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BUDAPEST’S BRAND NEW GEM: PÁRISI UDVAR

Párisi Udvar Hotel Budapest, the brand-new upper-upscale hotel in the capital, opened its doors to the public in June. Párisi Udvar, located in Ferenciek Square, is one of Budapest’s most well-known properties, which is one of a kind in Europe as well. The full-scale renovation was undertaken by the Párizs Property Kft. five years ago. The historic reconstruction was carried out according to strict historic preservation rules, involving restoration specialists and the best professionals.

The 110-room boutique hotel – which is the first Hyatt hotel in Hungary and the fourth property in Europe to join the ‘The Unbound Collection by Hyatt’ will fascinate Hungarian and international guests by interior design solutions that are unique in the hospitality industry around the globe. As part of a collection of unique and independent properties, Párisi Udvar Hotel Budapest, due to its central location, rich history and fascinating architecture, will offer an ideal location for travelers eager to overcome clichés and explore the city. The site, once the most expensive in Budapest, originally gave home to Budapest’s first modern shopping mall, inspired by the Parisian ‘Passage des Panoramas’. At the turn of the 20th century Budapest’s Central Savings Bank built its iconic headquarters in Beaux-Arts architecture style, featuring Gothic, Moorish and Art Nouveau elements. With ornately decorated majolica tiles, Murano glass mosaic and a stunning luxfer-prism crystal cupola, the new hotel with its restaurant, Párisi Passage Café & Brasserie will bring the bustling atmosphere of the early 20th century in life once again.

THREE STORIES OF AN ICONIC BUILDING

One of Budapest’s most exclusive and iconic buildings was located on one of the city’s richest pieces of property: on the corner of today’s Ferenciek Tere (Square of Ferenciek) and Petőfi Sándor Street. Back then, the square was called Kígyó Square, and the street was named Koronaherceg Street. The onetime building was designed for Baron József Brudern by Mihály Pollack, architect of the Hungarian National Museum. When they finished construction in 1817, people started to call the building Párisi Udvar (Párisi Court) or Párisi-House. Baron József Brudern was living on the second floor, while altogether 32 shops (16 on each side) were located on the first floor. The shops were some of the most elegant and luxurious in ancient Budapest. It was believed that the breathtakingly attractive building was designed by Pollack as a mock-up of the Parisian “Passage des Panoramas”, which is where it got its name. Párisi Udvar was one of the first buildings to have a passage inside, featuring several kinds of shops. The building was not only famous for its stores, but also its owner:           “József Brudern was one of the most handsome men in the country. He traveled abroad a lot, […] and lived in Pest as a central figure of the capital’s social life. He held daily get-together lunches in his house. Being in his company, everyone was at ease, conversations were rather informal and enjoyable,” remembered Ferenc Pulszky, a former director of the Hungarian National Museum, who himself visited the Brudern-House when he was young.

In 1893, due to the renovation of Erzsébet Bridge, the circumstances of the local properties changed and new palaces were constructed in the place of old dwellings. Belvárosi Takarékpénztár (Central Savings Bank) bought the Párisi-House in 1906, and one year later in 1907 they invited applications to design a new palace to replace the existing one.

According to the tender description, “apart from locating the necessary rooms for the institution, the building should be filled with shops on the ground floor, and apartments on the first and second floors that can accommodate 3-6 people with absolute comfort.” The Central Savings Bank entrusted Henrik Schmahl with the design of the Párisi Udvar. Schmahl’s concept was approved in 1909, and the reconstruction started that year during summer. The construction was nearly finished in 1912, but unfortunately Schmahl did not see his dream come true: he had passed away in Dresda few months prior to the completion of the building due to serious complications from an earlier surgery. After his death, Pál Lipták finished the project based on Schmahl’s concept. During the Second World War, when Germany occupied Budapest in 1944-45, the eclectic building, with ornamentally huge adornments and Art Nouveau and Eastern-style attributes, was brutally damaged, especially the Central Savings Bank’s huge treasury.

During the renovation of the 1950s, the Central Saving Bank’s Art Nouveau styled interior gave way to modern, and simpler interior design solutions and the old banking places were replaced by IBUSZ and Jégbüfé, two of the most traditional Hungarian companies. IBUSZ is a globally renowned Hungarian travel agency, established in 1902, while Jégbüfé is a conventional confectionery, and a considerable participant in the market since 1952.

Now, in 2019, the building emerges in its third incarnation as the luxury hotel Párisi Udvar. The elegant bedrooms are designed and inspired by many aspects of Budapest’s culture: from the architecture with its mixed geometry and distinct green Zsolnay tiles, through the majestic Danube flowing nearby, to the avantgarde spirit of the Hungarian artists of 1900s Paris, many authentic styles exist in the hotel’s interior.

Párisi Udvar Hotel Budapest

1052 Budapest, Petőfi Sándor u. 2-4.

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Credit: Párisi Udvar

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