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The „Béla Lajta Virtual Archives” were launched in late 2010, just as the first exhibition on the architect opened at the Budapest City Archives – 90 years after he died and 40 after the only monograph on his art was published. The exhibition and the website have a common aim: they strive to gather the scattered documents pertaining to the life and work of Béla Lajta, an outstanding early 20th century “builder” (as he called himself), whose buildings are among the most valued, though often inefficiently protected pieces of the Hungarian capital’s architectural heritage. The visitors of our website are invited to discover and to study architectural drawings, period or later photographs and written documents that tell stories about these works’ creation – but sometimes about their alteration, destruction or rebirth as well.

The scarce documents that shed some light on Béla Lajta’s elusive personality are reproduced here together with some identifiable items of his large art and photographic collection. The views the architect’s contemporaries published on his art can be studied on the website in their entirety, along with some of the latest achievements of historical research on him. Though not all the content of the site is accessible in English, the editor of these Virtual Archives hopes, that foreign visitors will also enjoy spending some time here.

Béla Lajta portait