Architects Forming the Classical Budapest - Albert Schickedanz, the Architect of the Heroes’ Square
November 23rd, 2013
Three monuments on one of the most famous Budapest sites, the Heroes’ Square, the Millennium Monument , the Museum of Fine Arts and the Kunsthalle are the most remarkable works of architect Albert Schickedanz, who was a master of the Eclectic style.
Albert Schickedanz was born in 1846, in then Galician, now Polish Biala, in a family of a German origin who though considered themselves Hungarians. He studied in Germany and in Vienna, and in 1868 he started to work in Pest, with architect Miklós Ybl among others. In 1869 he won a tender organized for making plans for the future Batthyány Mausoleum in the Kerepesi Cemetery. His made his most important works between 1893 and 1903. He was entrusted with making plans for the Kunsthalle in 1894 and for the Millennium Monument in 1895. In 1898 a tender was organized for making plans for the future Museum of Fine Arts; he only got the second place, but later he was entrusted with making the final plans of the building. His last work was building his own villa in 1906. He died in 1915 in Budapest and was buried in the Kerepesi Cemetery.
His Most Renowned Work, the Heroes’ Square
The idea of the Millennium Monument located in the 14th district arose in 1895. Then Prime Minister Sándor Wekerle entrusted architect Albert Schickedanz and sculptor György Zala with the job. The monument symbolized the thousand-year-old Hungarian state; originally 14 statues of Hungarian imperators were erected. In 1919, in the era of the Soviet Republic a 7-meter-high statue of Marx was erected, and the Franz Joseph statue was demolished by a couple of proletarians; it was recreated in 1926. The site got its current name of Heroes’ Square in 1923. In 1937 the flowers covering the square were replaced with cobbles. The monument was damaged in the World War II. In the Rákosi era the statues of the Habsburg emperors were removed and replaced with the statues of István Bocskai, Gábor Bethlen, Imre Thököly, Ferenc Rákóczi II and Lajos Kossuth. The two museums lining the square were also built by Albert Schickedanz; the Kunsthalle was built in 1896 and the Museum of Fine Arts in 1906 in Eclectic style. The Heroes’ Square and the nearby Andrássy út became a World’s Heritage Site in 2002.