Weiss-Vajda House

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SITE OVERVIEW
The Weiss or Vajda House is one of the few buildings, which had already been standing before the Great Flood of 1879. Jews in Szeged were granted a permission to settle and own properties anywhere in town from 1859, as a result, they had bought or built a series of nicely decorated multiple storey buildings before the Flood.
GENERAL
The Weiss or Vajda House is one of the few buildings, which had already been standing before the Great Flood of 1879. Jews in Szeged were granted a permission to settle and own properties anywhere in town from 1859, as a result, they had bought or built a series of nicely decorated multiple storey buildings before the Flood. Back in time, the square was named Búza Sq, referring to the place where wheat was bought and sold. Later, the square was renamed after the first statue in the city depicting Piarist scholar András Dugonics. It is interesting to note that space was also considered as a possible site for the New Synagogue; however, the City Council did not approve the plan. Jewish merchant Samu Weiss had the one storey Romantic-style house built in 1876. The house contained 16 rooms and spaces for 8 workshops. The wealthy owner had a special permission to trade Kosher wine. Weiss sold a protruding piece from his land to Fülöp Herz'l in 1868-ban who had a late Classic-style house built on it at 15 Kárász Street. Fortunately, the Flood did not severely damage the building, during this time, only its owner Sámuel ‘Wäisz’ lived in it, who was stated as Sámuel Vajda in the next census, since he changed his name to its Hungarian form in 1881. Only a few people were allowed to rent apartments in the building until 1911; later on, only wealthier tenants moved in, among them were the Jewish Bauer family. Therefore, Herbert Bauer, later known as Béla Balázs and his brother Ervin Bauer spent their childhood here. Béla Balázs became a famous writer, poet and film critic, while Ervin Bauer was one of the founders of theoretical biology. Due to the fine location of the building different institutes, including a bank, offices and associations functioned here, later on workshops, shops and a restaurant operated downstairs.
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