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a life in architecture rogan taylor

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Hungary - or the Hungarian national team - exploded into football researcher and writer Rogan Taylor's schoolboy life in 1953. England got stuffed 6-3 in a momentous game that was a rude awakening to the Magyar magic. 'It was like they'd learned to play on another planet. I was entranced.'

He went on to write the biography of the Hungarian captain Puskas, spending many weeks interviewing him in Budapest. His love affair now extended to this most soulful of European capitals, and particularly the Hungarian Parliament building (above).

Built between 1880 and 1902 by Imre Steindl, it sits majestically on the Pest side of the Danube, says Taylor, like some 'Habsbergian cream tart'. Its warm pink dome is a landmark in the city though the building beneath is actually akin to English Gothic Revival. It is this eclectic meld of Eastern and Western elements linked by the river that attracts Taylor. 'You feel here that it's a mixture of cultures.

Inside it's Imperial and imposing with red granite columns and a huge main staircase rising to the dome hall, but it also has charming smaller rooms and fin de siecle decoration on the windows and ceilings.'

For Taylor, Budapest is a city which bears the marks of its experience. 'It's one of those places where the hammer fell over and over again, from the Mongol hordes to Hitler. Then again, it has Roman baths and springs built hundreds of years ago. It has the central European water culture that never reached England.'

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