Comparing the splendid neogothic House of Parliament and the utilitarian buildings of the veterinary campus, one may be surprised to learn that they are the works of the same architect: Imre Steindl. Upon a closer look, however, it turns out that in spite of their utilitarian approach, 19th century builders could not dispense with decorating elements of extremely fine craftsmanship.
The proportionate, moderately ornamented buildings make an architectural entity exemplifying university-building of the age. For this reason the Veterinary Campus stands under the protection of the Board of National Heritage.
The garden is surrounded by an iron fence with ornamented supporting columns, 37 of which are capped by cast-iron animal heads. At the entrance stands the statue of the indigenous Hungarian grey cattle, a breed found now only in national parks. The statue is a life-size reproduction of the famous bull “Csatlós,” once upon a time the pride of his owner, and a winner of dozens of exhibition medals. This sculpture has become the school’s emblem.
Old buildings All the 19th century buildings were erected in the “red-brick” style typical for schools of that age. Under the eaves, each building was decorated with a strip of renaissance-style ceramic tiles from the Zsolnay manufacture. Unfortunately, World War II and subsequent neglect ruined many of the tiles, so that the decorative strip can be seen in its original form only on some of the buildings. From the same manufacturer, several decorative elements, however, remained intact throughout the campus.
In spite of substantial enlargements, the campus cannot accommodate all the departments, many of which were recently organized in response to the rapid advances in veterinary sciences.
The Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases is separated from the campus owing to the fact that its laboratories work with infectious materials.
Another fine old building close to the campus houses the Centre for Zoology and two more departments.
The most distant external site, the Field Station is a huge, 1300-hectare area, 30 km from the city. The landscape is typical of the Hungarian plains, the “puszta,” so that it immediately acquaints the student with the environment of the local agriculture.
Around an old manor house which serves as the central office, the station comprises a reservation of old Hungarian breeds of farm animals, horse stables with a riding school and hippodrome, and the Large Animal Clinic. The clinic is an impressive building designed by Imre Makovecz, a leading figure of contemporary organic architecture.
A few underground stops from the campus, a 300-bed modern dormitory also belongs to the University. (It is available for Hungarian students only.)