The new recreational zone at Normafa, a popular green getaway in the Buda hills, is taking shape with a new playground and garden on the site of the old Hotel Olympia. While significant work still lies ahead, Eötvös Loránd Park has just opened to the public.
Major changes are taking place in the vicinity of popular excursion destination, Normafa. The Cogwheel Railway is due to be extended here, while the Chairlift is being overhauled to incorporate four-person seats. The Normafa gate complex is also being built beside the renovated Rajk villa, with its dark past linked to post-war Communism.
Although some aspects of the project have been controversial – such as the extent of the tree-felling to clear space for the new park, and the installation of a large car park – the overall goal has been to tidy up the area, and eliminate the somewhat chaotic parking and traffic conditions.
The old Hotel Olympia, designed by Zoltán Farkasdy but left empty in recent years, was demolished and Eötvös Loránd Park was built on its site. When developing the green space, the final version was decided upon in collaboration with residents living on the nearby KFKI housing estate.
Comfortable benches have been installed at the request of older locals, and the playground has been made appropriate for smaller children. It features fun playthings like a natural wooden nest and leaf swing, seesaw and climbing castle.
The 4,400-square-metre park lies somewhere between an urban rest area and a walking forest, with nearly 700 shrubs, 600 perennial flowers and 54 new trees planted. These include beech, oak, hornbeam, hazelnut, tulip trees and copper-red chokeberries.
The area still looks a bit barren, especially when compared to the neighbouring greenery, but it is already filling with local residents taking a stroll, and children checking out the playground. This will be an interesting place to keep an eye on over the next few years, after construction is completed and the newly installed plants grow into maturity.