With a cultural remit covering film screenings, live shows and exhibitions, an affordable café/restaurant, a shop/ticket office and even an information centre in the pipeline, Esernyős offers all kinds of attractions and services – for local and tourist alike.
Right on the main square of the historic district of Óbuda, north of Buda, Esernyős (‘Umbrella Carriers’) gets its name from the cluster of statues on nearby Laktanya utca depicting brolly-wielding ladies. This 1986 work by renowned sculptor Imre Varga actually depicts a street scene in Paris but Esernyős has now become a focal point of cultural life in Óbuda.
Esernyős opened its gates in September 2014. A year later, it expanded with a gallery, an events space and an inner courtyard. The place still radiates a sense of development – there’s constant building and growing.
And in summer, so much takes place outside, given the particular acoustic properties of the courtyard here. The Tuesday open-air film screenings – some, such as the recent showing of the Amy Winehouse documentary Amy, English-friendly – more resemble a group of friends watching a DVD. Wednesdays mean theatre, Thursdays, a series of unplugged live sets entitled Warm-up Udvar.
Between February and October, Esernyős takes part in Bike & Breakfast, an initiative which gives cyclists a free, full breakfast. Every October, Art Market brings contemporary exhibitions, while in summer and in the run-up to Christmas, Esernyős opens Gázlámpa Kioszk, the smallest café in town, transforming what was once an industrial landmark.
Oh, and International Love Affair DJs spin jazz, soul and funk on Tuesdays.
And the innovation keeps on coming. As currently the sole occupant of the house at Fő tér 2, Esernyős has plenty of scope for expansion. Among the many plans, staff at Esernyős would like to set up a visitor’s centre so that people can gather information about any upcoming sporting, cultural or gastronomic event in Óbuda.
District III. Fő tér 2
Open: Café Mon-Fri 8am-10pm, Sat 10am-10pm, Sun 10am-3pm. Gallery Mon-Sat 10am-8pm. Shop/ticket office Mon-Wed, Fri 10am-6pm, Thur 1pm-9pm. Courtyard Open according to schedule.