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Attila József Statue

The melancholy memorial to Atilla Jozsef sits looking sadly at the Danube. A tribute to one of the greatest poets in Hungarian history.

Attila József Statue
Danube Promenade – Budapest (just south of Parliament Building)
GPS: 47.505064, 19.044949

Attila József was a Hungarian poet. He is one the most prominent figures of Hungarian literature and his poems are taught in every Hungarian primary and secondary school. He had quite a difficult life and at the age of 32 he died on a rail track which many believe was an act of suicide.

The Statue itself is quite expressive displaying Atilla Jozsef looking sadly at the Danube, a tribute to one of his poems. The brilliant poet had a dark and tough life being Marxist, Freudian and suffering from Schizophrenia and other mental illnesses.

If you go with all the research about Atilla Jozsef, or just randomly come across the remarkable statue, it’s a site to see and quite different from other statues in Budapest as it is one of those rare monuments which portrays sadness in such simple and effective way.

A few years ago, the temporary removal of the Attila József statue – erected in 1980 on the site of the former Andrássy monument – from Kossuth Square due to the area’s renovation caused an enormous uproar. Many believed that the work had been removed permanently. But a few months later, the statue was on Kossuth Square again. Although it was not put back in its original place, many say it found a better place only a few metes away, on the riverbank. (Related article.)

So now, the most important statue of Attila József in Budapest looks over the river while sitting on the steps of the embankment while the people of Budapest and tourists can read the lines from his poem ‘By the Danube‘ placed on the statue:

As if it flowed from my own heart in spate,
Wise was the Danube, turbulent and great.

Attila József (– Trans. Vernon Watkins)

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