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The history of the City Park Ice Rink..

Since the 1870s, the City Park Ice Rink, a listed building, has been a symbol of winter sports and recreation and the cradle of Hungarian ice hockey. This jewel of Budapest is located next to the Lake City Park and Vajdahunyad Castle. In winter, with an area of more than 12,000 m2, it provides the largest outdoor artificial ice surface in Europe. In addition to the ice season, the ice rink offers boating and water sports to the public visiting City Park.

Background information

The opening of the ice rink was made possible by the Pesti Skating Association, founded on 12 November 1869 in the cardroom of the Steingasser (Petőfi) Café on the banks of the Danube, which after long and persistent intercession obtained permission from the City Council to establish a skating rink in a part of the Lake City Park every winter, where the ladies and gentlemen of Pest could enjoy all the pleasures of skating free of charge.


The Városligeti Ice Rink began welcoming the skating public on 29 January 1870, when Crown Prince Rudolf solemnly opened the doors.

The very beginning

The first 'skating hall' was a small two-room wooden shed on the lake, which tragically burnt down in 1874. It was replaced by a new hall designed by Ödön Lechner, which opened on 11 December 1875, but was not finally opened until January 1878. Photo: Fortepan.

International competitions

After the foundation of the International Skating Federation in 1892, on 8
February 1893, a legitimate speed skating competition was held in the City
Park, although at that time it was not speed skating but short skating.
 Photo by Fortepan

New building

In 1895, a new building in the neo-baroque style was erected according to the plans of Imre Francsek, and at the same time as the construction, regulatory work on the lake began.

Skating association

On December 27, 1908, the Hungarian National Skating Association was founded. A lot of skating competitions were held at the rink, so there is also no doubt that the opening of the Városliget Ice Rink was a very big step forward in the development of ice sports in Hungary.

Turning into an artificial ice rink

The modernisation of the ice rink took place in 1926, financed by the issue of shares by the wealthier citizens and club members of Budapest. At the same time, the cooling system was installed and Europe's second ice rink suitable for competitions was opened. The necessary mechanical equipment was completed with the help of engineers Eduard Engelmann, Géza Krencsey, Gábor Hollerung, Béla Krempels and Gábor Bauer. The Skating Hall was also further expanded by the architect Ifj. Ferenc Paulheim.


World War II did not spare the artificial ice rink either. The Városliget Ice Rink suffered so much damage that it became completely unusable after the World War. Under the direction of the Hungarian National Skating Association and the Pest Skater Sándor Szalay, they started a huge amount of work to restore the rink.

In 1968, the size of the ice surface was increased, giving even more space to skating lovers.


In 1986, it was rebuilt, a power house and condenser plant were installed, and a third pipe system was added on top of the older one in the ice rink.

Complete renewal

In 2008, the contract for the renovation of the City Park Ice Rink and the associated building complex was signed by the Budapest Municipality and the National Development Agency. The work included the renewal and expansion of the ice surface and the reception buildings, as well as the reconstruction of the wing of the building that was demolished during World War II.

After the complete reconstruction, the facility is now ready to serve as the gateway to the City Park, thus contributing significantly to the development of tourism in the City Park and Budapest as a whole.

With the reconstruction of the ice rink, the renovation of the listed building and the rebuilding of the wing that was bombed during the World War, the historic surroundings of the City Park have been enhanced with a new tourist attraction.

The nearly HUF 4.7 billion development was supported by the European Union with HUF 3.175 billion under the City Park Gate (Reconstruction of the City Park Ice Rink Track and the Building Complex) KMOP-3.1.1/E-2008-0004

műjégpálya nyitókép

The renovated City Park Ice Rink reopened in 2011, but the project was only completed in 2015 following the additional reconstruction of the cooling system.

BSK Ltd was established by the founding Budapest Municipality to operate the major sports facilities owned by the municipality.

The City Park Ice Rink is also the headquarters of BSK Ltd., with a total surface area of 48,823 m2. In winter the ice rink surface is 12,070 m2 and 2,040 m2 of hockey rink, in summer the water surface is 38,000 m2.

BSK Ltd. operates the ice rink in accordance with the law, its public service contract with the founder, its articles of association and its lease agreement.