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Urban Studies

The formation of the architectural landscape of Szeged, Hungary. 1872-1930.

Ivanova Alina Pavlovna

PhD in Architecture

Associate Professor, Higher School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Pacific National University

680035, Russia, Khabarovsk Territory, Khabarovsk, st. Pacific, 136, office 527c










Abstract: The article, written during the implementation of the international Russian-Hungarian project, is of an overview nature. The author's goal is to expand the understanding of Russian colleagues about the Hungarian architecture of the late XIX first third of the XX centuries. Szeged was chosen as an example of a large-scale reconstruction: the city, almost completely destroyed by the flood of 1879, was rebuilt in a short period and became the "southern capital" of Hungary. Based on field research in 2022, three layers of the architectural and spatial landscape of Szeged are considered: "imperial" (borderless classicism and historicism), "national" (Magyar secession) and interwar (Art Deco). The article is illustrated with photographs of the Hungarian participant of the project G. Csonadi. The object of the study is the city of Szeged, located 169 km south of Budapest, near today's Hungarian-Romanian and Hungarian-Serbian borders, at the confluence of the Tisza and Maros rivers. It is the second most important city in Hungary, the most important point on the "mental map" of the country, the capital of the Hungarian plain and a symbol of the revival of the national spirit. The subject of the study is the process of constructing an architectural "image of the Motherland". In our work, we use an interdisciplinary approach, combining elements of history, architecture, cultural studies and social geography. This allows us to explore and analyze architectural heritage more deeply, its impact on the formation of the cultural landscape and social processes. Using the example of the southern Hungarian city of Szeged, the process of constructing the "image of the Motherland" developed in a time perspective is considered. We have identified several layers in the architectural landscape of Szeged: regular-imperial (Biedermeier, neo-Baroque, borderless classicism), national-romantic (from historicism in the spirit of the French Renaissance to the Magyar secession), interwar (Art Deco based on neo-Romanticism). We see that the "spirit of the times" and the "image of the Motherland" are not static and are embodied in various forms. The image of "little Vienna", resurrected according to the patterns of the Enlightenment era on the far periphery of the Empire, is being transformed under the onslaught of the nationally oriented bourgeoisie. Bizarre and eccentric architectural experiments sponsored by private original customers are replaced by monumental pathos ensembles that help citizens jointly survive the deepest collective psychotrauma. The Synagogue, the Cathedral, the University and the "sunny houses" embody different facets of the Hungarian identity.


Szeged, the architectural image of the Motherland, Magyar Secession, Odon Lechner, Lajos Lechner, Hungarian architecture, Art Deco, synagogue, The perfect city, The Interbellum Era

This article is automatically translated. You can find original text of the article here.

The article completes a cycle of texts written within the framework of the Russian-Hungarian project "Architectural image of the Motherland: Budapest, St. Petersburg, Harbin" (2021-23). As in previous articles [1], the author tries to introduce the "Hungarian narrative" into scientific circulation, telling about little-known architectural and urban planning plots unfolding on the the plains of Pannonia at the end of the XIX first third of the XX centuries.

The study was carried out with the financial support of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research and RYAK No. 21-512-23004.

The degree of study of the issue.One of the main goals of our project was to popularize the original Hungarian culture of the Golden Age (1873-1914) and to include it in a context familiar to Russian researchers.

The most obvious link between Russian modernism and the Magyar Renaissance is the Vienna Secession. The influence of Vienna on Moscow [2],[3] and St. Petersburg [4] Art Nouveau was interested in the early 1990s by reputable Russian scientists who pointed to the "Viennese" origin of the use of majolica in the decoration of facades. This is an important observation, since it is tiles and other ceramic decor that are primarily associated with "national" styles, whether it is Catalan modernism, Magyar secession or Russian style. Moscow and St. Petersburg majolica facade decorations were considered homages to Otto Wagner, whom both M.V. Nashchokina and B.M. Kirikov considered a key figure in the Austro-Russian cultural transfer. Otto Wagner, who had steady contacts with his St. Petersburg colleagues, became the only Art Nouveau master elected an honorary member of the St. Petersburg Society of Architects. Wagner's popularity in Russia was promoted by his book Modern Architecture, which became a "guide to new creativity" [4, p.82]. It is interesting to note that most Hungarian architectural historians also point out Otto Wagner as a key figure who influenced the formation of new Hungarian architecture, directly naming the synagogue on Rumbach Street (Budapest) built by Wagner in 1901, the prototype of not only Budapest Art Nouveau, but also the forerunner of Art Deco.

Unfortunately, there is a clear imbalance in the study of the Eastern European secession in the domestic discourse, and the Hungarian architecture of the late XIX - early XX centuries rarely attracts the attention of colleagues. Meanwhile, the cultural heritage of the Austro-Hungarian Empire is being actively studied by European researchers. We will mention only two books published in 2023.

