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  • Writer's picture Kester Eddy

A Beautiful, if Petite, C European Town Square - Replete with Folksy Folksies - Where? (Updated)

Updated: Nov 10, 2021

KesterTester56 - This is one of those picteresque old-town centres that the heavy traffic roared past 500m to the east even before the motorways were built two decades ago. I suspect many readers will have passed by without so much as a second thought.

Apologies for lack of posts of late - but I have no more teaching to my dear students, so I promise to be more punctual as of now (famous last words).

What clues can I give to assist the sleuths in here? Well, this charming settlement once had a Jewish quarter, unusually located (I would say) between the railway station and the town centre. The grand houses remain, but the original owners, of course, were victims of WW2 fascism - home grown, alas here.

It also boasts (or used to, but I think it is still open) an important textile factory (also, I suspect, originally Jewish owned) which when I was there made all sorts of expensive brand names more associated with Italy and France.

The remains of a castle, whose grounds are filled in August with an annual festival, are but a five minute walk distant (I can't say more - but I've got the T-Shirt.) Oh, and it's got a university, or at least one or two faculties of one which the ''big city" university has offered to outsource.

I'll stop there for now. If it proves too tough, I'll put up some more clues. Otherwise, your guesses please via the website messaging system or email.

And I'll aim to update this post tomorrow with the results of KT55.

UPDATE: Results of KT55

Deep apologies for long overdue results. Just too much work causing a lack of energy to sort these things out.

We had just a handful of contestants for this photo of this sadly dilapidated Jewish house of worship – I suppose it is one of those kind of pictures that you either recognise or not, and if not, people don't have a clue.

One of the first for the hat race was Alan Sutton, who (not for the first time) added his extra bit of local knowledge in the answer.

“An easy one this week,” (not for everyone, I suspect, Alan - ed) “It is the [former] Köbánya synagogue, though I think it has now been converted into a church. The church you refer to is of course, Köbányz Szent Laszló, a wonderful piece of Jugendstil and with a large Rieger organ.”

Zsolt Maroti also thought it might be Köbánya, albeit tentatively, and Tom Chilton declared: “Synagogue. I think the drinking clue gave it away.”

I assume he's referring to Dreher Brewery, which is maybe three tram stops from Köbánya's centre.

“I have nothing of interest to add, except that I read somewhere that Köbánya is the geographic centre of Budapest.”

Actually, I think it was me that read it somewhere, possibly an András Török guide book, and then told you Tom, but that wojuld have been a long time ago now.

David McCall, he of Oregon, wrote: “With regard to KT55, this is clearly the synagogue in Kobanya, a.k.a. District X of Budapest. I passed by it countless times during my career, since I lived and/or worked in District XVII the majority of my time in Budapest, and this synagogue is located near an important crossroads for those accessing part of the city from that direction, crossing from Köbánya to Józsefváros. It is indeed restored and much more beautiful nowadays, and I believe that it is now a "Church of all denominations" or something like that, open to all. It is indeed a striking piece of peace located so close to a busy intersection. (At least I assume it is still nice, though it has been nearly a decade since I left.)"

Well, it does look rather beautifully restored on the Church Website, David, here:

From which I snipped a screen shot thus:

That same church website shows the building looking in an even more decrepit condition prior to restoration.

According to the site's Wikipedia page:,_Budapest

The synagogue was built between 1909-12, and belonged to the local Jewish community until 1964.

"The synagogue and its associated buildings were purchased in 1989 by the Gospel Pentecostal Church of Zion (later renamed Everyone's Temple Church) and the People-Friendly Foundation. It was renovated through donations and volunteering, and was inaugurated in April 1991. Since then, the synagogue has housed religious and other cultural events in the Temple Church of All, while the former synagogue-related building houses the Human-Friendly Foundation's Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation Institute."

So, it seems my informant back in 1989 had got part of the story correct.

And now, the part that you have all been waiting for - the WINNER of the draw (Still using the Zwack Red Cap substitute for the missing EU-Approved Black Woolly Draw hat) is none other than number 1 (yes, again - really!) which in turn was none other than Hubert "Poirot" Warsmann - who probably won't return to Budapest because of the beers he's going to have to buy me :)

Well done everyone, and congratulations Hubert - an interesting building. I shall have to take another look next time I'm in the area.

Now, what about the charming olde-worlde town centre of KT56?

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