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Freedom Monument (Szabadság - Szobor)

Freedom Monument (Szabadság - Szobor) (16)

At the top of ´Gellért Hill`, to the east of the citadel is ´Freedom Monument`, also known as ´Independence Monument`. 

Its destiny would be ironic. The structure was designed by the sculptor Zsigmond Kisfaludi Strobl in 1943 in homage to the son of Prince Pronazi Horthy, who died in an air crash. However, the Soviets later decided to adapt the statue and add to the base of this svelte figure a Soviet soldier armed with a machine gun, as well as the inscription: ´To the Soviet heroes, liberators, from the grateful Hungarian people.` This monument, measuring fourteen metres in height, was finally erected in the year 1947 in homage to the Soviet troops who died in the liberation of the city from German forces in 1945.  

The story, as you can imagine, did not end there. As time passed it came to light that the Hungarians were not happy with their monument. Eventually, in 1992 the names of the victims, statues of soldiers and communist star were taken off and all connotations of the past lost. It is therefore today a feminine, svelte figure that has become the unofficial symbol of Budapest. It looks out towards the west, with a palm leaf in its hands and is protected by two Apollo’s, Progress and the Fight against evil.   

It is a figure you can see practically wherever you go, and to have a close look at it, it is well worth making the small climb.

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