When I feel like going for a long walk but don’t want to leave the city behind, Wekerle is a delightful option for me – it’s a place to unwind and disconnect. Weke what? Wekerle. It is not a weird Hungarian word, but the name of Sándor Wekerle, a Prime Minister at the beginning of the 20th century. He had the idea of creating, together with a colony of young architects, a liveable area for local workers.
On the map, Wekerle looks like a stamp, and it is even enclosed by wooden gateways. Inspired by medieval and rural buildings, Wekerle is a fully equipped “village” in the city; it has schools, a (stunning) police station, culture and entertainment all immersed in trees – no supermarket signs. A cardinal concept of Wekerle is the “garden square”, the main one being named after Károly Kós, the Transylvanian architect who designed part of the complex. It’s wonderful in the fall – because of the colours, I feel like I’m in a Hungarian village in Transylvania.
There’s a small shop I fancy the most, called “A Masik Bolt” where you can sip coffee and even buy organic food (I love that I can find a variety of pumpkin here I cannot find elsewhere in Budapest) and people are ultra-friendly. They are generally friendly in this area, where architecture has worked well to create a sense of community. Leaving this peaceful and cheerful world behind, I always think I am gonna come here again.