Andrássy Avenue is a 2,310-metre boulevard lined with buildings in varied architecture, constantly widening from the city center towards the City Park.
The area was long occupied by small cottages and gardens, but in the second half of the 19th century, Prime Minister Count Gyula Andrássy decided to have a new boulevard built here. After the 1848-1849 revolution, the statesman fled to Paris, where he was dubbed “le beau pendu” (the handsome hanged man) by the ladies. He received amnesty upon his return to Hungary and continued his important political career. He brought new ideas and examples, primarily from Paris, but all the architects were either Hungarian or based in Hungary. Over a few years, out of virtually nothing, an opulent boulevard was built, becoming the symbol of the country’s strength and also of the era known as the “happy peacetime”. Originally, the surface of the street was paved with wooden cubes and was shared by carriages, pedestrians, and riders on horseback. It was bordered by elegant shops, glamorous palaces, and ornamental gardens, which is still the case today. The most important building on the avenue is the State Opera House, designed by Miklós Ybl, but we can also find the secessionist-style Párizsi Nagy Áruház, the House of Terror museum, the Hungarian University of Fine Arts, the Ferenc Liszt Memorial Museum, and the Ferenc Hopp Museum of Asiatic Arts. The boulevard can be divided into three parts, delimited by the eight-sided Oktogon, and by the circular Kodály körönd. Under this street, stretching over nearly 2,300 meters, lies Europe’s second-oldest underground railway, the elegant stations of which are frequented by locals and international visitors alike. Andrássy Avenue is a UNESCO World Heritage site.