the male side of the Grassalkovich family died out in 1841, the palace had several owners, and in 1867 it was bought for the coronation.). The decision of parliament designated the palace the resting residence of the King of Hungary. This state lasted until 1918. It was Queen Elisabeth (1837–1898) who specially loved staying in Gödöllő, and Franz Joseph spent with her several weeks in spring and autumn in Gödöllő.

Since the beginning it was a problem for the royal couple the waiting at the railway station, since the waiting room at the station “was small, dirty and had frowsty smell”. So, in 1868 a temporary Tyrol style wooden pavilion was built for the royal couple. In 1882 a new Royal Waiting Room was built in Neo-Renaissance style. Though the building was only one storey, its height was equal to the height of the enlarged two-storey public railway station. Franz Joseph’s waiting room was decorated with green silk wallpaper and Queen Elisabeth’s waiting room was covered with light yellow silk. Both rooms were opening to the Princely Waiting Room with dark red tapestry.

Gödöllő Royal Waiting Room pic

After the death of Sisi in1898, (when she was stabbed to death in Geneva by an Italian anarchist named Luigi Lucheni), Franz Joseph had visited the Gödöllő only a few times. The king was in the Royal Palace last time in 1911.

Between the two world wars Regent Miklós Horthy used the Royal Waiting Hall. Near to the end of WWII, retreating German army exploded the Gödöllő railway station and set fire the coal stock in the basement of the Royal Waiting Hall. The Royal Waiting Room was burnt down, only the walls remained safe. In 1945 a flat roof was built on the walls and the building served as a ticket office and waiting room for public.

In 2011 the Royal Waiting Room was reconstructed with the subsidy of Norway Grant based on the original plans from 1882. The renovation received ICOMOS award. Now the building works as a museum and an event hall for weddings, conferences, chamber concerts.

See more photos here...

Liberty Bridge

... in the Spotlight in 01/2018 (posted:22/01/2018)

The Liberty Bridge (Szabadság-híd in Hungarian) was the third road bridge built in Budapest, in the year of the Millennium. It was originally named Ferenc József híd (Franz Joseph Bridge) after Franz Joseph I, Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary, who inaugurated the bridge on 4 October 1896.

The 333.6 m long, 20.1 m wide bridge is a cantilever bridge (however the shape resembles to chain bridges) the cantilever arms are fixed with 609 tons counterweights. The bridge was designed by János Feketeházy, details of the plan were worked out by István Gállik and József Beke, while the portals were designed by Virgil Nagy.

Liberty Bridge pic

Construction of the bridge started in 1894. In WWII the German Army exploded the bridge on 16 January 1945. After the war the Liberty Bridge was the first bridge which was rebuilt, because many parts of the blown up bridge could be used and utilised. Re-construction works started during the spring of 1946 and the bridge was opened for traffic on 20 August 1946. Between 2007-2009 the bridge was completely refurbished.

See more photos here...

Central Market Hall

... in the Spotlight in 12/2017 (posted:22/12/2017)

As part of the health and food safety reform started in the 1870s with the building of the Cattle Slaughterhouse, in the 1890s the city council decided to build market halls to substitute open-air markets. The council decided to build 7 market halls in Budapest, of which 6 were built around and after the Millennium (1896) and all six are still in use.

The Central Market Hall was designed by Samu Pecz in 1893 and constructions works started in mid-1894. The Central Market Hall was due to open in July 1896, but its roof structure had burned down ten days before the deadline, thus the market hall was officially opened on 15th February 1897, together with other four market halls.

Central Market Hall pic

The area of the steel structure brick-facade market hall was 10,400 square metres. The ornamental ceramic roof tiles were delivered by Zsolnay Porcelain Manufacture, the steel structure is the work of Ignác Schlick.

See more photos here...

Csepel Command Centre

... in the Spotlight in 11/2017 (posted:25/11/2017)

During the Cold War, in all districts of Budapest command centres were built, which would have provided shelter for the communist leaders and their staff in case of a nuclear war. The top secret command centre in Csepel was constructed in the basement of a secondary school and was built in the early 1960ies, when the school building was erected.

The command centre has its own well, own electricity system as well as own air filtration system maintaining positive relative pressure in the shelter. Even the sewage system can be separated from communal drainage system. The leaders of the Csepel district would have survived the nuclear bomb attack against Budapest in the command centre, and would have supervised operations.

Csepel Command Center pic

See more photos here...

Ébner Mill

... in the Spotlight in 10/2017 (posted:30/10/2017)

The Ébner Milll is situated in Biatorbágy, famous of its viaduct, which was exploded in 1931 and is regarded as the first terror attack in Hungary. The mill was built by István Kolozsváry-Kiss in 1912. The building went through an upgrade, when the mill was equipped with the most state of the art Ganz mill equipment. In the 1970-80s “fachwerk” style roofs were attached to the front facade of the building.

Ébner Mill pic

See more photos here...

Lakihegy Radio Tower

... in the Spotlight in 08/2017 (posted:21/09/2017)

In Hungary the regular Medium Wave (MW) radio broadcasting had started on 1 December 1925. A 2 kW Telefunken transmitter was set up in Csepel (21st district of Budapest) and transmitted on the 572 m wavelength. In 1927 the transmitter in Csepel was upgraded to 3 KW, and the same year construction works of a new 20 kW radio transmitter had started in Lakihegy (Szigetszentmiklós). The 20 kW Telefunken transmitter was finished in 1928 and took over broadcasting services from Csepel on 29 April. At the time it was of Europe’s most modern and highest capacity transmitter.

The number of radio subscribers was growing fast in the early 1930ies and a high power radio transmitter was decided to be built. Construction of the cigar shaped radio tower had been started on 1 July 1933 and the 120 kW transmitter was set into operation at the beginning of December of the same year. The mast is 284 m high and with its adjustable tuning tube its maximum height is 314 m and still the tallest structure and landmark of Hungary. This mast design is known as Blaw-Knox radiator developed by the Blaw-Knox company which was a manufacturer of steel structures and construction equipment based in USA. The company designed radio towers, most of which were constructed during the 1930s in the United States and Europe.

On 30 November 1944 retreating German troops had exploded the cigar shaped tower and a week later the 20 kW transmitters as well. Both were rebuilt after the war and the 314m high mast was upgraded to 135 kW.

Lakihegy Radio Tower pic

In 1977 a 2 MW capacity Medium Wave radio station, being the largest capacity in the country at Solt, was commissioned and inherited from Lakihegy the transmission of the Kossuth program on 540 kHz.

In 1983 it was planned to demolish the unused 314 m mast in Lakihegy. Fortunately, have not happened, and now the tower is used to transmit signals using long-wave radio frequencies (135.6 kHz) that are reserved for radio ripple control. The antenna is also serves as a backup for the national radio supplier.See more photos here...

Örvényes Watermill

... in the Spotlight in 08/2017 (posted:20/08/2017)

Örvényes is a small village on the north bank of Lake Balaton. Its history dates back to the 11th century, first known record of the name of the village is from 1093.

Since the beginning watermills were operating on the Pécsely stream, first written mention of the Örvényes watermill is from 1211. The mill had been rebuilt several times during the past centuries and it acquired its present form during the 18th century.

The overshot watermill is in working order, and inside the building operates the mill museum. In another building there is a small ethnographic exhibition with exhibits of everyday tools and objects and some interesting examples of local handicrafts.

Örvényes Watermill pic

See more photos here...

