Monday, February 6, 2017

Budapest. The Japan Coffee House.

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Budapest was known for its many coffee houses.  Some were favorites of certain kinds of patrons.  The Central Cafe, where we had dinner our first night here, was a writer's cafe.  Two famous journals were founded and edited here: A Het (The Week)  in 1900  and Nyugat (West) in 1908.   The Japan Coffeehouse, which was  located on Andrassy Avenue, was the favorite for painters, sculptors, and architects.

The Japan is no longer open.  The beautiful bookshop, Irok Bolta, perhaps the best bookshop in Budapest (if you read Hungarian) has taken its place.

On our first real day in Budapest we walked up to Franz Liszt ter to have lunch at Menza, one of our favorite restaurants, then looked in at the bookshop (they have a nice selection of English translations as well).  Then, lo and behold, we realized that the building which had once housed the Japan was open.  We walked into the courtyard and discovered the following treasures.

Sphinx benches.

Decorative bowls

Various medallions and decorations.

And a characteristically beautiful floor.

What a gorgeous and "oriental" place this must have been.  (And perhaps will be again.  We saw builders and architects.)

#Budapest #Japan Coffeehouse #Japan Kavehaz


Cindy Selfe said...

So beautiful--and so evocative of a time when beauty counted a great deal!

Debra Journet said...

I know. It's amazing that these traces exist.

sjsm said...

Really beautiful and what a wonderful surprise! One of these years I am going to stow away in your suitcase on your trip to Budapest!

Susan Griffin said...

Random association perhaps, but it makes me think of the American movie (and vaudeville) theaters that were "Oriental." The one that is still open in Milwaukee is amazing: Chinese, Indian, "Asian" motifs all mixed together. Ungapatchka, as Douglas would say, but delightful.