A tour of the historical sites of Budapest
should certainly include the grand Heroes Square. This square is found in the
heart of Budapest, next to the popular City Park and at the end of Andrássy
Avenue. Heroes Square is the proud home of the massive historic Millenium Monument,
and its presence makes this Budapest square certainly one of the most historic
in the capital and one of the city's important attractions.
The construction on this significant Budapest square began in 1896, in celebration of the 1,000 year anniversary of the arrival of Hungarians in the Carpathian Basin and the founding of Hungary, which occurred in 896. The completion of this Budapest square was a long time in the making, however, and it was not until 1922 that the square was finished. It was then that the square in Budapest was finally dubbed Heroes Square.
The main site to see in Heroes Square is the towering Millenium Monument, one of the important attractions in Budapest and often included on Budapest tours. The Millenium Monument, also known as the Millenium Memorial, pays tribute to the important figures throughout Hungarian history that contributed to the country's formation, freedom, and independence. At the front of the monument is a large cenotaph with the dedication: "To the memory of the heroes who gave their lives for the freedom of our people and our national independence." Behind the cenotaph you will will see a statue of the archangel Gabriel holding St. Stephen's Crown, which is the Holy Crown of Hungary.
The monument is formed of two large semicircle collonades that flank a giant Corinthian column. The 118-foot Corinthian column soars up from the center of the monument. At its base you will see seven equestrian statues. The figures represent the seven Magyar tribal chieftans (whose names were Árpád, Elod, Ond, Kond, Tas, Huba, and Tétény) that came to the area in the ninth century. One of them—Árpád—is considered the founder of Hungary, and his descendants became the royal Hungarian dynasty.
The two semicircle collonades of the monument also feature figures that played critical roles in Hungary's history. Among them are statues of kings, state leaders, heros, and other major historical figures that shaped the country. Along the top of the monument are giant statues that represent Labor, Wealth, Knowledge, Glory, War, and Peace. At the base of the statues are scenes in relief of important scenes from throughout Hungary's tumultuous past.
Though the monument and the square sound impressive on paper, they are even
more so in person. Especially if you are a history buff or if you simply are
hoping for a fantastic photo, the Heroes Square is an important sight to see
while on your Hungarian holiday. Because
of its central location next to City Park, it is easy to tie in a quick visit
to the Heroes Square with other parts of your sightseeing
tour in Budapest. If you are already planning to visit the Museum of Fine
Arts or the Gallery of Art in Budapest, the Heroes Square is just a short distance.