Cattle Slaughterhouse

... in the Spotlight in 07/2017 (posted:23/07/2017)

In 1868 the city council decided to terminate the operation of the private slaughterhouses in Pest, and would build and supervise a public slaughterhouse.

The plans of the slaughterhouse were elaborated by the architecture firm von der Hude & Hennicke the venture of architects Hermann von der Hude and Julius Hennicke. Construction works started in spring of 1870, after the area had been filled up by 20,000 cubic metres soil. The opening ceremony of the 14-hectares complex took place on 27th July 1872.

The impressive main entrance is 28.5 m wide, and decorated by two sculptures (a bull and a buffalo) of Reinhold Begas. Opposite of the entrance can be seen the most impressive building of the slaughterhouse complex; the water tower, attached to it the trial slaughter chambers , inspection laboratories, boiler room, and the engine room, where the steam-powered pumps were operating. Inside the tower, there is a 185 cubic metres capacity tank, 18 m high above ground level.

Left and right from the entrance are situated the slaughter and cold chambers. East from the Slaughterhouse was operating the cattle market, with cattle exchange, office and community buildings, and stables.

Cattle Slaughterhouse pic

See more photos here...

Biatorbágy Viaduct

... in the Spotlight in 06/2017 (posted:22/06/2017)

There are two 20-25 m high railways viaducts in Biatorbágy over the Stream Füzes. The viaduct on the right side was built in 1893-94 its spans are 38,29 + 38,12 + 2 x 12,00 m. The left side viaduct was built in 1897-98 with spans 39,70 + 39,70 + 2x 10,00 +2 x 10,00 m. Since the beginning there were statics problems with the right viaduct, and was several times strengthened until the whole structure was changed in 1933.

The left viaduct was also strengthened when new electric locomotives were put in operation on the Budapest-Hegyeshalom line. On 13 September 1931 at 00.15 Hungary’s most famous terror attack happened. Szilveszter Matuska exploded a portion of the bridge, causing the engine and 5 cars falling in the deep. Seventeen people died, several injured. The viaducts were closed down in 1975, when new the Budapest-Hegyeshalom line was upgraded.

Biatorbagy Viaduct pic

See more photos here...

Gizella Mill

... in the Spotlight in 05/2017 (posted:23/05/2017)

Erected in 1880 Gizella Mill was among the last three steam mills of the 19 big steam mills operating in Budapest. Like most mills in the Hungarian capital, it was producing wheat flour, semolina and wheat bran. Around the Millennium (1896) it employed almost 400 people. Like many other mills, Gizella Mill was also burnt down (1921) but the owners were able to rebuild it after a few months.

In World War II most existing mills of Budapest were seriously damaged or burned down, but Gizella Mill was unharmed. The mill was nationalised in 1948, and was in operation as a state-owned company until 1963, when the Soroksári Road was rebuilt and the mill lost its rail connection. In the following decades the main building was used as a warehouse, continuously degrading.

Gizella Mill pic

Between 2005-2008 the mill was rebuilt for residential use encompassing a total of 104 luxury loft apartments.

See more photos here...

Fort System of Komárom

... in the Spotlight in 04/2017 (posted:19/04/2017)

The area around Komárom (Hungary) and Komarno (Slovakia) always played an important military role from the Roman Ages. Brigetio the most significant fortresses of Pannonia’s Province of the Roman Empire was established in Szőny (now part of Komárom) in the 1st century BC.

In the 16th century Komárom became a key object for the Habsburg Empire against the expansion of the Ottoman Empire, and the medieval castle was rebuilt into a fortification became known as the Old Fortress. In the 17th century it was enlarged, strengthened and extended by a pentagonal shape fortification called the New Fortress. Both the Old and New Fortresses successfully resisted the attacks of the Turkish. Development of the Fort System of Komárom got on impetus after the Napoleonic Wars, when Vienna was occupied by the French Emperor. The Old and New Fortresses were upgraded, construction of the so-called Nádor-line has started and plans were elaborated to build new fortifications on the right side of the Danube.

The large-scale reconstruction works were interrupted by the 1848 Hungarian Revolution and War of Independence. Komárom played an important role in the war of independence being the last fortification which was occupied by the Austrian and Russian troops. After the failed Hungarian Revolution and War of Independence the Habsburgs restarted the completion of the Nádor-line and the Danube right side forts in 1850.

Fort Monostor pic

Fort Monostor

The biggest and most significant fortress on the Danube right side was Fort Monostor. The Fort was built between 1850 and 1871, and was considered the largest Central European fortress of modern history. The area of the Fort is 25 hectares with its ramparts and shooting range 70 hectares. The 640 rooms of the buildings were able to accommodate up to 8,000 soldiers. The Fort was not involved in military actions during the world wars, served as caserns, recruitment and military training centres. After World War II Hungarian families deported from Czechoslovakia were temporary accommodated in the fort. Between 1945 and 1991 the Soviet Army used Fort Monostor for storing ammunition, and the top secret base was its biggest storage facility in Central Europe.

Fort Igmánd

Built between 1871 and 1877 Fort Igmánd is the newest fort of the Fort System of Komárom. The role of Fort Igmánd was to defend Komárom from an attack from the South direction, and also to provide artillery support for Fort Monostor and Fort Csillag. At the beginning of World War II it served as a safe-haven for Polish soldiers and officers and after October 1944 it was used for internment camp for Jews and Gipsies. During the siege and bombing in Komárom the outer parts of the casemates were used as bomb shelters by local citizens. Between 1945 and 1948 the fortress accommodated a screening camp where soldiers and citizens returning home from Western Europe went through a political investigation. Later the rooms and chambers of Fort Igmánd were used for workshops, warehouses and emergency accommodations.

Fort Csillag

Fort Csillag received its name after its star-shaped layout (csillag means star in Hungarian). The Fort is standing on the site of the former Saint Peter palisade of the Ottoman era (16th century). The fort was re-built between 1850-1870 at a strategically important point, opposite to the Old Fortress of Komárom. Its main tasks were to protect the central fortresses, supervise or block ship traffic on the Danube, defend existing bridge or possible pontoon bridges on the Danube. The Army of the Austro-Hungarian Empire used the buildings of the Fort partly as barracks and partly as a storage facility. Between the two World Wars Fort Csillag was mostly used for storing ammunition. Like Fort Igmánd, Fort Csillag also served as a safe-haven for Polish soldiers and officers at the beginning of World War II and it was also used for internment camp for Jews and Gipsies. After World War II several emergency accommodations were established in the Fort, later a company was operating in the fort storing vegetables and grocery products.

See more photos here...

World Water Day 22th March, 2017…

… excellent opportunity to see the Kőbánya Water Reservoir (posted 22 March, 2017)

In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly officially designated March 22 as World Water Day. The day focuses attention on the importance of universal access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene facilities in developing countries. The day also focuses on advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.

On the World Water Day the Budapest Waterworks opens the Kőbánya Water Reservoir for school groups and on 25th March for public. The reservoir is a masterpiece of brickworks, well worth a visit. We offer guided tour to the Kőbánya Reservoir and other heritages of water and sewage treatment on Saturday, 22 March 2017.

Kőbánya Water Reservoir pic

You can see more information and photos of the Kőbánya Water Reservoir

Electrotechnical Museum

... in the Spotlight in 03/2017 (posted:12/03/2017)

The Electrotechnical Museum also known as Electrical Engineering Museum or Museum of Electrotechnics is situated in a 30/10 kV transformer station which was commissioned in 1934 and was in use till the end of the 1960ies. The building was designed by Ágost Gerstenberg and Károly Arvé in a Bauhaus style.

