Posted by Eszter Hermann · Jun 23, 2014

The Government of Hungary and the United States of America signed Deeds of Conveyance for the exchange of ownership of numerous historic Budapest properties at a ceremony in Buda Castle.

Besides a residential single-family home in the 12th district and another apartment on Széchenyi embankment (Széchenyi rakpart), a building complex in the capital’s Castle District including the former prison of the famous Hungarian writer and politician Mihály Táncsics has been returned to the Government of Hungary. The three buildings were purchased by the United States Government back in 1948, and since then, the US invested in the renovation and maintenance of the properties, respecting their unique historic character. Two newly renovated properties in Szabadság Square (Szabadság tér) will be conveyed to the USA in exchange.


The history of Táncsics Prison and the building complex is closely connected to that of the Castle District itself, the former old castle wall runs along the edge of the property. Several well-known artists and politicians, for their writings or activities, spent years of their lives in the prison. Lajos Kossuth, as the inscription on his bronze bust in the United States Capitol states „Father of Hungarian Democracy, Hungarian Statesman, Freedom Fighter, 1848–1849”, was imprisoned for subversion for 3 years. Historical figures such as Mihály Táncsics writer, teacher, politician and namesake of the prison, or Miklós Wesselényi Hungarian statesman, member of the Board of Academy of Sciences were jailed for years, too. Lajos Batthyány, the first Prime Minister of Hungary from after the revolution (1849) until his execution was among the prisoners as well.

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