the Fővárosi Nagycirkusz - Capital Circus BudapestThe circus building in Budapest can look back on a long history. On that spot opposite the famous Baths and at the Zoo there has been a circus building since 1889. It was the board of zoo directors who contacted Ede Wulf a German circus proprietor to build a circus building next to the Zoo in Városliget. This because they noticed the enormous popularity of having the zoo animals perform tricks for visitors. Wolf had brought the metal structure circus from the World Exhibition in Brussels and it would also allow water revues. The premiere was on Thursday the 27th of June 1889.

However the succes faded and in 1904 both circus and zoo were on the verge of bankruptcy. So the municipality of Budapest decided to take over and rent out the building. The first one to rent was the famous Russian equestrian Mátyás Beketow. He signed a lease for 4 years and started on the 30th of April 1904. The popularity of his shows made that the circus was called Circus Beketow from that moment on. At one point the lease of the building was granted to a competitor of Beketow, Könyöt. After several years of traveling with his own circus through Scandinavia, Italia and Vienna. However 1923 he got the lease back and invested heavily in the circus building. Too much, in 1928 he went bankrupt in Vienna and killed himself on the boat back to Budapest. His son took over.

During WWII the circus was closed in 1944 by the city because of the increased bombing. During the war the Germans used it as stables and in 1945 the Göndör Brothers rented the Capital Circus as it was now called and renovated it completely. 

On the 17th of September 1949 the circus was nationalized. New bathrooms and dressing room were added. In 1966 it was announced that the old building would be replaced by a new one. During the tear down and construction a circus tent was erected at the crossroad of György Dózsa and Damjanich street were performances were given till 1970. On the 14th of January 1971 the new (and current) building was inaugurated.

Full house during finale Capital Circus Budapest - Photo Piet-Hein OutFront Façade View Capital Circus Budapest - Photo Piet-Hein Out


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