The museum can be found in the right wing of the building where the 10 kV transformers, relays and switches were operating (the 30 kV system was in the left wing). An impressive art deco staircase with green Zsolnay tiles on the walls leads to the exhibition rooms.

In the exhibition area several equipment, photos, models, documents are displayed from the history of Hungarian electrotechnics; ancient transformers, generators, motors, electric meters, rectifiers, capacitors/condensers, fuses and relays are displayed. Electric signal fence, measuring and alarming equipment and barbed-wire fences of the Iron Curtain is also showcased. Separate room is devoted to early electrical household appliances and various lighting technologies.

Electrotechnical Museum pic

Some parts of the exhibition is interactive, you can switch on some electronic equipment, lamps, gas discharge tubes, models. The most interactive part of the museum is Ányos Jedlik room, where you can make physics experiments and also see inventions of Jedlik. The museum regularly organises physics classes for schools and public where a physicist presents different electrical experiments.

In the museum posters are devoted to Hungarian pioneers of the electrical engineering; Ányos Jedlik (dynamo, direct current motor, tubular voltage generator); Miksa Déri, Ottó Titusz Bláthy and Károly Zipernowsky (transformer); Kálmán Kandó (railway electrification). See more photos here...

Ybl Pump House Renovation Started…

… and will be reopened to public in autumn 2017 (posted 24 February, 2017)

It’s hard to believe that this elegant neo-Renaissance building near to the Ybl Bazaar used to be a pump station. The pump house was designed by Miklós Ybl (architect of the Opera House, Basilica, Palace of Customs and the Ybl Bazaar). Construction works of the pump station started in 1875, pumps were put in operation in 1877, and the building was completed in 1879. The purpose of the pump station was to provide water supply for the Castle and from 1881 for the Castle District. Unfiltered water was taken out directly from the Danube and was pumped through an artificial gravel bed deposited in an underground cistern system. Pumps were driven by steam engines, and the chimney of the boiler room was hidden in a nicely decorated tower.

Ybl Pump House pic

The pumping station ceased operation in 1905 and the building was used as concert hall, ball room or banquet hall. In WW2 the pump house suffered severe damage. In 1992 the building was renovated and worked as a casino for some 15 years.

In 2016 the Ybl Pump House was acquired (for 10.5 million euros) by PADI Pallas Athéné Domus Innovationis, foundation of the Hungarian National Bank (MNB). The amazing pump station building will be renovated from 600 million Forint and will be reopened for public in autumn 2017.

Ybl Pump House Inside pic

You can see more photos at here…

Millennium Underground Museum

... in the Spotlight in 02/2017 (posted:10/02/2017)

Budapest was the second city in Europe, after London, which built an underground. The purpose of the underground was to facilitate transport to the Budapest City Park along the elegant Andrássy Avenue without building surface transport affecting the streetscape.

Plans of the underground were developed by Siemens & Halske AG a German electrical engineering company a pioneer in electric railway systems. Construction works of the 6.0 metres wide, 2.65 metres high tunnel started on 13 August 1894 and were made by the enterprise of Róbert Wünsch. The project was supervised by Ödön Vojtek.

The first section (3.7 km) between Vörösmarty tér and Széchenyi Bath was inaugurated on 2 May 1896, the year of the Millennium (that’s why this Metro line is called Millennium Underground Railway), by Emperor Franz Joseph.

Millennium Underground Museum pic

The Millennium Underground Museum was opened in 1975 in a 60m long disused metro tunnel and includes original carriages populated by mannequins dressed in period costume and information displays about the planning and building of the underground. There is also a shop selling souvenirs. See more photos here...

Frozen Water Towers in Hungary…

…already two victims of the extreme cold (posted 27 January, 2017)

In Hungary these days we have extreme cold temperature since 6 January 2017. The daily low temperature was -8 to -15 C on several days in Budapest, and in the countryside in Tésa -28.1 C was measured on 8 January.

The cold weather made at least two water towers frozen. The first water tower which froze on 14 January 2017 was in Göncruszka. The second water tower froze on 26 January 2017 in Nagykanizsa.

Göncruszka Water Tower pic

Frozen Water Tower in Göncruszka - picture by Zoltán Máthé

Nagykanizsa Water Tower pic

Frozen Water Tower in Nagykanizsa - picture by György Varga

Gas Workers' Quarter

... in the Spotlight in 01/2017 (posted:10/01/2017)

Simultaneously to the construction of the Óbuda Gas Works, building of the gas workers’ quarter started in 1913. The quarter was designed by Lóránd Almási Balogh in 1912. The one and two level buildings are arranged in a “U”shape, and face into a central square and a kindergarten. The buildings contained 4 three-bedroom, 78 two-bedroom, 10 one-bedroom homes, 4 attic flats and 32 roomettes in a workers’ hostel.

Following the “town in the city” principle, post office, police station, surgery, chemist, kindergarten, elementary school, grocery, bakery, butcher, barber and even cobbler were operating in the quarter. The quarter was inaugurated on 15 July 1914 and was expanded and upgraded in the 1920ies and 1930ies. In 1972 a 228-bed workers’ hostel was built on the South part of the quarter.

Gas Workers' Quarter pic

See more photos here...

Kőbánya Water Reservoir

... in the Spotlight in 12/2016 (posted:08/12/2016)

Until the middle of the 19th century the water need of Budapest was supplied from private and public wells. Since there was no sewage system, human and household waste in cesspits polluted the wells so selling unfiltered water from the Danube was a profitable business. At the end of the 1850ies the City Council received several offers from private companies to build waterworks and pipelines to provide running water for the citizens of Budapest, but because of the unfavourable political and economical situation the proposals were not discussed.

In 1866 the cholera outbreak in Budapest made the City Council to decide to build a waterworks to supply water to Pest (the water supply of Buda was less critical).

Kőbánya Reservoir pic

In 1867 the City Council decided to establish a temporary waterworks to satisfy the water needs of Pest. William Lindley architect from London was assigned in 1868 to build the waterworks and reservoirs. Constructions works started in April and finished in November. The temporary waterworks was built on the estate of the current Kossuth-tér and  Parliament Building. The reservoirs were built in Kőbánya (10th district of Budapest) on the Óhegy hill.

Two underground reservoirs were built between 1869 and 1871 with a capacity of 10,800 m3 each, so the reservoirs were able to store 21,600 m3 water. Though at that time the water consumption of Pest was estimated at 1,850 m3 per day, Lindley planned the waterworks, pipeline and reservoirs for a daily capacity of 9,100 m3/day. The reservoirs were built by masons from Italy; the bricks were produced in Hungary. The bottoms of the reservoirs are at 33.88m from Danube reference level, the overflow drains at 41.88m.

The reservoirs are still in use and can be visited once a year when they drained for maintenance. The underground reservoirs in Kőbánya were enlarged in 1970 by four 4,000m3 capacity reservoirs (each).

See more photos here...

Fazola Blast Furnace in Újmassa

... in the Spotlight in 11/2016 (posted:05/11/2016)

Heinrich Fassola (born in Würzburg, 1730) and his brother Lenard arrived in Hungary around 1760. The blacksmith and clockmaker Fassola brothers settled down in Eger and Heinrich became famous under the name of Fazola Henrik. His forged iron masterpieces -like the wrought iron gate at the Building of the County Council- can be seen in Eger.

