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without exception the handsomest of European that the Buda side has also its boulevard sysstreets, and certainly it tempts one to use su- tem, and that the cost of expropriations and perlative language. It is divided into three of construction in this remodeling of the street parts by the “ Octagon-platz,” where it crosses system has aggregated a large sum. the larger ringstrasse, and by the “Rond-platz,” The Stadtwaldchen is a beautiful park of or “circus," at a point where another encircling about a thousand acres, which plays a most boulevard is eventually to cross. As it emerges intimate part in the life of the Budapest peofrom the Octagon-platz and the Rond-platz ple. Fortunately it is not remote or difficult of the street grows successively wider, although access, and is to Budapest what the “ Prater" this would hardly be noticed by the casual is to Vienna. It contains a charming lake for passer. The first third of the distance is de- skating in winter and for pleasure-boats in sumvoted to fine buildings, of varied architecture mer. It has its areas of deep and quiet shade, but general conformity, built solidly on the its zoological corner, and, above all, its colstreet line. The next third contains houses lection of cafés, refreshment-stands, shooting
having narrow fore-gardens of a prescribed galleries, “ roller-coasters," arenas, Punch and width. The last third—a distance of two Judy shows, summer theaters, wax-work exhibithirds of a mile—is devoted to separate villa- tions, and “side-shows” in bewildering variety, like residences, all at equal distance from the all very cheap, all very good of their respective sidewalks, and, with infinite variety of archi- sorts, and all very delightful to the pleasuretectural detail, conforming to the regular street loving thousands who resort to the park in the plan. The vista from the entrance of this street spring and summer afternoons. Here is located to its end in the shady Stadtwaldchen is very also one of the municipal government's hot beautiful. The broad central driveway is paved sulphur-water bathing establishments. Of small with wooden blocks on a solid concrete foun- parks and open spaces the city has a number, dation. The sidewalks are of asphalt, the nar- though not so many as should have been rerower driveways next the sidewalks are paved served. The Elisabeth Park is especially worthy with square-cut stone blocks, and the eques- of mention. trian courses, which are between the central and Certainly it would be unpardonable to omit the outer driveways, are graveled. Although mention of the "Margareta Island." The "Marthere are no individual buildings on the An- gareten-Insel” lies in the Danube at the upper drássy-strasse which cannot readily be matched end of the city. In ancient days it belonged to in any other important city, the average of an order of nuns, the ruins of whose convent architectural merit is very high; and the ab- still remain. In the fifteenth century the Turks sence of anything that can mar the general drove the poor nuns away, and the janizary effect is an important element in the success pashas established their harems there. On the of this public improvement. It should be said expulsion of the Turks the island became city property, but a generation ago it was given by taxpayers. In the making of this list men of the municipality to the Archduke Joseph for a liberal education are rated for double the taxes hunting-ground. The present archduke keeps they actually pay, in order that brains and it in beautiful order as a pleasure-ground for learning may have recognition. A standing the public. It is nearly two miles long and committee makes out a list of the aristocratic about half a mile wide, and it deserves the en- 200, and it so happens that the great voting thusiasm with which the Budapest people re- public always elects the entire list thus selected. gard it. It is full of a variety of magnificent The whole council retires en masse at the end trees, has tasteful flower-gardens, is also the of each six years' term. The body is of course seat of mineral baths elaborately appointed, much too large for efficiency. Possibly a hunwith two or three adjoining hotels, and has the dred will be found at one ordinary meeting, and restaurants without which no pleasure-ground at the next meeting a hundred again, but quite would be complete in southern Europe. Among a different hundred. The committees also are the hills of the Buda side, also, are parks and much too large to be workable, some of them
pleasure-grounds; and the population is blessed having thirty or forty members. The actual with much beautiful weather and a great num- executive work is performed by a magistracy ber of holidays in which to enjoy its open-air composed of a burgomaster, two vice-burgoadvantages.
