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Kelenhegyi út 16/A
1118 Budapest XI, Hungary
Tel. +36-1-279 2500
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Establishment of Diplomatic Relations

Onni TalasAmbassador Onni Talas married singer Lemmikki Raivio in Budapest

Finland recognized Hungary on 10 September 1920; however, the first envoy, K.G. Idman was appointed only in 1922. Idman was accredited to Copenhagen; he also arranged Hungarian affairs from there. In 1927, E.N. Setälä - a Fino-Ugrian linguist speaking excellent Hungarian - followed Idman in the post, also in Copenhagen. As a result of Setälä's scientific work, he had extensive relations with Hungary even before his appointment. His successor was Onni Talas, a member of the senate of independence. A decision was made to establish an embassy in Budapest during his assignment in late 1933.

Vanha huvilaThe old villa used to stand at the place of the present Embassy building

At the beginning, Talas stayed at the Gellért Hotel; in March 1934, he moved to the villa at 20 Kelenhegyi Street, rented from the Wenckheim heirs. In January 1939, the Finnish state bought the building for an amount equaling to 490,000 euros. As Talas wrote in his memories, "... I can say that Finland hardly has another such beautiful embassy as this villa at Gellért Hill with its magnificent halls, stairways, and saloons like a palace."

Expressions of Hungary's sympathy in the war years

During the Finnish winter war, the Embassy was swamped with relief packages and other manifestations of sympathy. From early 1940, more than a hundred festive events were organized to assist the Finnish cause. Volunteers also applied at the Embassy. After a long and hard journey, 341 Hungarian volunteers finally arrived in Finland, but as Finland had already signed the armistice agreement, Hungarians were not sent to the front.

lähetystörakennuksen rauniotThe beautiful Baroque villa was completely devastated in the war

Pursuant to Article 5 of the armistice agreement closing the continuous war, Finland undertook to break off relations with Germany's allies. Accordingly, diplomatic and consular relations with Hungary were discontinued on 20 September 1944. Ambassador Aarne Wuorimaa and his family took a train to Vienna on 14 October; the Russians were only 50 km away from the Hungarian capital.

During the fights, the Embassy building was ransacked. When the Russians were made aware that there were Germans in the building, they put it under heavy fire. In late January, Soviet troops invaded the building and removed the remaining valuables. However, the most severe damage in the building was caused by bombings, especially an incendiary bomb that hit at the end of the war and totally burnt out the inside of the house: only the bare walls remained standing

Re-establishment of Contacts

Székács-kadun virka-asuntoSzékács-kadun virka-asunto on varmasti tuttu monille Suomen ystäville

After the war, diplomatic relations were re-established on 3 October 1949; links could normalize afterwards. In June 1959, the two countries signed a cultural agreement which specified the guidelines of cultural cooperation. The Embassy, again operating in Gellért Hotel, found rentable premises at 29 Székács Street, in district XII.

The Hungarian state offered to buy the old ruinous embassy property, but the Finnish party did not accept the proposal. As relations between the two countries revived, the Embassy office proved to be small, therefore it was moved first to 24 Báthori Street in district VI, then to a rented property at 12-16 Vérhalom Street in district XII.

Designs of the New Building

The future of the ruined building at Gellért Hill was undecided for a long time. The state of repair of the land parcel and the building was surveyed in 1968. As it would have been uneconomical to renovate the building according to the survey, design works of a new building could start. After long negotiations, the Finnish state managed to buy the neighboring land parcel of 1500 square meters at 18 Kelenhegyi Street. Finally, in November 1988, the house designed by Ilmo Valjakka was completed and inaugurated on 14 April 1989 by Foreign Minister Pertti Paasio.

Finnish Heads of the Missions in Hungary

Karl Gustaf Idman, ambassador (Copenhagen) 1922-1927
Emil Nestor Setälä,  ambassador (Copenhagen) 1927-1930
Onni Talas,  ambassador (Copenhagen) 1930-1934
Onni Talas,  ambassador 1934-1940
Aarne Wuorimaa,  ambassador 1940-1944
Uno Salomon Koistinen, chargé d'affaires 1950-1951
Lauri Hjelt, chargé d'affaires 1951-1957
Toivo Heikkilä, chargé d'affaires 1957-1960, ambassador 1960-1963
Reino Palas, H.E. ambassador 1963-1965
Olavi Raustila,  H.E. ambassador 1965-1969
Martti Ingman,  H.E. ambassador 1969-1973
Paul Jyrkänkallio,  H.E. ambassador 1973-1977
Kaarlo Yrjö-Koskinen,  H.E. ambassador 1977-1979
Osmo Väinölä,  H.E. ambassador 1979-1985
Arto Mansala,  H.E. ambassador 1985-1989
Risto Hyvärinen,  H.E. ambassador 1989-1992
Pertti Torstila,  H.E. ambassador 1992-1996
Jaakko Kaurinkoski,  H.E. ambassador 1996-1998
Hannu Halinen,  H.E. ambassador 1998-2002
Pekka Kujasalo,  H.E. ambassador 2002-2007
Jari Vilén, H.E. ambassador 2007-2012
Pasi Tuominen, H.E. ambassador 2012-2015
Petri Tuomi-Nikula, H.E. ambassador 2016-2018
Markku Virri, H.E. ambassador 2018-

Hungarian Heads of the Missions in Finland

Georges Barcza de Nagyalásony, chargé d'affaires (Copenhagen / Stockholm) 1920-1921
Gyula Bornemisza de Kászon, ambassador (Stockholm) 1921-1923
Michel Jungerth, chargé d'affaires (Tallinn) 1923-1933
Alexander Kiss de Nemesker, chargé d'affaires 1933-1934, ambassador 1934-1937
Béla de Török, ambassador 1937-1939
Louis Villáni, ambassador 1939-1940
Louis Kuhl de Borsóshát, ambassador 1940-1941
Georges Szabó de Szentmiklós, ambassador 1941-1944
Ferenc Marosy, ambassador 1944
Gyula Szekfu, ambassador 1948
Erik Molnár, ambassador 1949
Ferenc Münnich, ambassador 1949-1950
Ferenc Dömötör, ambassador 1951-1954
József Szipka, ambassador 1954-1963
Sándor Kurtán, H.E. ambassador 1963-1968
Rudolf Rónai, H.E. ambassador 1968-1976
Tivadar Matusek, H.E. ambassador 1976-1983
Frigyes Puja, H.E. ambassador 1983-1986
Arpád Hargita, H.E. ambassador 1986-1990
Béla Jávorszky, H.E. ambassador 1990-1994
György Krausz, H.E. ambassador 1994-1998
József Víg, H.E. ambassador 1999-2003
Gábor Zupkó, H.E. ambassador 2003-2006
András Hajdú, H.E. ambassador 2006-2010
Kristóf Forrai, H.E. ambassador 2010-2016
Vince Szalay-Bobrovniczky, H.E. ambassador 2016-2018
György Urkuti, H.E. ambassador 2018

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Updated 12/3/2018

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