After presenting some of the most beautiful squares in Hungary, origo.hu touches upon the amazing squares of the capital city. The list is subjective again; however, almost all of the squares are part of the “one day in Budapest” programme put together by foreigners. And for the ones that are not part of the programme, it is still worth commemorating them and looking at some photos of them.
Heroes’ Square (XIV district)
How else could you start a list about squares in Budapest than with Heroes’ Square? It is one of the most magical squares in the capital and is part of the World Heritage. There used to be drinking-fountain at the end of Andrássy Avenue until 1895, when it was decided that a National Pantheon should be built in its place. Originally there were 14 statues of Hungarian rulers in the monument, but these statues changed throughout time and regimes. In the middle of the square Archangel Gabriel looks down on us from a 36 metre tall obelisk. He holds the Holy Crown and the patriarchal cross in his hands. Heroes’ Square is one of Budapest’s shining symbols, which is deservedly admired by many.
Kossuth Lajos Square (V district)
This square is nowadays called the main square of the nation. Architect János Hild designed a market on the southern side of the square and divided the northern part into parcels. The market place slowly turned into a rubbish-shoot, which was filled up by the locals in 1844. The square had several names, but its name was finally settled in 1927, when it was named Kossuth Lajos Square at the 125th anniversary of the birth of the great Hungarian. The square was the scene of many historic events, like the volley-firing in 1956 and the declaration of the third Hungarian Republic in 1989.
Kodály circus (VI district)
A square, which is not a square in its name, but is still very special. There are small parks and statues in front of its beautiful buildings. The statues of Bálint Balassi, György Szondy, Miklós Zrínyi and Bottyán Vak are definitely worth visiting. The square is symmetric, including the siting of the buildings and the planting of trees. Interesting facts are that it was once a landfill and that it was temporarily named after Adolf Hitler in 1938. The Kodály circus is a very imposing neighbourhood, people like the outstanding figures of Hungarian music history used to live there. It’s quite sad that it is not a main tourist attraction as sightseeing buses usually just pass by the circus.
Liszt Ferenc Square (VI district)
One of Budapest’s most popular date spots is Liszt Ferenc Square, which lies close to Oktogon. The neighbourhood went through a dynamic development in the beginning of the 20th century. There is an approximately 200 metre long park in the middle. Its popularity is due to the friendly environment and the many restaurants and cafés lying on both sides of the park. The statue of Ferenc Liszt is accompanied by the statue of famous Hungarian poet Endre Ady. Make sure to visit the stunning Liszt Academy of Music when passing by.
Square of Roses (VII district)
This is basically a tourist-free spot, even though one of the most beautiful churches of Budapest can be found at the square. It was already an important location in the 18th century Pest as there was an animal market held regularly. It got its beautiful name in 1932 at the 700th anniversary of Saint Elizabeth of the Árpád Dynasty’s death. The roses were her attributes. The breath-taking church, which was constructed by the conceptions of Imre Steindl (designer of the Parliament), was also named after her. It’s interesting how the enormous church hides among the buildings. Nevertheless, it is a must-see square, it was no surprise that the Jolie-Pitt couple reportedly bought an apartment there when they were shooting in Hungary a few years ago.
Vigadó Square (V district)
The square, which has a beautiful view of the Danube, was once the Pest bridgehead of the pontoon-bridge to Buda. The Pesti Vigadó is the main attraction of the square. Its ancestor is the Redoute, which used to be a cultic place of concerts, social events and balls. The square is definitely a tourist favourite, not only for the close Danube promenade where you can go on the best walks, but also for tram N°2, which is known to be one of the most beautifully traced tram lines in the world with a unique panorama.
Széchenyi István Square (V district)
The square, which is probably known by most people as Roosevelt Square, is part of the Danube Coast World Heritage sites. It glories in having spectacular buildings like the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Gresham Palace. Less people know that the enormous hall of the Ministry of Interior is found in the József Attila Street side of the square. When driving through the Chain Bridge from Buda to Pest, all of the square’s beauty unfolds in front of eyes. There is a landscaped zone in the middle which gives a pleasant and friendly feel to the square.
Clark Ádám Square (I district)
You can see the most beautiful face of the square from the top of the tunnel. Up there you get to see the real beauty of the square, the Chain Bridge, the flower garden in the middle and the starting point (Zero kilometre stone) of almost all highroads. Ádám Clark actually wasn’t Hungarian, but we can thank him for the construction of Chain Bridge and the tunnel under Castle Hill. The iconic roundabout in the middle of the square was built in 1949.
Vienna Gate Square (I district)
This small square used to be an important traffic intersection in the Castle District. This was where all the streets crossing the Castle District met. Different weapons hung down from the Vienna Gate for a very long time. Tradition has it that those were the weapons of Miklós Toldi (remembered as a legendary strong hero in Hungarian folklore), but this has never been proved. What’s interesting is that they got lost in the 18th century and hasn’t been found since. The current gate was built in 1936 at the 250th anniversary of Buda’s liberation from Turkish rule.
Hess András Square (I district)
This is a curiosity at the end of the list, which can be found in the southern end of Táncsics Mihály Street and Fortuna Street and extends until the Trinity Square. This is one of the most visited squares in the Castle as it is near the Trinity Square and its fascinating Matthias Church. The reason why origo.hu chose this square after all is its elongated trapezoid shape, which is very rare in Budapest. The capital city’s oldest dwelled house, the Red Hedgehog house can be found at the square. The building was formed form the monoblock Gothic houses built around 1260. The house was already mentioned as Red Hedgehog in 1696. But the origin of the kind naming remains a mystery…
Photos: www.latogatokozpont.parlament.hu, www.fortepan.hu, www.facebook.com/RózsáktereDentál, Vigadóhivatalos, FourSeasonsHotelGreshamPalaceBudapest, HessAndrástér