The Elephant House today

Numerous buildings in Budapest, the capital of Hungary, have been awarded the prestigious Europa Nostra prize. The UN can award this form of recognition to both built heritage sites and valuable artwork collections. As Budapest is full of beautiful buildings, it is quite possible you regularly walk past these sites without realising their true value.

The Europa Nostra prize is awarded by the UN to cultural heritage sites in need of reconstruction that are significant to a city or country. It was created in 1978; the Council of Europe and other organisations can present this honour in six categories – reports Femina. The winner can be an architectural heritage, an archaeological find, a cultural landscape, an artwork collection, or even a study related to cultural heritage or the accomplishment of an individual or a community connected to the field of heritage protection.

Winners in Budapest

It is a shame to miss out on the full experience and to simply walk past certain buildings without realising their true beauty and unique qualities. A range of establishments received the prize in Budapest, from a library through a cinema to the airport, of all places.

1. New York Palace

A significant building on the Grand Boulevard, the New York Palace, received the prize in 2007. Apart from being an architectural masterpiece, its importance in literary and cultural history also contributed to the win.

2. Elephant house of the zoo

Budapest zoo building
Photo: Wikicommons by Csanády

This building, as well as the main entrance, was designed by Kornél Neuschloss, Hungarian architect and art historian. It was awarded the prize in 2000, a year after its renovation.

3. Metropolitan Ervin Szabó Library

Metropolitan Ervin Szabó Library

The Wenckheim Palace is a breathtaking building, both from the inside and from the outside. An additional curiosity is that it hosts the Metropolitan Ervin Szabó Library. It is also the proud owner of a Europa Nostra prize since 2002.

4. Restoring Kodály Circus


The plan to restore the palace on Kodály Circus alsó got the approval of the prize.

5. Budapest Airport

Interestingly, Terminal 1 of the Budapest airport won the prize in 2007. The airport was renamed Franz Liszt Airport in 2011. Before that, it bore the name of Ferenc Mayerffy local vineyard owner and beer brewer, but everybody referred to it as ‘Ferihegy’.

+1 Awards to CEU and metro line M4

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) rewarded the new building of the Central European University in Budapest, designer by the O’Donnell + Tuomey Irish company,  as well as metro line M4, designed by FŐMTERV-PALATIUM-UVATERV.

RIBA gave out their first international prize in 2016 – reports Turizmusonline. Their aim is to celebrate architecture that inspires innovation and progress. Any kind of architectural masterpiece can win this award – it is a great honour that Hungary won two of the honorary prizes this year.

For more news, check out this article about the new Budapest routes offered by Wizz Air.

Featured image: Wikipedia


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