The Memento Park
When Hungary ceased to be a socialist country and opened its gates to the west in October 1989, the whole nation had to undergo a dramatic cultural, economical and ideological change over the course of a few months.
This, unfortunately did not go as smoothly as planned since embracing capitalism also meant dealing with the Ghosts of Communist Past. The new government had to face several diplomatic and moral questions; one of these concerned the communist monuments and statues that had accumulated over the decades in the capital. Rejoicing at the new prospects that heralded freedom of speech, the Hungarians could finally have a say in the matter of city-planning -if only everyone had been on the same page as to what to do with the leftovers of the communist era. Some wanted to demolish the statues – to them, they were the symbols of the unyielding Soviet oppression. Others were eager to preserve them for posterity and keep them as reminders to avoid the totalitarian rule of another dictatorship. After much negotiation, the city council of Budapest agreed to create a safe haven for the statues that withstood the stormy political climate of the early 90’s – the Memento Park was created for the sole purpose of preserving these communist relics for the new generation.
Located in the outskirts of Budapest, the park has a peaceful atmosphere that makes you brood over the past and invites you to a journey into a world which was governed by the hammer and sickle. The Memento Park can be visited during our Communist Walking tour on a private basis upon request. Walking among the gigantic statues of philosophers, dictators and the formidable idols of communism you will get a true sense of what life was like in the Red Regime.
But then again, you can still come across a few socialist memorials in Budapest if you know where to look ..
MEMENTO PARK INFORMATION
Location and transfer: Memento Park is situated in District 22 (Budapest 1223, Szabadkai utca 22) but it’s easily accessible by the park’s direct bus from Deák Ferenc tér leaving at 11 am every day or by buses 101 and 150 from Kelenföld Railway Station.
Map Ref: 47.426522, 19.000016
Opening hours: From 10 am till dusk every day, year round.
Tickets: Adults – 1500 HUF; Students (with ISIC card) – 1000 HUF
They accept discount cards as well – Budapest Card (-20%); Hungary Card (-33%)