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Happy Birthday, Opera House!

Budapest's magnificent Opera House turns 135 today!

In the late 1800s, Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Joseph approved the building of an opera house in Budapest with the proviso that it should not be bigger than the one in Vienna. Following a public tender, a jury selected the design submitted by famed Hungarian architect, Miklós Ybl, who completed this magnificent edifice on Andrássy út in nine years. When his Neo-Renaissance building was unveiled, it may have been smaller than its Viennese counterpart, but all the more ornate and impressive, eliciting the emperor’s remark on opening night: 'These Hungarians...!'

The Opera House is no bigger than a ten-storey apartment block, but its design is gorgeous and its acoustics are considered the third best in Europe after the Scala in Milan and the Opéra Garnier in Paris. Although currently under restoration and partially closed, the Opera House still offers shorter guided tours in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish, showcasing certain parts of this beautiful building.

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