I’m not exactly the person who gets invited to the Presidential Palace very often but we were very lucky with my guests last weekend when the doors of the Sándor Palace were open and the public could walk around the beautifully designed interior.

Compared to the relatively simple outside the interior is surprisingly richly ornate, at times I felt like walking around the Versailles Palace. The building is from 1806 and was the residence of the country’s prime minister from 1867. That’s where Queen Elisabeth or Sisi visited the handsome count Andrássy several times after enjoying a performance at the Castle Theatre next door.

The building was restored and became the seat of the offices of the President in 2003, the actual furnitures are reproductions of the originals. The entire restoration was conducted in accordance with the original blueprints. The garden is absolutely stunning with a great view over the Pest side. There is no guarantee we can tour the interior when you book a tour in the Buda Castle district but I’ll find a way to show you something just as beautiful as the Sándor Palace.

 

Yes, Pécs is one of my favorite destinations so I’d like to encourage you to book a tour at your earliest convenience. Once you have a look at the pictures below I’m sure you’ll fall in love with the city, too.

Pécs is very unique because the entire Hungarian history is on display in the city’s architecture, spirit and charm. You can learn so much while just walking around the cobblestoned streets.

We start the tour discovering the 1700-year-old Early Christian Necropolis, the well preserved burial chambers of the Romans fron the 4th century. We continue in the 11th century Basilica on Dóm square, an important symbol of the continuous fight of the Hungarians for Christianity. We tour the ruins of the Turkish baths, the only Turkish age mosque in Hungary that has remained intact together with its minaret and the 13th century Catholic church converted into a mosque in the 1540’s and reconverted into a Catholic church in the 1680’s. I’m sure you’ll be surprised to notice the special combination of the Muslim crescent moon and the Christian cross topping the church, reminding us of the peaceful coexistence of different religions. We admire the harmonious Baroque architecture and also have a look at the Vasarely museum.

After the city tour I take you to the Zsolnay quarter, the completely renovated and restored Zsolnay factory buildings where the most beautiful Hungarian porcelain and ceramic products have been manufactured since 1853.

 

I guided several tours in the Northern part of Hungary this summer and Sopron has become my guest’s most popular destination, honestly, I can understand why. That’s the reason why this visit is part of my new tour to Győr and Sopron. The little town is situated near the border to Austria, a beautiful Baroque town rich in medieval architecture.

We refer to Sopron as to the most loyal Hungarian town because its citizens rejected the offer of Austrian citizenship in a referendum after WW1 when two thirds of the Hungarian territories got detached from our country. The anniversary of the referendum is celebrated every year.

During the tour we visit 13th century churches with Romanesque and Gothic structure, the Fire Tower, which is the town’s symbol since its construction in the 1600’s and apartment buildings from the 18th century. You’ll see where our great king Matthias was accomodated when he was besieging Vienna in 1482 and where Franz Liszt gave concerts in the 1800’s. I’ll also show you the ruins of the ancient Roman settlement, you can see the ruins of the town hall and the market from the Roman era.

 

 

Why do I like Art Nouveau so much? Because it’s probably the one and only architecture being different in the different European countries. Every country has a special, unique and very characteristic style and it’s nicely reflected in the cities’ architecture.

I very often guide tours of Budapest Art Nouveau buildings (Art Nouveau walk), I find their architecture, their ornaments and their stories absolutely stunning. The most important caracteristics of the Hungarian Art Nouveau are  the asymmetrical shapes and curved lines, floral and plant-inspired ornamentation, animal patterns and the rich use of mosaics and ceramic tiles.

Although the period of the Hungarian Art Nouveau didn’t last too long, the colorful and richly ornate buildings looking like jewellery boxes dominate our cityscape even today. The most beautiful furnitures, tea sets and pieces of art can be found in the House of the Hungarian Art Nouveau – Magyar Szecesszio Haza.