Budapest’s Fiumei Road National Graveyard is the latest offering in a series of legal-tender commemorative coins highlighting Hungary’s national memorials.
The series, which is being issued by the Hungarian Mint in partnership with the Hungarian National Heritage Institute, began in 2014 with a new coin issued each year. The fifth and latest issue is a 2,000-forint bronze-patinated coin honouring the historic graveyard, which is commonly referred to as Kerepesi Cemetery.
The coin was designed by sculptor Márta Csikai, and the obverse features one of the cemetery’s most recognized statues, the statue that sits atop the tomb of the statesman Lajos Kossuth by sculptor Alajos Stróbl. The winged genius of freedom, strength and enlightenment is shown holding a torch in one hand and standing behind a lion freed from its chains. The reverse shows the mausoleum of “The Wise Man of the Nation,” Ferenc Deák, and its nearby walkway with gravestones in the background. The 18.4-gram, 37-millimetre coin is limited to a mintage of 5,000 pieces.
ESTABLISHED IN 1847
The 171-year-old cemetery has become a famous site similar to the Père-Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, but instead of the graves of Molière, Chopin and Jim Morrison, one can visit the final resting places of renowned Hungarians such as poet Endre Ady; writer Mór Jókai; poet János Arany; composer Ferenc Erkel; and writer György Faludy, among others. There is also a mausoleum for national hero Lajos Batthyány in addition to those for Ferenc Deák and Lajos Kossuth. The cemetery was opened in the middle of the 19th century as a public burial ground in Pest, and by the end of the century it had become the most important graveyard in Hungary. The cemetery also preserves the memories of the eras since the Revolution of 1848.
More of the great figures from Hungarian history and culture are buried here than anywhere else, and many of the monuments designed by famous architects and sculptors have great artistic value. The cemetery has separate sections for artists, Jacobins, and heroes of the revolutions in 1848 as well as 1956. Almost resembling an arboretum, the 138-acre cemetery is also known for its rich flora and fauna. It has been managed by the National Heritage Institute since 2016.
For more information on these and other coins of Hungary, contact the Hungarian Mint’s North American Representative by mail at P.O. Box 399, Williston, VT 05495; by phone at 1-800-421-1866; or by email at email@example.com.