Kőbányai pincerendszer

Kőbánya cellar system - Dreher cellars


Useful Information

Location: District X (Kőbánya), Budapest.
Open: Yearly tour by Kőbánya Asset Manager Jsc. on Saint László Days in June.
Monthly tours by the urban exploration and urban architecture blog Falanszter.
[2020]
Fee:
Classification: SubterraneaCellar
Light: electric
Dimension: L=33,000m, T=6-8°C
Guided tours:
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: wheelchair accessible
Bibliography:
Address: Kőbányai Pincerendszer, Bánya utca 37, 1105 Budapest
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

13th cty begin of limestone quarrying.
17th cty used as wine cellars.
1844 used as beer cellars by a brewery.
19th cty wine cellars closed after wine was destroyed by a plague.
1862 brewery purchased by .
1890 quarry closed.
1944 used as an engine assembly plant during World War II.
1990-2000s used for growing mushrooms.
2007 opened to the public.
2010 underground sports venue opened.

Description

The kőbányai pincerendszer (cellar system of Kőbánya) has a very long history. It started with the quarrying of limestone in the 13th century, and numerous famous buildings of Budapest were erected with the stone quarried here: the Parliament, the Citadella, the State Opera House, and the Hungarian Academy of Science. Probably the mining started much further, some suggest during Roman times. The limestone is knwon as Sarmatian limestone, a rather young limestone (12 Ma old) which was deposited in the Pannonian Sea during the Sarmatian stage. The mining ended in 1890, but until 1911 minor amounts of rock were minedfor renovations of historic buildings.

While the mining was going on for centuries, parts of the underground chambers were abandoned while the mining operations moved on. The abandoned chamber were reused as cellars, first as wine cellars as the area was full of vineyards since the 17th century. This ended when the phylloxera plague destroyed the grapes during the 19th century and wine making was abandoned. But wine making was replaced by beer brewing and the premises were used by Péter Schmiedt to establish his Kőbányai Serház Társaság (Kőbánya Beer House Company). The water for the brewery came from wells which were drilled deep into the rock below the cellars. In 1862 Anton Dreher Sr. (in Hungarian Antal Dréher) purchased the brewery and it was renamed Brauerei Steinbruch (Quarry Brewery). It was operated as a part of his main brewery Klein-Schwechater Brauhaus near Vienna. His son merged this brewery with all other breweries in the area, and his grandson finally made it an independent company. It was renamed Dreher Antal Kőbányai Serfőzdéje (Antal Dreher's Kőbánya Beer Brewery) and produced mainly pale lager. The brewery is also the reason why the cellars are sometimes called Dreher cellars.

During World War II the cellars were used as air raid shelters, but also as underground factory. A covert aircraft engine assembly plant for the Messerschmitt Me 210C heavy fighter was located underground. In total it produced about 200 aircraft engines. It was relocated to Germany as Red Army troops came close to Budapest.

In recent times only a small part of the cellars is still used by the Dreher Beer Breweries, as refrigerators made cellars less importants. Nevertheless the cellars were used for different venues in the last decades. For about ten years there was mushroom farm in one section. The flooded lower parts are used for scuba diving. And the upper and dry parts are used for underground bicycle races. Also the cellar is used as a location for commercials, music videos and other movies.