Monday, June 30, 2014

Budapest - Heroe's Square (Hosok Tere)

Date: 11th April 2014

Due to the main purpose of the Europe trip was a "Train Rides", we used mainly metro railways line whenever available in any cities that we visited to go 1 place and another. It was a good thing as we learned so much the development of the railways in Europe. Hosok Tere is 1 of the station that we are so impressed of being incorporated into the Budapest Metro. The Metro (see 2 photos, below) is the rapid transit system in the capital city. It is the oldest electrified underground railway system on the European continent and the 2nd oldest in the work, predated only by the 1890 City & South London Railway. Budapest Metro iconic Line 1 that we took to reach Heroe's Square was completed in 1896, was declared a World Heritage Site in 2002.

The first metro line (Line 1 of present days) was conceived as a means of carrying passengers from the city centre on the city park without the need for surface transport on Andrassy Avenue. The "Diet of Hungary" (legislative body of the Hungarian Kingdom approved the metro project proposal in 1870. The construction began in 1894 by the German firm, "Siemens & Halske AG" employing 2000 workers using state of the art machinery. The line was built entirely from the using surface using the cut and cover method. The same method was used by my team during the construction of the Ingres and Egress sections of the SMART Tunnel project in Kuala Lumpur in early 2000.

Museum of Fine Art seat next to the Heroe's Square

Heroe's tere is 1 of the major squares in Budapest, noted for its statue complex where the 7 chieftains of the Maygars and other important national leader and tomb of the unknown soldiers are located. The large square lies at the outbound of the end of Andrassy Avenue next to city park. The square is also where the Museum of Fine Arts and Kunsthalle Budapest (Palace of Art) built in 1895 in a very unique layout. The square has played an important part in contemporary Hungarian history and has been a host to many political events, such as the reburial of Imre Nagy (Hungarian Communist politician) in 1998.

Palace of Arts
The square is surrounded by 2 important buildings, Museum of Fine Arts on the left and Palace of Art on it's right. It faces Andrassy Avenue which has 2 buildings looking at the square including the Embassy of Serbia. 

The central feature of Heroe's square is the Millennium Memorial which construction commenced in 1896 to commemorate the 1000 years anniversary of the Hungarian foundation state by St. Stephen 1 in 896. It was part of a much larger project inclusive of the expansion and refurbishment of Andrassy Avenue as well as the Line 1 metro as mentioned above. It was completed in 1900.

When the monument was originally constructed, Hungary was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and thus the last 5 spaces of statues on the left of the colonnade were reserved for members of the ruling Habsburg dynasty. From left to right these were Ferdinand 1, Leopold 1, Charles III, Maria Theresa and Franz Joseph. The monument was damaged in World War II where the 5 figures were replaced with the present figures when it was rebuilt.

It was a bless that we were able to wander on the huge square on our own without many visitors as it was very early. Though the city park seated just across, we decided to save our energy for few more days of exploration. Nevertheless, it was a good visit supported with a good weather and a blue sky. It was more than we could ask for to end our tour in Budapest.

Source of reference: Wikipedia
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