Fati Partus, Casino, Youth House, Kepes Centre

The former Old Casino or Spetz House now hosts the Kepes Collection. From the beginning of the 18th century, several smaller buildings stood in the place of the current building, with their ownership constantly changing as the decades went by. The pharmacist, József Spetz bought the former Jesuit pharmacy in 1795 and relocated it in 1802 to the building – which he bought for 4500 forints – located opposite the priory. By all likelihood, it was a single-storey building back then, presumably extended by the pharmacist around 1815. In 1816, the building already accommodated a coffee house and the great hall upstairs was constructed around 1822. During the fire of 1827, this building was destroyed too. The second storey was constructed afterwards, and in 1833, a part of the building was rented by the Casino. Of course, the pharmacy still remained in the building and was now called the “Hungarian King”. The venturesome pharmacist, who even wanted to establish a sugar factory in the building, was soon on the brink of bankruptcy. His assets were sequestrated by the Trustees of Devout Foundations. At this time, the house listed the following tenants: the pharmacist András Adler, the families of three military officers, a gentleman by the name of Ullmann and the Casino. From 1822, the pharmacy itself was owned by András Adler. Following his death, the pharmacy was bought from his heirs by János Wesely in 1850. At the end of the 1860’s, it was bought by Lőrinc Köllner, who died in 1882. Following Köllner’s death, his widow had a caretaker run the pharmacy, and relocated it in 1900 from the building of the Casino to the adjacent, so-called Hartl House.
After 1945, the building first served as a trade union headquarters, then was renamed and functioned as the Youth House.
Unfortunately, during the latest renovation of the building, the inscription FATI PARTUS (Born of Fate) disappeared from the façade. The inscription referred to the fact the building had been destroyed by fire several times (in 1800, 1827 and 1874), but was built again as a larger building each time.

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