Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Green dudes

What we didn't see in wildlife, we made up for in statues -- "green dudes" abound in European cities. Here are just a few:

The Liberty Statue at the top of Gellert Hill, Budapest, originally commemorating the liberation of Budapest from the Axis forces by the Russians with a now-altered inscription commemorating "those all who sacrificed their lives for the independence, freedom, and prosperity of Hungary".  This was an easy walk up the hill from Frosty's place.

Mythical hero fighting a dragon at the Citadel Fortress, also on Gellert Hill.

Another side statue to the Liberty Statue on Gellert Hill.

Underside of Saint Gellert, of course also on Gellert Hill.  His claim to fame was as the first Bishop of Csanad, appointed by King Stephen I of Hungary to spread Christianity to the region. He later met an untimely end as saints often did, being rolled down his eponymous hill in a barrel during a pagan uprising in 1046.  They didn't like his style of conversion, apparently.

And since I mentioned him, King Stephen I, also known as Saint Stephen, or Szent Istvan, on Castle Hill in Budapest.  If you are the first Christian king of a region, and then healing miracles are reported upon later opening of your tomb, you can be sainted.

Brother Julian, in the ruins of the Monastery of St. Nicholas, now attached to the Budapest Hilton.  His claim to fame was as an explorer in the 13th century who headed east to find a splinter group of Magyars who never emigrated west when everyone else headed off to Pannonia.  He found them, but also discovered that the Mongols, who later came and destroyed the monastery in Budapest, were on the move.  "The Mongols are coming!  The Mongols are coming!  And by the way, I found our long-lost cousins."

Statue outside the Buda Castle.  The green dude on the horse is Prince Eugene of Savoy, who liberated Budapest from the Ottoman Turks in the seventeenth century.  I'm not sure who the tortured light-colored figure at the bottom is, but suspect it is a cowering Turkish prisoner.

Our buddy Saint Istvan again, this time not green.  This rendition resides outside the Cave Church at the base of Gellert Hill, with the green Liberty Bridge in the background.

Oh, wait -- not a statue.  We did serendipitously hit a changing of the guards ceremony here in front of the Hungarian Presidential Palace.

Stone lion at the entrance to the Chain Bridge, the oldest permanent bridge across the Danube in Budapest.

Palaces are often inhabited by green dudes.  The Habsburg Palace in Vienna is no exception.

I'm guessing this is Atlas, given that he is holding up the world and has an interesting collection of astronomical instruments.  I sometimes wonder if this is what Chad feels like at work when there is too much to do.

The arms of the Emperor Charles VI.  These trumpeting angels reminded me of Nimue's former imaginary friend Lin, who was always blowing her trumpet in Nim's ear when she was four.

Like in Budapest, there are plenty of churches, and therefore saint statues in Vienna.  We found good old Saint Ruprecht hiding amidst the vegetation near the Ruprechtskirche.  The eighth-century Saint Ruprecht was instrumental in the rebuilding of Salzburg at the time as well as being the the patron saint of salt merchants in Vienna.

Theater buildings, like the old Slovak National Theater building in Bratislava, are a good place to find green dudes.

And sometimes they are tucked away in corners of city parks. I especially liked the fence around Liszt here, also in Bratislava.

I couldn't remember who this green dude in Gyor, Hungary is, until doing a bit of Google searching based on the GPS location of the photo.  He is Karoly Kisfaludy, a Hungarian poet and dramatist, and you can almost sort of see the books and papers he carries.  This statue was located right next to our hotel; the sunset was nice that night.

The town square in Komarno, Slovakia contains a statue of General Klapka, a Hungarian nationalist from the mid-nineteenth century who worked toward the cause of Hungarian independence.

Incidentally, if you Google-search "statue Komarno", you get lots of pictures of Komarno, Canada, where there is a gigantic mosquito statue.  Apparently Komarno means mosquito-infested in Ukrainian, and the town of Komarno in Manitoba is known as the Mosquito Capital of Canada.  Fortunately, we did not see mosquitos in Komarno, Slovakia.  Just the General.

And just because he was so pervasive in the region, here is yet another green Saint Istvan, this time near the big basilica in Esztergom, Hungary.

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