Culture & Art

Buildings from Budapest’s past come to life

The studio Animatiqua used special animation to let us see these now-gone buildings.

The first part of the special animation series shows buildings such as the old National Theater, the Hungária Nagyszálló, the old Elizabeth Bridge, St. Demeter Church in Döbrentei Square, Kálvin Square and Lloyd’s Palace, which was Budapest’s most beautiful palace built in the classical style.

The building of the Ministry of Defense was built between 1879 and 1882 in the area between Dísz square and Szent György square. The most prominent element of Mór Kallina’s plans was the huge, rectangular dome with the allegorical statue of War and Peace by Gyula Szász. The building was demolished in 1949 after being heavily damaged during WWII — only the structure housing the Honvéd General Command was kept up to the first floor. 

According to Animatiqua studio, the film lets viewers virtually enter a world that no longer exists, down to the flowing Danube, clouds, fountains, passing cars and even details of the surrounding nature. 

András Kondacs, the founder of the studio, came up with the idea of influencing people via short films. Making a still from a video is simple, but making a video from a photo requires more serious technical knowledge, Kondacs says. They used the online photo archive Fortepan, as the most reliable and credible pictures can be found there. 

The film will be part of a series, maybe a double trilogy, covering first those buildings that are most missed, Kondacs emphasized, and making sure to bring to life every detail: domes, staircases, terraces, etc. 

The second part of this first trilogy will be like a detective novel, investigating what, why and how each building disappeared. The goal is not just to entertain, but to add value and knowledge, the director said.

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