Sculptures of two important leaders of the Hungarian tribes in the 9th century, Álmos and Előd, have been found recently. They were thought to have been lost, so there is a copy of them on the Fisherman’s Bastion in the Buda Castle.
The remnants of the two sculptures were found in the cellar of the former headquarters of the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs at 2 Dísz Square. Originally, Álmos and Előd were decorating the northern tower of the Fisherman’s Bastion. Furthermore, archaeologists found fragments of the building in the cellar, PestBuda reported. Among these, there is a unique basin made of red limestone and a lot of artworks of stonemasons.
Archaeologists of the Várkapitányság (the organisation that runs Buda Castle) have started to work in Dísz Square recently. Their goal is to clean the territory because the beautiful headquarters of the Hungarian Red Cross is going to be rebuilt.
Built originally as a headquarter for the Hungarian Red Cross following the plans of the Hauszmann Office, it was later the seat of two ministries between 1902 and 1947. However, since it was bombed during WWII, authorities decided to demolish it.
As a part of the National Hauszmann Program, they started to explore the cellar system beneath the former building. Thanks to these, archaeologists were able to find the original sculptures of the two Hungarian tribal leaders, Álmos and Előd.
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The sculptures were made by Ferenc Mikula, and since they were hurt during the siege of Budapest in WWII, they were transferred to the cellars of the building standing on 2 Dísz Square. Both of the 2-metre-high artworks miss their heads and hands, but the inscription at their feet is readable so it is sure that they are the original ones.
During the excavations, archaeologists found a
richly decorated, unique basin made of red limestone, a so-called lavabo
used for handwashing in the Christian liturgy. Art historians of the Budapest History Museum are now trying to define its age, but it is probably from the 15th century. Furthermore, they found a lot of fragments of the former ministry building which helps the architects redesign the original facade of the building they plan to rebuild. The facade will follow the appearance of the original building, but behind it, they will use modern solutions.
Archaeologists are going to continue excavating the cellar system beneath the former Red Cross headquarters, and there is a good chance that they will find more valuable artefacts.