By Mátyás Sárközi
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Extra info for Budapest
Furthermore, during the bombardment of 1944-45 a whole row of the Danube-side luxury hotels, the Hungária, the Carlton and the Ritz, patronized by rich Hungarians and foreign revellers (including the Prince of Wales and Mrs Simpson) before the war, were completely destroyed, and the only one remaining, the Bristol, was demolished in 1969 to make way for the new Hotel Duna Intercontinental. The social structure of the city had also changed. Apart from the population loss caused by the war, the Jewish community, which formed an important part of the enterpreneurial classes and which had a substantial share of the art and media world, also suffered serious losses during the holocaust.
Budapest gained a young and ambitious new Mayor after the collapse of communism and he is making his mark. Despite a great shortage of funds he has set his mind on doing more than repairs and renovations. During the last few years the whole length of the Grand Boulevard and the Andrássy Avenue has been rebuilt, the old 1896 underground line cleaned up, the ancient Central Market Hall rejuvenated, environment-friendly buses have started to run, and bicycle lanes and new public gardens have been laid out.
Pest: Hartleben, 1845. Rudolf Alt's wonderful coloured lithographs were reissued as a canvas-bound album in 1983. The captions are in Hungarian and German, but the thirty-two drawings speak for themselves. It is a useful book for those who wish to gain an authentic picture of the city as it was in 1845. 26 Thousand-year-old Budapest. Introduction by Lajos Mesterházi, translated by Gyula Gulyás, Penelope Saunders. Budapest: Corvina-Helikon, 1970. 259p. ) contains a geographical description of the city and provides a detailed history.
Budapest by Mátyás Sárközi