Marking Budapest’s 150th anniversary, President Katalin Novák said on Friday that with the unification of the historical parts of the city 150 years ago not only a city was born, but “the Hungarian nation’s heart made its first beat”. “The heart of our more than thousand-year-old state is but 150 years old: this heart lends strength to the nation to survive and grow,” the president told a gala evening. “From this point of view Budapest looks like a young, not yet adolescent city, with a high perspective and a long future,” she said.
The president noted the destruction in Budapest during the first and the second world war, as well as that of the failed anti-Soviet revolution in 1956 and changes of the political regime. She said that the city “has proved its vitality and ability for renewal … it is a city of freedom, which has always been home to alternative art movements and thinking different from the mainstream, and different political ideologies”.
Budapest is “the home and the island of peace and security, which is an especially valued asset in a turbulent world, in a world where millions of people are afraid to leave home”, the president said. Novák said Hungary’s capital city should become a place which can compete with other cities in the world in terms of security and opportunities, “a place for all Hungarians to be proud of”.