‘The concept comes from the founder of the studio, András Kondacs, who, although he was not born in the capital, is a Budapest enthusiast. He had been aware for some time of the enormous change Budapest went through after World War II, but it was only after he read up on it that he realised how much beauty had disappeared from Budapest over time. That is when he decided to create the series, using animated Fortepan photos for the sake of an enhanced experience,’ WeLoveBudapest explained.
The first episode takes us to the Danube Promenade, Elizabeth Bridge, the soon-to-be-renovated building of the headquarters of the Hungarian Defence Forces’ High Command in Dísz Square, the building of Grand Hotel Hungária, and the central fountain in Kálvin Square:
The longer second episode brings back even more bygone cityscape elements, such as the giant of the Danube, the Elevator House, the Regnum Marianum church in the City Park, the apartment palaces in Buda, or the Fountain of Mischievous Children (Incselkedő gyerekek kútja) in the Tabán Park:
The third episode is absolute top-notch: in the five-minute video 30 Fortepan photos were used, so we can see squares and buildings such as the Public Slaughterhouse (Közvágóhíd), demolished a few years ago, the Industrial Hall in the City Park built for the Millennium ceremonies, the old National Theatre in Blaha Lujza Square, and the Kioszk dance hall. In addition, some important figures of 19th-century Budapest, such as Miklós Ybl (at 2:22) and József Zwack (at 3:12), also appear in the video, and if we look carefully, we can catch sight of a Zeppelin airship above the destroyed tower of the National Archives, a building that will soon be reconstructed, too.
Explaining the objective of the series, András Kondacs, founder and head of Animatiqua, said: ‘Our mission is to save the lost built heritage with the limited tools we have, in the virtual space.’
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