A rainy stroll down the fashionable Andrassy Avenue

I dropped off the items at my hotel before continuing on with my day, during which I’d scheduled a leisurely walking tour of Andrassy Avenue courtesy of the Lonely Planet guidebook. I took the metro to the historical Hero’s Square and figured on walking back toward the Opera house.

A fine, fizzy rain had started by the time I got to Hero’s Square, which meant a quick deployment of my umbrella before getting drenched. I walked the round road that showed off the fine museums flanking the square, along with the unexpectedly beautiful Vajdahunyad Castle (I wrote the name down to remember it for later). That was well worth the sprinkling rain to see.

I continued south and west on Andrassy Avenue, and it was hardly a boring walk. The buildings themselves look like relics of a bygone era, paint chipping and birds nesting in roof peaks, sort of what I’d expect in an old Antebellum town where money to fix up such large homes just isn’t available. A few of them have been restored and repainted, especially those around the Kodály körönd, a four-square perfection of sculptures and beautifully-done historic buildings.

The most impressive – and most terrifying – building is the aptly-named House of Terror. It’s a grey-blue building on the avenue (no. 60), and it would be perfectly indistinguishable except for the stencil-block letters spelling TERROR that cascade off the roof. When it is sunny, the letters are shining on the sidewalk below. Although gloomy outside, the letters were no less horrible. Unknown faces lined the wall, faces of the victims of Terror House during the Arrow Cross and Soviet regimes. It seems so … understatedly innocent, and one would pass it up in favor of more beautiful and fashionable buildings, if not for the TERROR crown along its roof.

Since it’s Monday, the museum itself is closed (as are most museums in Budapest, FYI), so I knew I’d have to come back the next day.

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