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Buda-Past: Do You Think You Know Budapest’s Most Iconic Buildings?

By Robert Velkey // 2017.08.02.

Do you know which iconic building of the Hungarian capital can be seen on the far-left side of this vintage photograph of the “Danube promenade”? Can you guess approximately when it was taken?

This magnificent building of Budapest was opened in January of 1833 with a grand ball, yet, in addition to playing host to festive occasions, it was also a venue of the highest culture – the only concert hall in Pest at the time. As a main culture hall this place also hosted performances by the likes of Johann Strauss Jr., Mascagni, Dvořak, Debussy, and Arthur Rubinstein. Ernő Dohnányi had his first solo concert here. Béla Bartók and Annie Fischer made their debuts here in 1905 and 1932 respectively.

Here’s a small hint: The 4th annual conference of the Friends of Hungary Foundation was held here this year.

It is the Vígadó Concert Hall of Budapest. As of 2014, the maintenance and management of the building have been overseen by Pesti Vigadó Nonprofit Ltd., acting on behalf of the owner of the building, the Hungarian Academy of Arts, which latter institution aims to continue sustaining and preserving the cultural diversity and the high quality of arts that have for over a century characterized the Pesti Vigadó.

The vintage pictures were taken in the early 1900s; nowadays, the building truly shines at night: