SZABAD SZELLEMŰ SÉTÁK
Tour Esprit Libre
Come and learn about all our minorities, Jews or Gypsies, Dalmatians, Schwabs, Greeks, and Armenians, we’ve been influenced by Tatars, Ottomans, Habsburgs, what resulted in a European cultural melting pot.
Multicultural middle ages
Already in the fifteenth century, there were eleven minorities living in Hungary, which fact forced the king to create the world's first minority law. On this tour, we are talking about the contribution and influences of those cultures.
Budapest, capital of tolerance
Discover another side of the City, live a true moment of
joy on the streets of Budapest.
Hungary was the European Americas in the '30s,
excepting everyone and everyone who desired to begin
a new life and wished to be seen for who they were and
not for whom they needed to be.
It was the age of freedom.
Stars of Jewish Budapest
Budapest has the biggest Jewish community in Central Europe, with an active religious, artistic and historical heritage. Through centuries the Hungarian and Jewish history has been so entwined that it is almost inseparable. Jews played and play an important role in the country’s economic, cultural and political life.
After the Mongolian invasion, King Béla IV moved the Royal Seat to Buda and invited Jews to settle in his new town, giving them various privileges. They started to appear in Buda around 1250 and according to written documents, Jews have been living in Óbuda since 1349. Like in many other European cities, Jews were struggling against discrimination throughout the Middle Ages. During the Turkish occupation, some Jews were deported to Turkey, and the Habsburg era once again meant the return of pogroms and deportations. When Budapest was formed in 1873, there were about 45,000 Jews living in the city. By 1930 this number had grown to 200,000, representing 5% of the population. The Jewish minority was prominent in areas of trade, science, art, and business. More than half of the businesses were owned or operated by Jewish families. Jews also represented one-fourth of all university students and in the interwar period a large number of Hungarian doctors, lawyers, engineers, journalists, and musicians identified themselves as Jews by religion.
The quarters they lived in situated in Buda Castle, Óbuda and the 7th district and created a fantastic living environment called Újlipótváros in the 13th on the Danube, facing Margaret Island. The district is having a lot of art galleries, cafés, one of our favorite chocolatier and lots of great restaurants.
If you are not understanding Gypsy culture, this is going to be a highlight among the tours. We are not just going to walk in the district where gypsies have been living for generations, but we are actually going to taste some of there traditional foods and going to listen of authentic gypsy and Hungarian music. There are three casts living in Hungary integrated, we don't have travelers as in western Europe. What we have instead is a flamboyant culture, because when you are a Gypsy, it is always party time!
The Hungarian Orthodoxia
As a result of many efforts throughout history, repopulating Hungary by letting other nations settle after war was a normal practice exercised by kings. This is how Serbs and Greeks were invited to help repopulate Hungary already after the Tatar invasion. Many families made not only good business, but they made a good name for their children by fighting alongside the Hungarians and so they've been granted with titles. Those families contributed enormously to our country not only culturally, but by donations as well. Probably because of the presence of the Orthodox church, Russians found refuge later in time and so did Armenians.
All this was made possible when the Byzantine Pope Sylvester II. sent the Holy Crown to King Stephen I. for his coronation in the year 1000.
Palace of Arts
MŰvészetek PAlotája Budapest (MÜPA) is one of Hungary's best known cultural brands and one of its most modern cultural institutions.
It brings together the many and varied disciplines of the arts in unique fashion by providing a home for classical, contemporary, popular and world music, not to mention jazz and opera, as well as contemporary circus, dance, literature, and film.
The venue known to Hungarians simply as Müpa opened its doors in 2005 to offer cultural events of the highest quality to the diverse audiences for the above genres. The institution's fundamental task is to introduce new artistic trends and directions – while respecting Hungarian and European artistic traditions – and to relay them in a clearly understandable way that creates rich and rewarding experiences to be enjoyed by both the connoisseur and the person on the street.
In addition to presenting performances by Hungarian and international artists of the highest order, Müpa Budapest also commissions and sponsors the creation of new artworks. It plays a major role in nurturing cultural relationships with other countries, in advancing Hungarian interests, and in increasing international recognition for
Hungarian performing artists. Its activities play a major role in ensuring an ever broader section of the next generation enters adulthood as conscious consumers of culture. It does all this by promoting artistic events and services that are inspiring, generate discussion and raise questions, and by producing novel programmes built around developing experiences, creativity, and interaction.
This beautiful modern building hosts Ludwig Museum, one of Budapest's most interesting contemporary museums.
Franz Liszt Music Academie
Replacing the old Music Academy in 1907, the Liszt Academy moved into its present building, designed by Flóris Korb and Kálmán Giergl at the corner of Király Street and Ferenc Liszt Square. It serves as a center for higher education, music training, and as a concert hall. Its Art Nouveau style makes it one of the best-known structures in Budapest. The façade is dominated by a statue of Liszt (by Alajos Stróbl).
However, after over a century of use, the superior standard required for today’s musical performances and education have made reconstruction and conservation both necessary and urgent. The building had not only lost its original splendor, but its structural and mechanical systems had become obsolete, totally inadequate for contemporary standards. The concert halls and other interiors suffered severe alterations in the 1950s. After structural reinforcement work, modern mechanical, electrical, and air conditioning systems were installed, using the original principles of ventilation, and the existing vertical shafts and holes. A detailed study of archive photographs and extensive research on-site revealed the original beauty of architectural themes, materials, textures, and colors, all of which have been carefully restored.
The Jury regarded this project as an outstanding example of best practice in restoration. It was a far from simple matter: the building itself is a special example of the elaborate European style of the Secession and combines aesthetic splendor with innovative functional design. But the standards required for international music performance today are incomparably higher than those of 1904, and the new technology required to achieve them has to be accommodated within a precious period setting. The result is outstanding in its character as a “Gesamtkunstwerk” and at the same time a highly complicated technical building, without reduction of either feature.
Source: Europa Nostra
Virtual tour of the building: Liszt Academy
Program of the Liszt Ferenc Zeneakadémia: Liszt Ferenc Zeneakadémia
Hungarian State Opera
Touring groups had performed operas in the city from the early 19th century, but as Legány notes, "a new epoch began after 1835 when part of the Kassa National Opera and Theatrical Troupe arrived in Buda".
They took over the Castle Theatre and, in 1835, were joined by another part of the troupe, after which performances of operas were given under conductor Ferenc Erkel.
By 1837 they had established themselves at the Hungarian Theatre and by 1840, it had become the National Theatre. Construction began in 1875, funded by the city of Budapest and by Franz Joseph I. and the new house opened to the public on the 27 September 1884. Upon its completion, the opera section moved into the Hungarian Royal Opera House, with performances quickly gaining a reputation for excellence in a repertory of about 45 to 50 operas and about 130 annual performances.
Before the closure of the Népszínház in Budapest, it was the third largest opera building in the city; today it is the second largest opera house in Budapest and in Hungary. The first is Erkel Theater with its 80 meters deep stage allowing really grand productions to take place.
Trafó – House of Contemporary Arts was founded in 1998. Based on the wording of the founders of Trafó, “an institution, a building, a square, a medium, an intellectual adventure, risk, possibility”, it is a cornerstone of the international contemporary art scene.