masters, and ten other so-called magistrates, all Budapest has a municipal council that is as chosen by the council for terms of six years. large as a “ town-meeting.” If any other city Each magistrate has his special administrative in the world has a council of 400 members, 1 department. These and several other high exhave not yet learned the fact. Pest began in ecutive officials are ex officio members of the 1868 with 200 members; but when the con- council. Two officials, the Director of Archives, solidation was effected in 1873 the plan of and the Director of the Municipal Bureau of adding 200 members chosen from the higher Statistics, are appointed for life. The advisabilranks was adopted. It was provided that the ity of reducing the membership of the council is whole body of electors, besides choosing 200 generally recognized, and when the opportune common members in the nine wards, should moment for a revision of the municipal constichoose 200 more from a list of the 1 200 largest tution comes, it is quite certain that the aristo
cratic 200 will be cut off at the first stroke. But the inefficiency of the present unwieldy council
council is counterbalanced by the efficiency of the smaller magisterial and executive corps, so that Budapest cannot by any means be called a badly governed city.
The social aspects of municipal administration have a growing interest and importance, and Budapest's experience and undertakings are worth relating. Twenty years ago the average annual death-rate per 1000 inhabitants, and in epidemic years it reached 50. The average rate is now 29, and this remarkable reduction has been effected in the face of the rapid growth of the city's population. It means the saving of at least 8000 lives a year. The rate is still a high one when compared with western Europe or America ; but it is to be remembered that Budapest is the capital of a country that borders on the Turkish empire. The deathrate in all Eastern countries is vastly higher than in Western countries. Thus in Russia, and in the Danubian and Balkan states, the rate is still higher than in Hungary. That Budapest, the crowded city, has managed to bring its
THE ANDRÁSSY-STRASSE. death-rate to a point below that of the country gun twenty years ago was the establishment as a whole is a most exceptional and note- of a bureau of statistics. Mr. Joseph Körösi worthy fact. It is believed that within a few was made statistician for life, and after twenty years the average rate for the city can be years of service he is still young and enthureduced to 25. How has this gratifying im- siastic. His reports, monographs, brochures, provement of the general health been effected ? and special investigations, pertaining to every By a series of municipal measures not yet fully conceivable municipal question capable of stacompleted. The first of these measures was an tistical treatment, are without a parallel in the improved water-supply. The Danube water world for their complete, exhaustive, and timely was pumped into reservoirs and filtered by the character; and the social and sanitary renatural process through sand, with good results. forms of Budapest have followed the lines The town has grown so fast that the water laid down by the statistical bureau. Until Mr. question has again become a pressing one, some Körösi's work began, the high mortality of Buquarters being obliged to accept an unfiltered dapest was not known. Its citizens thought it supply. It has been determined to provide a an extremely healthy place. The statistical ofnew and permanent system.
fice was denounced as slandering and injuring As the sequel has proved, one of the most the city when it discovered and published the fortunate features of the municipal system be- facts. But Mr. Körösi persevered, and his re
ENGRAVED BY J. A. NAYLOR.
markable census of 1871 attempted to account the public cattle-markets, which well repay a for the high mortality. He made a thorough visit on the weekly market-day for their splenstudy of the conditions of the population, and did herds of the long-horned white oxen of found overcrowding very prevalent, and, worst Hungary and Servia. The produce-markets of all, a very large element of the population of Budapest, as of all other towns of southeastin damp underground residences. There fol- ern Europe, are attended by great numbers of lowed a series of regulations to prevent these peasants in national costume, and are as picevils. Underground tenements were forbidden, turesque as any scenes in the Orient. and new quarters for the poor were constructed. To continue with the new social establishBut the badly housed population was too large ments of the municipality, some mention must to be shifted at once, and it became necessary be made of the magnificent general hospital, to permit the reoccupancy of the drier and less built with separate brick pavilions, according objectionable subground domiciles. It is esti- to the most approved plans, and occupying mated that to this day nearly 10 per cent of spacious and beautiful grounds. In a wooded the population live below the street level; but area on the edge of the city, sufficiently isoon the whole there has been great improve- lated without being inconveniently remote, has ment in the housing of the poor, through care- been built the new municipal hospital for epiful sanitary rules and a system of inspection. demic diseases, which is to conform to all the And these measures have favorably affected latest requirements of sanitary science. Budathe death-rate.
