Monday, April 25, 2016

Prater ut: A HIstory of Budapest in One Street

Prater ut is a street located near Corvin Negyed, also called Corvin Lane, connects with Ferenc Korut.  In the early 1900s, when the first houses were built this area would have been on the outskirts of the city.  At the head of the street is a beautiful building by Kalman Karossy, who built the beautiful Art Nouveau house that was the subject of my first blogpost during this trip to Budapest.  This building is not as grand, but it is nevertheless lovely, and shows the ambitions of Hungarian citizens.

Very near the Karossy building is one of the most charming monuments in Budapest: a depiction of the novel The Paul Street Boys, written by Ferenc Molnar in 1906.  It is one of the most beloved novels in Hungary, telling the story of The Paul Street gang of boys who fight for an empty lot in their neighborhood, which they call "The Fatherland," and defend their ground against another gant called the RedShirts.  It is a novel which had special relevance for Hungarians both in World War II and in the 1956 Rebellion. 

Turning to the other side of the street, one sees buildings that have been damaged in particularly violent ways.  The area around the beginning of Prater ut was one of the places where some of the heaviest fighting during the 1956 rebellionn took place.  And it was here that particularly young men, many of whom were students, gathered to fight and defend.  The bullet holes are still apparent.

Proceeding down Prater ut one finds older buildings that escaped bullets but were still the victims of age and disrepair.  Nevertheless, as one looks carefully, she can find hints of the decorative richness of these houses.

Leda and the Swan

Bricks designed as faces

Back at the begining of Prater ut, in Corvin Lane, one finds many memorials to those killed in 1956.  The young boy at the beginning of this post is one of them.

#Prater ut  #Kalman Korossy #Paul Street Boys #Hungarian Revolution 1956 #decaying Budapest buildings

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