You may find visiting a cemetery a strange vacation attraction, but those interested in history, art, or nature will not be disappointed. Here is the final resting place of Hungary's richest and most prominent men and women in one of the most beautiful parks in the city. Fantastic sculptured monuments are often suggestive of the deceased's life's work and are scattered among many chestnut trees giving the place a unique, almost classical air. As you stroll down arcades, you will see extraordinarily huge mausoleums, artwork gracing graves, and alongside memorials to Communists of a previous era. After All Saints' Day, the graves are covered with flowers. Half the streets in Hungary are named after people buried here; names will be familiar as you venture round the city.
Straight through the gate, 50m forward on the left are the Hungarians who fought with the Communists against their countrymen. Others who died in the 1956 uprising can be found in plot 21. Walking down Arkádsor, on each side are the glorious home-sized richly ornate mausoleums with Róth Miksa mosaics, while at the end of these on the left rests Blaha Lujza, the Sarah Bernhardt actress of Hungary. Her reclining full-figured body is juxtaposed by small angels surrounding her. In the center is the monument to Jókai Mór, a celebrated dramatist and novelist. Arany János, the noted Hungarian poet, rests in section 14. One of my favorite memorials is for Ligeti Miklós, a sculpture, in section 18/1. Here you will find a chair with a coat draped over it accompanied by a hat and cane.
Have you gone to Gerbeaud's café? The man responsible is Gerbeaud Emil resting in section 26. Lechner Odon the famous architect whose polychrome tiles and mosaic work is evident on many buildings throughout the country is in section 28 along with Antall Jozsef. Antall was the first prime minister of Hungary after the fall of Communism; his grave is marked by an eerily bizarre statue. Erkel Ferenc (section 29) composed the first Hungarian opera, Bank Ban, and was the father of composer and writer, Erkel Sandor. Considered one of the most important artists of 19th-century Hungarian art, Munkacsy Mihaly lies in rest in section 29. If you love the architecture of the Opera House and St. Stephen's Basilica among other buildings in the city, Ybl Miklós the architect responsible is resting in 31/1. The "Mother's Savior" Semmelweiss Ignac, is the first man to realize that germs carried by doctors' hands caused transmitting infections. He is the proponent of hand washing, causing a dramatic decrease in infections. He rests in section 34/2.
Three free-standing mausoleums are highlighted in the park with free-standing memorials. Kossuth Lajos (1802-94), the governor-president of Hungary in 1849, regarded worldwide as a freedom fighter and proponent of democracy. Deák Ferenc (1803-76), known as "The Wise Man of the Nation" was a Hungarian statesman and minister of justice. Batthyány Lajos (1807-49) was a descendant of the Capet kings of France and a long line of counts. He was the first prime minister of Hungary and was convicted of high treason by the emperor of Austria when the Hungarian Revolution of 1848-49 failed.