Job shadowing at the Petofi Literary Museum, Budapest.

On the first week of March (2-8/3) Varvara Tsaka, Maria Kalogeraki and myself traveled to Budapest for a job shadowing visit to the Petőfi Literary Museum.
Our first impression from Budapest was a fairytale feeling, walking atop the Buda castle hill and admiring the view towards the Pest side of the city. We were lucky to find the sunny, spring break in the heart of the winter and the warm welcome of our colleagues from the Petőfi Literary Museum.

During our first day we chose to visit the museums on the Buda castle, starting from the National Gallery. Its collections helped us form a general idea of the Hungarian art ranging from the 17th and up to the 21st century. Off to the Petőfi Museum for the afternoon, where Enikő Bauernhuber gave us a short, yet comprehensive tour in the museum’s permanent and temporary exhibitions.
On Monday we were able to have a more in-depth understanding of the museum. We were guided through the history of the palace and we had an interesting tour of the museum’s large archives and collections.
On Tuesday we focused on the educational programmes performed in the museum’s exhibitions. In the morning we also visited one of the affiliated museums the mesemuzeum, which is dedicated to Hungarian fairytales. The day was very inspiring and generated lots of ideas, which we discussed during a bike ride on the Margaret Island.
The next day we focused on the history of the city. Maria visited the History Museum, while I and Varvara went to the Hospital on the Rock a former WWII hospital and nuclear bunker. The girls then visited the Endre Ady Memorial Museum for a museum educational programme.
Our last day in Budapest was dedicated to…well what else? More museums! Starting from a very insightful tour of the surroundings of the Petőfi Museum we moved on to the UNESCO site of the Andrassy Avenue. We explored a site of difficult heritage of the country in the Terror House. We concluded our cultural tour in Budapest with a visit to the enormous Museum of Fine Arts. For the closure of our trip we enjoyed the warm hospitality of our colleague and friend Gabriella Gulyás.
Apart from the cultural aspect of our visit, let us not forget about the unique Hungarian cuisine, which we tasted in various local restaurants and cafes. We saw Budapest as a vibrant capital with traces of important historical periods and elements of modernity.
All in all our experience in Hungary was very positive and constructive providing us with fresh ideas and experiences in the museum world. We would like to thank all the members of the staff of the Petőfi Museum for their generosity.
Stella Malliaraki

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