– the century turning decades of Szentendre, the dawn of a modern city (1870–1920)

2017. 10. 26 – 2018. 03. 31.


Barcsay Museum


Leading curator: Árpád Tyekvicska Curators: Judit Sz. Tóth , Gergely Péterffy

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The town Szentendre had its golden age in the 18th century as it was well-known in Central-Europe for being a commercial town. All the seven churches of Szentendre were also built in this era. In the following century, decay followed – the population and economical power both shrank. Later, after the conciliation, a new generation contributed to the rise of Szentendre, who started to build a modern small town in the dynamic but quite controversial period of peace. Jenő Dumtsa, the onetime major of the town was an outstanding figure of the era, whose life and career are reflected in the sights of the town in several ways.
Our exhibition – referring to some past and future events as well – introduces the small town at the turn of the century. Local news and happenings are displayed in the framework of contemporary stories, following and recalling the changes in lifestyle, science and technology. The focus of the exhibition is not on storytelling, it’s rather on the changes, the features of the modern small town and the coexistence with traditions. It is built around main themes. Firstly, it introduces how the town was getting more and more connected to the capital Budapest – joining the suburban train system is a great example of this. On the other hand, people from the capital just began to discover Szentendre and many celebrities, such as János Jankó, Emil Ábrányi or Alajos Hauszmann decided to move there. What is more, tourists started to “drop by” on their way to the mountains of Pilis. The development of the town is reflected in numerous ways: the forms of institutionalization; cessation of wine-based farming, thus the change in the products; the establishment of local press, financial, industrial organizations and associations. We can see people of the era, different cultures living together, community spaces, cultural events such as the theater or the cinema – all in the framework of infrastructure, technology and lifestyle. The Danube also appears, as the new platform of water sports, freight- and passenger transportation with markets and promenade on the riverbank.
The final part of the exhibition marks a milestone: a darker period, the troublesome first two decades of the 20th century are presented. These times were marked by the cessation of the previous multilingual harmony, the suppression of the Serbian community, the rapid growth of Hungarian townspeople and the hardships of war times.


Further Exhibitions