History of Hold Street Market Hall

The history of the market hall in Hold Street dates back to late 1891. The original plan was to construct the hall in Széchenyi Promenade but, as there had already been a marketplace in Hold Street, the Public Works Council of Capital Budapest (Fővárosi Közmunkák Tanácsa) recommended that the hall building be erected in the usual marketplace, i.e. on two plots situated between Hold Street and Vadász Street.

The market street, formally known as Hold Street Market Hall, was built to Győző Cziegler’s designs, on a total area of 2,110 sqm made up of a spacious lower level and a gallery floor sitting on top of the ground floor structure designed to interconnect Hold and Vadász Streets.

The large three-nave hall building accommodated 174 permanent stands and 80 temporary ones to sell various produces, with 140 more gallery level stalls for costermongers. The market hall was really up-to-date at the time of its building, with refrigerating, weighing and meat examination rooms, premises made available to ambulance services and the Police, as well as separate toilet facilities for men and women.

The opening ceremony was held in February 1897. Original wall inscriptions ENTRY and EXIT over the entrances from Hold Street and Vadász Street, respectively, can still be seen today. One-way traffic control was necessary due to space constraints, i.e. for maintaining a smooth flow of car traffic of the central main road stretching along the longitudinal axis of the hall building.

The name of the market hall has been constantly changing over the last 100 years – it was first named, after one of the streets bordering its block of plots, Hold Street, and then renamed Count Klebelsberg Kuno Street, Hold Street anew and Rosenberg Couple Street to get back its original name, Hold Street Market Hall, again in the early ‘90s.

After the change of political regime in Hungary, the market hall has undergone a major refurbishment, with all the dingy stalls being demolished, farm producers’ small sales tables removed and worn-out asphalt pavements replaced by concrete block paving. And retail shops have been constructed on the gallery floor, turning the hall building into an EU-conform indoor marketplace.

Hold Street Market Hall is now, again, about to undergo a major revamp to assume an important role in both preserving and passing on cultural traditions and caring for contemporary culture.

But, Hold Street Market Hall is renewed not only aesthetically but also in its name, offering, as Downtown Market from now on, both an attractive marketplace for everyday shopping and a venue to stage cultural events. Moreover, Downtown Market welcomes all ‘market goers’ to enjoy a revised product offering and a lot of colorful and exciting programs.