Henrik applied for a concession to build and operate a blast furnace on the area of the current Ómassa. Queen Maria Theresia granted the concession in 1770 and the first tapping was in 1772. The blast furnace’s capacity was 6.3 m3, waterwheels drawing the bellows were driven by the Garadna stream, iron ore was supplied from the mines of Uppony, Dédes, Tapolcsány and Nekézseny.

The factory has seen better and worse years. The low quality of the local iron ore and insufficient water power supply of the Garadna stream caused the most problems. Though Henrik Fazola was professionally respected and honoured, his shareholder partners cheated and betrayed him. Henrik lost his shares, his house and vineyards and was forced to resign from his director position. He died as a poor and mortified man in 1779.

His son Frigyes Fazola (1774-1849) stepped into his father’s shoes and became a well-known metallurgical expert. After finishing the Mining Academy in Selmecbánya (now Banská Štiavnica, Slovakia) he worked in iron and steel factories in Austria. When he returned to Hungary he started to work in the factory his father established and soon were mandated to manage its operation. He introduced new technologies like crucible steel production. He also initiated and managed the construction of a reservoir (now Lake Hámori) to provide continuous water supply to drive the waterwheels of the forges.

Fazola Blast Furnace pic

By the turn of the century the blast furnace in Ómassa became obsolete, and Frigyes built a new blast furnace between 1804-1814 in the nearby village Újmassa. The Ómassa furnace terminated operation in 1814 (according to other sources in the 1820ies), it’s stones were used to build a school, only its buttress remained untouched, which is still standing behind the school building.

The blast furnace in Újmassa (Újmassai Őskohó) started operation in October 1814. Its working volume was 22 m3 exceeding more than three times the capacity of the Ómassa furnace. Originally its shape was a truncated cone; its present shape was attained in 1831 after several reconstructions.

Pig irons from the furnace were further processed in the forges near to the furnace and around village Hámor. An iron foundry was also operating in front of the blast furnace where stoves, kitchenware and material parts were casted. The blast furnace in Újmassa was shut down in 1872, since a new steel and iron factory was built in Diósgyőr.

The blast furnace in Újmassa deteriorated. There were already plans in 1936 to restore the ruins, but reconstruction took place only in 1951-1952. There were no original drawings available for the reconstruction, but detailed study of the ruins appeared a satisfactory basis for restoration. The Újmassa blast furnace was opened to the public on 18 October 1952, and is one of the most important industrial monuments of Hungary.

In 1960 the original drawings were found and proved that the restoration was authentic.

Near to the blast furnace stands the Massa Museum showcasing the history of iron production in Ómassa and Újmassa. On the opposite side of the road and stream Garadna there is an open-air exhibition of machines, tools, vehicles used in iron and steel manufacturing.

See more photos here...

Tamariska Shelter was opened for public…

…as a memorial place and museum of the 1956 Uprising (posted 24 October, 2016)

On the 60th anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, the shelter under the Tamariska Hill was opened for public, as a memorial place and museum of the 1956 Uprising (1956 Büszkeségpont – 1956 Pridepoint). Tamariska Hill is a sand hill and nature reserve area in the 21st district of Budapest (Csepel district) with notable sand grass vegetation and bird habitat.

It is unsure, when the shelter was built and for what purpose in Tamariska Hill, because it is situated in a garden suburb, far from the Csepel Iron and Metal Works or from military objects. (Some people also questions, whether it was built for a purpose of a shelter). According to research, there was already a facility on the hill near to the end of WWII, which could serve as an air-raid shelter, but the current shelter system was likely built in the early 1950-es during the Cold War. It is underpinned by the architecture: older section of the shelter is made of brick and mortar, while the bigger, newer part by steel reinforced concrete.

Tamariska Shelter pic

In November 1956 it served as a shelter for local citizens, when the Soviet armoured units invaded to Csepel district. Fighting in Budapest consisted of between ten and fifteen thousand resistance fighters, with the heaviest fighting occurring in the working-class stronghold of Csepel.

It is unknown, for what purpose the bunker in Tamariska Hill was used after the 1956 Hungarian Uprising, some locals say it was utilised as a military warehouse. For decades it was abandoned and used by gangs and homeless people or completely closed down. It’s good, that at least part of it was restored and reopened as a memorial place and museum of the 1956 Hungarian Uprising. See more pictures here

Sikló (Funicular)

... in the Spotlight in 10/2016 (posted:12/10/2016)

The Budapest Castle Hill Funicular (Budavári Sikló) was the second funicular in Europe transporting public in urban area. The first funicular was built in Lyon and was opened in 1862.

Five years later in 1867 Count Ödön Széchenyi presented his proposal to build a steam-engine operated funicular to the responsible offices of Budapest. Széchenyi had received the concession to build and operate the funicular for 40 years.

The initial plans of the cable railway were developed by Ödön Juraszek and construction works started in July 1868. From 1869 Henrik Wolfarth supervised the construction and he also made significant modifications of the plans (e.g. he changed the slope of the funicular likely for safety reasons). The first test run of the funicular took place on 23 October 1869 and the funicular was inaugurated on 2 March 1870.

Sikló (Funicular) pic

A 30 HP steam engine operated the funicular nearly for 75 years (transporting more than 2 million passengers in 1943), when in it was severely damaged by bombs on 20 December 1944. After 42 years of shutdown, the funicular was redesigned, rebuild and was reopened for public on 4 July 1986. See more photos here...

Aeropark Museum

... in the Spotlight in 09/2016 (posted:20/09//2016)

The Aeropark is situated near to the 2B Terminal of Budapest Airport (also known as Ferihegy Airport or officially Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport). The Aeropark is an open-air aviation museum where you can study the preserved planes and ground handling equipment of the 60 years of Hungarian commercial aviation. Visitors can also experience a flight with a multifunctional flight simulator.

Aeropark Museum pic

See more photos here...

European Heritage Days in Hungary…

… will be held on 17-18 September, 2016 (posted 12 September, 2016)

European Heritage Days (Kulturális Örökség Napjai) will be on 17-18 September, 2016 (SAT-SUN). In Hungary some 300 heritage sites, buildings, museums can be visited, including dozens of industrial heritage facilities. Though most of the guided tours are available in Hungarian only, there are some tours in English as well. You can find English tours and programs here.

Kőbánya Reservoir pic

In Budapest, the industrial heritage tours will conducted in Hungarian language. We provide transport to heritage sites and translation. Places are open to visit: Foundry Museum, Underground Museum, Cogwheel Railways, BKV Ferenc Transformer, MAVIR Control Room, Kőbány Water Reservoir, Kőbánya Cellars, Lechner Competence Center (former Tobacco Factory), Martsa Stone Carver Workshop.

New Aviation Museum Opened…

… in Szolnok on 1st September 2016 (posted 2 September, 2016)

Good news for military aviation and aviation history fans, that the long awaited Reptár Aviation Museum of Szolnok was inaugurated yesterday, on 1st September 2016. The museum was built on a 6 hectares area (open air exhibition), including a 4,500 square metres covered exhibition area. The development of the museum was 100% financed from EU Funds (Regional Development Fund). The HUF 2.7 billion project included landscaping of the open-air exhibition area, building a new hangar and exhibition space, restoring the Indóház (old railway station of Szolnok) which serves now as a visitor center, restoring aircrafts and building a restoration workshop, purchasing of flight simulators and 4D cinema technology.

