Heroes' Square

Budapest, Hungary

Heroes' Square (Hősök tere) is one of the major squares in Budapest, Hungary, noted for its iconic statue complex featuring the Seven Chieftains of the Magyars and other important national leaders, as well as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It hosts the Museum of Fine Arts and the Műcsarnok. The square has played an important part in contemporary Hungarian history and has been a host to many political events, such as the reburial of Imre Nagy in 1989. The sculptures were made by sculptor Zala György from Lendava.

The central feature of Heroes' Square, as well as a landmark of Budapest, is the Millennium Memorial. Construction began in 1896 to commemorate the thousandth anniversary of the Hungarian conquest of the Carpathian Basin and the foundation of the Hungarian state in 896, and was part of a much larger construction project which also included the expansion and refurbishing of Andrássy Avenue and the construction of the first metro line in Budapest. Construction was completed in 1900, which was when the square received its name.

On the 16th June 1989 a crowd of 250,000 gathered at the square for the historic reburial of Imre Nagy, who had been executed in June 1958.

At the front of the monument is a large stone cenotaph surrounded by an ornamental iron chain. The cenotaph is dedicated 'To the memory of the heroes who gave their lives for the freedom of our people and our national independence.' While some guide books refer to this as a 'tomb' it is not a burial place.

Directly behind the cenotaph is a column topped by a statue of the archangel Gabriel. In his right hand the angel holds the Holy Crown of St. Stephen (Istvan), the first king of Hungary. In his left hand the angel holds a two barred apostolic cross, a symbol awarded to St. Stephen by the Pope in recognition of his efforts to convert Hungary to Christianity. In Hungarian it is referred to as the double cross or the apostolic double cross.

At the base of the column is a group of seven mounted figures representing the Magyar chieftains who led the Hungarian people into the Carpathian basin. In the front is Árpád, considered the founder of the Hungarian nation. Behind him are the chieftains Előd, Ond, Kond, Tas, Huba, and Töhötöm (Tétény). Little survives in the historical record about these individuals and both their costumes and their horses are considered to be more fanciful than historically accurate.

Topping the outer edge of the left colonnade is a statue of a man with a scythe and a woman sowing seed, representing Labor and Wealth. At the inner top edge of the left colonnade is a male figure driving a chariot using a snake as a whip representing War.

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User Reviews

Craig Doughty (5 years ago)
A historic space flanked by art galleries and notable museums. The statuary is significant and historically important. There is a tube station across the street and bus stops on two sides, so getting to the Square is easy. It's a place to visit for cultural enrichment but it's also a nice place to sit and eat lunch or take photographs. It can be quite busy at times and there are often group and school visits, as well as the occasional protest.
Chance Jonathan (5 years ago)
I love the sculpture at the square. I sit and just look around. Then you can move more to find beautiful park and waters. It's awesome.
Lucia Malá (5 years ago)
It was definitely bigger than i expected. Really beautiful and open square. Another nice thing was that it was not crowded at all.
Evalynn B. (5 years ago)
a huge `square`, with history of the country, also the square itself has its own history with protests, revolution, events, concerts, different days, different experiences... Very nice place though, however used to be crowded if there is some event and not easy to find parking place. A must to see if someone visits the capital. Easy access from there to the museums and to the central of the city.
Batoul Hassan (5 years ago)
We visited during the day and night. The best time to visit is of course at night when everything is lit up. It is a big open space for kids to run around while you look at stern looking old guys. The train station is very close by and the underground is absolutely fantastically preserved from a bygone era. Step back in time when you take the underground.
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