Gresham Palace
Gresham Palace or Gresham-palota, located in Budapest, Hungary, is an example of Art Nouveau architecture in Central Europe. Built in the early 1900s, it is now owned by an Irish company, Quinlan Private, and run by Four Seasons Hotels.

The site was once Nako House, a neo-classical palace built in 1827. In 1880, the London-based Gresham Life Assurance Company bought the property, at a time when it was illegal to invest money in stocks, but rental income was a wise investment. The company later decided to build its foreign headquarters on the site, and decided that they needed a grander setting for them. They commissioned local architect Zsigmond Quittner to design the new structure, and in 1904, they began construction of the Gresham Palace, which was completed in 1906. Originally, the palace served as an office building as well as a home for wealthy British aristocrats connected with the Gresham company. During World War II, Soviet soldiers eagerly took up residence in the extravagant palace. Eventually, it fell into disrepair and served as an apartment building during the Communist rule of Hungary. When democracy was restored, the national government presented the palace to the city of Budapest. In 2001, it was bought by the Four Seasons hotel chain, and was opened soon after as a luxurious hotel. Original details restored by Quinlan Private include a sweeping staircases, stained glass, mosaics, ironwork and soaring wintergardens.

Gresham Palace is a fine example of Art Nouveau architecture, especially in the manner of the Vienna Secessionists. Secessionists tried to move towards the eradication of ornament, and focused on architectural form as the main focal point of a design. The Gresham Palace exemplifies this style with its smooth façade that draws attention mainly to the curved roofline, the bay windows and the pilasters along the front of the building. The palace also features beautiful ironwork, including two magnificent peacocks at the gate of the courtyard, which are typical of Art Nouveau.

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