Once upon the time…
Many years ago when the Budapest International Fair took place in the City Park (Városliget) an idea was born in themind of the comrades: the rumbling folks of the Fair won’t find their way. When Janos Kadar, first secretary of theHungarian Socialist Workers’ Party, number one leader of thecountry heard this, he ordered an information pavilion to bebuilt. With Lenin’s and Stalin’s commands in mind, the thenzealous architects competed fiercly to win this honourablechallenge, to design her, PANTLIKA. In the end, plans of Istvan Vadasz won with the highest ranking socialist comrades in the jury of. He designed the building according to the requirements of the era, he used the most modern technologies.
The ground plan is strictly a five-pointed communist star. Heused modern materials, walls are limestone from Sütő, floorcover is broken tile from Metlak village, the wavy roofstructure is made of aluminium. The function of the roof is toshow the unmistakeable star shape which is visible from space(as the only one building in Hungary). This was cofirmed by Bertalan Farkas, the only Hungarian astronaut.
We know from other sources that PANTLIKA may have beenan Austrian exhibition pavilion or the umbrella for the Rakosi-sandbox which to protect against sun – at that time without walls and windows.
The growing international role of fair in the City Park and the increasing number of exhibitors demanded more and more permanent building. It became clear by the early 70’s that the fair could grow only at the expense of the City Park so it must be relocated from Zuglo district. The people of Budapest wanted to keep the park and there was no way they would leave the working people without fresh air. Then a decision was made that the fair must take place in Kőbánya district. Almost all pavilons were destroyed, removed. The rest were wheel borrowed behind Petőfi Hall. This was the base of what today we call ’big field’, made of concrete and covered with athin layer of soil. Sometimes, when a dog start to dig nowadays, it finds concrete under the grass soon.
Only two buildings survived the removal of the Budapest International Fair. Petőfi Hall was transformed into a you then tertainment center from an exhibition hall, when Várkert Youth Park closed in Buda. The other survivor was PÁNTLIKA, which operates as a catering unit ever since then.
The first cafetaria here was called Lepke (Butterfly). It wasfollowed by Zöldember (Green man), later it recieved itscurrent name. In 2007 the owner and the approach changed again. The run-down, deprived building was renovated insideout. Inside you find a retro bar which reflects the athmosphere of the ’60s and ’70s. All interior objects and furniture aremaster pieces of the socialist industry. You find here lamps from the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party’s holiday resortfrom Balatonaliga, furniture set, standing lamp of János Kádár, pedal-run Moskvits car, sphere-shaped loud-speakerfrom „One more question?” TV show of János Egri, chairs from an open-air cinema in Zamárdi, chandeliers of the Panorama bar in Siófok, statues of smelter from Csepel Iron-and Metalworks, Traubisoda, Marka cherry and hundreds of what nots and objects reminiscent of the times.
We would like to bring back the mood of old times. Somepeople look back on the socialist past of Hungary with nostalgy, others with anger, but one thing is for sure: this eraleft a mark in everyone. That era gave life to an original andunique design, which has to be, must be preserved for the future, because it is the part of our past. These objects weremade only then and here in Hungary and most people have some memory related to them. PÁNTLIKA tries to collect, protect and show many of them, to the young and olds,Hungarians and foreigners alike. We do belive that 'socreal’, socialist realism artifacts, design and interior is of a particular value to Eastern-Europe, not to be destroyed but protected and put an display.
The history of Pántlika is put together from old stories andassumptions.