Hősök tere / Heroes’ Square, Hungary

Hősök tere (Hungarian pronunciation: [ˈhøːʃøk ˈtɛrɛ]; meaning “Heroes’ Square” in Hungarian) is one of the major squares of BudapestHungary, rich with historic and political connotations. Its iconic statue complex, the Millennium Memorial, was completed in 1900, the square was named “Heroes’ Square” in 1929.  It lies at the end of Andrássy Avenue (with which it comprises part of an extensive World Heritage site), next to City Park.

The Millennium Underground is the first underground (Metro) system in continental Europe. The end of the tunnel behind the Heroes’ square, (Photo from 1896)

During the Hungarian Soviet Republic in 1919 the Millennium Monument was completely covered by red textile and at the basement of the obelisk a new statue was erected: Marx with a worker and a peasant. The statues of Hungarian historic national heroes were toppled. The Hungarian national symbols were banned in the name of internationalism

Hősök tere is surrounded by two important buildings, Museum of Fine Arts on the left and Palace of Art (or more accurately Hall of Art) on the right. On the other side it faces Andrássy Avenuewhich has two buildings looking at the square — one is residential and the other one is the embassy of Serbia (former Yugoslavian embassy where Imre Nagy secured sanctuary in 1956).

The central site of the hero’s square, as well as a landmark of Budapest, is the Millennium Memorial (also known as Millennium Monument or Millenary Monument) with statues of the leaders of the seven tribes that founded Hungary in the 9th century and other outstanding figures of Hungarian history (see below). The construction of the memorial was started when the one thousandth anniversary was celebrated (in 1896), but it was finished only in 1900 and the square got its name then.

When the monument was originally constructed, Hungary was a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and thus the last five spaces for statues on the left of the colonnade were reserved for members of the ruling Habsburg dynasty. From left to right these were: Ferdinand I (relief: Defense of the Castle at Eger); Leopold I (relief: Eugene of Savoy defeats the Turks at Zenta), Charles IIIMaria Theresa (relief: The Hungarian Diet votes support “vitam et sanguinem”) and Franz Joseph (relief: Franz Joseph crowned by Gyula Andrássy) The monument was damaged in World War II and when it was rebuilt the Habsburgs were replaced by the current figures.

by Wikipedia

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