Back in 1985, on my first visit to Budapest, I had explored the city and fallen for it. One of the sites that made an impression on me that I would not forget, was the enormous statue of a woman holding a leaf over her head, right on top of the Gellért Hill which is one of the most remarkable and recognizable places of the Hungarian capital. For a long time, I had an enlarged picture of the statue in my room. For an even much longer time, I did not come back to Budapest, apart from a brief visit in the early 1990s. So when I arrived in Budapest on a late night many years later, I could not wait to go out and see what I could still remember.
As soon as I reached the banks of the Danube river, and saw the many bridges spanning it, my eyes were drawn directly to the statue on top of the hill on the other side. I knew that that should be my first destination for the day. After crossing the river, I walked up the hill, and when I got close to it, realized again how big it is. The woman itself is 14 metres tall, while her pedestal is not less than 26 metres. Two smaller statues are on both sides of the main statue of the famous woman with the palm leaf over her head. One is a statue representing a man killing a dragon with many heads, while the other is a man almost joyfully leaping forward with a torch in his hand.
The first statue is supposed to portray the fight against evil, while the other stand for progress. Yes, these were statues that accompanied the bigger woman on a much higher pedestal, and were originally erected in memory of the Soviets who died while liberating the city from the Nazis, in 1947. The main statue was created by Zsigmond Kisfaludi Stróbl. However, after the end of Soviet influence in the late 1980s, the monument was altered, some statues relocated in the Statue Park, and the dedication of the monument was changed to all those who sacrified their lives in the independence, freedom, and success of Hungary. The early morning sun was casting a beautiful, warm light when I walked around the statues, completely alone, and I realized that while the statue is still here, lots of things have changed in this city.
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Liberty Statue (Hungary). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Liberty Statue. Read more about this site.