Andrássy út

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UNESCO World Heritage Site
Budapest, including the Banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter and Andrássy Avenue
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
Hősök tere éjszaka - Budapest.jpg
Type Cultural
Criteria ii, iv
Reference 400
UNESCO region Europe and North America
Inscription history
Inscription 1987 (11th Session)
Extensions 2002

Andrássy Avenue (Hungarian: Andrássy út) is an iconic boulevard in Budapest, Hungary, dating back to 1872. It links Erzsébet Square with the Városliget. Lined with spectacular Neo-renaissance mansions and townhouses featuring fine facades and interiors, it was recognised as a World Heritage Site in 2002. It is also one of Budapest's main shopping streets, with fine cafes, restaurants, theatres, and luxury boutiques.[1]

History[edit]

1875, Andrássy Avenue at Váczy körút (now Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út)

It was decreed to be built in 1870, to discharge the parallel Király utca from heavy traffic and to connect the inner city parts with the City Park. Its construction began in 1872 and the avenue was inaugurated on August 20 (a national holiday), 1876. Its realization was a blend of the plans proposed by the top 3 competitors Lajos Lechner, Frigyes Feszl and Klein & Fraser. Its palaces were built by the most distinguished architects (led by Miklós Ybl) of the time, financed by Hungarian and other banking houses. These were mostly finished by 1884 and mostly aristocrats, bankers, landowners and historical families moved in. It was named in 1885 after the main supporter of the plan, Prime Minister Gyula Andrássy.

The construction of the Budapest Metro, the first underground railway in Continental Europe, was proposed in 1870, since the capital had always been opposed to surface transport on this road. Construction began in 1894 and was finished in 1896, so this new metro line could facilitate the transport to Városliget, the main venue of the millennium celebrations of Hungary.

Cross-section of the first metro line under Andrássy út, 1890s

The boulevard was renamed three times in the 1950s; a testament to the rapid political changes of the period. It became Sztálin út ("Stalin Street") in 1950 during the Soviet occupation. During the 1956 uprising it was renamed to Magyar Ifjúság útja ("Avenue of Hungarian Youth"). The following year the governing communists changed the name to Népköztársaság út ("People's Republic Street"). The former name of Andrássy was restored in 1990, after the end of the communist era.[2]

In September 2011, Secretary of State for Culture Géza Szőcs officially announced plans to build a new structure along Andrássy út close to City Park and near the existing Budapest Museum of Fine Arts and Budapest Art Hall (Műcsarnok). This building would house the collections of the current Hungarian National Gallery.[3] This expanded plan, which would utilize the entire boulevard, is referred to as the Budapest Museum Quarter or Andrássy Quarter.[4] On 29th of March, 2014 the greatest demonstration ever in the history of Hungary took place on the Andrássy avenue. On the Hősök tere Joseph Daul, President of the Europeen People's Party and Viktor Orbán hold speaches. Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party won parliamentary elections on the 6th of April, 2014 and secured a new two-thirds majority. Fidesz Hungarian Civil Party had won 134 seats in the 199-seat legislature.

Peace March for Hungary, on the Andrássy avenue - 2014.03.29

Sections[edit]

Andrássy út consists of four main parts, from inside to outside as follows:

  1. From Erzsébet tér to Oktogon: an urban-like part mostly for commercial purposes.
  2. From Oktogon to Kodály körönd: widened with an allée, including residential areas and universities.
  3. From Kodály körönd to Bajza utca: it is even more widened, and residential palaces are fronted by small gardens.
Kodály körönd 4 - 1895
  1. From Bajza utca to Városliget: the same width; villas encompassed by gardens, including a couple of embassies.

Notable Spots[edit]

Andrássy Avenue with the Hungarian State Opera House (left side), 1896.

See also[edit]

Louis Vuitton on Andrássy út

References[edit]

  1. ^ UNESCO
  2. ^ Steves, Rick (2009). Budapest. Avalon Travel. p. 153. ISBN 978-1-59880-217-7. 
  3. ^ MTI (3 October 2011). "Government commissioner appointed for planned "museum quarter" in Budapest". Realdeal.hu. Retrieved 29 February 2012. 
  4. ^ Földes, András (15 September 2011). "Houdini-cirkusz es fiákerek az Andrássyn". index.hu. Retrieved 29 February 2012. 

Derzsi Elekes Andor: Terézváros, Andrássy út 94 szám in: Metapolisz 802 Budapest, 2014, ISBN 963-229-987-6

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 47°30′38″N 19°04′17″E / 47.51056°N 19.07139°E / 47.51056; 19.07139