Budapest’s architecture is quite striking. Seeing the city illuminated against the night sky just can’t be beat, especially along the Danube.
The daytime offers many treats too, like the elaborate rooftops found throughout the city. In fact, you’ll see one of these delights when traveling from the airport to the city center. While you’re enjoying the beauty, take a moment to thank Ödön Lechner.
Born in 1845, Lechner is credited with establishing the Hungarian Art Nouveau style. In fact, Hungary has submitted an abbreviated inventory of his works for World Heritage List consideration to UNESCO. Lechner is also the creator of the “Blue Church” I mentioned during my trip to Bratislava. You won’t find it on the UNESCO submission because the list represents his Hungarian contributions only.
Entering the city center from the airport, you will pass the Museum of Applied Arts. Your eyes are automatically drawn to the gorgeous rooftop. However, if you view the Gallery pictures on the Museum’s Virtual Tour page, you’ll see that the building is magnificent inside and out. I need to schedule a visit!
Another one of Lechner’s masterpieces is the former Royal Postal Savings Bank, now the Hungarian State Treasury building. According to the tour guide I had during my interview last year, Lechner was indignant by the lack of regard for his creation during his time, so he set the sensational rooftop back so it was only visible from the air. Lucky birds!
Lechner is not the only person who has contributed to the city’s beautiful skyline. In the late 1800s, Frigyes Schulek is credited with largely restoring St. Matthias Church and adding the rooftop design. He also built Fisherman’s Bastion.
Just down the road, you’ll find another beautiful roof on top of what is now the National Archives of Hungary. I couldn’t find any information on the architect, so we’ll just have to thank the rooftop gods.