17 March 2014

Disappearing high-water marks in Budapest


"And shall your children ask ye tomorrow  
what this stone is in your temple,  
thus shall ye say unto them:  
Let the last generation hear  
that the waters of the Danube reached this high.."  

The last comprehensive study on the high-water marks of Budapest was completed in 1977. György Rajna’s “Flood tables in Budapest” was published only two years later, in 1979, in the 21st volume of Tanulmányok Budapest Múltjából (Studies from the Past of Budapest). This short span of time was enough to force the author to add a short addendum, that during these two years two flood tables of 1838 disappeared from two buildings in Ferencváros, and two other were demolished together with the house in Újpest. 35 years have passed since the publication of this study. What has been the fate of the carefully collected and documented tables? This is what I tried to survey. 

A nice example of the rescue of a flood table: Ferencváros, Bokréta utca 32.