St. Stephen’s Day at the Castle Garden Bazaar

St. Stephen’s Day in Hungary is a national holiday with much frivolity and festivities in the works. There are plenty of things already written about it, but if you want a reference for what you missed at this year’s celebrations, look here. Better luck next year if you keep August 20th in mind.

Ron and I explored the comings and goings of the locals mixed with the tourist crowds to speculate what may be the possibilities for our honored guest who arrives

tomorrow. What, you don’t know about this VIP who will grace our home and hearth? Well, you will need to wait for more information. Keep your eyes peeled on this site for the news. Hint: Eye spy a piece of pie.

In the meantime, I can tell you that although we have wandered around the renovated Castle Garden Bazaar in the past, seeing it again still takes my breath away. Though the word bazaar generally brings to mind a marketplace or shopping quarter, this is not the case here. Originally designed by the famous Miklós Ybl, one of the most influential architects of Europe, it was opened in 1883. For anyone who wants to visualize Hungarian Neo-renaissance architecture, this is one of the finest examples you will find.

During its early years, artist studios filled the area, but after the devastating bombing during WWII, it was later used as a youth park. Some accident prompted its closure in 1984. Years of deterioration took its toll, but managed to make the UNESCO list of the 100 most endangered sites of the world.

It was fully reopened to visitors in August 2014. With any luck the photos will entice you. To visit the castle without spending time strolling around this area is a great cultural loss. Shame on you!

We were also delighted to see the Buda Calvinist Reformed Church was open to Buda Calvinist Churchvisitors. The exterior is enchanting with the multicolored Zsolnay tiles. It is the architecture that draws our attention each time we are near. Surrounding four smaller structures is the central nave. We have been forever curious what the interior looked like. Pleasantly surprised, we were more than glad to donate 300 Huf to visit as the money goes to an orphanage in Romania. Calvinism is the second largest religion in Hungary, following Catholicism.

Calvinist Church Ceiling

Calvinist Church

After completing my Ed.D., the frustration of finding a teaching position where I was willing to live, led to Ron and I leaving the country. We intended to travel for a year before settling somewhere in MA or RI. We left the US without any credit card debt, no car payments and our house mortgage paid by renters. We had $10,000 in the bank to make our way through a year.

1 Comment

  1. My knowledge of architecture is not extensive, to say the least, so I followed the link in the text to find out more about Neo-Renaissance architecture. On the Wikipedia page to which the link led, I was surprised to see one of our university buildings depicted as an example of the Neo-Renaissance style. Apparently, 6-8 Múzeum körút and the Parliament Building were designed by the same architect.

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