Reptár Museum pic

Nice to see, that the 170 years old industrial monument Indóház, and its adjacent buildings like the warehouse and the water house got new functions.
Besides displaying about 35 military aircraft, helicopters, and military technology equipment the Museum offers interactive programs like aircraft simulators, adventure courses, playgrounds for children or to see the work of the restoration workshop or enjoy a 4D movie.

Indóház pic

The museum is open Tue-Sun from 10am until 6pm. You find more pictures and information on the Aviation Museum’s website and on their Facebook page.

Ráckeve Boat Mill

... in the Spotlight in 08/2016 (posted:03/08//2016)

Boat mills, also known as ship mills are special watermills. Traditional watermills were usually built at streams or smaller rivers where the variability of water flow could be managed by building dams and sluices to form a reservoir (mill pond). The reservoir and sluice gates provide regulated water flow for safe operation of the watermill most of the year. This was not possible at big rivers like the Danube, where water level could change 7-10 metres during the year, so a fixed watermill on the river bank would be useless most of the year.

Boat mills were very common on Tisza and Danube rivers in the 19th century. In 1863 4,301 boat mills, 9,173 stream mills, 475 windmills and 147 steam mills were operating in Hungary (not including Transylvania, Slavonia, Croatia).

Ráckeve Boat Mill pic

Several boat mills were working on the Danube at Ráckeve as well, where the last ship mill of Hungary sank during the hard winter of 1968, when the ice broke the houseboat with the milling equipment. In 2006 the Municipality of Ráckeve initiated the idea of rebuilding the boat mill, and enthusiastic local residents, workers, entrepreneurs prepared a full-functional replica of the float mill based on written records, photos and drawings.

See more photos here...

National Film History Theme Park and Digital Power Plant were inaugurated…

…in Ózd on 11th July, 2016 (posted 12 July, 2016)

On 11 July 2016, both the National Film History Theme Park and the Digital Power Plant were inaugurated. The National Film History Theme Park was set up in a 100+ years old listed industrial building, the Fúvógépház (blowing engine house). It has three functions on 2,800 square meters: interactive film history exhibition, greenbox studios and archive of the Hungarian National Digital Archives and Film Institute (MaNDA). The archive is able to store 200,000 celluloid film rolls. The project was a HUF 927 million investment.

Blowing Engine House pic

The Digital Power Plant is even a larger scale investment (HUF 1.6 billion). The Digital Power Plant is a multi-functional building with exhibition areas, education and office blocks, conference halls on 7,000 square meters. As its name suggests, the Digital Power Plant is located in the secession style powers station of the Ózd metal works.

Digital Power Plant Outside pic

The National Film History Theme Park and the Digital Power Plant can be visited in the opening hours of the Factory History Museum of Ózd.

Digital Power Plant Inside pic

You can find more pictures and information on the opening ceremony at Ó and excellent pictures of the projects at építészfó

Tés Windmills

... in the Spotlight in 07/2016 (posted:09/07/2016)

Tés is a small village in the Bakony Mountains, situated on the largest plateau of the East-Bakony at the height of 465 m. There is no stream near Tés able to operate a watermill, so local millers needed to rely on wind power. Thanks to the constant and reliable wind on the plateau, four windmills were operating in Tés: the Rotter, Vaszlav, Helt and Ozi mills.

The two latter still exist, both have six full sails (which can be extended by additional boards in case of slow wind). Six sail mills are unique in Hungary since most windmills have four sails.

Tés Windmills pic

The Helt windmill was built around 1840 by carpenter János Pircher and was named after the Helt family who operated the mill for several generations. It’s a round-shaped mill with tapered, rotatable shingle roof.  There are two pairs of millstones in the windmill and they can mill 400 kgs a day.

The nearby Ozi windmill was built in 1924 by János Ozi. The structure of the Ozi mill is similar to the Helt mill, but somewhat smaller, and there is only one pair of millstones inside, so the grinding capacity is half of the Helt mill.

Near to the mills, a traditional smithy can be visited, which displays the tools of smiths, blacksmiths and cartwrights. See more photos here...

Csepel Freeport Granary

... in the Spotlight in 06/2016 (posted:14/06/2016)

Though early plans existed for the development of a port in Csepel (Csepel Island in the South part of Budapest) from the last quarter of the 19th century, the actual development started in 1919, when the detailed plans of the basins, berths and rail connections were elaborated by Elemér Sajó and his team. The same year earthworks had started and by 1924 the petrol basin was completed. In the following years the commercial basin and its infrastructure was developed and officially inaugurated on 20th October 1928 by Miklós Horthy, regent of Hungary.

The most prominent building in Csepel Freeport is the Granary. The Granary designed by Dezső Hültl and Gyula Mihalich is able to store 35,000 tons cereals, 10,000 tons in silos and 25,000 tons in the 11-storey warehouse. The impressive building is 95.8 m long, 36.3 m wide and 43.6 m high. The machinery is located in the 52.5 m tower connecting the silo and warehouse sections.

Csepel Freeport Granary pic

The Granary was opened in 1928, and still in use, operated by MAHART Gabonatárház Kft. Its current capacity is 30,000 tons and the company can load and unload 1,000 tons per day in two shifts respectively.

See more photos here...

Békéscsaba Railway Station Refurbished ...

... as well as its environment (posted 14/06/ 2016)

As part of a 34.9 billion HUF project the Békéscsaba Railway Station was refurbished and officially handed over to public on 9 June, 2016. The large scale redevelopment of the railway station included track and platform construction works, modernising the signalling and telecommunication systems, constructing passenger subways and flyovers, refurbishment of the train station as well as the reconstruction of the area adjacent to the railway station: a P+R car park and connecting road network.

The main building of the railway station was designed by Béla Goszleth, architect of the MÁV (Hungarian Railways) in the 1930s, in Neo-Baroque style. Construction works started in May 1931, and the station was planned to be opened in 1932. After several delays the new train station building was handed over 30 months later, in October 1933. Because of the multiple delays, authorities decided not to make an official opening ceremony.

Békéscsaba Railway Station pic

In World War II the railway station suffered serious damages, and during the communist era it wasn’t restored according to the original plans. In the current project the station building has been restored it to its original splendour, also meeting the requirements of disabled accessibility.

You can find more pictures and information on the Békéscsaba Railway Station here…

New industrial museum and its open-air exhibition opened ...

... in Ózd on 10 June 2016 (posted 11/06/2016)

Friday, a new industrial heritage attraction of Ózd, the factory history museum and its open-air exhibition was inaugurated. Together with the later to be opened National Film History Theme Park and its nicely renovated blowing engine house it will help Ózd to become a tourist destination, at least for industrial heritage enthusiasts. The film history park will have the potential to attract even more visitors.

Factory Museum Opening pic

The museum will be open for public from 13 June, Mo-Fri 09:30-17:00.

You find more pictures and information on the opening ceremony at and on the museum’s website.

8th Conference of Ózd on Industrial Heritage Protection ...

...was held on 3 June, 2016 (posted:07/06/2016)

The 8th Conference on Industrial Heritage Protection was organised in Ózd on 3 June, 2016. Ózd an industrial city in Northern Hungary once was famous of its metal works which employed some 14,000 workers in the 1970s and 1980s. In the 1990s the state-owned Metal Works of Ózd (OKÜ) lost its markets and terminated operations. Though some parts of the works were privatised, most buildings of the significant complex have not been utilised and are declining.

