Culture & Art

Sculptures in Budapest that have disappeared

Budapest used to be home to some famous sculptures, loved and not so loved, and now missing...

The fortress of Várad was once home to a gilded bronze statue of St. Ladislaus, the Hungarian king. Made in the Middle Ages, residents believed that the ruler would come to life and protect them if they were ever in danger. But they hoped in vain, as the statue was destroyed by the Turks after they took the castle. Here below, we take a look at some similar cases in Hungary’s capital of Budapest — monuments that are now missing but never forgotten.

Hentzi monument

This Gothic-style column was erected in 1852 in memory of Heinrich Hentzi, who had previously been the commander of the Buda Castle and became infamous at the end of the revolution when he tried to take the city of Pest under cannon fire. The monument was 22 meters high and stood in St. George’s Square.

Apart from the statue of Stalin, few public works of art in the city have been hated as much as this monument, and, on more than one occasion, a resident tried to blow it up with dynamite. The piece was finally removed by the Soviet Republic in 1919.

Sió fairy sculpture group in City Park

When the entire City Park was remodeled due to the millennium (1900) celebrations, this work of art was one of its main attractions. The group of sculptures was designed as if the mythical figures were standing on a huge rock formation. The nymph of Lake Balaton, Sió, was at the top, with mermaids, children, and a wizard around her.

The piece was surrounded by a 700-square-meter pool, featuring the largest fountain in the country. During World War II, the group of sculptures was severely damaged. What was left of it after the siege was then looted by the people and forever lost.

Equestrian statue of Artúr Görgey

Back in 1935, the then Prime Minister of Hungary, Gyula Gömbös, ordered that an equestrian statue be erected in the Castle for the famous figure of the ’48 revolution, the commander-in-chief of the army — Artúr Görgey.

During the siege of World War II, the air pressure created by a colliding shaft swept the sculpture off its pedestal. According to one urban legend, its material was eventually fused into the Stalin statue.

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