Szabadság tér

Square in Parliament & Around

Image by Jennifer Walker Lonely Planet

This square, one of the largest in the city, is a few minutes’ walk northeast of Széchenyi István tér. As you enter you’ll pass a delightful fountain that works on optical sensors and turns off and on as you approach or back away from it, as well as the controversial Antifascist Monument placed here in 2014. At the northern end is a Soviet Army memorial, the last of its type still standing in the city.

On the eastern side is the fortress-like US Embassy, now cut off from the square by high steel fencing and concrete blocks. It was here that Cardinal József Mindszenty sought refuge after the 1956 Uprising, staying for 15 years until his departure for Vienna in 1971. The embassy backs onto Hold utca (Moon St), which, until 1990, was named Rosenberg házaspár utca (Rosenberg Couple St) after the American husband and wife Julius and Ethel Rosenberg who were executed as Soviet spies in the US in 1953. Today a statue of the late US President Ronald Reagan graces the northern end of the park.

A controversial statue of Hungary's intrawar leader Miklós Horthy, called a hero by the right wing but reviled as a fascist dictator by many others, stands in front of the Homecoming Presbyterian Church in the square's southwest corner.