Floral motifs, majolica and all the restless movement—Art Nouveau is a special period in art history, which aims to smuggle a little uniqueness into everyday life.
Reök Palace | Szeged, Hungary
One of the most emblematic buildings in Szeged is undoubtedly the Reök Palace. The building was designed by Ede Magyar in 1907, who, compared to his young age, was determined enough to smuggle the new European idea into the city of the Southern Great Plain, despite the conservative approach. The palace was built by water engineer Iván Reök, and the decorative elements of the building also indicate his identity. The blue water lilies running on the white façade, the balcony grilles suggesting the swirling of aquatic plants, and the wavy design of the wall planes all convey this motif. Today it hosts exhibition halls and cultural events, and two years ago the Reök confectionery also opened, which has grown into the best ice cream parlor in the city.
The Blue Church | Bratislava, Slovakia
One of the most beautiful examples of folk Art Nouveau is the Church of St. Elizabeth in Bratislava, which represents both old traditions and the special style features of Art Nouveau. The designer of the church is the most iconic figure of the Hungarian Art Nouveau, Ödön Lechner. The church could also be a work of art, as Lechner interprets the legend of Saint Elizabeth through architecture, which is manifested in rose mosaics resting on the walls, stylized windows and symbolic rosettes.
Grand Hotel Europa | Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is sometimes referred to as the capital of Art Nouveau: it is no coincidence that it keeps treasures such as the Grand Hotel Europa. The hotel was fundamentally built in a Neo-Renaissance style, but was reconstructed between 1903 and 1905, in the then rather fashionable geometric Art Nouveau style. The hotel’s stunning interior is popular among filmmakers: it has been featured in several films, including the restaurant of Titanic, and in 2014 it hosted the Czech Desingblok Festival.
Eisele Villa | Budapest, Hungary
The building proves well that the modernist and Art Nouveau elements are not averse to each other. The Eisele Villa was designed in 1910 by Guidó Hoepner and Géza Györgyi for Vilmos Eisele and his family. The villa was uninhabited for decades, but thanks to last year’s reconstruction, the Imre Kertész Institute moved here, so the building got filled with culture and programs.
Photos: István Gyarmati
Raichle’s Palace | Subotica, Serbia
The palace was designed by Ferenc Raichle as his own home and design workshop, so it fully reflects the world of the architect. Its special features are the impulsive use of color, the use of unusual shapes and the continuous appearance of the heart motif. The greatest inspiration of the palace is the Transylvanian folk art, which Raichle combined with special solutions—Murano mosaics, lace-like fences, plant details and decorative elements of Kalotaszeg appearing in Zsolnay ceramics on the walls of the palace. Gallery of Modern Art Subotica is currently located in the Raichle’s Palace.