Heroes' Square Budapest

Heroes’ Square (or „Hősök tere” in Hungarian) is one of the most-visited attractions in Budapest, which was created in almost 30 years, starting towards the end of the 19th century.

Widespread disbelief, that the Millenium Column and Millenium Monument of the square was built for the Millenium Celebrations of 1896. In fact, when the half-year long celebrations started, the square was almost empty. Only the present building of the Hall of Arts stood at the edge of the City Park, and in the middle of the spacious place one could see the Gloriett of Miklós Ybl. The Gloriett, erected in 1884 was a kind of „wellhouse”, marking the place, where Vilmos Zsigmondy’s drilling was completed in 1878 with finding the first hotspring of the Széchenyi (that time Artesian) bath. Today you see a memorial tablet to sign the notable place, within the fence of the Tomb of Unknown Soldier. On the place, where Millenium Monument stands today, in 1896 stood the main entrance to the Millenium Celebrations.

The main highlight of Heroe’s Square is the Millennium Column, the focal point of the Millenium Monument. The statue of Archangel Gabriel and the seven Hungarian chieftains of the Hungarian tribes who, – according to our traditions – led by Árpád, conquered the area now known as Hungary was placed here in 1901. In the previous year the creation of György Zala won Grand Prix on the Paris World Exhibition. Behind the column is a semicircular colonnade with statues of famous men who made their mark on Hungarian history. Statues atop the colonnades symbolize War, Peace, Work and Welfare, and Knowledge and Glory. Though the monument was started to be designed already in 1896 (a parliamental act issued during the Millenium Celebrations ordered to mark all notable places of Hungary related to the Conquest), Albert Schickedanz and György Zala completed it only 35 years later. The square received its current name in 1932, three years after the completion of the Millenium Monument. When the monument was originally constructed, Hungary was 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. The Habsburg emperors were replaced with Hungarian freedom fighters when the monument was rebuilt after World War II.

Since its creation Heroes’ Square has been the site of numerous special events. In 1919 – at the time of the first Communist dictature – the square’s statues were covered with red „mantle”. In 1938 the 34th International Eucharistic Congress was celebrated here.

The square saw German and Soviet tanks, celebrations and demonstrations, feasts and processes. After WWII the square was place of many Socialist holiday celebrations staged during the country’s Communist era, first of all 1st May. In 1989 a crowd of 250,000 gathered at the square for the reburial of Imre Nagy, former Prime Minister of Hungary, leader of the Uprise of 1956, who was executed in 1958. Heroe’s Square is the first place even today, where official parade is effected on every national holiday. In 1991 Pope John Paul II celebrated holy mass on the square. The Heroe’s square gave place for almost 10 years to the „Connection” concerts – started with the free concert of Sting -, and since 2008 in every August to the final of the National Gallop. The Heroe’s Square is famous also for two museum. On one side of the square you can see the Museum of Fine Arts, and opposite to it th Hall of Arts.


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Ildiko is our lead tourguide, author of our content and tour itineraries. If you have any questions please do feel free to reach out: hello@budapestdaytrips.com

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