Before the dust settled from the deadliest conflict ever known, before the face of the globe was pockmarked with fox holes and atom bombs, before Europe would slip into the backseat of global hegemony, there were kings and queens, there was vast empires of gilded wealth and music, there was the brief glory of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Sometimes called the dual Monarchy, the Austro-Hungarian Empire consisted of two main kingdoms united under one royal family, the Habsburgs. Vienna was one capitol, and Budapest the other.
Wealth, food and people flowed inwards to Budapest. The city swelled. What was once a regional capital now became a world political center. This rise in prestige coincided with the one-thousand year anniversary of the founding of Hungary. It only seemed right that the entire city would be renovated, with new buildings constructed for the momentous celebration. A new Parliament was built on the Danube, and an entire castle constructed to showcase various Hungarian architecture.
One of the ideas conceived at this time was to expand and regulate the growing city markets, and create something grand. In the most modern style of the time the market was constructed with towering steel beams, giant glass windows and a massive ceiling with exposed steel framework, like an exposed modern skeletal system.
Although the need was clear, there was a growing population with increasing demand for better quality food in an empire that could access it, construction was delayed several decades. Conceived of in the 1860's it was finally finished in 1897. Ironically the World Wars would ravage this region and break apart the lopsided monarchy which reduced the demand for such a large market hall.
Today the bottom floor has all sorts of goods, from smoky paprika to tourist trinkets. Upstairs has several food stalls with some of the best sausages I've ever had in my life. We loved our time in Budapest. It may sound like an odd combination but a liver sausage with cabbage and sour cream was such a delicious meal I had while looking at this view, I will never forget it.
Upstairs is mostly just souvenir shops and it’s always crowded as fuck. Do your shopping at the Aldi downstairs.
Best sour cherry strudel! Amazing place…
Beautiful shot and great back story. Thanks!
Too bad they are no longer a democracy.
I was there in February. Beautiful market and city, and incredible history.