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40 years - 4000 images

The decades of Communist Hungary, through the lens of non-professional photographers and of families, images of photojournalists, industrial photographers, photos of a film director, of a Communist-era mayor and of a writer.

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.

  • 50 Donors, 5000 New Images on Fortepan

    Dec 07, 2022

    50 Donors, 5000 New Images on Fortepan

    What was we happened to see of the past in 2022? Paramount photos of families, photographers, collectors, selected by the Fortepan team. A century, glanced from a hundred points of view, on 5000 photos “hitherto never seen”

  • Photos of József Horváth cameraman, reporter

    Oct 16, 2022

    Photos of József Horváth cameraman, reporter

    1300 photographs from the legacy of a filmmaker. Hungary in the middle of the grim, fateful 20th century, through the camera of a correspondent with a personal touch. Shifting borders, the defeat of the Hungarian army at the river Don, and the family stories of József Horváth in black and white and colour.

  • Two authors – Two Thousand Images

    Aug 19, 2022

    Two authors – Two Thousand Images

    The most important photos from two legacies, those of György Faragó, photo journalist, and of Krisztián Gyulai Gaál, director of photography, respectively. Two thousand photos from the Communist period, on football fields, hikers, concerts and friends. Everyday life and propaganda, through the cameras of two photographers, both with a personal touch of their own kind.

  • The Photo Legacy of József Reményi

    Jun 19, 2022

    The Photo Legacy of József Reményi

    The focus of this collection is the photo journal of first lieutenant József Reményi. The author, a logistics officer of a hospital train, was part of Eastern front missions in 1942/43 altogether 17 times. During this time, he took hundreds of photos on the life of the hospital train and the wartime days in the Ukraine.



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