One of the most important historic areas of the Buda Castle, St. Stephen Hall, will be open starting this August 20. The hall is currently under reconstruction.
One of the most important things to see in the room named after the first Hungarian king is the beautiful ceramic fireplace made from the famous Zsolnay porcelain. The fireplace, together with the hall itself, was destroyed in the Second World War. Experts of Várkapitányság Nonprofit Zrt. have started the reconstruction in the freshly renovated room some weeks ago, writes origo.hu.
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One of the most impressive rooms of the Buda Castle, St. Stephen Hall, was an extraordinary work of the Hungarian industry of arts and crafts of the 20th century.
It won international recognition at the 1900 Paris Exposition.
The hall was created by many great craftsmen and artists of their time, such as Endre Thék, Rudolf Kissling, Gyula Jungfer or Alajos Strobl. This wonderful chamber was destroyed in the Second World War. Luckily, thanks to the National Hauszmann
Program, very soon, it will completely be renovated based on the original plans.
Vilmos Zsolnay had a significant role in creating the hall, whose most important element came out of his factory in Pécs.
The so-called ”pirogránit” fireplace, made of an artificially created, granite-like material, is the centrepiece of the room, together with the bust of St. Stephen sitting on its cornice. The statue is yet to be put to its original place.
The identical replica of the original piece of art was perfected throughout several years in the Zsolnay Porcelain Manufactory in Pécs, based on the original plans, archived photos and late samples.
The immense fireplace, made up of altogether 611 elements of 120 different kinds, is 4.7 metres tall, 2.8 metres wide and weighs almost one and a half tons.
Before covering the fireplace with a gold layer, certain parts went through 8-10 phases of paintwork, coating and calcination, proving the whole reconstruction process’s meticulosity. The togated, bigger than a life-sized bust, was originally created by Alajos Strobl.
After testing the fireplace assembly in the factory in Pécs, works have been going on for the past weeks in the renovated and reborn St. Stephen Hall in the south wing of the Buda Castle. The elements will be glued together with a special mortar, while a permanent truss will make sure the fireplace has a perfect weight distribution.
After the ceramic centrepiece is placed in the middle, the adorned and inlaid parquetry created from oak, mahogany, and American walnut tree will be the next. The original work was completed in the factory of the Neuschloss brothers.
Artisans, artists and representatives of several occupations take part in the reconstruction works. Most of them are disappearing professions, so their participation increases the cultural and artistic value of the restoration process.
From Pécs to Pápa, several hundreds of representatives of seven different professions in almost 20 separate workshops have been working on this reconstruction of such a considerable magnitude.
The soon completely reborn St. Stephen Hall and its prominent masterpiece will await visitors from August 20, for the first couple of days with a free entry.