I walked past Hero’s Square to see the Millennium Monument glowing like a majestic beacon in the dark night sky. The Museum of Fine Art and the Palace of Art were also lit up making the square absolutely breathtaking. Started in 1896 and finished in 1929, the Millennium Monument was built to commemorate Hungary’s one thousandth anniversary. Statues of the leaders of the seven tribes that founded Hungary in the 9thcentury as well as statues of other notable Hungarians grace the monument. After the structure was
damaged in World War II, the original five statues depicting members of the ruling Habsburg Dynasty were replaced with more current Hungarian figures.
In 1989 Hero’s Square played host to over 100,000 people who came out to witness the internment of Imre Nagy, a former Hungarian Prime Minister on the 31st anniversary of his death. Nagy became Prime Minister by popular demand after the Anti-Soviet Revolution in 1956.
He was charged with treason by the Communist government and secretly executed in 1958 as a lesson to all other opposition leaders in communist countries. His sentence was not made public until after his execution and he was buried in a distant corner of the Kozma Street Cemetery. Commemoration of his death or access to his grave site was prohibited by the regime. In 1989 his body was resumed and
re-buried after a funeral organized by opponents to the Communist regime at Hero’s Square.
By this time it was getting late so I figured it was best if I bee-lined it back to the train station thinking I would have no problem finding it. But, once again I got lost, missing the turn off and ending up on the wrong end of a large concrete wall beside a highway. How can anyone be that stupid? Thankfully I made it to the station just in time to catch my train to Bucharest.