Heroes' Square (Hősök Tere)
With its statues and colonnades, and flanked by the massive buildings of the Museum of Fine Arts and the Palace of Arts, Heroes's Square is one of the largest and most impressive spaces in Budapest. It has, over the years, been the scene of many historic events, demonstartions, celebrations and popular gatherings.
The Millenary Monument, which is a complex of statues and sculptures on the square, was originally planned as part of the Millenium celebrations held in 1896 to commemorate 1000 years of Hungarian history since the Conquest of the Carpathian Basin by Magyar (Hungarian) tribes. The occasion was a glorification of the Dual Monarchy, and the Millenary Monument was to reflect royal continuity and pride.
In the centre rises a 36m stone column with the Archangel Gabriel at the top and equestrian statues of the seven conquering Magyar chiefs at the base. Gabriel is depicted standing on a globe holding aloft the Hungarian crown and an Apostolic cross, representing the unity of the Hungarian state and Christian culture. Legend has it that the archangel once appeared to Stephen, Hungary's first monarch, charging him to convert the then pagan Magyars to Christianity.
The stone block on the ground in front of the column is the Heroes' Monument, the traditional spot for wreath-laying ceremonies. The inscription recalls those who have given their lives for Hungarian freedom and independence.
Behind the column is a two-part colonnade. The four groups of symbolic figures on the top represent Work, Wealth, War, Peace, and Knowledge and Glory. Between the columns of the colonnade are statues of Hungarian rulers and princes.