When sneaking into old downtown buildings through the gate left open we are concerned not to meet anyone and not to be thrown out by the residents before taking those few photos, the documentation of one rectangle from the city’s past. It was not so years ago, and it is not so for example in Lwów, where you can still walk all over the buildings from the courtyard to the roof and the outside corridors to the entrance halls of the kommunalki, but Budapest has become the city of closed gates in recent years. Except for one single day. It is already the second year that on this April weekend every building in Budapest which fills its centennial in this year keeps open not only its gate, but also the basement, attic and flats, if they agreed so with the organizer of the event, the Center for Contemporary Architecture. On this day the residents not only look at you without suspicion, but they even willingly show the way, offer you cakes and wine, and they even guide you and organize presentations and concerts for the visitors. And it is nice to see how many people take advantage of the opportunity. When roaming from house to house, we encounter many groups, couples and lonely explorers with the map and program booklet published for the occasion by the CCA in the hand, who then will work into the night to upload the photos of the day on the community forums.
In 26-28 Klauzál street, the very heart of the Jewish quarter, the hitherto verbose program becomes laconic: “Poems and stories on the residents, scones and attic visit.” We already do not get any of them: we probably arrived too late. But the door of the attic is still open.
A shaky ladder leads out from the attic to the freshly made tinwork of the roof, even the tools are still lying out there. And from the roof, as from a mountain peak, a never seen terrain opens up before us.