Further walks in the Inner City


The line formed by Szabadsajtó út-Kossuth Lajos utca-Rákóczi út , starting from Elizabeth Bridge, is the chief commercial artery of Pest; it divides the Inner City into two parts.

A few steps from the bridge, on Ferenciek tere, stands the old Franciscan Church. In the early Middle Ages here was the city boundary. The present Baroque church was constructed between 1727 and 1743, on the foundations of an earlier church which itself had been rebuilt from a Turkish mosque. The tower of the church stands, as is usual with the Franciscans, at the back, next to the chancel, with a neo-Gothic spire. On the Kossuth Lajos utca side of the church there is a relief by Barnabás Holló (1905) in honor of Miklós Wesselényi, who saved many lives during the great 1838 flood.

Passing the façade of the church we reach Károlyi Mihály utca. The neo-Renaissance building at No.10 houses the University Library; the frescoes in the reading room were painted by Károly Lotz. The precious collection of books includes, among others, eleven Corvinae. No. 16, the former palace of the Károlyi family, is now the Petôfi Literary Museum. A point of historical interest about the building is that here, in the autumn of 1849, the Austrian commander- in-chief Haynau, who took revenge for the 1848-49 Hungarian War of Independence, signed the death sentence of many Hungarian honvéd (national army) officers and politicians of the independence movement. A memorial plaque is dedicated to the last private owner of the palace, Mihály (Michael) Károlyi, the President of the 1918 Hungarian Republic.

On Egyetem tér (University Square) stands the central building of the Eõtvös Loránd University of Sciences. The university was founded in Nagyszombat by Archbishop Péter Pázmány in 1635. In 1780 it was moved to Buda, and in 1785 to Pest.

Next to the university building stands the most beautiful Baroque ecclesiastical monument in the capital, the University Church. It was built for the Paulite friars between 1725 and 1742. The towers are topped by the bulb-shaped spires so characteristic of Pest and Buda churches. The oak gate, framed by columns, half columns and stone carvings is especially remarkable. All the furnishings and ornaments in the interior of the church, the carvings on the benches as well as the group of statues on the pulpit, date from the time it was built.