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Entrance of Aquaréna aquapark - Mogyoród, Hungary
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Szabadság Square and surroundings - Budapest, Hungary

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GPS coordinates: Latitude 47°30'14", Longitude 19°3'1" (N47 30.23 - E19 3.02) Map

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The bronze statue of the US General Bandholtz - Budapest, Hungary The bronze statue of the US General Bandholtz

Created by Miklós Ligeti in 1936

Harry Hill Bandholtz was a US general in World War I, he prevented the invading Romanian troops from looting the Hungarian National Museum ("Magyar Nemzeti Múzeum") and from carrying its treasures to Romania. The statue of the general was inaugurated in the Szabadság Square in 1936, but it was removed from there in 1949. It was placed back only in 1989, the year of the regime change in Hungary, on the occasion of the visit of the US President George Bush in July.

Walkway and plane trees in the park - Budapest, Hungary Walkway and plane trees in the park

On the site of the current Szabadság Square (in Hungarian "Szabadság tér") and the surrounding houses between 1814-1897 there was one very large, bulky building. It was the so-called Neugebäude (or "Újépület", literally "New Building") that was a fortress-like building mostly for military purposes, as well as at that time one of the symbols of the Austrian (Habsburg) oppression. This former rectangular barrack and prison building was built by the edict of Emperor Joseph II of Austria between 1786-1814, designed by Isidore Canevale architect from Vienna. Among other things in 1849 the prime minister of the first Hungarian government Count Lajos Batthyány was executed in the yard of the Neugebäude, which was in the everyday language often called "The Hungarian Bastille". On the place of the former execution there is a memorial site with the so-called Batthyány Ethernal Flame monument (in Hungarian "Batthyány-örökmécses"). Because it is situated in the Hold Street it is also clearly visible how big was the former Újépület or Neugebäude building.

The Szabadság Square with the spacious park and the beautiful palaces was started to be established in 1900 by the plans of Antal Palóczy, on the site of the former giant building that was finally demolished in 1897. Probably in contrast to the former oppression, as well as in honor of the Hungarian Revolution and Independence War of 1848-1849 the public place was named as "Szabadság tér" (literally "Liberty Square" or "Freedom Square") in 1900. The names of the surrounding streets also preserves the memory of the independence war and the martyrs.

The former Dungyerszky apartment palace is today a modern office building - Budapest, Hungary The former Dungyerszky apartment palace is today a modern office building

The former Dungyerszky Palace on the Szabadság Square was built between 1901-1903, designed by the Saxony-German-born Hungarian architect Artúr Meining. It was built for the rich landowner and factory owner Lázár Dungyerszky and his family. The last major renovations of the apartment building were done in 2011. By keeping the original neo-baroque style facade inside the architects turned the protected old monumental palace into a modern office building. As a result of the work of Csaba Nagy and Károly Pólus chief architects among others the inner courtyard received a glass roof, but the most important changes are almost invisible from outside and relate the roof of the palace. The rooftop panorama that had been developed is appropriate both for the customer needs and the historical preservation. When looking to the roof more precisely it can be seen it is actually a large glass surface, that is almost completely hidden when looking from below, thanks to the smart placement of shades. So although now the palace shines in its old glory, it is also modernistic and complies needs of the 21st century.

"Széchenyi" memorial drinking fountain - Budapest, Hungary "Széchenyi" memorial drinking fountain

The red limestone and bronze drinking fountain was created by Ede Telcs sculptor and Andor Mészáros architect in 1930. Its Hungarian title "Virulj!" (approximately "Thrive!") probably refers to the plane trees planted here in the mid-19th century.

The wife of Count István Széchenyi, the Austrian-born Countess Crescence Seilern-Aspang (1799-1875) was planted the first plane tree of the first promenade of Pest town in 1846, on the site of the present drinking fountain. The promenade (or esplanade) was situated at the southern wall of the giant "Újépület" (in German "Neugebäude", literally means "New Building") which was stood here at those times. The current Szabadság Square was born in 1900 on the site of the small prom and the demolished "Neugebäude" building.

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Budapest - More photo galleries:

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