The Hungarian Liberty Statue
Budapest, the Hungarian capital has plenty of beautiful attractions. The Danube River winds through the city, which in itself offers a fascinating sight. The city is full of historic monuments and one of its symbols is the Budapest Liberty Statue. The Budapest Liberty Statue was set in 1974, created by Zsigmond Kisfaludi Strobl. The statue depicts a female figure holding a palm tree in her hand. It is located in a sumptuous location, on the southeast bastion of the Citadelle on the Gellért Hill. The Citadelle is a fortress built in 1851 by the commander of the Austrian Empire. The monument lies at 235 metres high and the statue itself is 14 meters high, rising 40 meters along with the pedestal. The most important symbol of Budapest is well visible from many parts of the city, and even with several sights of the city, you can admire it from a cruise on the Danube.
The story of Liberty Statue
The monument was inaugurated on the 4th of April in 1947, to commemorate the liberating of Hungary. The original work included several smaller statues; its official name was the Liberation Monument. It symbolized that the German troops had left Budapest after the Soviet troops defeated them. Around the main statue, there were several smaller bronze statues: a 6 metres tall Soviet soldier holding a machine gun, shapes of dragon killers and torch holders, and a smaller Soviet soldier. During the 1956 Revolution, the insurgents wanted to dissolve the statue group as it was a symbol of the Soviet dictatorship.
The Soviet soldier’s statue was dropped, but then the leadership managed to save the Liberty Statue. After the fall of the socialist system, the Soviet references could not remain in the city. So after 1990 several civil organizations and parties have initiated the removal of the statue group. The statue of the Soviet soldier was finally moved to the Memento Park, while the people of Budapest decided the fate of the main figure. The local population argued that the statue radiates peace and has become a popular tourist attraction over the years. So this is how the people saved the Liberty Statue in Budapest. But minor changes have been made on the pedestal: the thanksgiving text written with Cyrillic letters for the Soviet army has been removed. The new inscription expresses the respect and appreciation of those heroes of the Hungarian history who have sacrificed their lives for the Hungarian freedom and independence.
How to get to the Liberty Statue
As it was already mentioned above that the Liberty Statue is visible from many parts of the city. If you want to go to the most important attraction in Budapest, you can do it on foot. As it is on the Gellért Hill, the way up is steep but not too long and definitely worth it. If you don’t feel sporty enough, you can approach the statue of freedom with one of the sightseeing buses. The view from the top of the Citadelle is breath-taking. You can see the whole city from there so it is the perfect place for taking photos. This is the best spot – it is even better at sunset and at night when the lights are on, you can admire the beautiful Budapest panorama.
The amazing Budapest bridges of the Danube, the stunning building of the Hungarian Parliament are all in front of you. There is also a nice park around the monument where you can walk, sit down and relax on a bench or just breathe some fresh air. The fortress of Citadelle itself is also a superb historic building to visit.
The Citadelle, the Gellért Hill and the panorama from there became a UNESCO World Heritage in 1987. If you are in Budapest, this is a must-do visit!
We suggest you to visit the statue first, than take a sightseeing cruise to visit the Budapest attractions from the river as well.