Who was Who?
This very short list contains information on famous
persons after whom streets, squares, institutions are named, or whose statues
are in public places.
Andrássy, Gyula Count (1823-1890) politician, Prime
Minister, member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (HAS). Established the
Municipal Board of Public Works.
Apáczai Csere, János (1625-1659) teacher, philosopher,
pedagogical author. Major work is the Hungarian Encyclopaedia.
Arany, János (1817-1882) poet, translator of
Shakespeare, member of HAS. Statue in front of the National Museum.
Árpád, Prince (850-855-907?) chief of the Magyars, led
the Magyar tribes into the Carpathian Basin. Ancestor of the Árpád House, the
first royal dynasty in Hungarian history.
Baross, Gábor (1848-1892) politician, the 'Iron
Minister'. Nationalisation of railways, development of the railway system.
Statue in the square named after him.
Bartók, Béla (1881-1945) Composer, pianist, collector
of folk music and teacher. Statue in the Arists' Promenade on the Margaret
Batthyány, Lajos Count (1806-1849) liberal landowner.
Prime Minister of the first independent Hungarian government. Executed where the
Batthyány Sanctuary Lamp is today (V., Báthory u.), after the suppression of
the 1848-1849 War of Independence, mausoleum in the Kerepesi Cemetery.
Béla IV (1206-1270) King (1235-1270) Defeated by the
Mongol invaders. Later rebuilt the country, had fortifications erected
(including the Buda Castle).
Blaha, Lujza (1850-1926) actress, prima donna, the
"nation's nightingale°. The building of the National Theatre stood in the
square named after her.
Clark, Adam (1811-1866) Scottish engineer, head of
construction of the Chain Bridge, designer of the Tunnel.
Clark, William Tierney (1783-1852) English engineer,
designer of the Chain Bridge.
Deák, Ferenc (1803-1876) jurist, statesman, the
"nation's wise man'. Devised the Compromise between Hungary and the
Hapsburg dynasty. Even Queen Elisabeth put a wreath on his coffin. Statue in
Roosevelt tér, mausoleum in the Kerepesi Cemetery.
Dózsa, György (1470?-1514) eminent soldier in the
fight against the Turks, laader of the 1514 Peasant Revolt. Put to death with
great cruelty. Monument in the square named after him.
Elisabeth, Queen (1837-1898) wife of Franz Joseph,
Austrian emperor and Hungarian king, who learnt Hungarian and did much for
Hungarians. She enjoyed staying at Gödöllő. Statue in Döbrentei tér.
Erkel, Ferenc (1810-1893) pianist, conductor, teacher,
greatest Hungarian composer of his age (Bánk bán is permanently in the
programme of the Opera House). Composed the Hungarian national anthem in 1844.
Statue in the facade niche of the Opera House.
Gellért, Saint (980-1046) Benedictine monk from Venice.
Teacher of Prince Imre, St. Stephen's son from 1015, bishop from 1030. Killed in
a pagan revolt and allegedly thrown into the Danube from the hill named after
Hajós, Alfréd (1878-1955) architect, sportsman, the
first Hungarian Olympic gold medallist (1896, swimming). Designer of the
swimming pool, later named after him, statue in the lobby.
Hess, András (l5th c.) printer, came to Buda upon the
invitation of the Roman Ambassador of King Matthias. Founded Hungary's first
printing house in Buda. Made the oldest Hungarian print the Budai Krónika
Kodály Zoltán (1882-1967) composer, folklorist, music
professor, President of HAS. Bust in the Artists' Promenade on the Margaret
Kós, Károly (1883-1977) architect, graphic artist,
writer. lnfluenced by art nouveau and folk art of his homeland Transylvania.
Statue in the square named after him.
Kossuth, Lajos (1802-1894) politician, statesman.
Prepared the 1848-49 War of Independence, governor. Died in exile. Statue in
front of Parliament.
Kölcsey, Ferenc (1790-1838) poet, politician, critique,
member of HAS. Wrote the lyrics of the Hungarian national anthem (1823).
László I, Saint (?-1095) king (1077-1095) Follower of
St. Stephen in ecclesiastical policy. Canonised in 1192. Commemorated on 27
June. Plenty of legends around the pious knight king.
Lechner, Ödön (1845-1914) architect, eminent master of
art nouveau. Combined folk motives with Oriental elements. Often used enamel and
ceramics on his buildings. His unique style started a school. Significant author
on the topic.
Liszt, Franz (1811-1886) composer, pianist, actively
contributed to the establishment of the Academy of Music. Memorial museum,
statue in the facade niche of the Opera House, bust in the Artists' Promenade on
the Margaret Island, statue in the square named after him.
Matthias (Mátyás) I, (Corvinus) Hunyadi (1443-1490)
king (1458-90) Organised highly centralised administration, set up a standing
army, pursued active European foreign policy (crowned himself Czech king,
occupied Vienna). Greatest Renaissance monarch of Central Europe, sponsored
arts, science, had important foreign personalities in his court.
Nagy, Imre (1896-1958) politician, Prime Minister,
leader of the 1956 Revolution. Announced Hungary's exit from the Warsaw Pact and
demanded withdrawal of the Soviet troops. Executed on charge of high treason.
Rehabilitated in 1989. Grave in lot No. 301 of the Új Cemetery, statue in Vértanúk
Petőfi, Sándor (1823-1849) poet, reformer of Hungarian
poetry. One of the organisers of the 1848 Revolution in Pest. Fought in the War
of Independence, died in the Battle of Segesvár. Bronze statue in the square
named after him.
Rákóczi, Ferenc II (1676-1735) prince of Transylvania,
ruling prince of Hungary's unified estates. the leader of a war of independence
against the Hapsburgs. Died in exile in Turkey. Statue in front of the
Parliament, in Kossuth tér.
Stephen (István) I, Saint (?975-1038) prince of the Árpád
House (997-1000), crowned Hungary's first king with a crown sent by Pope
Sylvester II (1000-1038). Founder of state and converted Magyars to
Christianity. Canonised in 1083, commemorated on 20 August. Statue on the
Széchenyi, István Count (1791-1860) politician,
statesman, the "greatest Hungarian". Initiated the establishment of
HAS, proposed the union of Pest and Buda under the name Budapest, gave impetus
to steam shipping on the Danube, financed the design of the first permanent
bridge over the Danube (officially called Széchenyi Chain Bridge), and proposed
construction of the Tunnel under the Castle Hill. Minister of Transport in the
first independent Hungarian government in 1848. In addition to his achievements,
his memory is retained in statues (Roosevelt tér), the Széchenyi Lookout and
several other institutions named after him.
Vörösmarty, Mihály (1800-1855) Romantic poet,
dramatist, member of HAS. The Szózat, set to music by Béni Egressy, is the
national song of Hungarians. Statue in the square named after him.
Wekerle, Sándor (1848-1921) politician, member of HAS.
Minister of Finance, then Hungary's first non-upper-class Prime Minister.
Ybl, Miklós (1814-1891) architect, outstandíng master
of neo-Renaissance. Major buildings: Opera House, Customs House (today the
Budapest University of Economics. Fővám tér), St. Stepheri s Basilica,
extensions to the Buda Royal Castle. Statue in the square named after him.
Zsolnay Vilmos (1828-1900) ceramic artist, manager and
owner of the ceramics and majolica factory in Pécs. Introduced pirogranite for
the decoration of buildings in around 1890. Success of metallic, iridescent
eosin glaze at the Paris World Exposition. Both innovations are often seen on
art nouveau buildings.