It was back in the spring of 2016 when work began on József Nádor tér, a downtown square a few paces from the showcase one of Vörösmarty tér. Over three years, 24 trees were felled, a 500-space underground garage installed and an urban park landscaped. We took a stroll around Budapest's latest revamped urban space.
To replace those 24 trees, 54 saplings have been planted, maples and alders around the edge, lindens and oaks in the middle. Still looking somewhat weathered given the current storms, it is hoped they will survive the transplant and flourish.
Green space stretching to 1,500 square meters was also promised, with shrubbery and benches around the now orderly square. As you survey it, you rediscover the beautiful architectural heritage surrounding it, elegant façades shown in a better light by the renovation, although in places tall shade has been sacrificed for smooth concrete.
In addition to a three-storey underground car park, new parking spaces have been created at street level, a boon for residents of the area.
The statue of Nádor József, ‘the most Hungarian of the Habsburgs’, who helped rebuild Budapest after the Great Flood of 1838, has returned to centrepiece the square. The fountains by famed Hungarian porcelain manufacturers Herend and Zsolnay are the architectural highlight of the renovation, the latter a replica of the Hercules Baths in Transylvania.