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Hungary’s Great Historic Snowman Album

Hungary Today 2021.12.29.

Although there is often scarcely enough snow to build long-lasting snowmen, there have been years in which it was easy to do so. The inventiveness of Hungarians is proven by the fact that not only classic snowmen, but also snow sculptures were built throughout the course of our history. Naturally, these could not be saved for eternity either, but thanks to Fortepan we can still admire them in the form of photos. The oldest one is from the early 20th century, from 1906 to be exact. With the help of the Fortepan photo collection, we’ve composed a nice album for you.

This article was originally published on our sister-site, Ungarn Heute.

1906. The k.u.k. army (the land army of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy from 1867 to 1918) is stationed somewhere in Italy. In Brunbeck there is always enough “building material,” as there are high mountains in the region. The k.u.k. army also took advantage of this. This snowman was built by members of the k.u.k. in 1906. The “snow statue” shows King Viktor Emanuel III. of Italy. Photo: Fortepan/Austrian National Library, Italy (Brunico) 1906.


Viktor Emanuel III. (with birth names and titles Il Principe Vittorio Emanuele Ferdinando Maria Gennaro di Savoia, Principe Ereditario d’Italia; ital. Vittorio Emanuele III.; * November 11, 1869 in Naples; † December 28, 1947 in Alexandria, Egypt) of the house of Savoyen was king of Italy from 1900 to 1946.

What do you think? Does the snowman look like the king?

In the second image, we jump forward in time just a little bit, still in the early 20th century (in 1923). We can admire the snowmen of little schoolchildren who apparently didn’t have a problem with the amount of snow. Judging by the outfit, it had to be a warm day, which was not very good for the giant. Photo: Fortepan / Ádám Bősze

1932. Again an exciting picture, because the builders of the snowman are posing in shorts here as well, despite the winter cold. Perhaps the picture was taken after a New Year’s Eve filled with intoxication? 😉

A lot of snow had to fall in Hungary in 1941, otherwise it would not have been possible to build such a big snowman. The necklace is very apt, as if made from the classic paper cubes known in elementary schools in Hungary, used for solving math problems. (Photo: Fortepan / Anna Kőszegi)

And even though I do not know where this picture was taken, I imagine Budapest’s city center, where you could still collect enough snow in the courtyard of the apartment building to build this snowman. 🙂

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Photo: Fortepan/Lissák Tivadar, 1946

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….. snowman only for adults!

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And so that the concept of “snowman” is not dominated only by men, someone also thought about women. In fact, the picture is probably of a “snowman couple.” The lady is wearing a classic scarf that was fashionable in Hungary before the fall of communism, especially in the countryside.

Photo: Fortepan/István Péterffy, 1969

This snowman is very nice, but looks a bit sad. Maybe it was too warm in 1969?

Photo: Fortepan/István Péterffy, 1969

Cute! Here are also classic Hungarian items, the broom, tin pot and coal knobs are indispensable accessories for the construction of a snowman.

Photo: Fortepan / Zoltán Szalay

Well, in 1982 spring was already approaching. Goodbye, dear snowmen!

Photo: Fortepan / Archives of Semmelweis University, 1982

Our last snowman was from 1988, with striking blue eyes and a cap that resembles a fur hat. This was also very fashionable in Hungary in the eighties.

Photo: Fortepan / tm 1988

Featured photo via Pixabay