Strolling Andrassy Boulevard

Hungary, Budapest Guide (A): Strolling Andrassy Boulevard

In this tour you will visit one of Budapest's most iconic and historically significant boulevards, and provided with some fascinating background information about its most important sights. Since its construction in the late 19th century, Andrassy ut has afforded the city some of its best shopping, its most luxurious residences, its popular entertainment as well at its highbrow culture, its historical monuments and its best strolling.
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Walk Route

Guide Name: Strolling Andrassy Boulevard
Guide Location: Hungary » Budapest
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (A))
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 3.0 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 km
Sight(s) featured in this guide: The beginning of Andrassy ut   The Hungarian State Opera House   The Book Cafe and Wine Bar   Liszt Ferenc ter (Square)   House of Terror   Franz Liszt Museum   Hero's Square   The Palace of Art   The Museum of Fine Art  
Author: Matthew Treadwell
Author Bio: Matthew Treadwell is a freelance writer and editor based in Budapest, Hungary. He has been traveling and living abroad for the past 15 years, seven of which in Budapest. Matthew lives with his wife and two young sons.
The beginning of Andrassy ut

1) The beginning of Andrassy ut

It is here at the seemingly unpronounceable Bajcszy Zsilinszky ut that Andrassy ut, designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, begins. The original idea was to link the City Park (Varosliget) with the city center with a broad, sweeping boulevard, along the lines of Haussman’s grand avenues in Paris. Work began in 1872 and the street was officially inaugurated on August 20th, 1876, taking its name from prime minister Gyula Andrassy, one of the main supporters of the plan. Although the street...
Image by Jcornelius under Creative Commons License.
The Hungarian State Opera House

2) The Hungarian State Opera House

Work began on the Hungarian State Opera House in 1874, and was designed by one of Hungary’s greatest architects, Miklos Ybl, who had a hand in many of the country’s most notable buildings, including here in Budapest St. Stephen’s Basilica as well as the throne room and one wing of the Royal Palace. Work ground to a near halt in the late 1870s due to financial concerns, but the building was finally completed in 1884. Neo-renaissance in style, the auditorium, which seats about 1,250, has...
The Book Cafe and Wine Bar

3) The Book Cafe and Wine Bar

Built in 1885, what is now the Alexandra Bookshop was once a casino, the center of bourgeois life in this part of the city. Card-playing, dinners, dance evenings and balls all served to keep the locals entertained, and the focus of all this social activity was the upstairs ballroom, adorned with frescoes by, once again, Karoly Lotz. Between 1910 and 1911 most of the building was completely altered to make way for the upscale Paris Department Store, and the Art Nouveau façade you now see dates...
Liszt Ferenc ter (Square)

4) Liszt Ferenc ter (Square)

Restaurants and cafes abound on leafy Liszt Ferenc ter. The city has done a lot of work here in the last few years, and it shows. This is a great spot to grab a coffee or a glass of wine and people-watch. After you've relaxed for a bit, head to the opposite end to the square to check out the Franz Liszt Academy of music, Hungary's most prestigious music university. Liszt believed that it was the duty of the artist to use his gifts to benefit humanity as well as to nurture new and...
House of Terror

5) House of Terror

Our next stop is at the House of Terror, which contains exhibits related to the fascist and communist dictatorships in Hungary. The building itself is striking, with its dark facade and overhanging signs projecting from the roof. Opened in 2002, the museum is, in its own words, "a monument to the memory of those held captive, tortured and killed in this building." Exhibits outline Hungary's relationship with Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, and has a significant amount of...
Franz Liszt Museum

6) Franz Liszt Museum

This modest little musuem contains a faithful reconstruction of Franz Liszt last home, where he lived from 1881 - 1886. The collection of the museum contains his original instruments, including the pianos where he composed and practised his works, furniture, his books, scores and some personal objects and memorabilia. If you're in the neighborhood on a Tuesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday morning and want a truly Hungarian experience, pop down Vorosmarty utca just past the museum to the...
Hero's Square

7) Hero's Square

The monuments here were built for Hungary's millenium celebration in 1886, although work continued until 1900. The center of the square is dominated by the nearly 120-foot column topped with the archangel Gabriel holding the crown of St. Stephen, the Hungarian king who converted the country to Christianity around 1000 AD. The equestrian statues at the base of the column represent Arpad and the seven Magyar (Hungarian) tribes which first settled the country around 896 AD. The semicircular...
The Palace of Art

8) The Palace of Art

As you face Hero's Square, the museum on your right is the Palace of Art. The Neo-Classical building was completed in 1896, in time for the Millenium celebrations, and houses exhibitions of mostly contemporary painting and sculpture. The tympanum above the portico depicts St. Stephen, or Istvan in Hungarian, as the patron saint of art. Behind the portico you'll find a fresco in three parts, showing The Beginning of Sculpture, The Source of Arts, and The Origins of Painting. The museum...
The Museum of Fine Art

9) The Museum of Fine Art

If your interests lie in more traditional works of art, the Museum of Fine Arts on the opposite side of the square is for you. Completed in 1906 and also Neo-Classical in style, its tympanum depicts the Battle of the Centaurs and Lapiths, copied from the Temple of Zeus at Olympia. The museum has a wide-ranging and eclectic collection, from ancient Egyptian art to works from the 19th and 20th centuries. Most great names associated with the old masters can be found here, and the museum has one of...

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