Coference pic

The conference started by wreath ceremony at the relief of Tivadar Rombauer, continued by lectures. After the lectures participants could visit the soon to be opened industrial museum and its open-air exhibition. The opening ceremony of the museum will be on 10 June, 2016 and the museum is open for public from 13 June. The program was closed by visiting the National Film History Theme Park and the Blowing Engine House.

You find more pictures and information on the conference at Ó conference and industrial museum.

Csepel Works

... in the Spotlight in 05/2016 (posted:14/05/2016)

The history of the Csepel Works goes back to 1882, when the Weiss brothers Berthold and Manfréd established a canned food manufacture at Lövölde tér in the 7th district of Budapest. A few months later the canned food factory was relocated to Soroksári út to an estate close to the Cattle Slaughterhouse.

When the company had free capacity workers were dismantling of ammunition for the army. Since the Weiss Company possessed sheet metal forming machines, they started to produce rifle magazines and cartridges. There was an explosion in the factory in 1890, and the Weiss brothers decided to move operation to the small, underpopulated Csepel village (now 21st district of Budapest) in 1892. In 1896 Berhold had left the company and became a member of parliament.

Between 1896 and 1914 Manfréd developed the company to one of the biggest defence contractors of the Austro-Hungarian Empire producing mostly ammunition, but also other military equipment e.g. field kitchens. During the World War I the number of employees was around 28,000 and the company was operating on a 250 hectares estate. After World War I number of employees decreased to around 6,000 and the company started to produce household appliances (e.g. kitchenware, ovens, and sewing machines), bicycles and agricultural machines. Manfred Weiss died in 1922, his sons and one of his son-in-law continued the business.

By 1930 number of employees reached 15,000. In World War II the Weiss Manfred Company supplied ammunition, aircraft engines, tanks, land cruisers and other military equipment for the army. After the World War II the factory was nationalised in 1948 and as Csepel Iron and Metal Works became a flagship company of the communist era by producing tubes, machinery, bicycles, motorcycles, vehicles. In the 1970ies more than 35,000 people were working in the factory.

Csepel Works pic

In the 1990ies the company’s assets were privatised, currently hundreds of ventures operate on the area employing 6-8,000 people. There are 14 industrial monuments and another 30 noteworthy buildings in the Csepel Works. See more photos here...

The demolition of Railway Control Tower in Székesfehérvár has started..., before sunrise (posted:11/05/2016)

Today, at around 2am, in the dark, the demolition of the Railway Control Tower II in Székesfehérvár has started. No way to return and save the railway heritage.

Control Tower Demolition pic

How the demolition has started you can see at ...

Find background information on the Control Tower at Székesfehérvár II. számú állítóközpontja

The Windmill in Túrkeve collapsed...

...the story ended on 9th May, 2016 (posted:10/05/2016)

According to Vidék.MA the last windmill in Túrkeve collapsed yesterday on 9 May, 2016.

Windmill in Túrkeve collapsed pic

In the past years tens of millions Forints were spent on the renovation and refurbishment of the mill. Big loss for Túrkeve and the local community.

Debris of the mill pic

Railway Control Tower in Székesfehérvár is planned to be demolished...

...before it is listed as national railway monument (posted:08/05/2016)

Székesfehérvár is an industrialised city in Central Transdanubia and also an important logistics hub. Its train station is among the largest and busiest railway stations in Hungary. The history goes back to 1961, when the first train station was built in the city on the Budapest-Székesfehérvár-Nagykanizsa line.

In WWII the station building was completely destroyed and in 1951 the current socialist realist type building was erected (designed by architect László Kelemen).

Szekesfehervar Control Tower pic

In the early 1950-ies track layout and platforms were redesigned and in 1954 the Control Tower II was built based on the plans of Gyula Rimanóczy. The Control Tower II is a rare and unique way to house the control room (other examples are only from Milan and Bologna). The 16 m high building provides a good overview on tracks and platforms. Because of its particular design and role, the building is part of our railways history heritage and enjoyed temporary protection between 2009 and 2011.

In 2014 a large scale (HUF 40 billion project) redevelopment of the Székesfehérvár Railway Station has started. When the new track geometry was planned, the Control Tower II was not considered to preserve. Though Forster Gyula National Centre for Cultural Heritage Management has initiated a listing procedure, the investor has the permission to demolish the building, and has no will to retain it.

View from control tower pic

According to the recent news, demolishing of the steel reinforced concrete control tower will start on 11 May, 2016. Bad news for industrial and railway heritage enthusiast. You can find more info in Hungarian and see more pictures at

The Windmill in Túrkeve is seriously damaged ...

...and the building became unstable (posted:22/04/2016)

Túrkeve is a small agricultural town in Northern Great Plain. At the beginning of the 20th century twelve Dutch type, tower shaped windmills were operating at Túrkeve. Most mills were erected in the last decade of the 19th century, but by now the only remnant of the once flourishing mills is the Molnár Mill.

The 16 m high, four-storey mill had four 12 metres long sails; its millstones were 1400 and 1800 kgs able to grind 4 tons of flour and semolina a day.

Turkeve windmill

During WW2, the mill suffered damages: the Red Army used its wooden parts to substitute telephone poles, and the inner wooden structure was used for heating by locals. After the war the mill was repaired and was in operation till 1980ies, when it was closed down, since the building’s condition became life-threatening.

In 2008 and 2011 the mill was reconstructed, and its inner structure refurbished. It was unexpected, that a large section of the wall collapsed on 15 April, 2016. The building suffered serious damages and became unstable.

Turkeve mill damaged pic

You can see more pictures at

Railway Museum ...

... in the Spotlight in 04/2016 (posted:10/04/2016)

The Hungarian Railway Museum was opened on 14 July 2000, on a 7 hectares area at the North Depot. The North Depot was built between 1909 and 1911 and it included barracks, workshops, infrastructural buildings and two turntables with a 22-bay and a 34-bay roundhouse.

The latter was the biggest roundhouse in Historic Hungary and remained undamaged after the WWII, while the smaller building was destroyed in a bomb attack. The museum has a fleet of fifty engines, twelve operational and thirty-eight cosmetically restored, plus a wide range of rolling stock: railcars, self-powered rail cars and hand-carts, inspection cars, steam cranes, snow ploughs and other curiosities.

Foundry Museum pic

The Railway Museum is an interactive museum; visitors can travel on a narrow-gauge garden railway, drive a steam engine, travel in a car converted for rails, operate a hand-cart or ride on the turntable. See more photos here...

A must-see for Oldtimer enthusiasts ... Railway Museum Park (posted:03/04/2016)

The 11th Oldtimer Show will be organised, at the Railway Museum in Budapest between 8-10 April. More than 500 old-timer vehicles (automobiles, motorcycles, buses, trucks, tractors and military vehicles) will be exhibited on the 7 hectares area. Beside the usual interactive programs of the Railway Museum (e.g. travel on a narrow-gauge garden railway, operate a hand-cart or ride on the turntable) more programs will be organised for families and children for example face painting, petting zoo, archery, flute lessons, horse riding, jumping castles and slides. The Oldtimer Show is open: Friday (8th April) 13.00-18.00 Saturday-Sunday (9-10th April) 09.00-18.00.

Oldtimer Show 2016 banner

You find more info at the official website of the event.

Foundry Museum ...

