One of the oldest rural and evocative buildings of Szentendre is the Bell-ringer’s House, at number 1 Rákóczi Ferenc utca. It was built as a school in 1779, then it served as a teacher’s residence. From 1845 it had been the home of the current bell-ringer. The house then became a museum in 1977, called the House of Folk Arts.
The biggest commercial house of Szentendre is the Bódics House, at number 6 Görög utca. It was built in Baroque style at the middle of the 18th century. The beams used for hanging the pulley and sliding the bale goods can still be found in the roof structure of the building. This kind of heavy-duty timber blocking was usual in other multi-storey commercial houses as well. The corner balcony of the building is not a self-existent decorative element. It was a practical solution assisting the owner of the house in his duties. From the balcony it was possible to see the Danube, the arrival of the transported goods, the moor of the ships and the loading and unloading of the merchandise. The building’s corner balcony, its windows and the hole above the eaves moulding, used for putting the goods into it, are all worth attention. The hanging corridor, ornamented with Classicist latticework, is also beautiful. The house has a cellar extending under the whole building with the entrance of the building being the gate cut into the walled fence at Görög utca.
Built around the middle of the 18th century, the Late Baroque, Early Classicist Dimcsics House stands at number 12 Fő tér. The elliptical arched, Baroque gate was created later, with its keystone showing the date 1800. The barrel vaulted gateway and the Baroque vaulted stairway are worth mentioning. The open corridor of the garden front has Classicist ornamentation.
The Dumtsa House, at number 6 Péter Pál utca, is a typical Serbian commercial house. The wings of the gate with tympanum were created in Late Baroque style. The owner was originally a Greek merchant. The building consisted of two parts, a big cellar underneath with the dwelling-house above. The gate was cut into the middle of the fence. Dumtsa Jenő, the first mayor of Szentendre, bought the house in the second half of the last century. The building now hosts the Vajda Lajos Studio founded in 1972.
18 Fő tér
The building of Korona Restaurant, at number 18 Fő tér, is one of the most beautiful Rococo monuments of the town. The building was originally built as a lodging house around 1770.
8 Fő tér
The number “four” can also be seen on the keystone of the gate of number 8 Fő tér. This was a commercial house, built in Baroque style in 1737.
The Nikolics House, at number 11 Fő tér, was built in Late Baroque style at the end of the 1700s. Reliefs with festoon and rosette can be seen above the upstairs windows of the building.
The Pálffy House, at number 17 Fő tér (formerly called Kálics House) was built in 1781. The symbol of the Serbian Privileged Commercial Association of Szentendre can be seen on the keystone of its Baroque gate. The emblem consists of three parts: the Orthodox cross symbolizes the religion, the number four represents the four percent fair gain of merchants and the anchor symbolizes water transportation.
Besides the commercial houses and town-houses, an additional type of house can be connected to a trade, the winedresser’s house. The most well-known winedresser’s house that can be seen today is the so-called Ráby House. It is a traditional Baroque building with twin houses and one garden. It has a coffered entrance gate, wrought-iron cellar gate and stone-framed windows. It was the home of Ráby Mátyás, known from the novel Rab Ráby of Jókai Mór. The keystone of the elliptical arched gate of the Ráby House shows a bunch of grapes and the date 1768 can also be seen.
Serbian Commercial House
The Serbian Commercial House, at number 5 Fő tér, was built in the 1720s in line with Baroque rules. The building complex, which dominates the square with its weight and high roof structure, can be found on the eastern side of the square, parallel to the Danube. It is a combination of six originally separate narrow and tall buildings, which were leaning against one another. The front of the six buildings was unified and the complex got a common roof during the second half of the 18th or the first half of the 19th century. It was a dwelling and commercial house with gable roof, with shops on the ground floor and living-rooms upstairs. The attic was used as a storage area. The Art Gallery of Szentendre was opened on the ground floor of the building in 1978.
The naming of “commercial house” does not only refer to the craft of the owner but also to the internal arrangement of the building. The ground floor of the four-storey building hosted one or more shops, with the family living upstairs. The cellar and the attic (with its decent headroom) were used as storage areas for the goods. Rawhides, spices, eastern carpets and western textiles were stored at the attic, the cellar stored e.g. locally produced wine. All stories (from the cellar to the attic) were connected by a closed, internal stairway. (Commercial houses with closed, internal stairways were not present elsewhere in the contemporary Hungarian architecture, so this type of building can be connected to the Serbian and Greek merchants of Szentendre.)
The Serbian teachers’ training college
The Serbian teachers’ training college, at number 6 Fő tér, was built in Late Baroque style in 1794. This building was the first Serbian teachers’ training college until 1816, when it was converted into a high school. In 1952 it became the Ferenczy Museum with the Pest County Museums Directorate also moving in from Budapest. The Serbian Orthodox Church regained the building’s right of ownership in 2009.