Andrássy út

Andrássy út starts out at Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út, opposite the Basilica. This beautiful, two-and-a-half kilometre (1.5 m.) long avenue was constructed at the end of the last century almost simultaneously from both ends ; the resulting row of buildings, mainly neo-Renaissance and neo-Baroque, thus gives an impression of unity. Miklós Ybl, the most eminent Hungarian architect of the period, supervised the planning of the avenue which is at once the most dignified and the most harmonious eclectic architectural ensemble of the country. At the intersection of the avenue-originally called Sugárút (Radial Avenue)-and the Great Boulevard, an octagonal square was created; this is today's Oktogon from here onwards tree-lined pedestrian walks break the avenue into three lanes. Further on, after we pass the Kodály kõrõnd, we come to a part of the avenue lined with villas and gardens; the avenue ends at Hôsõk tere (Heroes' Square) with the Millenary Monument.

The continent's first Underground Railway was built between 1894 and 1896 under today's Andrássy út to honour the millennium of the conquest of the country by the Hungarians. The 4.5 km (2.6 m.) long so-called "cut-and-cover" railway underwent reconstruction in 1973. Its original route was lengthened and today it connects the Inner City with the new housing estate at Mexikói út.

Of the many noteworthy buildings of Andrássy út we call attention to some in particular. The interesting features of the richly decorated eclectic house at No. 2 are staged balconies looking onto József Attila utca. A plaque was placed on this build- ing to commemorate the politician Endre Bajcsy- Zsilinszky (1886-1944), the leader of the bourgeois wing of the Hungarian anti-Fascist movement, who died a martyr's death. It is also worth while to cast a glance at the house No. 3, built between 1884 and 1886; its three-storey façade is ornamented by balustrated balconies, its first floor, above the two side-windows and the central window, by statues; the staircase fresco illustrating Roman bacchanalia is the work of Károly Lotz. The gate of the house at No. 5 is decorated with statues and marble columns; on the building at No. 7 you will see frieze relieves and medallions; two caryatids adorn the gate of No. 9; the sgraffito-covered courtyard of No.12 is an enchanting sight with its lovely ornamental fountain.