25 Jan Spot the colours! Zsolnay
Spot the colours!
It might be a grey October day or another one in cold and dull January or February, not the best time to go for a walking tour you would say but in Budapest you can always find colours to cheer you up. I love going colour spotting any time of the year but probably the contrast is even better in late autumn or winter.
But what kind of colours am I talking about? Actually the frost-resistant Zsolnay decorations of several Budapest buildings, especially the ones which were built during the Hungarian Art Nouveau movement around the turn of the 19th and the 20th century. Buildings such as the Gellért Spa Hotel, the Four Seasons Gresham Palace Hotel, the Postal Savings Bank, the Miksa Róth Memorial Museum, the Academy of Music, the Geological Institute, the Grand Parisian Department Store, the Great Market Hall, the Matthias Church in the Buda Castle District are just a few examples of beautiful buildings with Zsolnay tiles and other Zsolnay ornaments. No matter if I plan a Classic Tour, a Jewish Tour, an Art Nouveau Tour, an Art Deco Tour or even a Child-Friendly Budapest Tour, I always make sure to include some residential buildings or institutions to admire the stunning colours and shapes, especially the most beautiful mosaic-like rooftops you can ever see.
Zsolnay products have been produced since the establishment of the factory, 1853 in the city of Pécs and achieved worldwide fame for its revolutionary tiles and other building ornaments at exhibitions and world fairs. In the early 1890’s they came up with another innovation: they developed eosin, a type of metallic, iridescent luster glaze. The name derives from the Greek “eos” (flush of dawn), in reference to the vivid blue, green, red or purple colour of the end-product. The glaze recipe is a secret even today, and the factory is seen as part of Hungarian cultural identity. If you want to bring a piece of Hungary, something truly special and unique, buying a piece in any of the Zsolnay Brand Stores might be a good idea.