In Catherine Horel's monograph "Multicultural Cities of the Habsburg Empire. 1880-1914", published by the Central European University, Vienna, (19.10.2023 RECOGNIZED BY the PROSECUTOR GENERAL'S OFFICE OF the Russian Federation AS AN UNDESIRABLE ORGANIZATION)Based on 12 provincial cities (Arad, Bratislava, Brno, Chernivtsi, Lviv, Oradea, Rijeka, Sarajevo, Subotica, Timisvara, Trieste, Zagreb), an comparative analysis of social, ethnic and cultural diversity in the last decades of the Habsburg monarchy is carried out. The collection "Imperial Cities in the Tsarist, the Habsburg, and the Ottoman Empires" [5] is devoted to the comparison of architectural and urban planning representations of the Austro-Hungarian, Russian and Ottoman Empires. Comparative studies as a scientific method is widely used by Western scientists, and the choice of continental empires as an object of research indicates the search for alternatives to the "Atlantic" picture of the world. The interest in the study of continental empires is a relatively new phenomenon, since the Western discourse has long been dominated by the approach of the school of world systems engineers, who are primarily interested in port cities that served as world hubs.

The source base and methodology of the study. When working on the article, professional literature was used [6] and websites in Hungarian [7], but the author mainly relied on field research conducted jointly with a Hungarian colleague in the summer of 2022.

The object of the study was the city of Szeged, located 169 km south of Budapest, near today's Hungarian-Romanian and Hungarian-Serbian borders, at the confluence of the Tisza and Maros rivers. It is the second most important city in Hungary, the most important point on the "mental map" of the country, the capital of the Hungarian plain and a symbol of the revival of the national spirit.

The subject of the study is the process of constructing an architectural "image of the Motherland".

If Budapest is extremely rare, but is mentioned in the domestic professional discourse, Szeged is practically unknown here. The author of the article, as a Far Easterner, was primarily interested in the experience of restoring Szeged after the catastrophic flood of 1879. Far Eastern cities, from Blagoveshchensk and Khabarovsk to Ussuriysk and Vladivostok with Nakhodka, regularly suffer from floods, the scale of which is difficult for residents of mainland Russia to imagine. Despite the fact that the first colonists faced the devastating floods of the Far Eastern rivers, for a century and a half of the development of Primorye and the Amur region, the problem of floods and flooding due to monsoon rains has not been solved. In this context, Szeged's experience acquires unexpected relevance.

A brief historical sketch: the main milestones. Like most Hungarian cities, Szeged dates back to ancient times, when it was called Partiscum and served as a transit point between the Roman provinces of Dacia and Pannonia. The remains of Roman fortifications (which, however, will not surprise anyone in Hungary) preserved on an island in the middle of the Yew Tree. The special role of Szeged in the "national myth" is inspired by the belief that Attila's headquarters was located somewhere in these places, from where the leader of the Huns marched to Rome (similarly, Transbaikalia builds its local identity around the supposed birthplace of Genghis Khan). Hungarians, the only Europeans, consider Attila not a "scourge of God", but a cultural hero and founder of the nation. (The famous Hungarian pavilion at the World's Fair in Turin in 1913 was called "Attila's Tent"). Attila occupies the most honorable place in the Hungarian pantheon, and the fact that his hordes defeated the very Roman world, the outpost of which was the Partiscum, does not bother the Hungarians at all. Thus, Szeged constructs his myth based on two opposite narratives nomadic and ancient.

Medieval Szeged, which grew on the swampy triangle between the Tisza and Maros, served as the largest point of salt trade. On the one hand, the favorable geographical location at the confluence of two major navigable rivers of the Great Plain contributed to its prosperity, on the other hand, the city constantly suffered from flooding. For centuries, chronicles have repeated alternating mentions that the city was destroyed by fires or floods. The impossibility of regulating the hydro regime was explained by the fact that the upper reaches of the rivers lay on the lands of the local gentry.

In 1498, when Turkish troops were approaching Hungary from the south, Szeged was surrounded by a fortress wall, which, however, did not save the city from the Ottomans. From 1543 to 1686, like most Hungarian cities, Szeged was occupied by the Turks. After liberation, German and Jewish communities, as well as Serbian settlers, were invited to the depopulated Szeged to compensate for the population decline. This was a common practice in most Hungarian cities, from Esztergom on the northern border to southern Peche, located near Szeged, the core of the population was Swabians, invited by local rulers and willingly resettled from the small-land areas of East Prussia. Jewish communities also played a fundamental role in the development of trade and the economy of Hungarian cities (more on this below). Indigenous Hungarians were engaged in agriculture and lived in villages and farms, and cities, since ancient times, were founded and inhabited by foreigners.

For Hungarians, it is important that Szeged was the most important stronghold of the anti-Habsburg revolution of 1848-9. The city held out to the last, remaining the headquarters of the rebels.

In 1854, Szeged, which became the most important center of the agricultural South, was connected to Budapest by railway.

Flood. The city flourished and developed until March 12, 1879, it was almost completely destroyed by a catastrophic flood, which began at 2 a.m. and became a fatal milestone in its history. In Szeged, they still say "it happened before the Flood" or "after the Flood." 3,600 hectares of land were flooded, 75,000 residents, who lost literally everything overnight, found themselves homeless in early spring. 265 of the 5,723 buildings survived, and the water stood in the remaining houses for weeks. Emperor Franz Joseph, who urgently arrived at the scene of the disaster, examined the flooded Szeged from the boat and promised that "the new city will be more beautiful than the old one."

