The third, and final, selection of pictures form Budapest. On our final morning my mum and I rose early and hurried over to the supermarket to buy chocolates and interesting Hungarian cooking ingredients. One of my favourite things to do when in another country is check out the supermarkets, I love learning about the food and packaging - a bit of an odd holiday past time I know but I love to re-create all the dishes I've sampled when I get home!
After this we all hot footed it on the tram over to The Applied Arts Museum.
Apologies in advance this is a VERY picture heavy post. The museum was just so beautiful. The building itself was completed in 1893. Designed by Ödön Lechner and Gyula Pártos it is an ode to an East meets West architectural vernacular, Lechner studied in the UK and was influenced enormously by The V&A. The roof and ornate interior were designed and completed by the world-renowned porcelain company Zsolnay.
After posing about and snapping hundreds of photographs of the amazing entrance hall (look at that ceiling!) we bought tickets and waltzed around the main collection and their temporary exhibition on Islamic textiles. The collection was wonderful, a beautiful selection of ceramics, textiles, furniture and other delights. It was much sparser than our own applied arts equivalent, The V&A, but for once I rather enjoyed that as the the building was so breathtaking.
I really really really wanted this 18th century Austrian suit, I think it might be the perfect ensemble.
After taking all this in we were ready to womble off for a coffee prior to going to the airport however, on our way out the lovely curator of the collections Krisztina Gerhardt stopped us and asked if we had time for a quick behind the scenes tour. We had time to spare so of course we said yes! I am so glad we had time. It was incredible. Not only did we get to see the building from every angle and learn more about it's turbulent history but we also got a sneak peek at some of their collection of Zsolnay ceramics! It was a design nerds dream come true. I just kept thinking this would never ever happen in the UK. In order to get an appointment at The V&A you have to book 6 months ahead, and even then everything is carefully under wraps - I'm not necessarily saying this is a bad thing, it's just a very different and more bureaucratic environment.
First we ventured outside where we learnt about the dome below that used to sit on top of the building. During the revolution of '56 the building suffered wide-spread damage, this originally hollow structure was filled with concrete to secure it however unfortunately it made it much too heavy. It was taken down several years ago in order to properly restore it.
Then it was on to the Zsolnay collections. Oh my were they amazing! There were hundreds of pots, vases, ornaments etc etc. I could have happily spent hours plodding down this corridor gazing at them. Alas we only had half an hour!
Cabbage plates! My one true love! I didn't know they were also made in Hungary, another type I'll have to look out for.
There were cases and cases of bits of broken porcelain. What a mosaic they would make!
So that's it! Hungary is a country I'll definitely be exploring more I feel. It has so much culture and history to offer I can't wait to delve into it more. My next trip I'd like to visit Vienna on the train too and maybe also Pécs - the home of Zsolnay.
Next up will of course be some pictures featuring my new purchases from Budapest!
Embroidered Hungarian shirt - Central Market Hall, Budapest
Hungarian felt hat - Central Market Hall, Budapest
1930s pink satin slip dress - Car boot sale
1960s paisley wool scarf - Car boot sale
1990s boots - Flea market