... in the Spotlight in 03/2016 (posted:05/03/2016)

The foundry museum is operating in a historic industrial building in Buda, which was home to iron casting from 1858 to 1964. The building was part of the iron works of Abraham Ganz, a Swiss foundryman, who arrived in Pest in 1841 after 7 years of travels and works in various towns and factories in Europe. He worked for three years at the Pest Roller Mill (the first steam mill in Budapest), and had a major role of commissioning and operating the mill’s foundry, smithy and machinery.

In 1844 Ganz became independent and in 1845 bought an estate in Királyhegy street (now Bem street) in Buda and soon opened his iron foundry with 7 foundrymen. The foundry was producing excellent commercial cast iron, and was growing fast. From 1853 Ganz started to produce railway carriage wheels using chilled casting technology and based on the large demand he built a new building in 1858 where most of the wheels were casted. By 1867 –when Abraham Ganz committed suicide– number of employees at the Ganz factory exceeded 700. After the death of the founder his close colleague András Mechwart took over the leadership and developed the Ganz Works to a global corporation delivering worldwide.

Foundry Museum pic

This foundry with saw-tooth roof was in operation till 1964 by using the original technology, when closed down. In 1969 it was reopened to public as a foundry museum. In the museum you can understand the chilled iron casting technology: you can see the two cupola furnaces, the charging room, the furnace blowers, and the phases of the moulding and casting of chilled-cast wheels. Besides wonderful cast iron stoves, bells, capillary cast iron ornaments and many interesting products can be seen. See more photos here...

Multimodal Public Transport Hub at Tiszai Railway Station ...

...and an exciting, vibrant public park (posted:26/02/2016)

Tiszai Railway Station in Miskolc is one of the most beautiful railway stations in Hungary. It’s named after the company (Tiszavidéki Vasúttársaság) that built it in 1901. The station building was designed by architect Ferenc Pfaff in romantic-eclectic style. Pfaff was managing the design, rebuild and construction of more than twenty big stations between 1887 and 1907, including stations in Pécs and Szeged. Pfaff was also the designer of the other station in Miskolc, the Gömöri Station. Both stations are railway transport monuments. The Tiszai Station was renovated in 2003, but the area around the station was not upgraded to the needs of the 21st century, looks dreary and boring.

Tiszai Railway Station

We hope it will change soon and the ambitious plans of building a multimodal public transport hub will be realised. According to the plans the transport hub will enable changing transport modes (train, bus, coach, tram, taxi, car) and will also serve as a public park. Large scale landscaping also involves the Szinva stream which will help to make the park an exciting, vibrant community space.

During his visit in Miskolc on 11th February 2016, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced that the Government had granted 8 billion forints for the project.

Tiszai Railway Station Park Visualisation pic

You can see more visualisation plans of the project on Borsod Online's website

100+Years Old Blowing Engine House Reutilised ... a National Film History Theme Park (posted:18/02/2016)

Hungarian National Digital Archives and Film Institute (MaNDA) has launched a HUF 1 billion project to establish the National Film History Theme Park in Ózd. Ózd is located 160 km N-E from Budapest and for long time was one of the most significant centres of mining as well as iron and steel production. Due to the continuing decline of the heavy industry since 1990s the steelworks in Ózd was closed down and many buildings were demolished, however a few buildings were listed as industrial monument.

Derelict Blowing Engine House pic

The Fúvógépház (blowing engine house) is one of the listed buildings, from where feed air was provided for the blast furnaces. The 100+ years old building will be utilised as an exhibition hall and video studios for the National Film History Theme Park’s interactive exhibition.

„Visitors will be able to learn about the genres that have defined Hungarian and East European film history and also have the chance to re-shoot and act out various parts of films characteristic of the film historical era of their choice.” as the website of the project describes. Restoration of the derelict building has started, and the theme park will be handed over in 2016.

Blowing Engine House renovated pic

You can see more photos and plans of the project in Gallery 1 and Gallery 2

Pécs-Újhegy electric powerplant demolished ...

...implosion of a 100+ years old elegant reinforced concrete building (posted:10/02/2016)

The Pécs-Újhegy electric power plant was demolished on 9th February, 2016. The power station, office building, engine depot and workshop was built in 1914 based on the plans of Árpád Gut and Jenő Gergely. (Gut and Gergely designed the 4-storey, reinforced concrete, white building of the Arms Factory).

Pécs-Újhegy power plant was also a masterpiece of reinforced concrete buildings which housed the boiler room, engine room and switch room. The power station started to supply electricity for the coal mine in 1914 with two 5 MW turbo generators. In 1918 the plant started to supply electricity for Pécs City. In 1922 it was upgraded by a 10 MW Brown-Boveri turbo generator, which also delivered electric power to the South Transdanubian network. The power plant ceased operations in 1965, and during the 52 years of its operation it supplied 2 million MWh energy.

Though there were several plans for the reuse of the building from film studio to coma centre nothing has happened and the building degraded. Its protection as a monument was terminated in February 2015. On 9 Februray the boiler house and the engine room were demolished by implosion and the switch room is planned to be exploded on 15 February.

Pecs-Ujhegy power station pic

Youtube video of the implosion.

Slideshow of the power station from 2015.

Study of Csaba Holló on the Pécs-Újhegy electric power plant from 2014.

Pig Slaughterhouse ...

... in the Spotlight in 02/2016 (posted:01/02/2016)

As we wrote before, there are several industrial heritage sites among the venues of the proposed Budapest Olympic Games, 2024. For example, the Pig Slaughterhouse planned to be the venue of the Media- and the Broadcast Centre. This could give a chance for the reuse of the Pig Abattoir’s buildings that were not demolished in 2001.

Since the handover of the Cattle Slaughterhouse in 1872, there were plans to build a pig slaughterhouse in the South part of Budapest. In 1895 a 30 hectares area had been designated for the abattoir, at Gubacsi út, approximately 1km S-E from the cattle shambles.

The buildings of the Pig Slaughterhouse were designed by architect István Mihályik, who was also supervising construction works between 1897 and 1902. The slaughterhouse complex was inaugurated on 1st May 1902. The slaughterhouse had a central court. North and South from the court were standing the abattoir and meat processing buildings, while West from the court near to Gubacsi út was the directorate building and East the water tower.

Pig Slaughterhouse pic

The Water Tower was part of the engineering building complex of the abattoir where boiler room, engine room, cooling houses and ice machine room was situated. The Water Tower is holding a 200 cubic metres steel tank 20 m above ground level.

Thirty years after the inauguration of the Pig Slaughterhouse a large Pig Market Hall (designed by Róbert Folly) was built on the Northern part of the estate.

In 2001 a large-scale real estate development had started, and most buildings were demolished; only the Water Tower, the Pig Market Hall and office building remained. See more photos here...

Olympic Summer Games in Budapest? ... chances for Industrial Heritages? (posted:30/01/2016)

Budapest is bidding for the 2024 Olympic Summer Games. Budapest is competing with Los Angeles, Paris and Rome for the 2024 Olympics, since Hamburg’s bid was rejected in a referendum and Boston dropped its bid citing the lack of public support. In 2015 PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) prepared a 1300+ page Feasibility Study proposing several venues in Budapest for the Olympic Games. Budapest's city council has approved the list of venues for the 2024 Olympics on 27th January 2016.

The biggest developments would be in Ferencváros (9th District of Budapest) and on the North part of Csepel (21st District), where new track and field stadium, velodrome, tennis complex, BMX racing track, kayak-canoe slalom centre as well as the Olympic Village and the Media Village will be built. Several Brownfield areas (or failed Real Estate developments) are also planned venues of the Olympics. So the Summer Games could give a new chance to declining industrial heritages. For example the Wholesale Market would host the main shopping centre and the central canteen of the Olympic Village. The Pig Slaughterhouse would be the venue of the Media- and the Broadcast Centre.

