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.
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.
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 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.
You find more photos of the Paprika Mill on the website of Kalohírek.hu.
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.
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).
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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...
... 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.
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.
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.
See more photos here...
... 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.
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.
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...
... 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.
See more photos here...
... 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.
See more photos here...
... 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.
See more photos here...
... 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
You can see more information and photos of the Kőbánya Water Reservoir
... 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Frozen Water Tower in Göncruszka - picture by Zoltán Máthé
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.
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).
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.
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.
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
... 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.
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...
... 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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
... 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Ózd.hu: conference and industrial museum.
... 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.
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...
...today, 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.
How the demolition has started you can see at feol.hu ...
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.
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.
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).
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.
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 facebook.com/kettestorony
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.
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.
You can see more pictures at Blikk.hu
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.
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 ...
...in 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.
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.
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.
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.
You can see more visualisation plans of the project on Borsod Online's website
100+Years Old Blowing Engine House Reutilised ...
...as 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.
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.
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.
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.
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? ...
...new 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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.