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Filming in Hungary: Blog

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Locaton Spotter: Budapest's Central Market Hall

zita kisgergely

In terms of under-utilized film locations in Budapest, it is hard to beat the Central Market Hall (Nagycsarnok) at Fővám Square.

While the Central Market Hall may seem like just a big tourist attraction, is actually primarily used by locals, who have been shopping there for fresh produce for over a century. The structure itself looks not unlikea train station, and indeed, tracks used to alongside it to deliver goods and take away refuse. While the structure bears a striking resemblance to the Eiffel-designed Western Train Station (Nyugati pályaudvar) the Central Market Hall was actually designed by a Hungarian architect named Samu Pecz for an opening in 1897. It was damaged to various degrees during both World Wars, but a comprehensive 1990 renovation returned it to its original shape. The hall itself is all of 10,000 square meters, sitting behind a huge iron gate done in Neo-gothic style. In addition to being an absolute must see attraction for tourists, the building has received international recognition by way of winning the 1999 FIABCI Prix d’Excellence award.

Inside you can find all sorts of produce from the finest smoked paprika to traditionally embroidered materials.

The Central Market Hall was the subject of an hour-long documentary: Food MarketsIn the Belly of the City. Budapest was included along with four other cities (Lyons, Turin, Vienna, and Barcelona) in examining the culture of large cities’ central food markets. The film is highly recommended if you want to see just how atmospheric the hall is, and how intriguing the personal stories of select individual vendors are.

Though we have no clip from the documentary, here is the world’s most popular travel-guide writer, Rick Steves, in a video highlighting the Central Market Hall. Enjoy.