A Czech linguist, Jakub Marian, has collected the most common street names in some European countries. The results may or may not come as a surprise.
The list shows that there are a lot of streets named after schools, churches, and main streets in Europe. For example, in Britain, Ireland, Germany, Spain, and Austria, “Main Street” is among the 3 most popular street names. Moreover, Station Street is also among the 3 most-used street names in Austria, Switzerland, and Great Britain.
And what about Hungary? In Hungary, neither School, nor Church, nor Main Street is in the top five. In Hungary, streets, squares, and bridges are often named after historical and literary figures. In line with this trend, here are the TOP 5 Hungarian street names.
1. Sándor Petőfi
Sándor Petőfi was a poet and national hero. He was one of the most prominent and famous poets in Hungarian literature and also an important figure during the War of Independence of 1848-49. He died very early as he was only 26 years old, but throughout his life, he wrote nearly a thousand poems, many of which were translated to other languages. Romance played a major role in his poetry. A recurring motif in his poems was freedom, love, and beautiful Hungarian landscapes. His most famous works include János Vitéz (John the Valiant) and the National Song.
2. Lajos Kossuth
Lajos Kossuth was also an outstanding figure from the 19th century during the Hungarian War of Independence. Unlike Petőfi, he had a long life; he passed away when he was 91 years old. During his life, he was the Governor of Hungary, the Minister of Finance of Hungary, and the President of the National Defence Committee. In the 1840s, he became the editor of Pesti Hírlap. Kossuth’s name is not only immortalised in street names but also in radio stations, squares, and schools.
Several members of the Rákóczi family are known in Hungary. The leader of the Rákóczi family was the Prince of Transylvania for a long time. Perhaps the best-known member of the family is Ferenc Rákóczi the Second, whose portrait is on the HUF 500 banknote. His name is closely connected to the Rákóczi War of Independence, which began in 1703. He wanted to regain the independence of the state from the Habsburg Empire. His Latin phrase has since become a famous quote: “Cum Deo Pro Patria et Libertate!” which means “with God for the homeland and freedom”.
4. György Dózsa
György Dózsa was born in 1470 and died in 1514. His childhood dream was to serve in the military. He also fought against the Turks. Most memorable, however, was his role in 1514 in connection with the Peasant War. Under his leadership, 40,000 people gathered as the peasant army. He led the Crusader Army to many victories. He was later caught and executed. He became a symbol of the struggle against oppression and noble power.
5. Endre Ady
Ady is one of the most important Hungarian poets of the 20th century and a pinoeer of Hungarian political journalism. His poetry is an influence for all major stages of human existence. In terms of its themes, freedom, equality, transience, and faith are all recurring motifs in his works. A lesser-known fun fact about Ady is that he was born with six fingers on both hands.