Holiday 2: Iparmuveszeti Museum in Budapest

View from the Gellért Hill over Buda (left) and Pest (right)=Budapest

View from the Gellért Hill over Buda (left) and Pest (right)=Budapest


After my stay in Lisbon it was time to go to Budapest. Here the Museum of Applied Arts (Iparmuveszeti Museum) proved to be worth a visit. I prefer small museums like these over for example the Louvre (Paris) or the Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam) since they do not give me the feeling I have to rush to see everything. Also they are much less MacDonalised. Usually big state museums try to spoon feed visitors with overdone educative efforts which takes all the fun out of the special objects you see there. Praise the day when they abolish cultural education departments in museums! Well, except for children then.

The museum building shows an interesting mix between Art Nouveau and islamic architecture. It was designed by the ‘Hungarian Gaudi’, the architect Odon Lechner, during Hungary’s Golden Age around the turn of the 19th century. Nowadays it looks slightly shabby which gives it a special patina. The inner courts for example seem to be in desperate need for some repair! Although many will find the museum rather empty, it did have some small exhibitions, besides the main chamber of Turkish tapestry, weapons and so on.

Otherwise there did not seem to be much to see in Budapest except for all those 19th century Parisian facades that feature as stand-ins for other cities in movie productions. Also nice was the Gellért Hill that provided a beautiful panoramic view over Budapest. Most surprising was perhaps the great quality of information design for the transport system, even if the system itself, the metro cars for example, seemed to stem from the Warschau-pact era.

Normally I use the Netherlands as a starting point when booking holiday’s in Europe. But why not make things a little more complicated: de-centralize VS centralize. I decided to fly from Lisbon (see previous post) to Budapest, and then back to Amsterdam over Stockholm (see last picture (after: more>), those Swedish farmers have to take into account rocks on their land!). That is what cheap air tickets do for you!

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