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1 posts from October 2013

10/22/2013

FALL 2013, ISSUE II

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1043915_10201156758454645_1083367815_nPicturesque view of the city of Eger

Greetings from Budapest!

We send you warm greetings from Budapest where fall is still with us and we are enjoying relatively balmy weather.  It is lovely to look at the beautiful autumn colors of the leaves everywhere. Next week students will take their midterm exams so right now they are busy preparing for them.
We have had some exciting group events since our last news.  Here are the highlights:

Excursion to Eger and Recsk

Our visit to the northern part of Hungary started with a history class on the site of a former communist death camp in Recsk, deeply hidden in the mountains. Learning about history in situ is always highly appreciated by the students, and they were moved as we walked through the former camp site and museum. Then we moved on to the lovely historic town of Eger. Eger is a gem of medieval monuments, home of one the most famous Hungarian fortresses, whose heroes and heroines successfully defended it during the Turkish invasion in the 16th century. Students enjoyed exploring the Fortress of Eger as we also made a torch-light tour in the Casemates.

993051_10201156764774803_1868305733_nSophia is discovering the underground defense structure in the Fortress of Eger

 

The „Kids of Budapest 1956” Pilgrimage

We received an invitation to join a memorial excursion to commemorate the heroic deeds of the young men of Budapest during the 1956 Revolution and War of Independence.  The 1956 Revolution broke out on October 23 – now a national holiday in Hungary – so learning about it with the help of this excursion was especially appropriate for the fall group. We traveled with a group of Hungarian people including those who were active participants in the 1956 Revolution. This was a memorable live history lesson as we visited sights of the freedom fight, prison cells of revolutionaries, and heard stories from those who took part in those fights. 

This event-filled two-day journey –both serious and fun -included meeting with local dignitaries, visiting the 1956 Museum in Kiskunmajsa, learning the basics of wine tasting  at a harvest festival in Soltvadkert, and even night swimming in the local thermal bath.  

P1160052
Fall 2013 group at the 1956 pilgrimage – on top of a T-55 soviet tank

Also during this excursion, we visited the National Historical Memorial Park in Ópusztaszer. The heritage park exhibits one of Europe’s largest panorama paintings, the Feszty-panorama:  Arrival of the Conquering Hungarians into the Carpathian Basin.  In Ópusztaszer there is also a Nomadic Park which offers a fascinating display of traditional Hungarian horsemanship, including archery, horseback wrestling, racing, and outfits. We all enjoyed the fabulous show.

Ferencvaros soccer game

Professor Boros Bánk did not hold a political science class in a stadium, but agreed to take his students to watch one of the most popular Hungarian soccer teams, Ferencváros TC play against Újpest. Students enjoyed the game and the atmosphere, and cheered Ferencváros to a win, beating Újpest 3-1.

FTCSophia, Marissa, Rachael, Matt and Paige at the Ferencváros game appropriately wearing green and white

Memento Park Visit

After the regime change in Hungary, statues of the communist period - Marx, Lenin, Stalin’s boots, and other symbolic socialist realism art pieces were removed from public places and assembled at the park just outside of Budapest.  Students enjoyed this historical time-travel, and visiting the park helped them to understand the communist era better.1380199_10201200190300414_795653047_nThe Republic of Councils Monument at Memento Park –the size of the statue is overwhelming

Best regards,

Elizabeth Simon, Resident Director

Judit Fekete, Resident Coordinator

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