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without exception the handsomest of European streets, and certainly it tempts one to use superlative language. It is divided into three parts by the "Octagon-platz," where it crosses the larger ringstrasse, and by the "Rond-platz," or "circus," at a point where another encircling boulevard is eventually to cross. As it emerges from the Octagon-platz and the Rond-platz the street grows successively wider, although this would hardly be noticed by the casual passer. The first third of the distance is devoted to fine buildings, of varied architecture but general conformity, built solidly on the street line. The next third contains houses
that the Buda side has also its boulevard system, and that the cost of expropriations and of construction in this remodeling of the street system has aggregated a large sum.
The Stadtwaldchen is a beautiful park of about a thousand acres, which plays a most intimate part in the life of the Budapest people. Fortunately it is not remote or difficult of access, and is to Budapest what the "Prater" is to Vienna. It contains a charming lake for skating in winter and for pleasure-boats in summer. It has its areas of deep and quiet shade, its zoological corner, and, above all, its collection of cafés, refreshment-stands, shooting
having narrow fore-gardens of a prescribed width. The last third-a distance of two thirds of a mile-is devoted to separate villalike residences, all at equal distance from the sidewalks, and, with infinite variety of architectural detail, conforming to the regular street plan. The vista from the entrance of this street to its end in the shady Stadtwaldchen is very beautiful. The broad central driveway is paved with wooden blocks on a solid concrete foundation. The sidewalks are of asphalt, the narrower driveways next the sidewalks are paved with square-cut stone blocks, and the equestrian courses, which are between the central and the outer driveways, are graveled. Although there are no individual buildings on the Andrássy-strasse which cannot readily be matched in any other important city, the average of architectural merit is very high; and the absence of anything that can mar the general effect is an important element in the success of this public improvement. It should be said
galleries, " roller-coasters," arenas, Punch and Judy shows, summer theaters, wax-work exhibitions, and "side-shows" in bewildering variety, all very cheap, all very good of their respective sorts, and all very delightful to the pleasureloving thousands who resort to the park in the spring and summer afternoons. Here is located also one of the municipal government's hot sulphur-water bathing establishments. Of small parks and open spaces the city has a number, though not so many as should have been reserved. The Elisabeth Park is especially worthy of mention.
Certainly it would be unpardonable to omit mention of the "Margareta Island." The "Margareten-Insel" lies in the Danube at the upper end of the city. In ancient days it belonged to an order of nuns, the ruins of whose convent still remain. In the fifteenth century the Turks drove the poor nuns away, and the janizary pashas established their harems there. On the expulsion of the Turks the island became city
property, but a generation ago it was given by the municipality to the Archduke Joseph for a hunting-ground. The present archduke keeps it in beautiful order as a pleasure-ground for the public. It is nearly two miles long and about half a mile wide, and it deserves the enthusiasm with which the Budapest people regard it. It is full of a variety of magnificent trees, has tasteful flower-gardens, is also the seat of mineral baths elaborately appointed, with two or three adjoining hotels, and has the restaurants without which no pleasure-ground would be complete in southern Europe. Among the hills of the Buda side, also, are parks and
taxpayers. In the making of this list men of liberal education are rated for double the taxes they actually pay, in order that brains and learning may have recognition. A standing committee makes out a list of the aristocratic 200, and it so happens that the great voting public always elects the entire list thus selected. The whole council retires en masse at the end of each six years' term. The body is of course much too large for efficiency. Possibly a hundred will be found at one ordinary meeting, and at the next meeting a hundred again, but quite a different hundred. The committees also are much too large to be workable, some of them
pleasure-grounds; and the population is blessed with much beautiful weather and a great number of holidays in which to enjoy its open-air advantages.
Budapest has a municipal council that is as large as a "town-meeting." If any other city in the world has a council of 400 members, I have not yet learned the fact. Pest began in 1868 with 200 members; but when the consolidation was effected in 1873 the plan of adding 200 members chosen from the higher ranks was adopted. It was provided that the whole body of electors, besides choosing 200 common members in the nine wards, should choose 200 more from a list of the 1200 largest
having thirty or forty members. The actual executive work is performed by a magistracy composed of a burgomaster, two vice-burgomasters, and ten other so-called magistrates, all chosen by the council for terms of six years. Each magistrate has his special administrative department. These and several other high executive officials are ex officio members of the council. Two officials, the Director of Archives, and the Director of the Municipal Bureau of Statistics, are appointed for life. The advisability of reducing the membership of the council is generally recognized, and when the opportune moment for a revision of the municipal constitution 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 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 was 45 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 death-rate to a point below that of the country as a whole is a most exceptional and noteworthy fact. It is believed that within a few years the average rate for the city can be reduced to 25. How has this gratifying improvement of the general health been effected? By a series of municipal measures not yet fully completed. The first of these measures was an improved water-supply. The Danube water was pumped into reservoirs and filtered by the natural process through sand, with good results. The town has grown so fast that the water question has again become a pressing one, some quarters being obliged to accept an unfiltered supply. It has been determined to provide a new and permanent system.
