Heroes Square

Heroes Square
Hősök tere (Hungarian pronunciation: [ˈhøːʃøk ˈtɛrɛ]; Heroes' Square) 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 Hungarian national leaders, as well as the Memorial Stone of Heroes, often erroneously referred as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
The square lies at the outbound end of Andrássy Avenue next to City Park (Városliget). 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. Hősök tere is surrounded by two important buildings, Museum of Fine Arts on the left and Palace of Art (or more accurately Hall of Art) on the right. On the other side it faces Andrássy Avenue which has two buildings looking at the square – one is residential and the other one is the embassy of Serbia (former Yugoslavian embassy where Imre Nagy secured sanctuary in 1956). The central feature of Heroes' Square, as well as a landmark of Budapest, is the Millennium Memorial (Hungarian: Millenáriumi Emlékmű, also translated Millennium Monument or Millennial Monument). 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 1896, 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 (Hungarian: Földalatti). Construction was mostly completed in 1900, which was when the square received its name. The four allegoric sculptures were added in 1906, the monument as a whole basically looked like it does today (except for the kings' statues), complete with the surrounding museums on either side, and it was inaugurated still in the same year, 1906. When the monument was originally constructed, Hungary was a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and thus the last five spaces for statues on the left of the colonnade were reserved for members of the ruling Habsburg dynasty. From left to right these were Ferdinand I (relief: Defense of the Castle at Eger); Leopold I (relief: Eugene of Savoy defeats the Turks at Zenta), Charles III, Maria Theresa (relief: The Hungarian Diet votes support "vitam et sanguinem") and Franz Joseph (relief: Franz Joseph crowned by Gyula Andrássy). The monument was damaged in World War II and when it was rebuilt the Habsburgs were replaced by the current figures. On 16 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. There are also three other squares in Budapest entitled Hősök tere, in Soroksár, Békásmegyer and Rákosliget. A lesser known fact even for Hungarians that the Memorial Stone of Heroes (Hősök emlékköve) is not a tomb and is erroneously referred as the "Tomb of the Unknown Soldier". Hungary has no Tomb of Unknown Soldier like most European countries, neither any memorial to the unknown fallen of wars. No human remnants interred here, there is only an artesian well under the tombstone-like memorial. The Memorial Stone of Heroes was originally erected in 1929 as a tribute to those who died for defending Hungary's 1000 years old borders. It was removed in 1951 as its message was politically unacceptable for the Communist regime. The current one has been built at the same spot in 1956. The memorial is surrounded by a fence and it's off limits for Hungarian citizens. The Ministry of Defence only opens the gate for foreign dignitaries and official state ceremonies. Behind the cenotaph but within the decorative chain is a flat bronze plate which marks the site of an artesian well whose drilling was completed in 1878 by Vilmos Zsigmondy. This well provides water for the Széchenyi Baths behind the monument and the Dagály Baths in the Népfürdő utca. The well reached a depth of 971 meters and produces 831 liters of hot water per minute at 74 degrees Celsius The Heroes' Square monument has a 90% duplicate in Shanghai Global Paradise, Shanghai. Since its opening in 1996, it has been mostly degraded and most statues removed.
Budapest, Hősök tere, 1146

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