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New from Hungary...

January 2011

Hungary leads Europe into 2011

On 1 January 2011, Hungary takes over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Between New Year and June 30th, the key role of research, development and innovation in finding solutions to the challenges facing Europe will be in the spotlight.


Gödöllő expects long term benefits from Presidency

Gödöllő welcomes visitors to EU Presidency events in a unique environment of historic monuments at the former royal residence reconstructed mainly from EU funds. The town, which is located in the neighbourhood of Budapest, expects the Hungarian Presidency to bring reputation to Gödöllő and boost local business.

During the Hungarian Presidency, informal ministerial meetings will be mostly held at the former royal residence in Gödöllő located 30 km east of Budapest. Although it is Hungary’s largest Baroque Palace, visitors expecting an enormous building usually find the view surprisingly small at first glance. Tamás Ujváry, deputy manager of the Royal Palace of Gödöllő, explains this effect with the location of the entrance, which has a view to the street rather than the gardens and is not situated between the two wings of the U-shaped building, as was customary with Baroque palaces. This way only the narrow front of the main building can be seen from the street while the wings attached to the U-shaped building are concealed by trees.

A special Palace
The Palace was built in an elegant and representative style by Count Antal Grassalkovich (1694-1771), a confidant of Empress Maria Theresa and one of the most prominent aristocrats of 18th century Hungary. Grassalkovich’s other stately homes were also designed in this reverse U shape including the one in Bratislava, which is currently the residence of the Slovak President. In 1867, year of the Austro-Hungarian Compromise, the Gödöllő Palace was bought for the Crown and designated as the residence of rest of the Hungarian Monarch. This year was marked by the reconciliation between the Austrian Monarch and the Hungarian aristocracy approximately two decades after the suppressed Hungarian revolution and war of independence against the Habsburg rule. Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria (1830-1916) swore to the Hungarian Crown and granted Hungary relative independence within the Monarchy. The Hungarian aristocracy was eager to invite the Monarch to Hungary as many times as possible. This is how the Gödöllő Palace grew to be a favoured residence of the royal couple and, in particular, of Franz Joseph’s nonconformist spouse, Elisabeth (Sissi), who frequently left the rigidity of the Royal Court for Gödöllő. She especially liked Hungarians and her feelings were returned by the people’s genuine love. Sissi spent much more time in Gödöllő than in any other residence she had.

The place where Sissi learned horse riding tricks
The Palace has been made entirely accessible and it was awarded the prize title of Accessible Building of the Year 2007, taking precedence over newly built office buildings, as there are no separate categories for monuments and new buildings, says the Deputy Manager.
Once hosting graceful horse parades, the former Palace manege was redesigned as an elegant conference hall for the Hungarian Presidency. In fact, Sissi herself learned horse riding tricks here from the equestriennes. The result: a sound amplified contiguous hall of 638 square meters not divided by columns in a monument environment with a capacity of 400 persons, now unparalleled in Europe. Under the hall there are two newly designed audience rooms of 80 square meters each, two bathrooms, a warehouse and an engine room.
In addition to the renewed building, 5.2 hectares of the former Palace gardens were restored, although not in the form of the original geometric Baroque garden but from the romantic English landscape park that was designed in the 19th century. Even the species of plants could be determined from contemporary photos and postcards. As a result, visitors can now enjoy the same view as Empress Elisabeth did in her age.


Franz Liszt, European ambassador of Hungary

In 2011 the world celebrates the 200th anniversary of Franz Liszt’s birth. Hungary’s EU presidency gives us a great opportunity to demonstrate the richness and European-ness of Hungarian culture through the works of Liszt.

Let us see what the Liszt Year holds for us.

Liszt was an exceptionally colourful character of the 19th century. Now we can get to know him as a composer, a Hungarian, a European, a cosmopolitan, a musical pegagogue, a virtuose and a believer. The jubileum year begins on 22 January with the concert of the National Philharmony Orchestra in the Palace of Arts. According to Zoltán Kocsis, Hungarian ambassador of the Liszt Year, the programme series is a great opportunity to get acquainted with parts of the Liszt oeuvre which are almost inaccessible for the public. On the opening concert he will also be conducting pieces which document the close relationship between Liszt and Hungary, for example, the Hungarian Fantasy, premiered in 1853 (Ferenc Erkel was the conductor), now with one of the most talented pianists of the young generation, Gábor Farkas, who has  received high appreciation for his Liszt albums.
The orchestra will be playing the same concert again in Brussels in honor of the rotating presidency, and in January, several other groups and musicians (the Budapest Festival Orchestra, the Liszt Ferenc Chamber Orchestra and the finest pianists such as Dezső Ránki, Dénes Várjon, Gergely Bogányi) will be playing in cities of Europe, from London and Riga to Madrid and Toulousse, propagating the Liszt Year and Hungary's EU presidency.


A Place to Experience!

Based on 10 years of professional experience in the field of entertainment and show business, we can achieve what we believe to be the ultimate in theatre experience. The Capital is ready for a venue, which will offer experiences that will reach and connect regionally and internationally, unifying its audiences. The theater itself will exude the highest level of quality and professionalism with an attention to detail regarding services and up to date technical advances. Our intention is to give our guests a rewarding and memorable experience. We hope that our audiences, the theatre community and event organizers will love and welcome this venue. In March 2011 the multifunctional theatre and event hall, RAM Colosseum will open its doors in the heart of Budapest. In order to guarantee the professional functioning that the 21st century requires we will strive to cultivate all of the necessary human and technical resources.


Revue shows revived in Budapest

Budapest evenings come alive with feathers and sequins. Revue shows of the newly opened Orfeum Cabaret conjure up the spirit of the last century in a one-off milieu.Fancy clothes, the glitter of gold, evergreen tunes, spectacular shows in an elegant venue – all combined with a delightful dinner. Orfeum, the Cabaret of Budapest!


For more information, please contact László Pásztor at

EU Hungarian Presidency



Franz Liszt

RAM Colosseum

RAM Colosseum

Orfeum Cabaret