Memento Park

sights / Historic

Memento Park information

Budapest , Hungary
Address
Street XXII Balatoni út 16
More information
www.mementopark.hu
Prices
adult/student 1500/1000Ft
Opening hours
10am-dusk
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Lonely Planet review

Home to almost four dozen statues, busts and plaques of Lenin, Marx, Béla Kun and ‘heroic’ workers like those that have ended up on trash heaps in other former socialist countries, the recently renamed Memento Park, 10km southwest of the city centre, is a mind-blowing place to visit. Ogle the socialist realism and try to imagine that at least four of these monstrous relics were erected as recently as the late 1980s. A few, including the Béla Kun memorial by fence-sitting sculptor Imre Varga, were still in place when this author moved to Budapest in early 1992.

Newer attractions are the replicated remains of Stalin’s boots – all that was left after a crowd pulled the enormous statue down from its plinth on XIV Dózsa György út during the 1956 Uprising – and an exhibition centre in an old barracks with displays about the events of 1956 and the changes since 1989 and a documentary film with rare footage showing secret agents collecting information on ‘subversives’.

To reach this socialist Disneyland, take tram 19 from I Batthyány tér in Buda, tram 47 or 49 from V Deák Ferenc tér in Pest or bus 7 or 173 from V Ferenciek tere in Pest to XI Kosztolány Dezsö tér in southern Buda, and then board city bus 150 (25 minutes, every 20 to 30 minutes) for the park.

An easier (though more expensive) route is via the park’s direct bus (including park admission adult/child return 3950/2450Ft), which departs from outside Le Meridien Budapest Hotel on Deák Ferenc tér at 11am year-round, with an extra 3pm departure in July and August.