One of the interesting and quirky things I noticed as I explored the city of Budapest on foot, were the multitude of statues honouring historical figures, actors and other whimsical characters. The statues can be found all over the city and I was extremely curious as to why some of these people ended up with statues in Budapest and what their connection to Hungary was. These are just some of the statues I encountered in and around the city of Budapest:
- Little Princess – This was my favourite statue in all of Budapest. It portrays a young girl sitting on a fence, a paper princess crown on her head. The sculptor, Laszlo Marton, was inspired by his 5 year-old daughter who liked to play while wearing a princess costume and a crown made of newspaper. A copy of the statue is also located by the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre and in the sculptor’s home town of Tapolca, Hungary.
Location: Along the Danube promenade that sits along the Danube River on the Pest side. About halfway between the Szechenyi Chain Bridge and the Elisabeth Bridge .
- Girl with Her Dog – This life-sized bronze statue of a girl playing catch with her dog by sculptor, David Raffay, is located in Vigado Square.
Location: A few steps away from the Little Princess statue on the Danube promenade between the Szechenyi Chain Bridge and the Elisabeth Bridge.
- Hungarian painter, Ignac Roskovics – This statue honours famous Hungarian painter, Ignac Roskovics. The painter and illustrator lived much of his life in Budapest.
Location: Another statue located on the Danube promenade. This one is not far from the Szechenyi Chain Bridge.
- Ronald Reagan – I was not expecting to see a statue of US president Ronald Reagan after visiting the Budapest Parliament Buildings as I walked through nearby Liberty Square Park. However, as a vocal opponent of the Communist regime, this statue honours his efforts to end the Cold War.
Location: Located at one end of Liberty Square Park.
- Anonymous – A large hooded figure holding a pen sits across from Vajdahunyad Castle. The statue commemorates Anonymous, an unknown writer who chronicled the history of the Magyars during the Middle Ages. Aspiring writers are known to stroke the pen in Anonymous’ hands for inspiration.
Location: Across from Vajdahunyad Castle in City Park.
- Bela Lugosi – A bust of the famous Hungarian actor, Bela Lugosi, can be found in a corner alcove on the perimeter of Vajdahunyad Castle. It is a fitting location for the actor famous for playing Dracula. The bust was reportedly deposited there in the middle of the night when the German sculptor, Hartmut Zech, visited Budapest with some friends.
Location: Located on a corner alcove of Vajdahunyad Castle in City Park.
- Fat Policeman – This statue is modelled after the sculptor’s grandfather who was a police officer who would wear his traditional officer’s uniform for ceremonies and special events. Don’t forget to rub the statue’s belly for good luck.
Location: On Zrinyi Street not far from St. Stephen’s Basilica
- Liberty Statue – The Liberty Statue can’t be missed as it stands high above Budapest on Gellert Hill. It commemorates those who fought for Hungary’s independence. It was originally erected after the Soviet liberation of Hungary after World War II and was called the Liberation Statue before being renamed the Liberty Statue. I took a Hop-on Hop-Off bus tour which took us to the top of Gellert Hill to visit the Citadel and the Liberty Statue with the highlight being the stunning views over the city of Budapest and the Danube River.
Location: Top of Gellert Hill
- Attila Jozsef Statue – A larger than life statue of 20th century Hungarian poet, Attila Jozsef, sits facing the Danube River.
Location: Next to the Hungarian Parliament buildings sitting on the steps facing the Danube River.
- Shoes on the Danube – This is an incredibly touching memorial to Jews killed during World War II who were asked to remove their shoes before being shot and thrown in the Danube River.
Location: Along the Danube riverfront near the Budapest Parliament buildings.
Check out the following link for a list of all the best things to do in Budapest.