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Budapest’s Városliget to be renewed – the Liget Budapest Project

Városliget (City Park), which was one of the world’s first public parks, is the pride of Budapest. Our capital’s most frequented park has earned itself recognition not only by virtue of its age and for being among the first of such facilities, but also through its unique historical heritage and a clear mission from its very conception that makes it unrivalled in Europe. Our ‘Liget’ is an urban public park for relaxation, a green oasis, and a home to institutions of culture, entertainment and recreation. Our forefathers had good reason to envision this place as a venue for the Museum of Fine Arts, the Hungarian Transport Museum, the Museum of Hungarian Agriculture and the Műcsarnok (Kunsthalle). Other establishments built here include the Budapest Zoo, the ice rink and Széchenyi Thermal Baths. These popular institutions attract millions of visitors per year; the park also offers nice and calm leisure time for its visitors in the middle of the capital city. With most of its institutions being in need of renovation, Városliget has reached a condition in the past few decades that make it unfit to live up to its great traditions and calling. The park cannot fulfil its true mission: it has grown drab, its vegetation is well past its prime, its facilities and equipment are outdated and its air is being polluted by tens of thousands of vehicles on a daily basis. The comprehensive renewal of Városliget cannot be delayed any further. Such rehabilitation can only be implemented at a 21st-century standard, while fully respecting the park’s 150-year-old heritage. The institutions in Városliget must be renovated, while the park’s green area must be rehabilitated and enlarged. As a result, by 2020 Városliget will be more liveable, modern and much greener than it is now, enriched with attractive institutions, making it worthy of its old fame.

Car traffic and parking
Car traffic and parking
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Városliget Lake
Városliget Lake

After the Városliget Lake is revamped, it will serve as a decorative water surface embracing Széchenyi Island and the rebuilt Páva (Nádor) Island all year round.

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Páva (Peacock) Island and playgrounds
Páva (Peacock) Island and playgrounds

The re-building of Páva Island with playgrounds and an events area will expand the number of facilities suitable for active leisure time. The already existing playgrounds of the Városliget will also be renewed and will await families with special, innovative equipment and accessible solutions.

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The Rondo
The Rondo

The Rondo will retain its original function: it will be a place for walks and rest. The crescent paths surrounding islands of green vegetation will also be renewed, while the currently incomplete tree-lined alley will also be made complete once again.

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King’s Hill
King’s Hill

The re-shaped slope will complement the nearby playground by accommodating games and children’s activities requiring more space, and in winters it can be used for sledging.

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Rose Garden
Rose Garden

Expected to be the most colourful and fragrant part of the renewed Városliget, the Rose Garden will provide a place for recreation with its 5,000 rose-trees and many evergreens.

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Sunbathing Lawn
Sunbathing Lawn

This green area will continue to attract all those who want to put down a blanket here and have a little picnic or simply lie down in the grass and enjoy the nature in the middle of a bustling city.

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Sports facilities
Sports facilities

From the very beginning, Városliget has inspired and welcomed sports enthusiasts. The park’s southern and south-eastern part might well become the most frequented hub of sports activities in the future: it will contain several ball sports grounds available for all age groups along with public open-air workout machines.

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Running track
Running track

Running is one of the most popular forms of recreational activities: hundreds of thousands put on their running shoes every day in Budapest. The 2-kilometre-long Recortan track will specifically cater to their needs.

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Walkways
Walkways

The extensive network of walkways in Városliget will also be renewed. The car park occupied by thousands of cars on Ötvenhatosok Square will be replaced by a delightful promenade with aquatic installations, which is anticipated to be a favourite meeting place for families.

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Cycling
Cycling

In the revamped Városliget, cyclists will be able to use new changing facilities, storage areas and service points.

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Hungarian Transport Museum
Hungarian Transport Museum

One of Budapest's most popular museums, the Transport Museum, will be fundamentally renewed. The original designs made in 1896 by Ferenc Pfaff have been revisited by Mérték Architectural Studio. The museum's iconic dome will be assigned a new function: it will offer an unprecedented panorama over the renewed Városliget as a viewing tower.

