Hungary is by no means a big country, but this has never been an obstacle to it giving birth to a large number of clever innovators whose inventions have played a significant role in the salvation of mankind. An exhibition at the Millenáris, open every day until January 31, 2023, undertakes to present the past, present and future of Hungarian science and technology in comprehensive fashion, showcasing great inventions and characteristic figures. Although documentation is in Hungarian, an app allows visitors to download English-language material to their phones or the tablets that can be borrowed free of charge, and have fun with all the attractions. You will be amazed at how much Hungarians have given the world!
First things first. Although the Dreamers of Dreams 20 (Álmok Álmodói 20) shows a series of great things invented by Hungarian scientists, inventors and geniuses, it also touches on projects in which Hungarian experts were important contributors. For example, they were involved in the development of satellite components, helping bring a larger system to life. You can also mention industrial designers who created cars for major manufacturers, such as Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Kia and Volkswagen.
The number in the title, Dreamers of Dreams 20, actually refers to another exhibition staged 20 years ago, with the same theme. This year’s continuation in the Millenáris B building has expanded on this, in a more spectacular and contemporary fashion, not to mention the interactive elements that allow visitors to enjoy this exhaustive but fascinating, informative and exciting exhibition.
If you take your time going round, expect to spend a good four hours here, but they should fly by and there are spots where you can rest and relax.
The exhibition consists of six large sections, which are further divided into smaller areas, and there is also a large room called The Spirit of Place. This is a kind of summary of the exhibition, where they talk about the figure known as the Greatest Hungarian, István Széchenyi, who symbolises innovation, and who founded the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, representing knowledge. Also featured are industrialist Ábrahám Ganz, whose transformer building now houses this exhibition, and the Hungarian Office of Intellectual Property, which established patents.
The names of these larger sections clearly state their theme: Medicine, Energy & Industry, Agriculture, Info-Communications, and Mobility, which showcases developments in the transport and automotive industries. The Science of Space, bringing in mathematics and physics, space research and astronomy.
On one hand, Hungarians are proud of their compatriots that they enriched humanity with their inventions, and
on the other, they may feel disappointed that their creations weren't developed in Hungary. Even so, there were quite a few scientists who carried out their world-changing
Such was the case of Albert Szent-Györgyi, who allegedly compiled a whole list of objects he needed for his research, among them a dictaphone that he received from the Hungarian state – so he stayed here. This device is also among the exhibits, a large model similar to the early mobile phones.
The most renowned Hungarian scientists, inventors and pioneers are given prominence within their section at the exhibition. Names include Albert Szent-Györgyi, István Széchenyi, Loránd Eötvös, Farkas Kempelen, János Irinyi, Ányos Jedlik, Ignác Semmelweis and László Bíró, among others. Their lives and work are presented in detail, and in some cases spectacular installations illustrate their scientific contribution.
An exhibition of this kind is bereft without vehicles, so there are two small planes, one half of an Ikarus bus, through which you can go to one section to another, cars, ambulances, sports cars, engines, steam engines and agricultural machinery. Most of these are real, but there are some replicas as well.
In addition to the exhibits, it’s worth looking out for curiosities as well, for example the fact that Ernő Rubik's magic cube originally wasn’t meant to be a toy, it was an illustrative tool, then the master got inspired, and it became as it is. Another example is János Irinyi, who wasn’t proud of his invention, the noiseless and flare-free safety match – in fact, he didn’t find it significant at all.
There is a famous quote from Monty Python's Life of Brian, “What did the Romans ever do for us?”
Before the Dreamers of Dreams 20 exhibition, you may have
asked this same question about Hungarians.
Visitors can now actually list quite a few inventions, but they are many more besides. Maybe everyone knows that the computer and matches are Hungarian inventions, but did you know that the moon buggy came from here, too?
The exhibition is waiting for you in the B building of Millenáris, with a day full of fun for the whole family. In the seven-hectare leisure park you can also find playgrounds, lakes or great restaurants and cafés.