Twenty four hours in Budapest
At the back of last week I ended up going on a fleeting visit to Budapest with a lovely client, sourcing tiles… Budapest hadn’t been on my radar particularly and least of all for tiles but much to my surprise I fell in love with both the city and the 80kilos of tiles we brought home with us!!
Budapest is an enchanting city, rich in architecture, art with so much light and space. The city is buzzing. As soon as we arrived we spent a lovely couple of hours, walking the banks of the Danube. The light was incredible. We remained on the Pest side of the river walking up to the Hungarian Parliament Building an outstanding building, a good example of the gothic revival and just further down the bank we stumbled across a charming collection of shoes…
“The composition titled ‘Shoes on the Danube Bank‘ gives remembrance to the 3,500 people, 800 of them Jews, who were shot into the Danube during the time of the Arrow Cross terror. The sculptor created sixty pairs of period-appropriate shoes out of iron. The shoes are attached to the stone embankment, and behind them lies a 40 meter long, 70 cm high stone bench. At three points are cast iron signs, with the following text in Hungarian, English, and Hebrew: “To the memory of the victims shot into the Danube by Arrow Cross militiamen in 1944–45. Erected 16 April 2005.” Wikipedia
We wandered on until we found a lovely bar and rather unexpectedly we found ourselves in the Four Seasons Hotel, the former Gresham Palace, and a stunning example of the art nouveau period, incredible ironwork, tiles and shape and form.
But one place I have failed to mention is St Stephen’s Basilica, a hop, skip and a jump from our hotel, majestic in broad daylight and at night, both inside and out.
The following morning our mission began, finding Antik Centrum on the outskirts of Szentendre… Not the easiest of transactions with our non existent Hungarian and the rather cold woman’s curt and unfriendly responses!! Non the less we perservered and chose four different designs and then the challenge began to get them back to the UK in one piece… rather naively we had hoped to have had them shipped directly from Antik Centrum but seemingly this isn’t possible!! Instead after much useless negotiation with DHL we decided to carry them home ourselves, four tiny suitcases each weighing 20kilos and a very happy client.
Stay tuned for our next chapter.