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Pavilions
Pavilions

Three new pavilions will house a pleasant café and patisserie, an art gift shop, and a shop selling recreational equipment. The new facilities were built according to the original, Oriental designs made by Frigyes Feszl in 1860; the interiors were designed to meet the most modern requirements.

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Olof Palme House
Olof Palme House

After being unused and in a bad state of repair for many years, the Neo-renaissance building in the heart of Városliget will be operated as a cultural venue and a restaurant.

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Museum of Ethnography
Museum of Ethnography

The new museum building designed by Napur Architect has dynamic yet simple lines simultaneously harmonised with the park environment and communicating with the surrounding urban area. The Városliget is a familiar venue for the Museum of Ethnography: its collection debuted here at the 1896 Millennium Exhibition.

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House of Hungarian Music
House of Hungarian Music

Functioning as a vibrant community space, with its musical education workshops, concerts and exhibitions the House of Hungarian Music is planned to be one of the prominent meeting places of the Hungarian music scene. The virtually transparent, environmentally-friendly building designed by Sou Fujimoto seeks to create a harmonious transition between the natural and built environment.

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Városliget Theatre
Városliget Theatre

After more than 60 years there will again be a theatre in Városliget. The institution will be rebuilt based on the original designs of the old Secessionist building and will operate in a modern technical environment. It will await visitors with a wide range of children's and youth productions.

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Museum of Fine Arts
Museum of Fine Arts

The reconstruction of the Museum of Fine Arts is simultaneously aimed at restoring the historic values of the building as well as the modernisation of its technological and operational systems to meet 21st-century requirements. In addition, the museum's permanent exhibition will also be radically changed as a result of the Hungarian artworks finally returning to the Museum of Fine Arts after more than four decades.

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New National Gallery
New National Gallery

The New National Gallery will provide a new venue to exhibit the artworks of the period spanning from the 19th century to the present day. The world-class building is designed by the Japanese Pritzker Prize-holding SANAA; their Hungarian partner is the Bánáti and Hartvig Architects' Office.

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National Museum Restoration and Storage Centre (OMRRK)
National Museum Restoration and Storage Centre (OMRRK)

The OMRRK complex will be built in the vicinity of Városliget, on the site of the former Szabolcs Street Hospital, according to the designs of Narmer Architectural Studio. This new institution will provide an outstanding professional and technological background for the preservation of the collections of the Museum of Ethnography, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Hungarian National Gallery.

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Budapest Zoo – Pannon Park
Budapest Zoo – Pannon Park

The large-scale enlargement of the Budapest Zoo includes the building of a new garden section called Pannon Park, which will evoke the flora and fauna of the Carpathian Basin with a biodome serving as its central element. The biodome will resemble a grassy slope on the outside thanks to the green vegetation that will cover its exterior, while its interior will await visitors with lush flora and diverse fauna.

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Kós Károly Promenade
Kós Károly Promenade

Many people call Heroes’ Square the gate into Városliget, the place where the city ends and the park and nature begins. Harmony can only exist between the park and its buildings if it is not disrupted by the heavy traffic of cars, which is a sad reality today. Kós Károly Promenade therefore will be closed from car traffic.

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Map
Budapest’s historical park, Városliget (City Park), offers various entertainment and recreational opportunities. On this map you can discover the cultural institutions and the most important parts of the park that will be rejuvenated within the framework of the Liget Budapest Project.

Park rehabilitation

Visitors of the renewed park will find an enlarged and rich green area, a wide range of new and renewed facilities for active and passive recreation, as well as modern infrastructure and numerous solutions promoting accessibility.
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Institutions

Városliget is famous not only because of its green park but also because of its wide range of institutions offering endless opportunities for leisure and cultural acitivities. Based on this heritage, the Liget Budapest Project ensures that this complexity will be preserved and improved by a higher quality environment and services.
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