City guide

Open-source Hungarian archive Fortepan unveils first photo book

Photo : Fortepan

A new English-friendly book could very well become one of the most coveted souvenirs from the Hungarian capital. Just issued, Forgotten Budapest features 100 archive city shots, showing life around town. This new paperback is the first printed publication created by Fortepan, an open-source Hungarian archive website with a rich collection of image documentation, taken over several decades and across various settings citywide. According to plans, the whole series will include ten separate books, each focused on a different theme. The first volume shows scenes from the early years of Budapest as a developing metropolis.

Horse-drawn carts and vintage trams zoom along cobblestoned streets. Elegantly garbed locals sit in street-front coffeehouses. Steam-powered boats ply the Danube, crossing under stately bridges. These are the  scenes of a bygone era, all captured in black-and-white and available on the Hungarian Fortepan website – and now published in high-quality print, too. The book Forgotten Budapest is the first of a ten-part series featuring vintage city images by theme.

Photo: Fortepan

Upcoming volumes include Chic Budapest, slated for September, showing the urban fashion of the past. Another feature scheduled for this year will focus on the city’s cafés and one more will present photos taken of old trams and their passengers.


Forgotten Budapest costs 3,000 forints when ordered online. The book is also available at the FUGA Budapest Center of Architecture, the Írók Boltja bookstore, at KÉK Contemporary Architecture Centre, at the Hungarian National Gallery and at the Mai Manó House.