Amazingly, the tragedy of a small Hungarian city lost on the edge of the Habsburg Empire shocked literally the whole world (which indirectly testifies to the wellbeing of La belle epoque, called in Hungary b?keid?k - "peaceful times"), huge donations came from all over the world, from Russia, most European countries, Japan, China, India, Persia and even Africa. The names of the cities that came to Szeged's aid (Brussels, London, Vienna, etc.) are immortalized in the names of its boulevards. The promptly collected financial assistance made it possible to implement the renovation plan of Szeged, taking into account the latest engineering technologies and advanced urban planning ideas.

"The perfect city." In the mid-1870s, the Ottomanization of Paris and the reconstruction of Vienna were not only completed (arch. Zamper, Van der Nul, Sicardsburg), but the construction of the new Hungarian capital Budapest (which appeared in 1873 in the process of merging Buda, Pest and Obuda) was in full swing. Budapest was planned and built as a typical imperial metropolis with a claim to the status of the Eastern Capital of Europe. There is as little "Magyar" in Budapest as there is "Russian" in St. Petersburg. In contrast to cosmopolitan Budapest, the reborn Szeged was supposed to be a symbol of the resurrection of the Hungarian spirit. Since there was no single architectural canon that visualized the Magyar idea, there are several different layers in the cultural landscape of Szeged, formed over half a century (1880-1930).

The restoration of the city was led by Lajos Tisza (1832-98), who did for Szeged what the Marquis of Pombal did for Lisbon, destroyed by the earthquake of 1755. Yewtree, who belonged to a noble family of large landowners, was a progressive, European-educated man. He took the opportunity to create an ideal Hungarian city based on the latest urban planning science. For the revival of Szeged, Tis received the title of count, a square and a boulevard were named after him, and in 1904 his memory was immortalized by a sculptural group (by Janusz Fadrush) installed on the main city square, in front of the town hall: Lajos Tis standing on a pontoon, looking down at workers building a dam. It was Lajos Tis who attracted Lajos Lechner (1833-1897) to the restoration of Szeged.

Two Lechners. Here, somewhat violating the logic of the narrative, let's say a few words about the two main characters of the "Hungarian renaissance". The architect and the urban planner who designed the visual "image of the Motherland" have the same surnames. They are not related by family ties, and in this, partly mystical, coincidence, it seems that V.V. Nabokov called "saving the means of fate."

Odon Lechner (?d?n Lechner, 1845-1914) came up with a national style known as the Magyar secession, Hungarian art historians compare its significance with the role of F.L. Wright in the formation of American national architecture and A. Gaudi in the heyday of Catalan modernism.

Continuing the "American" theme, we can say that the author of the general plans of Budapest (1870), Szeged (1879), Miskolc (1896) Lajos Lechner was the Hungarian Daniel Burnham. The American urban planner became famous for the reconstruction project of San Francisco after the devastating earthquake of 1906, Lajos Lechner literally rebuilt Szeged destroyed by the flood of 1879 from scratch. The reconstruction project was completed in record time, then for 4 years (1879-1883) Lechner supervised the construction. It can also be assumed that he anticipated the City Beautiful movement, the showcase of which was the Columbian Exhibition in Chicago (1893), designed by the same Burnham.

Like most of the figures of the "Hungarian renaissance", Lajos Lechner was a staunch patriot. In 1849, at the age of sixteen, he volunteered for the National Guard, fought for Hungarian independence and, after defeating the rebels, miraculously escaped prison. After graduating from the Polytechnic Institute in Buda, he continued his education in Paris, where he lived since 1870 at the height of its Ottomanization (travaux haussmanniens).

In 1870, L. Lechner won the tender for the design of the general plan of the new Hungarian capital, Budapest (the official date of Budapest's appearance is 1873; in November 2023, the city widely celebrated its 150th anniversary). The bidders had to provide proposals for grouping districts, tracing the main city highways, placing public buildings and parks. In addition, it was required to provide perspectives of viewpoints and drawings of the main objects. The project of Lechner, who at that time held the position of chief engineer of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, was called "Veritas" (Truth), he received the first prize of 20,000 francs (10,000 crowns). Since the drawings have not been preserved, one can only assume to what extent the implementation of the project, which lasted for decades, corresponded to the original plan. Lajos Lechner, among other things, was an outstanding engineer, perhaps the main thing that Budapest owes to him is not the pompous Andrassy Avenue (1885), built up with monumental palaces in Beaux-arts, but an advanced sewer system.

