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Powder magazine

The oldest industrial buildings in New Buda used to have military functions. One remaining example is the baroque gunpowder magazine on the corner of Szerémi Street and Galvani Street, also called as “gunpowder dome”.

The T-shaped building has two wings of different heights. The facade is supported by 6 pillars. The building has stone-framed square windows and additional openings below for natural ventilation to keep gunpowder dry. The main building cargo area is one single room with 5 domed compartments. The object used to be surrounded by a high fence with guard booths, however, they were devastated during wars.

According to old maps the location for the gunpowder magazine built in the 1770s was ideal as it was an empty area until the early 20th century. It was surrounded by farmlands and abandoned vineyards granting a large safety zone around it to prevent explosions.

When choosing a site Austrian military engineers remembered the lesson well from the retake of Buda in the previous century when the gunpowder magazine detonated in the castle, which considerably impacted the course of the siege. Designers even considered the wet circumstances and an artificial hill was built especially for the magazine. Together with its round guard towers it resembled archaic castles.

The building kept its original structure and it fulfilled its function until 1945. Then the first residential buildings appeared in the area with inhabitants feeling worried. Demolition was encouraged by locals but the magazine remained. Years of neglect followed, however, the building was the first in the district to obtain a listed status in 1949.

Later buildings of Concrete and Reinforced Concrete Works were constructed around the magazine and the company management could not make up its mind about the old building for long. As mice abounded the neglected building attracted many owls so workers simply called it Owl Castle. A restoration plan was made by architect Egon Pfannl but it did not come true. Then a movie opened here that was closed when the roof structure was devastated in a fire in 1986.

In the early 1990s a new plan for restoration was developed by János Koris. As a result of an application for financial support the roof of the main building and some of the interior was restored in 1996. The outbuildings were roofed in 1997. Commemorating the reconstruction works a monumental plaque was placed, which, unfortunately, was stolen later. A road leading to the magazine was built and the environment was weeded. However, by today weeds have reconquered.

Recommended tours

Wonders of Albertfalva: riverbank and suburban streets Besides discovering the river bank in Albertfalva you will get to less-known spots of the area, such as the Blue Pond in Kelenvölgy, the park of Arany Dániel Square in Albertfalva. The route leads along shady roads and quiet streets making it a favourable choice even on a hot and sunny day.