District I is the first, and, at the same time, the most expensive district in Budapest. It lies on the Buda side of the capital. It is confined by the II District from North, the XII from West, the XI from South, and the Danube from East. It is also often referred to as the Castle District. Magyarorszagkul.nlcafe.hu collected 5 interesting facts about the district.
The centre and middle of the city
The Buda Castle used to be the most important part of the city and the centre of the country for centuries. This is why the area surrounding it was named the ‘number one’. It is in fact literally the middle of Budapest: the first district is the geometrical middle of the city, along with District V, which lies on the other side of the Danube.
The oldest building in Budapest
The oldest building still standing and being in use today can be found in Hess András tér 13, in the first district. The house was built around 1260 and was nicknamed the ‘Red Hedgehog House’. It was first mentioned in a certificate in the 14th century. For a long time, the only pub of the district operated here, and popular balls were also organised in this house.
A truly developed labyrinth system lies under the city. In the houses over it a way leads down into it. The system of corridors was discovered in 1880. It is 3300 meters long and Romans already used it. It is a partly natural, partly man-made construction. In order to protect it from the weight of the houses and traffic above it was strengthened with columns. The Buda Castle Labyrinth used to be part of this, which could be visited for 27 years.
Statue and luck
The horse statue of András Hadik can be found in the crossing of two streets: Szentháromság utca and Úri utca. The central student hostel of BME (Budapest University of Technology and Economics) used to be near the statue and there spread
a superstition among students that touching or polishing the horse’s testicles brings good luck.
Later the superstition, which was based on the fact that the statue survived the Second World War, spread even more widely and school-leavers came to the statue in hope of good grades on their school-leaving exam.
Famous people in the district
District I was immensely popular among famous Hungarians (too). Margit Kaffka (author) and Béla Balázs (author), for example, lived here. In Logodi utca lived Dezső kosztolányi, Mihály Babits and Sándor Márai (figures of Hungarian literature). Tamás Cseh musician used to be an inhabitant of the district as well. Many famous politicians, poets, architects, and singers used to attend the Petőfi Sándor Secondary Grammar School on Attila út, such as Árpád Göncz, Péter Medgyessy, Miklós Radnóti, Attila József, Dezső Tandori, Imre Makovecz, Péter Máté, László Heyley, András Csonka, Gyula Vikidál.