Hungary expresses its pride in its thousand years as a national entity in this large public square with monuments to past heroes.
Heroes’ Square (Hősök Tere) is one of the most visited areas in Budapest and was a center for activities in Hungary’s millennial celebration in 1896. See the towering Millennium Monument, which is the showcase of the square. It was designed for the celebration by Albert Schickedanz in 1894, but not completed until 1929. Three years later the area was given the name of Heroes’ Square.
The Millennium Monument is a white column standing 118 feet (36 meters) high. The archangel Gabriel is at its top. Statues symbolizing war and peace, work and welfare and knowledge and glory sit upon lower colonnades. View statues commemorating Árpád, the leader of the Hungarians during their conquest of the Carpathians in 895, and seven Hungarian tribal chiefs on horseback around the base.
When Soviets occupied Budapest the square was frequently used for military and special Communist celebrations. Fittingly, Imre Nagy, who led the Hungarians in an uprising against the Soviets in 1956 was reburied in the square in 1989. There is also a Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Morning visits are best, before the square and park begin to fill up. Walk through the square itself in about an hour, but be sure to allow time to visit the park, galleries and museum. On one side is the Museum of Fine Arts (Szépművészeti Múzeum) and on the other is the Hall of Art. The square is the primary entrance to City Park (Varosliget) with its many attractions of Vajdahunyad Castle (Vajdahunyadvár), the public zoo and thermal baths.
There is no fee to enter Heroes’ Square or City Park. Heroes’ Square is in Pest at the end of Andrássy Avenue’s promenade from the Danube River. The historic working subway system parallels the avenue underground. Buses and trolleys also have stops at the square. Walk to the Danube in less than an hour; it’s just over 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) west from the square.