Denizens of travelers are rejoicing in Budapest, as Keleti Pályaudvar, or Budapest’s Eastern Train Station, is re-opening after a brief closure for renovation. This gave us some time to ‘train’ our thoughts on this often overlooked structure, which is so prominent in the landscape of the city and such an ideal location for filming scenes from all eras in time.
Keleti Station is visible from downtown when looking down the main artery of Rakoczi Avenue. Its facade is at once utilitarian and grand, a symbol for Budapest itself for travelers coming and going from the city. With a relatively new subway line running through the renovated underpass, and a new open air plaza, the station also expresses a spreading gentrification of the formally rough and tumble area where it resides.
Keleti’s construction was completed in 1891, done in an eclectic style. According to We Love Budapest, “Chief Engineer Gyula Rochlitz was the designer, while the steel structure of the station was developed based on the ideas of bridge-building engineer János Feketeházy. According to the study plans, the trains would have arrived at the reception hall on the top floor, while the luggage traffic was planned to be implemented downstairs, where they also planned to locate a post office and coffeehouses.”
While no coffee houses remain, unlike at most stations in Budapest there is a proper sit-down restaurant in Keleti, serving authentic Hungarian cuisine. Inside the ticket hall, if you are not in too much of a rush, you can enjoy frescos by one of Hungary’s most famous classic artists, Károly Lotz. The name ‘Eastern’ refers to the station being the terminal station for lines that run to the east, servicing destinations like Transylvania and the Balkans (though it now also services lines that run to Vienna, Prague, and Munich, which are decidedly West.)
Even though the station was damaged in each world war, it always was rebuilt to its former grandeur. In 1988 it was listed as protected heritage building. Its glass roof and huge concourse make for quite an atmospheric, ageless location. While airy, elegant Nyugati Pályaudvar, the Western Train station, seems to take a lot of attention away from Keleti, the later is the busiest station, with over 400 trains arriving and departing daily. One more amazing location for film production in Budapest to discover.
Flatpack Films has many years of experience dedicated to offering expert servicing. It has brought the best of Hungary to countless brands, agencies, and production companies through its unique locations, exceptionally skilled crews, top of the line equipment and technical solutions. Backed by an impeccable track record, Flatpack Films has worked with world-class clients including Samsung, Samsonite, Toyota, Braun, Chivas Regal and many more - bringing their projects to life through a highly bespoke approach.