45 Podmaniczky street, the headquarters of the Symbolic Grand Lodge of Hungary

45 Podmaniczky street, 1896
Source: flickr.com

In 1886, two different Freemasonry groups (the Blue Lodge and the Scottish Ritual Grand Orients) merged creating the first headquarters of the Symbolic Grand Lodge of Hungary. From that time until 1919, the Hungarian Freemasonry flourished: almost 11,000 Freemasons worked in almost hundred lodges, such as Endre Ady, József Balassa, György Bölöni, Ignotus, Károly Kernstok, András Mechwart, Sándor Wekerle, Dezső Kosztolányi, István Ferenc Pulszky, Elek Benedek, Géza Kresz, Jenő Heltai, Ottó Titus Bláthy and many others.

Endre Ady, poet Dezső Kosztolányi writer Elek Benedek writer
A few famous members of the Symbolic Grand Lodge
(from left to right: Endre Ady, Dezső Kosztolányi, Elek Benedek)
Sources: en.wikipedia.org, hu.wikipedia.org

The Symbolic Grand Lodge of Hungarian Freemasons proposed the construction of a lodge house in 1890. They received 12 different entries from which the work of Vilmos Ruppert was accepted. Ruppert  himself also was a freemason, as he was a member of the Old Calls Lodge. The building was finally handed over solemnly in 1896. The building served as a field hospital during the First World War operated by the Grand Lodge. In May 1920, the Hungarian Association of National Defence occupied the lodge house. Earlier, the former Republic of Councils in Hungary and later the Interior Minister of Hungary, Mihály Dömötör had formally banned the activities of the Freemasons. After the Second World War, Freemasons once again used the building for a short time until 1947, when the Interior Ministry occupied and used it until  regime change in 1989.

The Freemasons ornament on the facade of the building

Source: kozterkep.hu

The final status of the building was completed in 2018. The biggest change in the headquarters of the former Grand Lodge is unnoticeable from the streets: the previously three-storey building was reconstructed to have seven floors, the large space between the second and third storeys was separated by the insertion of an extra storey. It was also expanded by three more storeys, never ruining the original splendor of the building itself.

The headquarters today as Mystery Hotel Budapest

Source: myísteryhotelbudapest.com

Source: mysteryhotelbudapest.com 


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