In Budapest, the right part of which (Buda) lies on a strongly pronounced relief, Lajos Lechner failed to fully reproduce the ideal "Ottoman" layout and neatly connect the circles of the boulevards. Budapest has never found a single appearance the picturesque streets of Buda, winding along green steep slopes built up with cottages, contrast sharply with the imperial-exhibition Pestle, cut through by arrows of avenues and a ringed boulevard laid along the riverbed. But the completely flat relief of Szeged made it possible to realize an exemplary radial-annular spatial structure with two boulevard rings inscribed into each other. The two parts of Szeged, lying on different banks of the Tisza, were connected by a bridge, from where the best view of the city's grand facade, formed by public facilities, opens today. The central place on the embankment is occupied by the grandiose Classicist Ferenc Mora Museum (arch. Antal Steinhardt and Adolf Lang, 1896), surrounded by shady squares with fountains. The squares of Szeged (like many other cities of the Austro-Hungarian Empire) resemble the Vienna Graben they are rather very wide short streets with an abundance of monuments than the rectangular vast spaces intended for parades that are familiar to us. Representative neighborhoods lying inside the small boulevard ring are called Belvaros ("beautiful city").

To create a single urban ensemble, the means well known in Russian urban planning were used. L. Lechner for Szeged, as Trezzini once did for St. Petersburg, developed standard projects of varying degrees of budget, allowing to build a clear social segregation of the urban landscape. A high-rise regulation was adopted: houses inside the main boulevard ring were built mainly 3storey houses, inside the second ring - two-storey ones. The main style of Belvaros was chosen borderless classicism, and in simpler quarters a pleasant-looking, respectable Biedermeier.

Three quarters of the facades of Belvaros are covered with rustication, the rest have rusticated corners. In order to avoid monotony, various variants of rust were used: French, diamond, torn, smooth, muffed, smooth and with a splash. Most facades have the same rhythm of window openings, a clearly defined horizontal division of the interstory belt and profiled cornices that combine a solid front of the building into a uniform ribbon. However, the short length and relatively wide width of the streets avoids the "stone gorge" effect, so common in Budapest and St. Petersburg. To enliven the silhouette of the building, the corners of the blocks were accentuated with tent and dome completions (Fig.1.1.). In general, the urban environment designed by L. Lehner resembles a typical Far Eastern city divided on a flat terrain, for example, Blagoveshchensk and NikolskUssuriysky, built simultaneously with Szeged.

Outside the outer boulevard ring, in the suburbs surrounding Szeged, construction was carried out with typical one-story houses designed by L.Lechner based on the traditional Hungarian "sunny house" (napsugaras h?zd?sz?t?s) [8]. The name is associated with the custom of decorating the gables of peasant houses with the rays of the rising sun (while the semicircular dormer window symbolically depicts the "eye of God", respectively, the house is under divine protection). Our decor in the form of the rising sun is also widespread and is still reproduced both on country gables and on the ends of brick multi-storey buildings, but the semantics of this motif is explained by an archaic solar cult or rudiments of Soviet heraldry. In Hungary, the sun's rays inscribed in a triangle are unambiguously interpreted as an indication of the main symbol of the Catholic Enlightenment. Unlike in Russia, where such signs, of course, are found (the most famous is on the pediment of the Voronikhinsky Kazan Cathedral), but still not ubiquitous, in Hungary the "radiant delta" is depicted on all the domed vaults of Catholic basilicas. At the same time, the "Scythian" theory of the origin of the Magyars is very popular in Hungary (as in our country "Varangian"), the "exit point" of the Great Hungarians is localized in southern Russia, almost in the Volga steppes and in the community of solar symbols on the pediments of village houses, Hungarians see a common "Eurasian" cultural matrix.

However, let's return to the reconstruction of Szeged. Lajos Tis and Lajos Lechner managed to brilliantly fulfill the promise made by Emperor Franz Joseph: The city has been resurrected more beautiful than before.

New Szeged, with straight arrows of avenues and an infinitely long embankment, with regularly cut blocks built up with neat (involuntarily the definition of "dollhouse") elegant houses, with shady boulevards and parks, with squares flowing into each other, decorated with "Baroque" theaters and fountains, became an exemplary "imperial" city, "little Vienna". However, the fame of Szeged was brought by completely different buildings, radically different in spirit from the balanced Biedermeier and borderless classicism.

Odon Lechner: From Historicism to the Magyar Secession. Many architects were involved in the restoration of Szeged, as a matter of national importance, among whom the first place was occupied by the still young Odon Lechner, who had just returned home from a study trip to France and founded an architectural bureau together with his classmate and ideological colleague Gyula Partos.

In 1882, in the company of 12 colleagues, O. Lechner took part in the reconstruction of the old town hall of Szeged. The town hall in the "braid style" (in the name of the style, also called "Prussian Baroque", wigs with pigtails, which were an obligatory part of the dress code at the court of the German emperors of the XVIII century, are played out) was the most important architectural monument and the main symbol of the city, miraculously survived the Flood. Therefore, during its reconstruction, Odon Lechner had to humble his wild imagination, limiting himself to an elegant aerial bridge connecting the two buildings. But in another object, the Milko House (1883, Roosevelt Square, 25), he gave free rein to his fascination with fantastic historicism. In parallel with the Milko House in Szeged, O.Lechner worked on the Budapest order for the building of the Pension Institute M?V, which went down in architectural history as the Drexler Palace (1883-86, Budapest, Andrassy Ave., 25). Drechsler-palota, named after the owner of the cafe located in the halls of the first floor, was erected on the most advantageous site of Andrassy Avenue right in front of the Opera House and is one of the most recognizable architectural symbols of Budapest. In our opinion, these objects, which were designed and under construction at the same time, have a lot in common. The similarity is hindered by the difference in spatial compositions: the tall and slender Drexler Budapest Palace has a compact rectangular plan, and the Milko Szeged House has an L-shaped plan and two horizontally elongated front facades. But the architectural image of both is inspired by "national romanticism".

