Hungary // Budapest and around //

Hosök tere – Heroes’ Square

The bombastic Hosök tere (Heroes’ Square) was created to mark the 1000th anniversary of the Magyar conquest in 1896, and its triumphant conquerors and rearing horses recall a time when Hungarian nationalism was at full throttle. Its centrepiece is the Millenary Monument, portraying the Magyar leader Prince Árpád, and the surrounding semicircle of greats of Hungarian history include King Stephen and Lajos Kossuth, who headed Hungary’s short-lived independent government after the 1848 revolution. Also on Heroes’ Square is the Museum of Fine Arts, with a good, but not hugely extensive, collection of paintings by big names including Bruegel, Rembrandt and El Greco. Behind the museum lies Budapest Zoo, which may not top the city’s attractions for grown-ups but does feature some striking architecture; let’s hope its animal inhabitants appreciate it. Opposite the zoo are the yellow neo-Baroque Széchenyi baths.

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