As the sequel has proved, one of the most fortunate features of the municipal system be
ENGRAVED BY J. A. NAYLOR.
gun twenty years ago was the establishment of a bureau of statistics. Mr. Joseph Körösi was made statistician for life, and after twenty years of service he is still young and enthusiastic. His reports, monographs, brochures, and special investigations, pertaining to every conceivable municipal question capable of statistical treatment, are without a parallel in the world for their complete, exhaustive, and timely character; and the social and sanitary reforms of Budapest have followed the lines laid down by the statistical bureau. Until Mr. Körösi's work began, the high mortality of Budapest was not known. Its citizens thought it an extremely healthy place. The statistical office was denounced as slandering and injuring the city when it discovered and published the facts. But Mr. Körösi persevered, and his re
markable census of 1871 attempted to account for the high mortality. He made a thorough study of the conditions of the population, and found overcrowding very prevalent, and, worst of all, a very large element of the population in damp underground residences. There followed a series of regulations to prevent these evils. Underground tenements were forbidden, and new quarters for the poor were constructed. But the badly housed population was too large to be shifted at once, and it became necessary to permit the reoccupancy of the drier and less objectionable subground domiciles. It is estimated that to this day nearly 10 per cent. of the population live below the street level; but on the whole there has been great improvement in the housing of the poor, through careful sanitary rules and a system of inspection. And these measures have favorably affected the death-rate.
The food-supply has also been brought under suitable public control. The great municipal slaughter-house is one of the establishments in which the citizens take especial pride. It is very imposing architecturally, is finely appointed, and, as a public monopoly, is made to contribute to the municipal coffers while serving a sanitary end. Connected with it are
the public cattle-markets, which well repay a visit on the weekly market-day for their splendid herds of the long-horned white oxen of Hungary and Servia. The produce-markets of Budapest, as of all other towns of southeastern Europe, are attended by great numbers of peasants in national costume, and are as picturesque as any scenes in the Orient.
To continue with the new social establishments of the municipality, some mention must be made of the magnificent general hospital, built with separate brick pavilions, according to the most approved plans, and occupying spacious and beautiful grounds. In a wooded area on the edge of the city, sufficiently isolated without being inconveniently remote, has been built the new municipal hospital for epidemic diseases, which is to conform to all the latest requirements of sanitary science. Budapest is at length bringing infectious diseases. under control. The so-called "prophylactic " measures of obligatory reports by physicians, of prompt isolation of every case, of visits and instruction by the authorities to insure proper care and treatment, of control of the children of families in which are cases of such disease, and, finally, of disinfection by the public authorities, 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 rapidly as Budapest; but there seems to be practically none. This state of affairs is due, at least in large part, to the fact that much of the vacant land in and about the town belongs to the municipality, having been public property for a long time. As the growth of the town requires, the authorities from time to time sell building sites to the highest bidders. The modern school of land-reformers would condemn this alienation, and would insist that the fractions of the social domain should be leased rather than sold; but the southeastern European is a firm believer in private land-holding, and loves to possess his own house and bit of garden. The municipal corporation of Budapest is fortunate in possess ing all the ground that it needs for hospitals and public objects. This remark, however, does not apply to the Buda side of the river, the old town of Buda having at an early day parted with all its landed possessions.
The illumination of Budapest is a monopoly in the hands of a private gas company whose original charter expired in 1881, and whose renewed charter will terminate in 1895. The city obtains gas for street purposes at reduced rates; it obliges the company to mitigate its charge to consumers in accordance with a sliding scale based upon the increase in aggregate consumption; and moreover it collects very heavy taxes from the company. It has the
right to take over the plant and business at an appraised valuation, but it is awaiting the development of electric lighting; and there is a strong probability that in 1895 the municipality will enter upon the business of manufacturing and selling the new illuminant.
Street transportation has also been kept under control by the municipality. A united tramway system pays street rentals and large taxes. The company's fares are fixed by law, and it is required that working-people shall be carried at reduced rates in the morning and evening. Five or six years ago a rival company was allowed to introduce electric street-railways, and the experiment has been so successful that the trackage is being greatly increased. Similar lines and narrow-gage roads to the neighboring villages have been constructed, and for present purposes the local transportation system is quite adequate and satisfactory. At the expiration of existing charters, the street railway lines and their equipment will become the property of the city, without indemnity to the private owners.
The educational, literary, and artistic progress of Budapest has been as striking in the last two decades as its material progress. The educational system has been reformed and revivified from the bottom to the top. At the very apex is the University, under national auspices and support, an institution fairly com