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ány utca Alkotm

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Walk TWO

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PARK_Budapest_belivek_v065.indd 140-141

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Statue of General Bandholtz 10C ••• In Szabadság tér, near the embassy, there is a statue of a stocky man theatrically standing on a pedestal. He is the American General Harry Hill Bandholtz who, as an officer of the Entente force in 1919, saved the treasures of the National Museum by “sealing” the doors with the only thing he could find: paper customs seals. These bore the coat of arms of the United States and they kept Romanian soldiers, apparently few of whom spoke English, from looting the building.

Im Kálmán

H

A rest Café Farger V. Zoltán utca 18., corner Szabadság tér

ca Hold ut

e utca Szemer

d utca Honvé

O

10

Vadász

P

Nádor

Szabadság tér (Liberty Square) is one of Budapest’s hidden treasu­res. It does not sit on any major streets or boulevards, you just come across it, as if by chance. It has been especially charming since the enormous underground garage was completed in 2003, and cars were forced to park underneath. The explanation for this unusual city development is a former Austrian barracks here called the “Neugebäude” or “New Building”, which was built in 1786. The barracks covered the entire area bounded by the present Hold utca, Báthory utca, Nádor utca and Bank utca. The intention was to build the barracks far from the city of Pest, on the barren land to the north. Nobody expected the city to grow this far, even in hundreds of years. But it did, within decades. Demolition of the barracks started in 1897 and the square and neighbouring streets were built as a homogenous unit in its place. Today there is a pleasant park in the square which is surrounded by banks, office buildings and the American Embassy. The above ground garage entrance is a pavilion that includes a nice café, which is a welcome addition to the social climate of the City (in the London sense of the word).

141

American Embassy 10E V. Szabadság tér 12. ••• Among the eclectic palaces surrounding Szabadság tér, the art nouveau American Embassy stands out. Cardinal Mindszenty spent the years from November 4, 1956 to September 28, 1971 in this building. Mindszenty had been imprisoned and tortured in the 1950s (needless to say, under false charges). In 1956 he was freed, but the invasion of Hungary prevented him from leaving for the

F. Kozma

Walk TWO

Fine Arts. The statue is in three parts. If you come from the direction of Hold utca, it obviously forms a lion, but only from this direction. I asked the sculptor if this was intentional. He said, with a characteristically cunning smile: “Yes and no.” He is the president of the Japanese – Hungarian Artists’ Club. Maybe he was elected because of his calm, cunning smile. Or maybe he acquired it during his visits to Japan.

The City and The Víziváros Area

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The City and The Víziváros Area

Au lic h

140

Podmaniczky tér

nos Arany Já

u. utca

A Bank Centre office block

G Post Office Savings Bank

B Hungarian National

H Batthyány Eternal Flame

Bank

C  Statue of General Bandholtz

D Former Stock Exchange, later Public Television

E American Embassy

I   J  K   L

Office blocks

M Honvéd utca N Statue of Imre Nagy O Ministry of Agriculture P Ethnographical Museum

F Soviet War Memorial

2011.04.20. 15:49:21

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András Török's Budapest: A Critical Guide  

The Celebrated Insider's Guide, upgraded many times, probably the deepest and funnieast and truest portrait of any major European city. With...

András Török's Budapest: A Critical Guide  

The Celebrated Insider's Guide, upgraded many times, probably the deepest and funnieast and truest portrait of any major European city. With...

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