Between the Hungarian Parliament and the Chain Bridge, the Shoes on the Danube Bank are a poignant memorial honouring the Jewish victims of the Shoah in Budapest.
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Brief history of the Shoes on the Danube Bank
Between 1944 and 1945, the Arrow Cross Party, a fascist party sympathetic to the Nazi regime, seized power in Budapest. Thousands of Jews were then confined in the Budapest Ghetto, around the Great Synagogue, and hundreds of innocent people were executed on the banks of the River Danube. Before being put to death and thrown into the river, the victims were forced to take off their shoes.
In 2005, Hungarian artists Can Togay and Gyula Pauer created The Shoes on the Danube Bank memorial (Cipők to Duna-parton in Hungarian) so the victims would not be forgotten.
💡 Find out more about totalitarianism in Hungary 💡
If you are curious to learn more about totalitarianism in Hungary, head to the House of Terror, located on Andrassy Avenue. But be warned, this highly controversial museum is highly criticized for its lack of objectivity.
More info: The House of Terror of Budapest
The Shoes on the Danube Bank, a poignant memorial
On April 16, 2005, Hungarian artists Can Togay and Gyula Pauer set up a poignant memorial a stone’s throw from the Parliament of Budapest: sixty pairs of period-appropriate cast iron shoes on the edge of the River Danube honouring the Jewish victims of the Nazi ideology.
The artists gained international recognition for their work and made headlines all around the world. The evocative power of these shoes – some of which belong to children – abandoned on the banks of the Danube is heartrending.
💡 Find out more about the history of Budapest’s Jewish community 💡
The Shoes on the Danube Bank is not the city’s only memorial dedicated to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. You’ll find another memorial, called the Tree of Life, in the garden of the Great Synagogue.
It is truly worth a visit. The synagogue entrance tickets also include access to the Jewish Museum – a must-see for anyone wishing to learn more about the history of Budapest’s Jewish community.
More info: the Great Synagogue of Budapest
Where are the Shoes on the Danube Bank?
Address: Budapest, Id. Antall József rkp., 1054 Hungary
How to get to the Shoes on the Danube Bank memorial?
The nearest metro station is Kossuth Lajos tér (line M2). The Kossuth Lajos tér tram stop (line 2) is also a stone’s throw from the memorial. Buses 15 and 115 stop nearby as well.
To get around the city freely, you can also opt for the hop-on hop-off tourist buses: they’re quite handy, especially if you don’t want to/can’t explore the capital on foot.
👉 For more info, click here.
👉 Skip the lines: book your tickets and visits in advance!
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