Musical Fountains of Margaret Island

One of the important spectacles of Margaret Island are the musical fountains operated during the summer. There are such fountains both at the northern and the southern part of the island, the former is called Bodor Fountain, while following its recent renewal, the latter has become one of the biggest musical fountains in Europe.  

Bodor musical fountain is located at the northern part of the island, near Árpád Bridge and it was named after a Transylvanian handyman, Péter Bodor. The fountain on Margaret Island is the exact duplicate of the fountain built by him in Tirgu Mures (Marosvásárhely) between 1820 and 1822. The original fountain was destroyed by a snow storm in 1836, and since its renewal had failed, it was demolished in 1911 and an orthodox church is in operation on its place. In the thirties, Count Domonkos Teleki initiated and urged its exact replica to be built in Budapest and he provided a part of its financing, too. Based on the available documentation, the building of the fountain was started in 1935 by mechanical engineer György Páll and architect Gyula Jankó. The project was outstandingly complex since the original fountain was operated by a mechanism that was very cutting-edge in its time; a clock and a musical mechanism were placed in the dome, driven by water. At the top of the dome a statue of Neptune was placed and it turned around once every 24 hours with his harpoon always pointing to the exact time, demonstrating the passing of time, while the musical device played a melody every six hours. Unfortunately, the original music could not be reconstructed and the musical device was not operated by water, but instead by electricity. Bodor fountain had soon become popular, but during World War II it was seriously hit and was reconstructed only in 1954, according to the plans of Egon Pfannl. But years had to pass before the fountain once again started to play music in 1997, following two reconstructions; from then on visitors can listen to medieval Hungarian music every hour, compiled by composer Attila Csányi from melody fractions of music pieces of yore.

The other musical fountain, located at the southern part of the island, near Margithíd (i.e. Margaret Bridge) is a spectacle that since 1962 meets the eyes of visitors arriving to the island. The fountain was completely renewed both in its size and technical parameters by July 1st 2013, as part of the first stage of the Margaret Island Revitalising Project started in 2012.  The fountain, which has become much more spectacular than its predecessor, today is one of the biggest in Europe with its water surface exceeding a thousand square meters, its radius being 35 meters, holding approximately 400 cubic meters of water. Its musical repertoire was also renewed and it plays modern melodies, like for example those of Rolling Stones besides classical music of Verdi, Brahms or others. Besides new music, the fountain also entertains visitors with renewed light and water shows. Between the beginning of May till October 31st, the company that rebuilt the fountain provides the audience with a fantastic program based on spectacular night and day videos. Starting from 10 o’clock in the morning, the fountain plays a minimum of two pieces every hour and gives a full show twice in the evening, at 6 PM and at 9 PM, playing its full repertoire.