National Burial Garden of notable Hungarians – Fiumei Rd Cemetery
Photo : We Love Budapest / Balkányi László
30/10/2014, 9:49 PM●3-minute article
The Kerepesi Cemetery on Fiumei Road is the largest cemetery in Budapest and one of the oldest in Hungary. It is special because it houses the National Burial Garden where hundreds of notable national figures and heroes are laid to rest. It becomes particularly popular in early November when Hungarians celebrate All Saints Day. The cemetery welcomes visitors, and the tree-lined boulevards of the memorial area are particularly pleasant. There are also spacious parklands where many come for relaxing walks or to enjoy some fresh air.
Dating back to about 1848 the Fiumei Road Cemetery is huge, taking up 56 hectares right in the heart of Budapest. The grounds are surprisingly beautiful and in parts there are big open green spaces with tree-lined paths and grassy areas. Many people use this space to rest peacefully and walk young children. It’s easy to see why it’s so popular, this is one of the few large green spaces in this part of town.
Hungary’s National Burial Garden
The Fiumei Road Cemetery houses the “National Pantheon” where many of Hungary‘s important historical and cultural figures are laid to rest. Sometimes simple headstones, other times huge mausoleums mark where these politicians, artists, authors, scientists, scholars and other heroes are buried. Hungary’s National Burial Garden is beautifully designed with tree-lined walkways and sculpted areas that mark different sections.
Photo: We Love Budapest / Balkányi László 19 pictures
Hungarian politician Kossuth Lajos and statesman Deák Ferenc are both buried in huge mausoleums built in their honour. These buildings are simply beautiful inside and out. Unfortunately due to restoration works it’s not always possible to enter these. Famous poets Arany János, MihályVörösmarty and Petofi Sándor have also been laid to rest in the National Burial Garden. There are also different sections for heroes of the 1956 Hungarian revolution, key figures in the Labour movement and a whole section dedicated to artists such as architect Miklós Ybl, novelist Móricz Zsigmond and painter Mihály Munkácsy.
Visiting the cemetery
The Kerepesi Cemetery is open to visit from about 8am until dark. A map is freely available at the entrance to help guide you to the grave sites of the prominent Hungarian figures. Guided tours (of a minimum 10 people) are also available but must be organised in advance. Tours are in Hungarian although of course you could bring a translator. The mausoleums are not always open to enter.
All Saints Day
In early November cemeteries throughout Hungary are particularly busy with visitors. All Saints Day is a national holiday celebrated on November 1 and shops are often closed on this day. It is a time when dead saints are remembered and people take flowers to the grave sites of loved ones.
Photo: We Love Budapest / Balkányi László 4 pictures
For more information on the Fiumei Road cemetery visit the National Burial Ground’s website (it’s in Hungarian). The cemetery is very easy to get to – the main entrance is just a 10 minute walk from Keleti Metro Station at 16 Fiumei Road. To arrange a group tour call 06 1 323 5229. It’s possible to buy flowers once there.
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