Olympic Games 2024 Budapest pic

The public support for hosting the 2024 Summer Games in Budapest is unknown –and remains unknown– since a week ago Hungary's Supreme Court rejected the proposed referendum on Budapest's bid for the 2024 Olympics. International Olympic Committee (IOC) will be doing its own confidential polls in the four candidate cities, so that they can get an objective (?) result to select.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will elect the winner at a vote in Lima, Peru, in September 2017. We hope that these magnificent industrial heritages won’t decline further till 2017, and after, if Budapest’s bid is rejected. Either Budapest is organising an Olympics Games or not, we should be able to safeguard our industrial heritages.

Gateway to SPACE exhibition arrived to Budapest...

...and can be seen between 15 January and 15 March, 2016 (posted:15/01/2016)

„An interactive space exhibition showcasing the technical details and history of space travel opened at the Millenaris Hall in Budapest on Thursday. The Gateway to Space exhibition put on display several original items such as space helmets, rockets and space station extension modules and visitors will have the chance to try out simulators used in astronaut training. The exhibition provides insight on both the American and Soviet space technology and puts an emphasis on the international nature of space travel. It will be open until March 15.” (MTI)

Gateway to Space pic

The exhibition can be seen in Millenáris Park. The Millenáris Park was built on the premises of Ganz Villamossági Művek (Ganz Electric works) on the Buda side and is regarded a very successful brownfield rehabilitation project. Now the Millenáris is a modern cultural complex with exhibition halls, a large park with a nice pond, open-air theatrum, cafes and one of the best playgrounds of Budapest.

The Ganz Works was founded by Ábrahám Ganz with his iron casting workshop in 1845. He elaborated the technology of casting railway wheels. The company was growing fast, and after 1875 it started to produce water turbines and construct water power plants. In 1878, the electric department was established, which became an independent company in 1906 under the name of Ganz Electric Co. Ltd. It was constructing power plants and electric distribution systems.

Some investors do it better…

...the wholesale market hall rehabilitation (posted:15/01/2016)

In January 2016 the Wholesale Market of Budapest is In the Spotlight. As you can see from the photos both the office building and the huge wholesale market hall are degrading due to vandalism and lack of maintenance. Not surprising: the buildings are the property of a real estate investor, whose ultimate majority owner is in prison accused for issuing fake bonds.

A very similar building is the Grossmarkthalle in Frankfurt had a better fate. It became a European Central Bank (ECB) premise, and it has new function. Having undergone extensive renovation and restoration work, which was completed in 2014, the Grossmarkthalle now houses the more public areas of the ECB, such as the lobby, exhibition areas and cafeteria, as well as a visitor centre, staff restaurant and conference area. The latter have been integrated into the hall as separate buildings on the basis of a “house-in-house” concept. The market hall is accessed via the main entrance underneath the entrance building.

The Grossmarkthalle was built between 1926 and 1928 according to the design of Martin Elsaesser, Director of Town Planning for the City of Frankfurt am Main during the period 1925 32. With a length of 220 m, a width of 50m and a maximum height of 23.50 m, it housed the wholesale fruit and vegetable market, which served not only Frankfurt but also the entire Rhine-Main region.

Grossmarkthalle pic

The Grossmarkthalle was used by Frankfurt’s wholesalers from 1928 up to 2004, when they moved out to the Frischezentrum in the north-west of the city. The Grossmarkthalle, a state-of-the-art functional building from the classical modern era, has been a recognised cultural monument since 1972. It was built with a new type of structural framework that made it the largest free-spanning prestressed reinforced concrete hall in the world at that time.

See: source and more info on the ECB project. You can also download a detailed brochure on the New ECB Premises giving more background information on the project.

TICCIH National Reports published...

...and can be downloaded in pdf format (posted:06/01/2016)

The International Committee for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage TICCIH, better known by the more manageable TICCIH (pronounced “ticky”), is the world organization for industrial heritage. Its National Reports 2013-2015 document can be downloaded in pdf format through this link. The Hungarian chapter (page 107-114) was prepared by Ms. Györgyi Németh and introduces some recent successes and failures of industrial heritage protection in Hungary.

Public Warehouse pic

One example in the report is the so-called Whale (or Bálna in Hungarian) a controversial reconstruction of the 19th-century public warehouses on the Danube bank in Budapest which has been widely criticised.

Wholesale Market ...

... in the Spotlight in 01/2016 (posted:05/01/2016)

The Wholesale Market was built between 1930 and 1932 on the basis of the design of Aladár Münnich. The market was inaugurated on 18th November 1932 by Miklós Horthy, regent of Hungary. With a length of 247 m, a width of 40 m, a maximum height of 17 m and a 4 m high basement the market hall used to house a wholesale fruit and vegetable market that served Budapest and its catchment area.

The market hall has a thin-skin structural framework, with a roof consisting of 18 wide and 5 narrow free-spanning concrete shells constructed using the Zeiss-Dywidag method.

Wholesale Market pic

The other noteworthy building of the market is the office building which is connected to the market hall through a bridge corridor. The four-storey building accommodated offices of the market management, wholesalers and customs officers, bank, post, restaurant and lodging. The building has Klinker brick façade and decorated by the sculptors (figures of farmer, fisherman, gardener and market-woman) of Béla Ohmann. See more photos here...

Arms Factory ...

... in the Spotlight in 12/2015 (posted:19/12/2015)

The plans of the Arms Factory were developed by József Kauser in 1888, and the factory was inaugurated in August 1889. After initial failures the Arms Factory was re-established in 1891 and besides weapons also started to produce Diesel engines.

The most prosperous years of the factory was likely the 1903-1935 period when the factory was managed by Rudolf Frommer. During his management mass production of automatic pistols had started and the factory was also significantly developed. New buildings were erected like the iconic, 4-storey, reinforced concrete, white building (see picture below) designed by Árpád Gut and Jenő Gergely.

Arms Factory pic

Though the main profile of the factory was the production of rifles and pistols, it was also producing lamps, tool machines, gas heaters and water heaters.  After the WWII the arms factory was nationalised in 1948 and was producing small arms and gas heating devices, water boilers and heaters.

In 2004 arms production was ceased. More info and pictures on the Arms Factory

Transport Museum is closed ...

... but will be restored to its original splendour by 2018 (posted:19/12/2015)

The Transport Museum was closed on 15 April 2015 for renovation, as part of the large scale Liget Budapest Project. The objective of the Liget Budapest Project is for the renewed City Park to become a tourist destination with a complexity, quality and international appeal unrivalled by any other in Europe.

The building, where the Transport Museum was operating was erected in 1896 for the Millennium Exhibition in Budapest and served as a „Transportation Pavilion”. The church-like building was designed by Ferenc Pfaff in Romantic-Eclectic style.

During the bombing in World War II the building suffered large damages, and appr. 35 percent of the roof collapsed. After war in the 1960-ies it was partially renovated, and also extended in the 1980-ies. The Transport Museum has been operating in the building since 1966.

As a result of the renovation, not only will the institution be restored to its original splendour but the museum functions, exhibition and visitor service areas will also be renewed; moreover, the building will be enlarged by adding new exhibition spaces below the ground level. The Museum of Science, Technology and Transport planned to be open for public from March, 2018.

Museum pic