Due to the fact that the legendary Hungarian kings came from the Angevin branch of the Capetians and built their castles in the "French taste", the French Renaissance is to some extent considered the base of Hungarian architecture. Hip roofs with high tents (thanks to which the saying "Roof is the fifth facade" appeared) have become an obligatory element of the national Hungarian style. Both Drexler's Palace and Milko's House (called the "strawberry palace" because of today's dirty pink color) have spectacular silhouettes formed by complex high roofs, flanked by turrets under sharp faceted tents. A similar composition of the "fifth facade" is typical for the "Russian style", for example it is enough to recall the facade of the Historical Museum facing Red Square and in a more horizontal version the silhouette of the central part of the Pomerantsovsky Upper Shopping malls. In the introductory part of the article, the attention that historians of Russian Art Nouveau pay to the search for the "Viennese trace" in Moscow and St. Petersburg architecture was noted. According to the author of the article, the similarity of the Russian style with Hungarian national romanticism is much more obvious, although less studied.

The low, horizontally stretched Milko House pleasantly resembles a typical representative building in a Russian county town: the same three-part structure of a symmetrical front facade with risalites, accented with tents, and a massive balcony on the axis of symmetry. The similarity is further aggravated if we take into account that the house was originally painted with ochre. Russian Russian architecture historians have repeatedly noted the diffusion of the Russian style and Gothic (laid down by Bazhenov and Kazakov). In Hungarian architecture, Gothic is also considered as the style-forming basis of "national romanticism". Crabbs, wimpergs, gable gables and other neo-Gothic ventures in the spirit of Violetle-le-Duc, under the onslaught of the indomitable genius of Odon Lechner, transformed into elements of the proto-national style.

A pure, textbook example of the Magyar secession was the Deutsch Palace, built by Odon Lehnerm and Mihai Erdely in 1901. (Szeged, Doge Street, 2). By this time, O. Lechner had already built his best buildings in Budapest, which became treasures of national culture and were taken under UNESCO protection as "monuments of pre-modern architecture". In the German Palace, he applied his signature techniques: polychromy (orange, green, blue), the "flowing" line of the curved cornice, stylized folklore motifs, the use of majolica Jolnai.

Speaking of the Magyar secession, it is impossible to ignore the phenomenon of the Zsolnay porcelain factory, a family-owned enterprise founded in the city of Peche in the middle of the XIX century. and to this day occupies the same place in Hungarian culture that academic ballet occupies in Russian culture (an absolute value that is not subject to revision). Located in the very south of Hungary, Pecs was chosen as the cultural capital of Europe in 2010, the Zholnai factory, completely reconstructed with European Union money, turned into an advanced art cluster with a huge ceramics museum. Dozens of leading Hungarian architects (including the creator of the Hungarian Parliament, Imre Steindl) used architectural and decorative elements made of pyrogranite, eonite and majolica, made at the Zholnai factory. It is this decor, recognizable at first glance, that unites the diverse Hungarian architecture of the late XIX - early XX centuries into a single art fact.

Together with factory owner Vilmos Zholnai (1828-1900), Odon Lechner studied Indian ceramics in London museums during a study trip in 1889, probably together they came up with the idea of the proto-Indian roots of Hungarian culture. Zholnai ceramics became the most important component of the national style invented by O. Lehner and was widely used by his associates and followers, including in Szeged.

Following the German Palace, a dozen objects that were included in the golden fund of national architecture were built in different parts of the city over 10 years. Let's list the most famous examples of the "southern Magyar secession": Berega House, 1903 (arch. Kotai Pal, 22 Ferenc Deak Street), Reok Palace, 1907 (arch. Ede Magyar, 56 Tisza Lajos Boulevard), Reichl Palace, 1910 (arch. Ferenc J. Reichl, 2-4 Sentaromshag Street), Moritz House, 1910 (architect Ferenc J. Reichl, St. Mihai St. , 9), Marer House, 1911 (architect Laszlo Tobias and Morik Pik, 109 Tisza Lajos Boulevard), Fig.1.2., Ungar-Mayer Palace 19098-11 (arch. Ede Magyar, Karas str., 16), fig.1.1., Reformed Palace, 1912 (arch. Ede Magyar, 37 Tisza Lajos Boulevard), Count's Palace, 1912 (architect Ferenc J. Reichle, Tisa Lajos Boulevard, 20/B). This "Szeged galaxy" is completed by the "Iron House", 1913 (architect Liptao Baumhorn, corner of Takarektara str., 8/ Horvata Mihai str., 9).

