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The most historical site of Hungary’s 1848 Revolution
Considered as the main hub of the 1848 Revolution, the Pilvax Café was the setting where the city’s zealous artists and intellectuals regularly got together to exchange opinions about life in Hungary under the Habsburg regime. This politically heated movement was soon joined by talented Hungarian poet Sándor Petőfi, who shared equally fervent views with this ardent coffeehouse crowd, and here the Magyar wordsmith first delivered his poetic masterpiece crying out for Hungarian freedom, the “National Song”. On the morning of March 15th, the dissidents gathered at the Pilvax to rally onto the streets of Budapest, spreading their outlook and loudly reciting the 12 Points, a list of demands that was previously compiled at the café. Once a scene of patriotic sentiments, today the street where the coffeehouse stood is the understated site of several international hangouts, including a Lebanese eatery, a New York-themed bar, and a Thai restaurant; only the name of the passage – Pilvax köz – is reminiscent of the history-shaking café where the 1848 Revolution began.
PILVAX reopen after 111 years
As early as 1910, a decision was made to demolish the block of which the café was a part. The vast constructions of the Dual Monarchy were transforming the city centre, including the Pilvax. The place was finally closed in November 1911, with a large farewell ceremony witnessed by regulars and followers.