Kerepesi Cemetery

In order to be buried at the Kerepesi Cemetery in the middle of Budapest, you would have to qualify as a “famous Hungarian.”  Yet given their habit of explaining everyone as a “world famous Hungarian,” it’s amazing the place isn’t full yet.  Still, you can learn a lot about a place by seeing how their honor and memorialize their dead.  In this case, we found out the origins of all our favorite tram stops.  For instance, “Blaha Lujza Ter,” our home away from home, is named for the famous actress who was so beautiful people fought to drink champagne from her shoe.  Naturally, her site is quite large. 

Interestingly enough, the graves of dictators and tributes to communist leaders remain as part of the grounds.  Their memorials and statues still stand, and in the case of Kadar, are even respected by a few.  The people I’ve met argue that they should be taken down, or placed elsewhere, but at the same time many Hungarians simply accept this part of their past and do not look to hide it.  They are not ashamed to admit that their political past was tainted.  It’s a refreshing sense of honesty, but as an American, I can’t help but to side with those who think such people do not deserve a place of honor.

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