Hungarian State Opera House, Budapest, Hungary
While visiting Budapest every tourist has a chance to walk on the Andrassy Avenue - an avenue with the most expensive boutiques and modern cafes of Hungarian capital. Despite this modern boutique atmosphere on Andrassy Avenue one of its buildings represents the spirit of Austro-Hungarian Empire. This is the Hungarian State Opera House (Magyar ÁllamiOperaház) with special passage for broughams, which immediately makes you imagine aristocratic ladies of 19th century going to opera, dressed in their swanky and posh dresses.
The building, which was frequently compared to the Palais Garnier in Paris, was built from 1875 to 1884. The architect of the building was Miklos Ybl, who designed the building in neo-Renaissance architectural style. The Opera House is generously decorated with baroque style ornaments, sculptures and paintings. The interior is richly decorated with red velvet and gold. The most impressive decoration of the building is the main hall’s bronze chandelier, which weighs more than 3000 kilos. The chandelier is encircled by a fresco, representing Olympic gods of Ancient Greece. The Ancient Greek motives can also be found on the ceiling of the foyer, which is ornamented with murals, depicting the nine muses.
The building has a massive central staircase, which was obligatory in the 19th century opera theaters in order to give aristocratic ladies a chance to show their dresses. The main auditorium of the opera has a shape of a horseshoe and incredible acoustics. Thanks to its acoustics and despite its small size, Hungarian Opera House is considered to be one of the finest opera houses in the world.
Hungarian Opera House impresses the visitor not only with its peerless beauty, but also because of the contrast between its old-fashioned appearance and the modern street it is located on. The surrounding modernity touched only the technological equipment of the opera, while the building itself takes you to distant times of Austro-Hungarian Empire.
By Anna Pambukhchyan, www.building.am