Do you know which iconic Hungarian monument can be seen on this vintage photo? Do you know how old this statue is?
It is a famous work of János Fadrusz, whose work of art won the Great prize of the Paris World Exhibition, in 1900. Can you recognize the figure depicted in this statue?
The bronze statue was made in the memory of King Matthias Corvinus, to commemorate 450th anniversary of his birth, and the 400th anniversary of his death.
Matthias Corvinus was born in Kolozsvár (Cluj), the second son of the great Hungarian leader János Hunyadi. The name “Corvin” derives from his heraldinc bearings, displaying a raven (corvus, in latin). Matthias Rex ruled Hungary between 1458, when he was made a king at the age of 15, until 1490. However, he was only crowned years later, in 1464. In 1485, he and his army reached Vienna, and established there the capital city of his kingdom. Known as a reputed and feared fighter against the Ottomans, Matthias Corvinus also contributed to a great extent to the prosperity of his hometown, helping in the (re)construction of many churches (including St. Michael’s Cathedral) and granting the citizens many economic privileges.
János Fradusz’s statue of “Matthias, king of Hungary” stands in the main square of Kolozsvár (Cluj-Napoca). The statue was unveiled in 1902 , exactly 115 years ago on this day.