Budapest, August 15 (MTI) – The Lajta monitor, the sole remaining, fully restored river warship of the Austro-Hungarian Navy, is now a floating museum on the Danube in front of Parliament.
The river monitor was launched in 1871, and besides serving throughout the First World War, it played a part in the toppling of the short-lived Communist regime of Bela Kun in 1919.
“We have brought the Lajta monitor here, anchored next to the nation’s main square … as we commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of WWI,” Defence Minister Csaba Hende said, addressing the ceremony on Friday.
The ship was reconstructed with EU funding of 100 million forints (EUR 319,000) and forms part of the Visitors’ Centre of Parliament.
Otherwise known by its German name, the SMS Leitha, it is the most significant ship in Hungary’s general and military history and served the Danube flotilla for more than 50 years, Vilmos Kovacs, commander of the Defence Ministry’s Military History Institute and Museum, said at the event.