2015. november 16., hétfő

Hősök tere

Hősök tere (meaning "Heroes' Square" in Hungarian) is one of the major squares of Budapest, Hungary, rich with historic and political connotations. It lies at the end of Andrássy Avenue (with which it comprises part of an extensive World Heritage site), next to City Park.

Hősök tere is surrounded by two important buildings, Museum of Fine Arts on the left and Palace of Art (or more accurately Hall of Art) on the right. On the other side it faces Andrassy Avenue which has two buildings looking at the square — one is residential and the other one is the embassy of Serbia (former Yugoslavian embassy where Imre Nagy secured sanctuary in 1956).

The central site of the hero's square, as well as a landmark of Budapest, is the Millennium Memorial (also known as Millennium Monument or Millenary Monument) with statues of the leaders of the seven tribes that founded Hungary in the 9th century and other outstanding figures of Hungarian history (see below). The construction of the memorial was started when the one thousandth anniversary was celebrated (in 1896), but it was finished only in 1929 and the square got its name then.

When the monument was originally constructed, Hungary was a part of the Austrian Empire and thus the last five spaces for statues on the left of the colonnade were reserved for members of the ruling Habsburg dynasty. From left to right these were: Ferdinand I (relief: Defense of the Castle at Eger); Leopold I (relief: Eugene of Savoy defeats the Turks at Zenta), Charles III, Maria Theresa (relief: The Hungarian Diet votes support "vitam et sanguinem") and Franz Joseph (relief: Franz Joseph crowned by Gyula Andrássy) The monument was damaged in World War II and when it was rebuilt the Habsburgs were replaced by the current figures.

On the 16th June 1989 a crowd of 250,000 gathered at the square for the historic reburial of Imre Nagy, who had been executed in June 1958.

It is also a station of the yellow M1 (Millennium Underground) line of the Budapest Metro.

There are also three other squares in Budapest entitled Hősök tere, in Soroksár, Békásmegyer and Rákosliget.

At the front of the monument is a large stone cenotaph surrounded by an ornamental iron chain. The cenotaph is dedicated "To the memory of the heroes who gave their lives for the freedom of our people and our national independence." While some guide books refer to this as a "tomb" it is not a burial place.

Directly behind the cenotaph is a column topped by a statue of the archangel Gabriel. In his right hand the angel holds the Holy Crown of St. Stephen (Istvan), the first king of Hungary. In his left hand the angel holds a two barred apostolic cross, a symbol awarded to St. Stephen by the Pope in recognition of his efforts to convert Hungary to Christianity. In Hungarian it is referred to as the double cross or the apostolic double cross.

At the base of the column is a group of seven mounted figures representing the Magyar chieftains who led the Hungarian people into the Carpathian basin. In the front is Árpád, considered the founder of the Hungarian nation. Behind him are the chieftains Előd, Ond, Kond, Tas, Huba, and Töhötöm (Tétény). Little survives in the historical record about these individuals and both their costumes and their horses are considered to be more fanciful than historically accurate.

The back of the monument consists of two matched colonnades, each with seven statues representing great figures of Hungarian history. Topping the outer edge of the left colonnade is a statue of a man with a scythe and a woman sowing seed representing Labor and Wealth. In the corresponding position on the right colonnade is a statue of a man holding a statue and a woman with a palm frond representing Knowledge and Glory. At the inner top edge of the left colonnade is a male figure driving a chariot using a snake as a whip representing war, while on the facing end of the right colonnade is a female figure in a chariot holding a palm frond representing peace.

Not far from the heroes square there are a plenty of good studio of Budapest. Maybe you can find a toursit guide too, and try out the new audio guide tour.

2015. augusztus 8., szombat

Geography of Hungary

Hungary's landscape consists mostly of the flat to rolling plains of the Carpathian Basin, with hills and lower mountains to the north along the Slovakian border (highest point: the Kékes at 3,327 ft; 1,014 m). Hungary is divided in two by its main waterway, the Danube (Duna); other large rivers include the Tisza and Dráva, while the western half contains Lake Balaton, a major body of water. The largest thermal lake in the world, Lake Hévíz (Hévíz Spa), is located in Hungary. The second largest lake in the Carpathian Basin (and probably the largest artificial lake in Europe) is Lake Theiss (Tisza-tó).

Climate

Hungary has a continental climate, with cold, cloudy, humid winters and warm to hot summers. Average annual temperature is 9.7 °C (49.5 °F). Temperature extremes are about 38 °C (100 °F) in the summer and −29 °C (−20 °F) in the winter. Average temperature in the summer is 27 to 32 °C (81 to 90 °F), and in the winter it is 0 to −15 °C (32 to 5 °F). The average yearly rainfall is approximately 600 millimetres (24 in). A small, southern region of the country near Pécs enjoys a Mediterranean climate.

The relative isolation of the Carpathian Basin makes it susceptible to droughts and the effects of global warming are already felt. According to popular opinion, and many scientists in the latest decades the country became drier, as droughts are quite common; and summers became hotter, winters became milder. Because of these reasons snow has become much more rare in the area than before. Popular opinion also states that the four-season system became a two-season system as spring and autumn are getting shorter and shorter, even vanishing some years.

Most of Hungary is covered by agricultural plains, there are but few remnants of its original forests.