The Parliament's neighbourhood


The two other large buildings in Kossuth Lajos tér are the eclectic building of the Ethnographical Museum and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food. A newly erected modern building on the square houses the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and the House of Technology. Three statues also stand on the square : on the southern side, the equestrian statue (by János Pásztor,1937) commemorates Ferenc Rákóczi II; this rich aristocrat, Prince of Transylvania, led the 1703-11 war of independence against the Habsburgs and died in 1735 in Rodosto (Tekirdag), Turkey, in exile. To the north, the standing figure is that of Lajos Kossuth, the leader of the 1848-49 Hungarian War of Inde- pendence and the elected Governor of Hungary. A bril- liant speaker and political writer, he died in exile in Turin. The statue is the work of Zsigmond Kisfaludi Strobl (1952). At the northern corner of the Parliament stands the memorial to Mihály Károlyi, the President of the 1918 Hungarian Republic (Imre Varga, 1975), who was also forced into emigration in 1919.

South-east of Kossuth Lajos tér, in the direction of the Inner City, Szabadság tér-4,300 sq.m. (about one acre)-is only a few steps away. In the centre of the square stands the memorial of the Soviet soldiers who fell during the liberation of the capital. The large eclectic building on the Danube side is the former Stock Exchange, which is now the headquarters of Hungarian Television. Opposite to it stands the National Bank of Hungary, built in a similar style and also at the beginning of the century (both buildings were designed by Ignác Alpár [1855-1928]). The other building of the National Bank of Hungary, in nearby Hold utca, a characteristic example of the specifically Hungarian version of Art Nouveau, was built in 1900 by Ödön Lechner.