pest is at length bringing infectious diseases The food-supply has also been brought un- under control. The so-called "prophylactic” der suitable public control. The great munici- measures of obligatory reports by physicians, pal slaughter-house is one of the establishments of prompt isolation of every case, of visits and in which the citizens take especial pride. It instruction by the authorities to insure proper is very imposing architecturally, is finely ap- care and treatment, of control of the children pointed, and, as a public monopoly, is made of families in which are cases of such disease, to contribute to the municipal coffers while and, finally, of disinfection by the public authorserving a sanitary end. Connected with it are ities, are employed with success. Attention
has been given to street and domestic scavenging. The sewer system, though not complete and perfect, is greatly improved. The Danube is so large a stream that it suffices to carry off all the refuse of the city, and no separation or “treatment” of sewage is necessary.
Another important health-measure has been the establishment of free baths in the Danube, for summer use, - these institutions being well patronized, and also the utilization by the authorities, for the benefit of the poor, of some of the hot sulphur springs, the curative properties of which in certain diseases are very famous. As a result of the various efforts to improve the health and social condition of the people, put forth intelligently and humanely by the public authorities, Budapest is fast exchanging its Oriental unwholesomeness for the comparative healthfulness of an Occidental city. Meanwhile Mr. Körösi's elaborate statistical analyses throw light from time to time upon every doubtful point, and his unequaled library of inter-municipal statistics enables him to present his constituency with stimulating comparative data.
An American expects to find real
estate speculation rife in a city growing so rapid- right to take over the plant and business at an ly as Budapest; but there seems to be practically appraised valuation, but it is awaiting the denone. This state of affairs is due, at least in large velopment of electric lighting; and there is a part, to the fact that much of the vacant land in strong probability that in 1895 the municipaland about the town belongs to the municipality, ity will enter upon the business of manufacturhaving been public property for a long time. As ing and selling the new illuminant. the growth of the town requires, the authorities Street transportation has also been kept under from time to time sell building sites to the high- control by the municipality. A united tramest bidders. The modern school of land-re-way system pays street rentals and large taxes. formers would condemn this alienation, and The company's fares are fixed by law, and it is would insist that the fractions of the social do- required that working-people shall be carried main should be leased rather than sold; but at reduced rates in the morning and evening. the southeastern European is a firm believer Five or six years ago a rival company was alin private land-holding, and loves to possess his lowed to introduce electric street-railways, and own house and bit of garden. The municipal the experiment has been so successful that the corporation of Budapest is fortunate in possess- trackage is being greatly increased. Similar ing all the ground that it needs for hospitals lines and narrow-gage roads to the neighborand public objects. This remark, however, ing villages have been constructed, and for does not apply to the Buda side of the river, present purposes the local transportation systhe old town of Buda having at an early day tem is quite adequate and satisfactory. At parted with all its landed possessions. the expiration of existing charters, the street.
The illumination of Budapest is a monopoly railway lines and their equipment will become in the hands of a private gas company whose the property of the city, without indemnity to original charter expired in 1881, and whose the private owners. renewed charter will terminate in 1895. The The educational, literary, and artistic prority obtains gas for street purposes at reduced gress of Budapest has been as striking in the rates; it obliges the company to mitigate its last two decades as its material progress. The charge to consumers in accordance with a slid- educational system has been reformed and reing scale based upon the increase in aggregate vivified from the bottom to the top. At the consumption; and moreover it collects very very apex is the University, under national ausheavy taxes from the company. It has the pices and support, an institution fairly com