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Budapest Crime Scenes '70

This selection features crime scenes from the Budapest of the early 1970s. Were were allowed to browse a special part of the Budapest City Archives, where tens of thousands of similar photos survive only on negative frames. The pictures were taken by unknown photographers of the Criminal Technical Department of the Police Headquarters. In our selection, you can see a total of 1000 images from 1971 and 1972. The pictures show less or not at all known parts of Budapest: the world of the suburbs and that of the outskirts. Broken shops, shop windows, tobacconists, offices, apartments, even safes and church bushes. Murder and suicide scenes. Stolen cars, or just dismantled wheels, a robbed school storage, or a bicycle repair shop. Traffic accidents, overturned cranes, derailed trains, crashed small planes appear in the series. Particularly notable are the photos of political graffiti, hardly ever photographed by anyone but the police. This photo legacy of that police department is perhaphs the most dramatic section of Fortepan. Some images are only available to readers over 18.

Fortepan is a copyright-free and community-based photo archive with over 100,000 photographs available for anyone to browse and download in high-resolution, free of charge.

This website was launched in 2010 and it initially contained photographs found randomly in the streets of Budapest. The archive has expanded since then through donations from families, amateur and professional photographers, along with public collections. The images on the website are selected by editors.

The descriptions attached to the images are compiled and edited by volunteers, utilizing information contributed at the Fortepan Forum. We gladly offer to process your photographs and negatives as well, you can contact us at

Weekly Fortepan blog

In this blog, updated weekly in Hungarian and fortnightly in English, we explore the background stories of the Fortepan photos and donors in richly illustrated articles. All our posts can be republished under a CC licence.

Previous uploads

Every month or two, we update our site with around 2-3000 images, often mixing family photos of many donors, but sometimes a photo documentation of an author or a company is added to the archive.

  • József Fábián’s photos

    Dec 11, 2023

    József Fábián’s photos

    A selection of tens of thousands of Fábián's legacy mostly includes reports and private photographs by the author. His professional oeuvre is of four kinds. His most significant shots document the training pf hairdressers, and generally of hairdressing as a profession in Hungary. Countless hairdressing competitions, hairdressing workshops and exams are featured in the photos, of which we have tried to make a representative (but far from complete) compilation. Somewhat related to the hairdressing theme is the fashion and fashion model photography part of the legacy, with fashion shows and advertising shots for magazines. In addition to his career as a hairdresser and fashion photographer, József Fábián also left a significant oeuvre as a city photographer. From the mid-fifties onwards, he was commissioned by some construction companies in Budapest, to take photoseries of apartment building renovations. His series on the construction sites of the civic buildings and the foyers of the Buda Castle are particularly interesting and valuable. Apart from to images of hairdressing, fashion and architecture, we included quite a few shots taken during the author's travels, visits in fairs and the ones documenting family excursions. In addition to the report photos, the private photographer Fábián also appears in pictures together with family and friends in typical locations of the sixties: football grounds, beaches, parades, walking in the streets in the countryside, in Budapest or abroad. We thank József Fábián’s family and the Artfókusz company for sharing the negatives with us. Another important author has been added to the visual memory of Hungary!

  • The photos taken in Budapest on behalf of Brück and Sohn, postcard publishers

    Nov 9, 2023

    The photos taken in Budapest on behalf of Brück and Sohn, postcard publishers

    A selection from the photos taken in Budapest, between 1903 and 1912, on behalf of Brück and Sohn, postcard publishers. The German company published more than 500 postcards on the Hungarian capital, the photo versions of which have survived in the company archive. The present compilation is part of that corpus - by now guarded in Deutsche Fotothek, Dresden.

  • Long weekends

    Oct 1, 2023

    Long weekends

    Weekends and public holidays, or what did people do when they did not work? Photos on processions, priestly ordinations, concerts of alternative rock bands (called „Committee” or „Galloping Coroners”), vacations and family walks in Budapest.

  • A hundred years of intriguing photos

    Jun 14, 2023

    A hundred years of intriguing photos

    A compilation from over fifty donors, 4000 fresh images has been added to Fortepan. Nothing less than a grandiose summer puzzle: family albums and frames from negative rolls: familiar venues, scenes and situations. Concerning the “who-where-what-when” and other questions, we are eager to hear the answers in the Forum group. But there is no need to provide dates and venues in order to peep, to browse or to remember. We wish a great vacation to all out time travellers!



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