The ruin pubs in the Jewish quarter of Budapest are very popular, I encourage my travellers to visit one or two during their stay in Budapest, it’s always a special experience. The biggest ruin pub is Szimpla in Kazinczy street, it isn’t just a bar, it’s also a great community. There is a farmers’ market every Sunday with some live music, great food and great drinks. Szimpla is open from 3.00 PM on weekdays, 12.00 PM on Saturday and 9.00 AM on Sunday.
We were on a tour near Parliament when we heard some music from in front of the building. When we walked closer we noticed that a military band was playing and were surprised to recognise the song they were playing: Personal Jesus by Depeche Mode. Budapest really is a musical city, you can hear street musicians at the most popular tourist spots and sometimes you’re just lucky to be at a special performance.
My old-new passion is to collect the sounds of Budapest, recording local music all over the city. This is the third recording in my collection, a short organ recital in the Cave Church. Hopefully soon enough, I’ll have enough materials to create my Budapest Symphony.
I’m still not sure when Hungary’s borders will reopen and travellers can visit Beautiful Budapest, so here is another building for you to admire from a distance.
The Academy of Music is a real jewellery box in the 6th district of Budapest. It’s a music university and a concert hall that opened in 1907. The style is a very interesting mixture of Gothic and Art Nouveau but you might see elements of Classicism, too. The facade is so ornate that it will take you some time to spot the statue of Franz Liszt right above the entrance. Franz Liszt, the most famous Hungarian composer founded the music academy in his home in 1875 and the academy got named after him in 1925.
The building can be visited, there are guided tours, but the most amazing experience is to go to a concert, so that you can admire the building and music at the same time. Most of the programs were either cancelled or are held online and personally I can’t wait to go in person hopefully in the near future.
The Budapest home of Liszt is surprisingly modest with only two rooms, one of them serving as bedroom and study at the same time but it’s nevertheless full of treasures. The Budapest home of the one and only Hungarian composer universally renowned as one of the greatests of the 19th century was on the elegant Andrássy avenue.
His home is a museum now and it’s a remarkably valuable collection of objects: personal items and amazing instruments of music. My favourite piece is a music composing desk with a built-in three-octave piano keyboard, specially designed for Liszt in the 1870’s. I also love the ornate music stand that Liszt received as a gift in 1858 and thanked it by saying: “I wish to produce soon some works worthy of being offered as an homage to the three patrons of music: Beethoven, Weber and Schubert” – whose busts decorate the wonderful piece.
Although Liszt only welcomed visitors in his home on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday afternoons, the museum is open to visitors every day except Sundays.
I’ve been neglecting these last few weeks that old passion of mine to collect the sounds of Budapest, recording local music all over the city. This is part 2 of the series, stay tuned for the rest of my Beautiful Budapest Symphony!
My new passion is to collect the sounds of Budapest, recording local music all over the city. This is the first recording of my collection, we were extremely lucky to hear a short organ recital in the Matthias Church of the Buda Castle district.