Little Boulevard

This road is called “Little Boulevard” where the City Walls of Pest stood in the middle Ages; these walls were demolished 200 years ago.

Central Market Hall – Központi Vásárcsarnok

At the end of the last century the city had five large, roofed markets all of which were built in a very similar stile. All five were opened on the same day; the other four are in Rákóczi tér, Klauzál tér, Hunyadi tér and in what today is called Rosenberg házaspár utca. This is the largest of them (designed by Samu Pecz), along the sides of the 150 meter-long hall are six aisles. The structure, the lighting and the cold store were very modern in their time and work even today. The greatest attraction of the hall is the roof structure.

Kálvin tér and the Eastern City Gate

This square was the site of one of the medieval gates of the city until it was pulled down in 1796. During the war as many as five buildings suffered irreversible damage; luckily the two most valuable buildings, the Calvinist church and the old Two Lions Inn, open until 1881 survived. The silhouette of the city gate is hidden by the much-debated new hotel – Hotel Crown (Korona).

National Museum

The largest museum in the country, built between 1837 and 1846, to the plans of Mihály Pollack. At that time this was so far from town that the weekly fair was held in Kálvin tér and some cattle sometimes wandered into the museum. It is almost 8,000 square meters in area, and it has five independent departments: the Archaeological Collection, the Medieval Collection, the Modern Collection, the Numismatics Collection and the Historical Portrait Collection. The museum played an important role on the first day of the 1848 Revolution; on 15th March a huge crowd of demonstrators gathered here to listen to the speeches of “the Youth of March”, their leaders. The speakers were standing on the wall left from the stairs while the crowd listened to them, clutching their umbrellas.

The Great Synagogue

This is one of the largest synagogues in Europe. The two onion-shaped domes are 43 meters high. Above the main entrance the Hebrew line reads: “Make me a sanctuary and I will dwell among them”. The building which has three naves and a flat ceiling holds almost 3,000 worshippers: 1497 men on the ground floor and 1472 women in the gallery. The nave in the middle was built with a 12 meter cast iron piece spanning the distance. Ferenc Liszt and Saint-Saëns played the famous organ on several occasions. The synagogue was originally built in an enclosed area. The Holocaust Memorial in the back garden is directly over the mass graves dug during the 1944-45 Hungarian Fascist period. On every leaf there is the name of a martyr. In 1944, after the Nazi occupation of Hungary Budapest Jews were forced to move into a ghetto (they had never lived in one before) as a preparation to deportation. That finally – miraculously – didn’t happen. But many died because of ill health, starvation and random murders. The pre-war percentage of 5% dwindled to 0.5% after the war; practically all of them live in Budapest.