ARCHITECTURAL CERAMICS IN BUDAPEST – ART NOUVEAU / SECESSIONIST

A few examples of the architectural ceramics of Budapest collected on my wanderings. I found a great book by Dániel Kovács and Zsolt Batár called Budapest Art Nouveau published by Andron Könyv in 2012. It consists of a series of walks through areas of central Budapest picking out choice Secessionist buildings. I only wish I had found it earlier in my stay.

St Matyas Church in Buda is one of the most important churches in Budapest. Restored in the late 19th century and again more recently, the multicoloured ties on the roof are spectacular an can be seen from all over the city.

In Vaci Utca is the former Budapest branch of the Viennese Thonet Company of furniture manufacturers was also designed by Lechner in 1888-9. This was his first building using the potential of architectural stoneware. These elements were made by the Zsolnay Factory under the name Pyrogranite.
The Hungarian Museum of Applied Arts is arguably the most spectacular example of the use of glazed stoneware. The building was designed by ödön Lechner in 1891 and modelled on the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The roofs are even more exotic than the Matyas Church. These balustrades and tiles are in the vestibule entrance. All the ceramic elements were made by the Zsolnay Factory in Pécs.

Kovács and Batár’s book led me to this sorry gem. I would never have noticed it even though it was in Dohány Utca quite near the hotel. The árcád Bazár was built in 1908 as a toyshop for Késmarky and Illés. The Zsolnay ceramics are a joy of dolls, rocking horses and toy soldiers. It has lost the tiles on the top floor and has been through various adventures including as a night club venue. It is battered and filthy and in desperate need of friends.
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