"Pal Utcai Fiuk | The Paul Street Boys" Budapest Travelogue by Zvrlj

Budapest Travel Guide: 7,466 reviews and 17,318 photos

Sign at the corner of Paul and Maria streets - Budapest
Sign at the corner of Paul and Maria streets

"The Paul Street Boys is a youth novel by the Hungarian writer Ferenc Molnar, first published in 1906. […] The book has earned the status of the most famous Hungarian novel in the world. It has been translated into many languages and in several countries (like the UK and Italy) it is a mandatory or recommended reading in schools. Erno Nemecsek is now ranked there among the eternal heroes of youth literature like Oliver Twist or Tom Sawyer. The novel can be easily read in most parts of the world as if its story could have happened anywhere and in any age. […] The Israeli left-wing columnist Haim Bar'am, of the Kol Ha'ir weekly in Jerusalem, wrote: 'The highest praise which I can bestow on a pure-hearted, idealistic person is to compare him or her to Nemecsek. I don't often do that, only when I feel that somebody truly deserves the ultimate compliment.'"

From Wikipedia

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"The Paul Street Boys is a wonderful tale of bravery, heroism, patriotism, honour, truth, love, war and passion. It contains all these in the microcosm of two groups of teenage boys living in Budapest who are about to fight for a small open space amidst the busy streets of the big city where they can play ball. But that's just the basic plot. The characters, Boka, Feri Acz and Erno Nemeczek especially, are incredible children. They, when I read the book as a child, were a symbol to me of what boys were supposed to be like. Not because they fought. Not because they had fun on their playground. Not because they had secret societies. Because they knew the important things in life: love, honour, home. The story is funny and sad, light and tragic all in one, and more importantly, it teaches a lesson without beating you over the head with it. I learned the lesson when I first read it when I was just a boy, but when I read it now that I am all grown up, it still makes me weep. Why? Because it is about growing up and learning to live and learning that life is about winning and losing and sometimes both at the same time. And at the end of the novel in our souls, just like in Boka's, 'for the first time there begins to dawn an understanding of the great mystery of life in which sorrow is so strangely intertwined with joy'."

Paul Lenarczyk

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Hogyes Endre street, No. 1 and No. 3 - Budapest

Hogyes Endre street, No. 1 and No. 3

This travelogue is about walk by the main sites the story of The Paul Street Boys, one of the most important books of my childhood (V), had taken place.

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We started our walk at the entrance of Museum of Applied Arts in Ulloi street. Actually, we started it after we had visited that Museum, just by turning to the right after we had exited the Museum building, and then right again to Hogyes Endre street. This is the first spot – the place where Erno Nemecsek lived was in No. 3 in old Rakos street – Hogyes Endre street, today.

Corner of Paul and Maria streets - Budapest

Corner of Paul and Maria streets

We have walked over Hogyes Endre street, then turned right to Knezich street and again right to Maria street. Maria street crosses Ulloi street – it is very near the starting point, whole previous walk was around block of buildings in which Museum of Applied Arts is. Next crossing is of Maria street and Paul street – the second spot – the so-called "grund", place of "battle" of "Paul Street boys" and "Redshirts".

Paul street - Budapest

Paul street

Paul street is very short and it turns into Nap street after crossing with Jozsef korut. Next turn was right, to Nagy Templom street and then left to Koris street.

Ferenz Molnar square - Budapest

Ferenz Molnar square

We reached the third spot – Ferenc Molnar square, just after a few minutes of walking along Koris street. It is a modest square with tiny park, but nice tribute of the city to Ferenc Molnar who was born in it.

Entrance to Fuveszkert Botanic Garden - Budapest

Entrance to Fuveszkert Botanic Garden

We have turned right at the crossing of Koris street and Illes street. The fourth spot – Fuveszkert Botanic Garden is in Illes street No. 25.

Fuveszkert Botanic Garden - Budapest

Fuveszkert Botanic Garden

Today the Botanic Garden belongs to ELTE University, and it has been reduced in size since the time of the events described in the novel, but it is very nice place, and it is easy to imagine it being "headquaters" of an "army".

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This walk we made with huge help from VT members Eva – joshuatree29's (she is not VT member anymore), Daniel – danbp and Istvan – 1courage. We thank them.

  • Page Updated Dec 26, 2009
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