Laczkó Dezső Múzeum – Hősök kapuja látogatóközpont
The Heroes’ Gate
On the exhibition place of the Heroes’ Gate, opened in 1939 and renovated in 2013, visitors learn about the history of the building and heroes end events of Veszprém during the revolution and freedom fight of 1848 and 1849, World Wars I and II, and revolution and freedom fight of 1956.
When the Heroes’ Gate was built in the mid-1930s, there were many other buildings, structures, and monuments commemorating the past under construction. At that time the Saint Stephen’s Viaduct, a true representative of advanced construction technologies, was erected, they also started to build Saint Margaret’s Church in the respectful memory of Saint (Blessed) Margaret and renovate Margaret’s Ruins, the ruins of a nunnery she was educated in. At that time the pair of statues of King Saint Stephen and Queen Blessed Gisela was erected at the northern end of the castle hill and has been dominating the view of the castle ever since. At that time Heroes’ Gate was built, primarily to the memory of victims of World War I and last, but not at least, to all Hungarian soldiers.
If we look around from the end of the castle hill or the top of St. Benedict hill, you will see the silhouette of Bakony-hills in the north. In the east there is St. Margaret’s Church marking the skyline, and in the west there is the Viaduct marking the future, and at the foot of the Castle-hill there is the castle district full of local legends. In such a meaningful space and atmosphere marked with post of the past, the Heroes’ Gate has a special role to play, as it commemorates heroes of the long past (including castle defenders of the Turkish period) as well as of the short past (the World Wars).
The Heroes’ Gate had fulfilled its original functions only by the end of the 1940s. The communist-Stalinist regime regarded the Gate as a place of non-desired memories. In 1949 or 1950 they destroyed marble tables in the Heroes’ Room in the tower. The sarcophagus of the Unknown Soldier was opened and the corpse within was scattered about. During the revolution in 1956 the building was reckoned a base of the revolutionaries and many bullets and grenades hit the wall of the gate. In the 1960s the plundered monument with no symbols and relics became a property managed by the newly organised Directorate of Veszprém County Museums and received an exhibition on the history of the castle. At that time the sign Castle Museum, often seen on postcards of that time, was hung above the entrance door. This exhibition was destroyed in the 1990s. Finally, the abandoned and battered gate was closed in 2005. Veszprém’s touristic symbol and a key element in the town history was a monument treated unfairly for 50 years. Later EU funds were channelled in to renovate the entire building.
Based on the plan of two architects Gábor Turányi and István Zalavári, the local government’s decision makers in co-operation with professionals from the Dezső Laczkó Museum set a long-term utilization plan. In the reconstruction and renovation plan worked out in 2004 and implemented in 2013, planners continued the building’s original function as gate, but tried to regain its monument functions too. They not only retained the Heroes’ Gate function as a gate leading to the castle and strengthened its function as a place of memories, the managed to add a new function by creating the mental map of the town and castle hill for local residents as well as tourists.
Heroes’ Gate was reopened in 2014. There is an exhibition downstairs and a terrace with a view of the town upstairs waiting for visitors.
8200 Veszprém, Vár u. 2.
Phone: +36 88 610 516, +36 88 610 517
Opening hours: Monday - Sunday 9.00 - 17.00