In the beautifully planned, flat Szeged, unlike Budapest, there were many vacant lots, which made it possible to erect buildings designed for circular inspection. All the buildings listed above have complex, asymmetric spatial compositions. Their romantic silhouettes with expressive finishes close the visual axes of the main avenues and boulevards, forming their own "sign system" superimposed on top of the regular "imperial" city built by Lajos Lehner. If in Budapest the "Magyar secession" had mainly a facade character, then in Szeged a "three-dimensional" version of national Art Nouveau developed.

The most outstanding of the Szeged secessionists is considered to be Ede Magyar (Ede Osadski, 1877-1912), who, like Odon Lechner, is often compared by Hungarian art historians to Antonio Gaudi. No less interesting are the romantic "castles" built in Szeged by Ferenc J. Reichlom (1869-1960).





Fig.1. The Magyar secession. Szeged, Hungary. Photo: Gabor Csonadi, July 2022

1.1. Ungar-Mayer Palace 1908-11 (arch. Ede Magyar, Karas str., 16),

1.2. Marer Haza, 1911 (architects Laszlo Tobias and Morik Pik, 109 Tisza Lajos Boulevard).

The new synagogue. One of the most famous monuments of Szeged is the synagogue, built according to the project of Lipot Baumhorn (1899-1903, Josika str., 6-10.), fig.2. The second largest in Hungary (the fourth in Europe) Szeged synagogue, accommodating more than 1,300 people, has an impressive size: its length is 48 m, width is 35 m, height is 48.5 m. Against the background of low-rise small-scale buildings, it seems gigantic. The synagogue was built on the edge of the second boulevard ring, where there was still enough free land.

We have already addressed the topic of the construction of Hungarian synagogues in the second half of the XIX - early XX centuries and the role of Lipot Baumhorn (Lip?t Baumhorn, 1860-1932) in this process [9]. The sharp increase in the economic importance of Jewish communities in the cities of Austria-Hungary and Germany, associated with the general rise of the economy and culture in a short period, called the "Grunderzeit" (another name is the "Wilhelmian Era"), received symbolic visualization in new synagogues. Before that, for many centuries, the builders of synagogues tried not to draw attention to them, synagogues did not stand out from the general architectural landscape, mimicking the philistine buildings. The wealthier synagogues were decorated in borderless classicism. In 1867, the "Law on the Equality of Jews" was adopted, presented by the Hungarian Prime Minister Gyula Andrassy. Hungarians remembered that Jews in 1848-49 helped finance the anti-Habsburg liberation movement and joined the ranks of the people's militia. The "Equality Law" has opened up unprecedented opportunities for Hungarian Jews. The rapid growth of their financial independence and political subjectivity inspired a request for a new look for synagogues. German architects, who enjoyed unconditional authority throughout the German-Slavic world, including the Russian Empire, within the framework of the pan-European fascination with historicism, institutionalized the "Moorish" version of synagogues with a basilic type of plan, horseshoe-shaped openings, striped stitching of facades, oriental decor and characteristic spherical domes on paired turrets accentuating the main entrance. It was in this style that the Great Synagogue of Budapest was built (arch. Ludwig von Foerster, 1854) and today is the main along with the Parliament building iconic object of the Hungarian capital. Of the 22 synagogues built over half a century by Lipot Baumhorn, most are decorated in an Oriental spirit, but in Szeged he managed to offer a new vision of a Jewish religious building based on a cross-domed scheme, a centered three-dimensional composition and the Magyar secession as a stylistic platform. Baumhorn was greatly influenced by the creative quest of Odon Lechner, who worked hard to invent the national Magyar style. Baumhorn served for 10 years (1883-94) in the bureau of O. Lechner and D. Partos. It was in this decade that O. Lechner passed the path from brilliant historicism (Drexler's Palace /Drechsler-palota, 1883-86 Budapest, Andrassy ave., 25) to the first masterpiece in a completely new style the building of the Museum of Applied Arts (1890-97, Budapest, ul. Yulloy, 33-37). The Lechner-Partos Bureau won the competition for the design of the museum in 1890. Work on the first and, by all accounts, the best example of the Magyar secession took place before Baumhorn's eyes, and possibly with his assistance. It is likely that Baumhorn, following the example of O. Lechner, thought about the need for a new architectural language adequate to Jewish culture. He did not dare, like the Leffler brothers in the Budapest synagogue on Kazince Street (1913), to radically abandon historicism, but he managed to synthesize from Romanesque, Byzantine, "Saracen", Mediterranean, Renaissance, Gothic, Baroque reminiscences a new original and convincing architectural image, which was further developed in the enchanting synagogue in Kobenje (suburb Budapest). The organic fusion of many styles based on the Magyar secession symbolically visualized the "assimilation abilities of Judaism" (the concept came from Chief Rabbi Immanuel Lev). At the same time, the building gives a completely modernist impression. Advanced engineering solutions (steel frame, double dome) were used in its construction.









