Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Szabadsagter/Liberty Square, Budapest

Liberty Square features a memorial erected in the Communist era to the fallen Soviet soldiers. There was some talk in the 1990s of taking the monument down (since the Iron Curtain was already down) but the Russian diplomats protested that soldiers are buried under it. The Hungarian government let the memorial stand. Though they did put a statue of Ronald Reagan nearby!

Freedom Square, named after the Communist "liberation" in 1945

Detail of monument

Bas relief on monument

The National Bank is right behind the memorial.

National Bank, Budapest

Also nearby is one of the many small playgrounds in the area. When I found the square, the children were napping, so they missed out this time.


Jacob would have also loved the small fountain there.

Lesser memorial in Freedom Square

A much larger fountain is across the street. It has some sort of sensors in the pavement around it. As one walks up, a section of water collapses allowing entry into the middle. Luckily, sensors are placed inside as well so visitors can make it back out.

Funnest fountain found in Budapest

The Harry Hill Bandholtz statue stands in front of the U.S. embassy (yeah, the American Embassy is right by the square dedicated to Soviet soldiers, another Hungarian irony). Bandholtz was a soldier in World War I. He was the American representative in the Allied group that disbanded the Hungarian army and supervised the withdrawal of Serbian and Romanian troops. He prevented the theft of Transylvanian art object from the National Museum by the Romanians, among other achievements. The statue was put up and taken down a few times as the governments switched from Soviet-backed to citizen-backed.

H. H. Bandholtz Statue, Budapest

The square is an interesting blend of contrasts and is not far at all from the Parliament building.

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