Vörösmarty tér is one of the most frequented squares of the downtown. Popular not only with tour-ists who drop by to visit Café Gerbeaud or to stroll in neighbouring Váci utca, it fulfils an important role for locals too. The square houses many fairs and markets throughout the year and the most pop-ular Christmas market in the country has been held there every year since 1998. However, this pres-tigious position is not reflected in the square’s appearance: outside the Christmas season, it looks rather grey and somewhat dreary. Since its last complete renovation in 1986, it has lost something of its glamour. This will change now.

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As mayor Szentgyörgyvölgyi, explains, the about-30-years-old concrete paving will be removed and replaced with high-value natural stones, creating a decorative pattern all the way right across. This feature will incorporate the neighbouring streets, including Deák Ferenc utca, Vigadó utca and Harmincad utca. The old street lamps in the square will be replaced by an innovative lighting sys-tem, and benches and other street furniture will be renewed. All in all, the square will be better suit-ed for fairs and cultural events, the mayor says.

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The central element of the square will remain the statue of poet and dramatist Mihály Vörösmarty. The green surfaces around the statue group built by sculptors Eduard Kallós and Eduard Telcs in about 1908 will increase by seven percent. Seven more trees will be planted, and eight more in the surrounding streets. The fountain with lions will remain.

Podmaniczky tér will regain its former glamour too. The square is important as a small traffic junc-tion, incorporating the metro station Arany János utca and a couple of bus stops. Dominated by fre-quently patched asphalt, it has been an eyesore.

The rejuvenation plan for Podmaniczky square

Szentgyörgyvölgyi said its green spaces will increase 30 percent, with 82 new trees to create a small urban oasis. The asphalt paving will be replaced by natural stone and the old street lamps by a new lighting concept. It is also planned to move away the trolley buses terminus.

"We are not afraid to make any necessary efforts to create a city centre fit for the 21st century," he said. It will cost: Vörösmarty tér about HUF 2.3 billion and Podmaniczky tér HUF 1.2 billion, fi-nanced jointly by the government and the local council of District V.


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