Fig.2 The New Synagogue. 1900-02. Arch. Lipot Baumhorn, author of 22 synagogues. Szeged, Hungary. Photo: Gabor Csonadi, July 2022

The fate of the Jewish community of Szeged during the Second World War was tragic: out of 6,000 Jews who were abducted to death camps, 1,500 returned. In 1944, the synagogue was the heart of the ghetto. The synagogue building was saved from destruction by the Russian Liberation Army, and the memory of this is preserved to this day.

The architectural and urban planning ensemble of Szeged of the Interbellum era.

The inspiration for the new urban ensemble was the Minister of Religion and Public Education (1921-32) Kuno Klebelsberg. He had the idea of creating a memorial center for the post-Trianon Szeged, completely opposite in spirit from the city conceived by Lajos Tis in alliance with Lajos Lehner. If Szeged in the 1880s and 1910s, built up with folk "sunny houses" and touchingly luxurious bourgeois "palaces", decorated with parks and squares filled with children's twitter, was the embodiment of a dream of an ideal Hungarian city full of hopes for a happy, prosperous life, Szeged in 1920-37 was immersed in a sense of existential anxiety. In addition to the horrific consequences of the First World War, common to all European countries, Hungary was experiencing a personal catastrophe of the Treaty of Trianon, which entered into force on 07/21/1921 and deprived the country of almost half of its territories and a third of its population. Szeged has suddenly turned from a prosperous capital of a huge agricultural region into a border town with problematic prospects. The memory of the 12,000 soldiers who died in 1914-18, who were called up from Szeged and the premonition of new tragedies, received an exceptionally convincing architectural embodiment in a single ensemble combining the Aradi Martyrs' Square and Cathedral Square. Unlike the prosperous era of Grunderzeit, post-Romanov Hungary was experiencing a severe economic crisis, the budget for the construction of a new urban center was constantly being cut, money was collected all over the world, but the architects managed to achieve a more than impressive effect with minimal means.

From the station, a direct highway with a tram line leads to the symbolic city gate. New Szeged, of course, does not have a fortress wall, its image is replaced by the monumental building of a boarding school (arch. Maurice Pogany/M?ric Pog?ny), pierced by a triple arch known as the Gate of Heroes (1935-38).

Through this portal, you enter the city like a cathedral, and as the scenes of the Last Judgment are depicted on the tympanums of cathedrals, the "Gate of Heroes" inside are painted with beautiful and frightening frescoes on the theme of the death and resurrection of the defenders of Hungary (Fig.3.1). The artist Vilmos Aba-Novak created the largest Hungarian fresco at that time with An 8-meter-tall figure of Jesus Christ surrounded by angels trumpeting the gathering for the Last Judgment and dead soldiers marching to the graves. The unexpected effect of the frescoes suddenly surrounding the traveler and literally crashing down on him from all sides creates an unforgettable and, perhaps, the strongest impression of Szeged, immediately setting a high register of perception of the city. Under the socialist system, the fresco was destroyed, today we see the reconstruction of 1990-2000.





Fig.3. The Gate of Heroes. Szeged, Hungary. Photo: Gabor Csonadi, July 2022

The Heroes' Gate is flanked by statues of two Hungarian soldiers the living and the dead (sculptor Ewe Lote, Fig.3.2), a parapet of forged swords is placed above the central arched span. The composition as a whole clearly refers to the Arch of Constantine and the great arches of Paris (on Tuileries Square and General de Gaulle Square). The Heroes' Gate leads to the Aradi Martyrs Square, named after the Hungarian independence fighters executed in 1849. Like most squares in Hungarian cities, it is a shady square lined with monuments and sculptural groups that vividly illustrate the most dramatic and heroic moments of national history. On the same axis with the Heroes' Gate lies a second fiverelief arch cut through the university building and leading to Cathedral Square (D?m t?r, 1929-32), surrounded by arcades around the perimeter (Fig.4). In addition to the university buildings, the Bishop's Palace and Ferenc colleges are located around the square. The huge, completely paved, completely empty space of the Dome allows you to take a look at the western facade of the Votive Church the Cathedral of the Magyar Mother of God (1913-30, arch. Erno Fridjes and Ferk Schulek, fig. 5).

On 09/28/1888, the residents of Szeged promised to build a cathedral as a guarantee that the terrible flood would not happen again. The city miraculously resurrected after the biblical flood, and the new church was supposed to become a symbol of this resurrection. As a prototype, it was supposed to take the elegant, bright and cheerful Sacre Coeur, which had just been built in Paris, but the First World War began, and after its end, the architectural concept of the Votive (another translation is Collateral) church was radically revised. Since the Romanesque Church of St. Demeter (D?m?t?r-torony), which survived the Flood, was preserved on the site chosen for construction, it was decided to turn to the national Middle Ages. If the Szeged synagogue, for all its eclecticism, is unequivocally considered as a monument of the Magyar secession, the "Romanesque" Votive Church with powerful Westwood towers on the western facade and the "Pisan" dome above the middle cross, is an excellent example of Hungarian "brick" Art Deco.

