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Gozsdu Courtyard

Emanuil Gojdu
The Gozsdu Courtyard

Gozsdu Udvar (Gojdu Courtyard) is a unique part of the Jewish district. Connects Dob utca 16. and Király utca 13. by six courtyards and seven attached buildings that are 240m long. The pavilion-structured houses served as a passageway between the two streets, with apartments on the top floors and 45 shops and workshops on the ground floor. Once filled with life, for several years empty, at present the houses are being transformed into a downtown shopping and amusement centre with luxury apartments.

Budapest is very unique in many ways. Many faces of this magnificent metropolis can be seen in foreign films as well, because the Hungarian capital can easily play the role of any European city (and in the same time the prices are much more reasonable compared to the western part of Europe).
Due to its location and special atmosphere, before the major reconstruction began Gozsdu Courtyard had inspired many film directors to shoot scenes of their films there. A few examples:

1999: István Szabó - Sunshine (Ralph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz)
2002: Menno Meyjes: - Max (John Cusack, Noah Taylor)
2003: Len Wiseman - Underworld I

Who was Emanuil Gojdu?

Emanuil Gojdu

Miklós Barabás: Portrait of Emanuil Gojdu

Emanuil Gojdu (in Hungarian Gozsdu or Manó Gozsdu) was born in Nagyvárad (Oradea, Romania) in 1802 and he died in Budapest in 1870. He was of Aromanian origin, the family originated in Voscopoja (Voskopojë, Albania). He studied in Bratislava, Vienna and Budapest, becoming a lawyer and Member of Parliament here. Later on he became a supreme tribunal judge in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and also a Maecenas (cultural supporter = sponsor) of the Romanian Greek Orthodox students living in Transylvania and Hungary.
In 1824 he settled down in Budapest and acquired a significant fortune, however his house was always open to the Romanian minority. After Gozsdu's death his wealth (real estate in Holló, Dob and Király streets and bank accounts) was administrated according to his will (written in 1869) by a foundation that awarded scholarships to the Romanian students. The Gozsdu Udvar was erected between 1902-1913 from the money of the foundation according to the plans of architect Győző Czigler, also professor of the Technical University. The building he had planned was an interesting architectural solution for the best use of the deep lot existing behind the narrow street front. To gain modern, spacious homes with wide-open, large courtyards he constructed the houses in a pavilion-system. On the Király street lot four three-storey, on the Dob street lot three two-storey pavilions were planned having a connection to the 45 shops downstairs.
When the Gozsdu Courtyard had been finished, it soon became a prosper commercial center buzzing with merchants and craftsmen.

During the communist period in Hungary the Gozsdu heritage was taken over by the state (nationalized) in 1952, and in 1990 (when the regime ended) it became property of Erzsébetváros (VIIth district) in downtown Budapest.


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