Gwen Stefani, Sophia Loren, Sissi - three different stunning ladies and all have a connection to Budapest. We found out about this and a lot more on the "Open Art Studios - Women in Budapest' walk organized by budapestUNDERGUIDE.
|Nóra Soós - photo by Gabriella Szendrey|
On the 10th March 2013, together with Open Studios Afternoon, we organized a city discovery walk where we visited galleries of local woman artists and we heard many interesting legends about women in Budapest...
|photo by Gabriella Szendrey|
|photo by Gabriella Szendrey|
Our guide, Péter, kicked away all the gloomy mood caused by the weather by shouting out a huge good morning at us. It was 2 pm. We also received prints of famous women related to Hungary or Budapest and later on we had to find out if he was talking about our portrait or not. People enjoyed a lot being involved in an interactive game.
One interesting story was about Sissi, Empress Elizabeth of Austria. She is very well known here in Hungary, a bridge and many other parts and monuments in the city bear her name. She cherished our country and she was beloved by our nation. Walking close to Andrássy avenue - named after count Andrássy, a leader politician during the Austro-Hungarian Empire - our tour guide recalled the rumours about Andrássy and Sissi's love affair... Historical evidence suggests that it is more probable that they had a platonic and mutual attraction for each other.
Anyhow it might have been, they serve as a nice symbol for the relationship between Sissi and Hungary amidst the monarchy's political situation, even more so that they were the first passengers of the freshly operating Millennium Undergound in 1896.
Sissi has not been the only famous woman to set foot on Budapest's ground. Gwen Stefani chose the Nyugati Railway Station (built by the company of worldly known architect Eiffel who is supposed to have had a love affair with a Hungarian woman...oh, but this would be another story..) as a key location in one of her videoclips.
If you are interested in more about Budapest and famous movies, read our two posts on the topic.
We mainly roamed the streets around Oktogon, Nyugati station and Andrássy avenue, Péter leading from one art studio to the other, all of them welcoming our little crew warmly.
Nóra Soós painter and her husband were entertaining everyone cheerfully while everyone entered in her magic world of paintings.
Átjárok csoportja's place seemed like a true fairy tale. Several artists work there and there is barely a centimeter not covered by a paintings on the wall!
Everyone agreed that is was a fantastic walk. One woman told us that she hadn't had discovered so many interesting things in Budapest for the last year than she had on this walk. We are planning to organize more of exciting urban programs :)
If you are interested in contemporary Hungarian art and design, we absolutely recommend our Contemporary Art Pulse Tour.