13. stop

At the end of the road, the Károly Kós Square becomes visible, with two monumental gates on its sides and a park in the middle renewed in 2010.

About the surrounding buildings declared as monuments: the call for tenders in 1912 for the development of the centre was won by the closed urban space project of Károly Kós.  The construction of the residential buildings of the square commenced with the western and eastern parts. Kós only planned the houses at number 2 and 3, as well as the gate arching between the two houses. The house at number 4 was built based on the most beautiful implemented plan of Lajos Schodits and Béla Éberling. The movie theatre operated in the courtyard of this house. The house in well known today from the TV series Barátok közt (Among Friends).  On the other side of the square, the houses at 10–11 Károly Kós Square, as well as the wooden-beam gates connecting these houses were planned by Dezső Zrumeczky.

After this period a long break followed due to World War I., thus, the construction of the southern and northern part was only finalised by the end of 1925-26 (this date is visible on the facade of the house at number 14). Compared to the houses on the eastern and western part, these houses have a simpler appearance, their distribution and the architectural elements of the facade are more humble. Even though their architectural shape does not follow the folkloristic trend of the houses on the western and eastern part, in their simplicity are still an important part of the square and the height of their ridges and eaves comply with the plans of Károly Kós.

They measure up to the urban development plan; however, shops were not housed in these buildings. The buildings essentially built in two different architectural styles create a uniquely uniform architectural unit. Since 1994, the buildings on Károly Kós Square have been listed buildings.

The Catholic Church was finalised by 1930 and it was designed by Béla Heintz (who also designed the house at number 15 vis-à-vis the church). Its high tower signals the centre of the estate from a distance. To preserve the notion of the closed space design, its entrance is not from the side of the centre. The houses in the centre are worth seeing while walking alongside the fence of the park: the towers, the wooden balustrades of the balconies, the wrought-iron ornaments on gates, and if you can get access to them even the former laundry rooms in the courtyards and the staircase balustrades.

The square is often used as a venue for filming movies. In 1944, in the pastry-shop operating in the house at number 13, some scenes of the movie Makkhetes were filmed here. Vis- à -vis, on the other corner of the square is the house known from the series called Among Friends (4 Károly Kós Square), which appears day by day in the popular TV series.

The houses of the square also appear in the movie Hattyúdal (Swan Song) filmed in 1963, as well as in the Oscar-winning Brad Pitt genre movie.

Following this, walk into the park and find the statue of Károly Kós erected in 1987.

The rich life of this Transylvanian architect, writer and graphic artist is revealed by walking around the statue on the stepping-stones. Probably because of the well-known pictures and video recordings, which were mostly recorded towards the end of his long life, he lives in our memories as an elderly man; even his statue depicts him as such. However, Kós became a key member of the “Youngsters” architect group as an aspiring architect and his work is visible on several buildings of the centre.

Other sights of the square include the water fountain; benches and gates decorated with motifs depicting crows, roosters, peacocks and butterflies; the bust statue of Sándor Wekerle; the Tree of Life planted by Wekerle volunteers on the occasion of the centenary; as well as the music pavilion (which was supposed to be placed in the zoo on the basis of the plans of Károly Kós).

Even back in the older days it must have been a good feeling to arrive back at the estate after a journey. The Olympic medallist boxer Antal Kocsis used to live here; violinist Vilmos Tátrai, actress Ilona Éres, folk singer Márta Sebestyén (all Kossuth prize winners), as well as writers Lajos  Mesterházi and Iván Bächer, sculptor Ferenc Laborcz.

Since 2012, Wekerle Estate has been participating in the festivities of the Budapest100, organised entirely by volunteers, celebrating buildings in Budapest that are 100 years old. Programmes presenting the history of the houses and their architectural values are created in collaboration with the residents of the houses participating in the jubilee and other local volunteers. Tourists have the opportunity to visit venues which are not usually open to the public: air-raid shelter, attic, house preserving its original condition and even a no longer functioning cinema has opened its doors to the public. Budapest100 is organised each time at a weekend in April. Because each year until 2028, a house in the Wekerle Estate will celebrate its 100th anniversary, you must visit us on one of these occasions!

We recommend you to return to Wekerle in a different season as well and discover Wekerle’s many faces: the colours of the alleys in autumn; the silent little town covered in snow in winter; the bird chirping in spring or at the end of a hot summer day ‒ arriving from the stress of the city to a refreshing oasis.