after abandoned and decaying places, my second favorite “thing” is socialist realism artwork. (in case you’re wondering, third is sacred spaces.) so, i couldn’t pass up a chance to go to Memento Park, a collection of sculptures from Hungary’s communist period. it’s located on the outskirts of Budapest and easily (if not slowly) accessible via public transit. (protip: you want bus 150, not 150E. also, they say they open at 10 AM, but i was able to get in at quarter to.)
it’s a lot smaller than i expected, but if you’re a fan of this kind of stuff, it’s worth a trip out there, especially if you have an unlimited transit pass, which, IMHO, you should anyways. the sculpture park itself is totally seeable in less than an hour (don’t forget to sit inside the Trabant), but there is also a looping hour-long movie in one of the (air-conditioned!) barracks outside that’s pretty cool — a documentary based on period instructional films on how to be a secret agent and what life was like under the secret police.
frankly, if you’re not interested in this sort of thing, it’s probably not worth your time (it’s 50 minutes from the Central Market each way with public transit) or the price of admission (currently 1500 HUF, or $6.69).
(btw i found this first statue on the ground wrapped and tied up off to the side outside the park, the poor thing.)
— Jonathan Khoo (@jonk) August 16, 2013