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Szabadság tér Review
The sprawling Liberty Square is dominated by the longtime headquarters of Magyar Televizió (Hungarian Television), a former stock exchange with what look like four temples and two castles on its roof. Across from it is a solemn-looking neoclassical shrine, the Nemzeti Bank (National Bank). The bank's Postal Savings Bank branch, adjacent to the main building but visible from behind Szabadság tér on Hold utca, is another exuberant Art Nouveau masterpiece of architect Ödön Lechner, built in 1901 with colorful majolica mosaics, characteristically curvaceous windows, and pointed towers ending in swirling gold flourishes.
In the square's center remains a gold hammer and sickle atop a white stone obelisk, one of the few monuments to the Russian "liberation" of Budapest in 1945. There were mutterings that it, too, would be pulled down, which prompted a Russian diplomatic protest; the monument, after all, marks a gravesite of fallen Soviet troops.
As if in counterbalance, a memorial statue of Ronald Regan, erected in summer of 2011, stands just left of the Soviet liberation monument.With the Stars and Stripes flying out in front, and a high-security presence, the United States Embassy is at Szabadság tér 12.
- Address: District V, Parliament, Budapest
- Metro M2: Kossuth tér or M3: Arany János utca.
- Location: Parliament
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