In our new series we show some beautiful, but hardly known buildings of Budapest.
One of the most attractive features of Budapest is its architecture, and yet, we (and I mean even we, Hungarian) know only the major sights. But there are a lot of jewels we pass day by day without even realizing them. So in our recent series we show some buildings that you have probably never heard about, even if you’re almost an expert about the city. In this first part, we present a Neo-Baroque palace: the Károlyi-Csekonics residence.
This special atmosphere place is located in the heart of the 8th District, in the Palotanegyed (“Palace quarter”). The construction of the more than a hundred years old impressive building began in 1881, realizing the plans of the Fellner and Helmer architectural office. The customer, Count István Károlyi, was a prominent person of his era, President of several organizations and Member of Parliament. István Károlyi and his wife, Margit Csekonics lived an active social life, so their palace was a popular venue for social activities in the nineteenth century. Speaking of which: the building was the wedding present of the Csekonics family.
The main adornments of the Károlyi-Csekonics residence are the unique atmosphere, sculpted staircase and the loft of the Hall. The carved interior decorations were made mainly from oak and linden in Endre Thék’s plant. The specialty of the staircase and gallery is that the carvings depict primarily the mythical figures (dragons, dwarves, elves, etc.) of the Hungarian folk tale tradition. There is no human representation among the decorations, except the self-portrait of the designer that has been built in the pattern.
Once, French and a Swedish embassy functioned below the richly sculpted arches, but nowadays the residence is operating as a concert and conference venue. Or better to say would operate, because the building cannot be visited until the end of this year due to renovation works.
Address: 1088 Budapest, Múzeum u. 17.