Budapest: A Cultural History

Overview

The views of Budapest by the River Danube are unparalleled in Europe. On one side the Buda hills reach almost to the riverside, with Castle Hill and Gellrt Hill offering outstanding panoramas. Pest, linked to Buda by a series of imposing bridges, with its mixture of late-nineteenth-century Historicist and early-twentieth-century Art Nouveau architecture, is still very much a "turn-of-the-century" city.

For more than fifty years prior to the Second World War, Budapest was one of ...

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Overview

The views of Budapest by the River Danube are unparalleled in Europe. On one side the Buda hills reach almost to the riverside, with Castle Hill and Gellrt Hill offering outstanding panoramas. Pest, linked to Buda by a series of imposing bridges, with its mixture of late-nineteenth-century Historicist and early-twentieth-century Art Nouveau architecture, is still very much a "turn-of-the-century" city.

For more than fifty years prior to the Second World War, Budapest was one of the outstanding cultural capitals of Central Europe, on a par with, and in some ways ahead of, Vienna and Prague. Now that it is no longer "hidden" behind the Iron Curtain, much of that old atmosphere has returned. With its rich and often turbulent history, its unique thermal baths, its excellent public transport system, its street cafes and broad-ranging cultural scene, Budapest is a captivating metropolis, currently being rediscovered as one of the liveliest cities in the region. City on the Danube: Straddling the majestic river, Budapest's setting is unique; bridges and baths, cafes and squares; an architecture that recalls the pre-1914 era. City of Fusions: Bartok and Kodaly fused folk and classical music; the tradition continues with Budapest's vibrant mixture of live folk, gypsy, klezmer, and jazz. City of the Unknown: Breaking through the barrier of the Hungarian language, often described as impenetrable, presented here are writers and poets deserving international recognition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195314946
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 3/19/2007
  • Series: Cityscapes Series
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 5.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents


Foreword   George Szirtes     v
Preface     ix
In Brief     ix
A Cautionary Note     xi
Notes and Terminology     xi
By the Danube     1
"Wise, turbulent and great"     1
A Bridge to the Future     5
"The greatest Hungarian"     10
The Enchanted Garden     13
Gloomy Sunday     15
A Friend of Hungary?     19
The People's Poet     22
The National Theatre     24
Avenue of Dreams     29
Budapest's Champs-Elysees     29
The Opera House     32
Forever Smiling?     34
A Hungarian by Choice: Liszt     35
'An instrument accessible to all": Zoltan Kodaly     39
Bartok and his Times     43
Two Writer-Kings     48
Avenue of Nightmares     52
Gypsies and Princesses on Stage: Puppets and Operetta     55
Champagne Louise and Miss Arizona     59
City of Cafes     61
Coffee House Castles     61
Twists of Fate     64
Revival     69
Heroes and Others     73
Now YouSee It-Now You Don't     73
Temples of Art     79
Funerals for Heroes     82
A People's Park     85
The Throbbing Hearts of 1896     88
Hearts and Minds     93
1919: Revolutionary Interlude     93
The Inter-War Years: Irredentism and Everyday Life     103
The 1950s: The Stalinist Era     107
After Stalin     112
The 1990s: Changing the Face of the City-Statues and Street Names     116
City of Baths     123
Spa City     126
Written in Stone     129
Parliament     129
Crowning Glory     133
Every Statue Tells a Story     135
Imre Nagy and the 1956 Explosion     140
In Place of a Prison     143
Art Nouveau and Romantic     147
Soviet and American     151
From Markets to Menus     153
Market Colours     153
Love and Stuffed Cabbage     155
Music Fusion     159
Folk Music Capital     159
Cold Outside, Warm Inside     161
Ivory and Enamel     165
Jews and Gentiles     167
Politics of Inclusion      167
Denominations and Differences     171
Around the Dohany utca Synagogue     173
A Tragic Twist     176
From Inclusion to Exclusion     178
The Jewish Tragedy     181
Imagining the Holocaust     183
Above the City...     189
Castle Hill     189
The National Gallery     194
Minus a Century     197
The Church on the Hill     198
...and Below     203
With a Pure Heart: Attila Jozsef     203
On the Margin: Lajos Kassak     207
The Spirit of Joseph Town     209
Penetrating the Language Barrier     212
Expatriates and Bank Robbers     214
A Clothes Hanger Perspective     219
Further Reading     223
Further Browsing     230
Index of Historical, Literary and Artistic Names     231
Index of Places and Landmarks     235
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