Once the residence of the Hungarian Wonder Mare Kincsem and his owner, and a playground for the Hungarian nobility, this downtown palace near Astoria has been standing covered up for years. But fear not, history buffs and architecture enthusiasts! This neglected gem is finally getting the royal treatment it deserves. The palace is undergoing a complete restoration, but instead of the typical office or hotel revamp, KincsemKult promises a unique experience. It's about to become a place where you can step back in time to a reimagined 19th-century palace, buzzing once more with social life.

There are plenty of palaces in Budapest that have seen better days and require renovation, but one of them is about to get the facelift it deserves: the palace of the legendary mare, Kicsem's master, located in a small street in the city centre, close to the Astoria.

Built in 1878 by Ernő Blaskovich, Hungary's first private stud farm founder, the neo-Renaissance palace symbolized equine and human triumph. Legend whispers that Kincsem's victories funded this opulent residence, but Blaskovich was already a man of means. Regardless, the palace, designed by Gyula Bukovics, became a magnet for royalty, aristocrats, and the wealthy, all eager to lay eyes on the wonder mare in her marble-roofed stables.

Remarkably, the building weathered wars and alterations, preserving many of its original details: ornate doors, stained glass windows, and even the decorative elements on the staircase walls. Kincsem's stable, a testament to her legacy, also remains. Now, a new chapter unfolds. The palace renovation, under the name KincsemKult, aims to revive its former glory. This isn't just about restoring bricks; it's about recreating a vibrant social hub, reminiscent of the gatherings Blaskovich once hosted.

The opulent Reáltanoda utca palace is gearing up for a grand revival, transforming into a unique ‘contemporary prototype of a 19th-century salon/casino,' according to Octogon architecture magazine. This isn't just about restoring the historic gem; it's about breathing new life into its social spirit. Imagine a space that seamlessly blends the elegance of the past with modern functionality. KincsemKult envisions residences, business events, art exhibitions, and even a gym and cinema within its walls. While the original floor plan remains largely untouched, a two-storey basement extension will be added – a far cry from the city's towering high-rises. Kincsem's legendary stables will be reimagined as an open-plan auditorium, while the living quarters above will offer stunning new residences. The charming courtyard leading to the stables will receive a sleek metal and glass roof, creating a captivating outdoor space.

Stepping inside, you'll find a mix of sophisticated suites, communal areas like a salon and lounge, and a library occupying Blaskovich's former study. Restorations will meticulously preserve the palace's grandeur – think stuccowork, wooden shutters, ornate floors, and decorative cornices. Yet, these will seamlessly blend with contemporary design elements, making KincsemKult a truly unique experience. Currently in the planning stages, construction is expected to begin in 2026. But fret not, history lovers! Until then, the palace will operate as an event venue under the name KincsemKult, allowing you to experience a taste of its future splendour.

(Cover photo: Kincsem Palace back in 2022 by Major Kata – We Love Budapest)