To celebrate Europe, The Guardian had writers in all 27 EU countries share their favourite place that evokes the spirit of their nation. George Szirtes wrote for Hungary and he talked about Budapest’s beautiful courtyard.
He explains that Budapest has long been marked by grand cafes, pastry shops, and, above all, by the Danube flowing between the steep hills of ancient Buda and the expensive villas of Pest on the other side, comprising a wild profusion of building styles.
He mentions the beautiful courtyard at 10 Magyar Street in the heart of Pest. He says that much of Budapest is empire grandeur under bombardment. This is not. There are spaces that hold you through colour, air, texture, and proportion. The first time you see Giotto’s Pazzi Chapel in Florence, you feel it.
You can cut through it by day, proceeding through the quiet Magyar Street gate, stepping over silent wooden cobbles to the busy Múzeum Avenue. Built by Miklós Ybl in 1852, four years after the failure of the 1848 revolution and 15 years before the establishment of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the courtyard is an eclectic, beautifully proportioned, faintly Venetian blend of classic and romantic.
He beautifully concludes by saying if Budapest has a humane soul, it is something like this. You breathe differently here. You hope for more. A sentiment I am sure all of us agree with.