Do Not Miss the Bookcafe

bc13

Although the official name is Alexandra Kávézó, everyone just calls Budapest’s palatial Alexandra Bookstore “coffeeshop” the Bookcafe. Even though I have been hearing about the bookstore cafe for the last three years, I was not prepared for the gobsmacking grandeur of the venue. And the bookstore itself is awesome.

bc21

bookcafelobby

Opened in November 2009 after years of renovation, the Alexandra Bookstore flagship location is housed in a stunning Art Nouveau/neo-Renaissance building in the heart of Pest on the famed Andrassy út. The structure was designed by Gustav Petschacher in 1884 to house a restaurant, ballroom and luxury appartments, but did not reach its full glory until 1911 when it was transformed into the Parisi Department Store by Samuel Goldberg.

bc4

Under the Communist regime, the beautiful building was used as a book warehouse and later as a clothing store. It languished for years until the Alexandra Bookstore chain commited to a complete renovation to return the structure to its past splendor.

bc22

Today, the heart of the magnificent store is the opulent Bookcafe, which was originally designed and decorated with frescoes and a lavishly gilded dome by Karoly Lotz. This resplendent space is every bit as grand, and actually more beautiful, than Budapest’s famed New York Cafe. It certainly rivals any of the historic coffeehouses of Vienna or Prague. But I’ll let the photographs speak for themselves.

bc6

bc7

bc1a

bc3

bc2

bc5

bc4b

bookcafeceiling

bc10

This entry was posted in Architecture, Books, Bookstore Tourism, Europe and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Do Not Miss the Bookcafe

  1. WOW! Ok, now where did I put that passport?

  2. Mary Lou Kuster says:

    Love it. I sent it to Eric Hood whose wife & family from Budapest

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.