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Budapest’s Historical Cemeteries Slowly Turning into Tourist Attractions

MTI-Hungary Today 2024.02.09.

The number of visitors to the Fiumei Road Cemetery, the Salgótarjáni Street Jewish Cemetery, and the National Park of Mourning in the New Public Cemetery is increasing year by year, announced the National Heritage Institute (NÖRI).

More and more members of the rising generation are visiting Budapest’s historic cemeteries, and young people are interested in the nation’s past.

From the very beginning, NÖRI’s aim has been to make the three sites, the most important in terms of national history and through which the modern history of Hungary can be presented, attractive to young people through its programs and cultural events.

The thematic walks are also increasingly popular with young people, with a record number of visitors last year.

The three sites have seen a steady rise in visitor numbers since 2017, and following a decline during the pandemic, a record number of visitors were noted in 2023, with 17,345 people taking part in 577 walks.

Grave of Manfréd Weiss (founder and late owner of Csepel Steel and Metal Works) in the Salgótarjáni Street Jewish Cemetery. Photo via Wikipedia

83 percent of the groups that registered were former students (397 groups with 12,040 people), most of them secondary school students (62 percent), but a good number of primary school students (32 percent) and university students (6 percent) also visited the sites.

The number of school groups visiting the Fiumei Road Cemetery has increased significantly, showing that the site, with its multifaceted image, spatial impact, and thematic profile, has a strong appeal for groups of pupils who want to learn about the life’s work of the famous personalities buried there, but also for those looking for a venue for school community programs in the fields of fine arts, architecture, botany, or history.

Grave of “the nation’s nightingale,” actress Lujza Blaha in the Fiumei Road Cemetery. Photo via Hungary Today

NÖRI will not only welcome groups of students, but also organize special cultural programs.

On the occasion of the Night of Museums, the Cultural Heritage Days and numerous historical anniversaries, hundreds of people fill the Fiumei Road Cemetery. The increasing number of visitors proves that the large-scale cultural events held in the monumental space of the cemetery significantly increase tourist attractiveness of the site.

Lajos Kossuth Mausoleum in the Fiumei Road Cemetery. Photo via Wikipedia

In a statement, Director-General Gábor Móczár said that last year’s figures also confirm the principles of the National Remembrance Pedagogy Program (Nemzeti Emlékezetpedagógiai Program) launched in 2022, aiming to link national and historical memorial sites with secondary school education.

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Via MTI; Featured image via Wikipedia

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