Posts Tagged ‘Eger’

Reflections on the subject of historic city centres – example Eger

11:49 PM

KÖRMENDY Imre

(From previous issue No.39)

Eger was the first city in Hungary, where, from the second half of 1960’s urban renewal was not limited to single buildings or groups of buildings, but extended to whole building blocks. In the downtown area interior public open spaces and public facilities were developed and new public squares were established. The city was also vanguard in the establishment of pedestrian zones comprising more than a single street or square, but a whole network of streets and squares.

Recently the review of the earlier concepts came on the agenda. The renewal of the historic centre with “functional enlargement” is currently under way. Since the autumn of 2012 an action containing 25 elements is in progress. The parking garage next to the market is completed, so is the renewal of Dobó square and several other public spaces, and there is a new cycle way by the rivulet. Several public buildings have been restored, sometimes partially, in other cases restricted to the building front.

It is therefore worth thinking about the background of this initiative, and dealing with the historic urban core of medieval origin. History should not be modified, but from time to time it is necessary to revaluate the heritage, to consider the new results of research and to adapt to the changes of concepts.

The discovery and evaluation of our historic heritage have their own history. The original focus on special, unique buildings and ensembles was gradually extended to the “containing” frame, and at the beginning of the previous century the art of streets and squares was also discovered. For the discovery, assessment and protection of our urban historic heritage the loss of the “Great War” led to significant changes, because our significant historic cities which had avoided the Ottoman rule have now became part of other countries. In the journal entitled Urban Review (Városi Szemle) published by the Statistical Office of the Capital the author of the article on the relations of physical planning and infrastructure development complains that we have lost our communities of long standing urban culture. This tragedy was a warning for our professionals to pay more attention to the remaining domestic values. This process continued after the destructions of World War 2. It happened several times that the ancient fragments and details of long forgotten or later refurbished old buildings were found under the ruins. The losses from the war and other events changed the classification of buildings under protection. What had not been regarded as of irreplaceable value, today it has become so.

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