Metamorphosis and symbiosis – walks in the library

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This fall, too, National Széchényi Library will take part in the event entitled European Heritage Days. The title of NSZL’s building historical walk is “Metamorphosis and symbiosis”.

The Krisztinaváros wing of Buda Royal Palace became the new home of National Széchényi Library well after World War II, following a series of reconstruction efforts lasting for several decades. The Hungarian national library opened its gates in the new building in 1985. Interiors of the building have featured the style called Socialist realism ever since.

The Hungarian national library is facing yet another renewal including the total reconstruction of its present building. During reconstruction, some of the original interiors of the building will be restored. However, the harmonization of the two functions will be a major challenge. Is it possible for a modern 21st-century library to operate in a historical environment?

Within the framework of European Heritage Days, on September 17, 2016 visitors will be able to join guided tours and get acquainted with the exciting history of the building. They will be able to discover even parts of the building preserving a small piece of the original royal palace, and they can also have a glimpse of how the library operates. Work places, usually closed for the public, will also be shown.

National Széchényi Library is the keeper of Hungarian written heritage. Its basic task is to process, service and preserve on the long run paper-based as well as electronic information media. Recently, a large-scale stock conservation work, supported by the Prime Minister’s Office, has come to an end. During the building historical walk, visitors will be able to have a look at newly restored decorative volumes, and they will be shown a projected slide show on the process of stock conservation work.

On Floor 5 of the library building, visitors can have a look at an exhibition of richly decorated albums illustrated by Mihály Zichy. The specialty of the show is the illustrated coronation album of Tsar Alexander II, Emperor of Russia, published in a limited edition in Paris in 1856.

During the building historical walk, visitors will also be able to attend a chamber exhibition organized in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the birth of Gyula  Todoreszku, a well-known hungarica collector. In addition to rare books acquired by the collector, the exhibition also presents genuine binding historical curiosities.

Guided tours will start from the Main Entrance on Saturday September 17, 2016, every hour between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Duration of the tour is two hours. If you wish to join one of our guided tours, please, notify us at the following contact until September 16 the latest:  Katalin Mág, or at phone number +36 1 224 3745 (Monday to Thursday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., and on Friday between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m).