The Statue of Queen Elisabeth (or in Hungarian ‘Erzsebet’ – the queen and empress of the Austro – Hungarian Empire – stands on Dobrentei square by the Elisabeth Bridge is one of the many beautiful statues of Budapest (the bridge was also named after her, ‘Erzsebet – hid’)*. The Hungarians (Magyars) loved their exceptional sovereign for her kindness and non-conformist behaviour (just like the Hungarians she was in constant fight with her husband, the Austrian Emperor, Franz Joseph).
The Statue of Queen Elisabeth was made by Gyorgy Zala, and was revealed with huge celebrations in 1932 (forty years after the tragic death of the queen, still loved by Hungarians – even today there are big Sissi fans amongst Hungarians, including our grandparents who nod their head appreciatively, saying ‘yes, she was a big queen, and she was beautiful’ whenever Sissi comes up in a family lunch talk).
Queen Elisabeth, or as the Hungarians called her lovingly ‘Sissi’ was the popular queen and empress of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, who loved the Hungarians very much, and in turn the Hungarians, who felt plagued by the Austrians, adored her and the exceptional kindness she gave to Hungarians (Sissi – officially ‘Sisi’ – tragically died in an assassination in Geneva in 1898 – the anarchist lost his original target and randomly picked another sovereign…). Sissi was a free spirit, a true non-conformist, which must have appealed to the (forever and still) rebellious Hungarians (who failed to gain freedom from the Austrians in 1848-49 in a very bloody attempt).
She was rumoured to have the Hungarian Count Gyula Andrassy as her lover (another score for the Hungarians against the Austrians, strictly historically speaking) (and, in turn, the Viennese court was full of malicious rumours that Franz Joseph was having a liaison with an actress, Frau Roll, and then later on with another actress Katharina Schratt).
The Hungarians’ Statue of Queen Elisabeth seems to be slightly more affectionate than the Empress Elisabeth Monument in the Volksgarten in Vienna). Maybe it is just the green trees, and the oxidated bronze…
*as was the lovely Erzsebet square right next to the busy Deak square, in the heart of the city of Budapest, or the Lookout Tower on Janos Hill, etc.