Day 28, Part 1 – Heroes Square and Vajdahunyad Castle

Sept 28, 2019 – Budapest, Hungary

After breakfast, we started exploring Budapest. We knew that the Airbnb we were at, was very close to the Heroes Square and our host had pointed out the directions to it yesterday. So we started walking towards Heroes Square.

We could see the massive stage arrangements being made for Bryan Adams free concert later in the evening as soon as we took a left on the main road. We walked towards the square.

Massive stage and all the arrangements being made for Bryan Adams concert in the evening

As we walked behind the stage being put up – we saw the reason why this was called the Heroes Square. This square was constructed in 1896 to mark the thousandth anniversary of Hungary. In the Hungarian language its called “Hősök tere” and it is the largest and most impressive square of the city. Its located at one end of the famous Andrassy Avenue which is compared to the Champs-Élysées of Paris.

The Heroes Square and the Millennium Monument (column)

The Millennium Monument or the pillar with Archangel Gabriel on top thats right in the middle of the square was erected to commemorate the 1000-year-old history of the Magyars. The horseback statues of the seven chieftains who led the Magyar tribes to Hungary can be seen on the base of the Monument. Statues of kings and other important historical figures stand on top of the colonnades on either side of the center pillar.

The statues of important Kings on one side of the colonnade
The Kunsthalle or Hall of Art is on your left if you face the Andrassy Avenue or on the right as you face the Heroes Square

We walked out of the Heroes Square towards a magnificent castle that we saw at the back. There was a bridge across the river and we walked across. We later found out that this is the Vajdahunyad Castle. Its almost like a fairytale castle …

The Vajdahunyad Castle as seen from the bridge behind Heroes Square
The boating pier – its not a river but a lake surrounding the castle
Entrance of the Vajdahunyad Castle

While our first impression was that this is a historical castle the reality is that it was built in 1896 to commemorate the 1000 years of Hungarian history !!! It combines all the different architectural influences over the 1000 years and is truly a stunning monument – just that its not historical :). Its free to walk into and there are beautiful sculptures all over the place and it opens out on the other side into a massive park.

The first stunning church or place of worship we came across inside the Vajdahunyad Castle. I couldn’t get over the carving on the entrance …. so beautiful.

I later read up about this church – its apparently modelled after the Church of Jak village which is near the Austrian border and is a huge basilica. This church has copied only the gate of that basilica rather than the whole building. The Church of Jak village was completed in 1256 and is a monumental basilica of the Benedictine monastery.

As we took some more pictures with other sculptures, we came across this fascinating sculpture of the Anonymous being. It portrays the anonymous author of Gesta Hungarorum (Deeds of the Hungarians), who was apparently a Polish historian, later named Gallus Anonymus. It was created by Miklós Ligeti in 1903 and  donated to the Hungarian nation by Franz Joseph I.

We walked out to the park surrounding the castle and took a few more pictures.

The Vajdahunyad Castle from the back and from the park surrounding it.
As we walked a full circle towards the road that connects to the Heroes Square, we found this fountain with mermaids in bronze. No water though.

As we got onto the main road which connected us to the Heroes square and the bridge that we had crossed earlier, we came across this stunning building across the road. This is apparently the Museum of Hungarian agriculture. I wonder how any farmer could think of agriculture and tear his eyes off these massive beautiful buildings !

Museum of Hungarian agriculture
This is the road connecting the Heroes Square to some other place but just look at how beautiful the road is … we just stood there admiring the beautiful trees for a few minutes before moving back towards the Heroes Square
View of the Heroes Square from across the bridge.

This time we walked towards the Museum of Fine Arts which is on the right of the Heroes Square as you face Andrassy Avenue. Just outside the Museum, there was this patch of flowers which I photographed for Amma. Nature’s art is unbeatable !! What a riot of colors.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest
Flower bed outside the Museum of Fine arts
Pope John Paul II’s message to Hungarians in 1991.

We then walked back to the Airbnb after getting tickets for the Metro. We plan to ride the M1, which is the oldest metro in Europe post lunch.


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