Monday, May 9, 2011 – Heroes Square and the Palace of Arts
We traveled from Belgrade to Budapest Sunday and arrived at the UniWorld ship about 6:00pm. We got to our room, unpacked and then went for dinner. Many of the guest had been in Budapest for the majority of the day, and some had already had a full day of sight-seeing.
Monday we were up and ready for our first tour excursion. We were taking a bus tour of the city and we started in Heroes Square. The central site of the hero’s square, as well as a landmark of Budapest, is the Millennium Memorial with statues of the leaders of the seven tribes that founded Hungary in the 9th century. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H%C5%91s%C3%B6k_tere
At the base of the column is a group of seven mounted figures representing the Magyar chieftains who led the Hungarian people into the Carpathian basin. In the front is Árpád, considered the founder of the Hungarian nation. Behind him are the chieftains Előd, Ond, Kond, Tas, Huba, and Töhötöm (Tétény). Little survives in the historical record about these individuals and both their costumes and their horses are considered to be more fanciful than historically accurate.
The back of the monument consists of two matched colonnades, each with seven statues representing great figures of Hungarian history. Topping the outer edge of the left colonnade is a statue of a man with a scythe and a woman sowing seed, representing Labor and Wealth. In the corresponding position on the right colonnade is a statue of a man holding a statue and a woman with a palm frond representing Knowledge and Glory. At the inner top edge of the left colonnade is a male figure driving a chariot using a snake as a whip representing War, while on the facing end of the right colonnade is a female figure in a chariot holding a palm frond representing Peace.
One of the other building that faces the square is the Palace of Arts. We didn’t go inside, but the architecture was worth pausing for a few pics. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palace_of_Arts_(Budapest)