The general idea of the ensemble, as noted above, belonged to the visionary Minister K. Klebelsberg, who promoted the program of public education and founded universities in Szeged, Peche and Debrecen. The idea was supported by Bishop Gyula Glattfelder (Hungarian bishops traditionally acted as customers of outstanding architectural and urban planning ensembles, it is enough to recall the magnificent historical centers of Esztergom, Eger and Peche). Bella Rerrich (1881-32), considered the founder of Hungarian landscape architecture, designed the Cathedral Square. Before the war, he was a successful garden designer, studied and worked in Paris and London, but entered the history of architecture as the creator of the tragic and unforgettable D?m t?r. Probably, the original idea of the square, surrounded by arcades around the perimeter, went back to the idea of a cloister or a medieval market, but the gloomy genius of Bella Roerich turned it into a space of memory and sorrow. The dramatic effect is achieved by lining with black and dark gray clinker bricks. Countless commemorative plaques and busts inlaid into the walls during the implementation of the National Memorial project give the arcades a resemblance to Camposanto. It is believed that the figurative solution of the university buildings was inspired by the Stockholm City Hall (1923, arch. Ragnar Estberg), who opened a new chapter of northern national romanticism, but most likely, Bella Roerich followed the example of Violetle-le-Duc, constructing his own Middle Ages. He drew each capital of countless columns with his own hand. In general, D?m t?r continues the tradition of great European squares from Madrid's Plaza Mayor to Paris's Place des Vosges, and the reception of flowing spaces separated by arches resembles the classic urban planning ensembles of Nancy and Lisbon.







Fig.4. Szeged, Hungary. Cathedral Square (D?m t?r), 1929-32, arch. Bela Roerich. Photo: Gabor Csonadi, July 2022







Fig. 5. "Pledge Church" (Fogadalmi templom). Cathedral of the Magyar Mother of God. The height of the towers is 81 m (the 5th tallest church in Hungary). 1913-30. arch. Erno Fridjes and Ferk Schulek. Szeged, Hungary. Photo: Gabor Csonadi, July 2022


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The subject of this article is the process of constructing an architectural "image of the Motherland" in the Hungarian city of Szeged in accordance with the theme of the three-year Russian-Hungarian research grant "Architectural image of the Motherland: Budapest, St. Petersburg, Harbin", which the author is working on. The study is characterized by its unconditional relevance and novelty, consisting both in referring to the object of research itself, the architecture of Hungary at the end of the XIX early XX century on the example of the small town of Szeged, and in the subject of the study. The comparative scientific method of research is appropriate in the context of the topic of the scientific project (comparative analysis of the processes of constructing images of the motherland in Budapest, St. Petersburg and Harbin). Whether it was necessary to present the history of Szeged from the XV century, if the author is primarily interested in another period, from the last quarter of the XIX century, is a question. Moreover, the city was almost destroyed by a natural disaster in 1879 and rebuilt almost from scratch. The article presents the widest historical and cultural background of the formation of the city of Szeged, the author attracts many important events and names of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and interprets them in his own way. Szeged was recreated after the destruction as a "symbol of the resurrection of the Hungarian spirit" in contrast to the cosmopolitanism of Budapest. By the will of a natural accident, "the opportunity to create an ideal Hungarian city using the latest urban planning science" appeared. Architect Odon Lechner and urban planner Lajos Lechner were primarily involved in the work on the restoration of the city. In the Hungarian history of architecture, this architect is compared with the names of world architecture in terms of his role in the formation of their own national architecture: Wright and Gaudi. Odon Lechner is given the role of the creator of the Magyar secession. The author analyzes the role of the urban planner in a new way in comparison with the American urban planner Daniel Burnham. The comparison of Szeged with the Russian Far Eastern cities founded in ser. In the XIX century. on the far Russian outskirts, it seems not quite correct, narrowly focused on the subject of interest on the topic of the grant. Although the topic of this article does not require this. The design of intersections with tent and dome completions is typical for most provincial cities of Russia, if we compare it with Russia, of this period. "According to the author of the article, the similarity of the Russian style with the Hungarian national romanticism is much more obvious (in comparison with the Viennese), although less studied." This opinion of the author deserves attention, although it is somewhat provocative. New information is provided about the single-storey building of Szeged based on the traditional Hungarian "sunny house", reasonable assumptions about the basis of Hungarian architecture, connected to some extent with the French Renaissance, about Gothic, which can also be considered the style-forming basis of national Romanticism in the architecture of Szeged. Impressive examples of the Magyar secession (the German Palace, the Zhalnoi Factory, etc.) and their analysis are given. The article is written in a lively language, the author's broad erudition is felt, it is distinguished by the originality of the examples and analogues involved, gives rise to new associations in the reader - maybe this is the author's style, both in the form of presentation and in the research method. As a comment: the content of the article is broader than the title given to it by the author, it is not only about the architectural landscape, but in general about the cultural one. It is not for nothing that in the article itself the author uses "cultural landscape", "urban landscape", and never "architectural landscape". There are some flaws in the text: typos, spelling mistakes, repetition of words. This does not reduce the high level of the article, it will be of great interest to specialists.
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