(Hungarian: Kerepesi úti temető
or Kerepesi temető
, official name: Fiumei úti nemzeti sírkert
, ie. "Fiume Road National Graveyard") is the most famous cemetery
. It is one of the oldest cemeteries in Hungary
which has been almost completely preserved as an entity.
Founded in 1847, Kerepesi is located in outer Józsefváros, near Keleti pályaudvar (Eastern Railway Station), and can be reached via Budapest Metro line 2. It is the innermost cemetery of Budapest, although it still lies about 2 km from the downtown centre. Kerepesi is one of the biggest National Pantheons in Europe and the biggest outdoor statue park with its area of about 56 hectares. It is sometimes referred to as the Père Lachaise of Budapest.
The cemetery's first burial took place some two years after its opening, in 1849. Since then numerous Hungarian notables (statesmen, writers, sculptors, architects, artists, composers, scientists, actors and actresses etc.) have been interred there, several of them in ornate tombs or mausoleums. This was encouraged by the decision of the muinicpal authorities to declare Kerepesi a 'ground of honour' in 1885. The first notable burial was that of Mihály Vörösmarty in 1855.
The cemetery was declared closed for burials in 1952. This was partly beause it had become damaged during World War II, and partly for political reasons, as the Communist government sought to play down the graves of those who had 'exploited the working class'. At one point it was intended to build a housing estate over the cemetery. Part of the grounds were in fact handed over to a nearby rubber factory and were destroyed in 1953.
In 1958, a Mausoleum for the Labour movement was created. During the Socialist period (which lasted from 1948 till 1989 in Hungary) this was the only part of the cemetery highlighted or even mentioned) by the authorities. After the fall of communism, Kerepesi was still considered by some as a Communist cemetery (for example a son of Béla Bartók forbade his father's ashes to be interred there).
The cemetery, with its extended parks among the graves and monuments, is today open to the public, but interments have ceased.
Kerepesi contains three mausoleums of leading Hungarian statesmen:
There is also a notable mausoleum for Ábrahám Ganz (iron-founder, pioneer in Hungarian heavy industry), built to the plans of Miklós Ybl in 1868.
In 1874, a special parcel was established for those who were denied a church funeral (those who committed suicide and those executed).
The cemetery is also famous for its Arcades, built between 1908–1911, recalling the style of Northern Italian cemeteries.
The artists' sector – in which each tomb contains a notable Hungarian representative of the arts – was created in 1929.
Until the 1940s, several tombs were removed to this cemetery from others in Budapest – for example, it is the fourth resting place of the poet Attila József.
Partial list of celebrities buried at Kerepesi
- Zsigmond Móricz (writer)
- Endre Ady (poet)
- Ignác Alpár (architect)
- József Antall (Prime Minister, historian)
- János Arany (poet)
- Mihály Babits (poet)
- Béla Balázs (writer, film aesthete)
- Miklós Barabás (painter)
- Jenő Barcsay (painter)
- István Bethlen (Prime Minister)
- Lujza Blaha (actress, "the nightingale of the nation")
- Ottó Bláthy (electrical engineer)
- Tivadar Csontváry Kosztka (painter)
- Gergely Czuczor (linguist, poet)
- Béni Egressy (composer)
- Loránd Eötvös (physicist)
- Ferenc Erkel (composer)
- János Fadrusz (sculptor)
- György Faludy (writer, poet, translator)
- Károly Ferenczy (painter, along with Béni Fereczy and Noémi Ferenczy, his brother and sister)
- János Garay (poet)
- Artúr Görgey (general)
- Alajos Hauszmann (architect)
- Jenő Heltai (writer)
- George de Hevesy (Nobel Prize winner chemist)
- Miklós Izsó (sculptor)
- Mari Jászai (actress)
- Mór Jókai (writer, 1904)
- Attila József (poet)
- János Kádár (Socialist leader)
- Pál Kadosa (composer)
- Kálmán Kandó (inventor, engineer)
- Mihály Károlyi (President)
- Karl-Maria Kertbeny (writer, translator)
- Károly Kisfaludy (poet, dramatist, painter)
- Dezső Kosztolányi (poet, writer)
- Gyula Krúdy (writer)
- Ödön Lechner (architect)
- Lipót Fejér (mathematician)
- Károly Lotz (painter)
- Georg Lukács (philosopher)
- Viktor Madarász (painter)
- Ignác Martinovics (Franciscan, leader of the Hungarian Jacobin movement)
- Ferenc Medgyessy (sculptor)
- László Mednyánszky (painter)
- Kálmán Mikszáth (writer)
- Mihály Munkácsy (painter)
- Imre Nagy (Prime Minister two times)
- Karl Polanyi (economist)
- Tivadar Puskás (engineer, inventor)
- Miklós Radnóti (poet)
- Frigyes Riesz (mathematician)
- Ignaz Semmelweis (doctor, "Saviour of Mothers")
- Imre Steindl (architect)
- Alajos Stróbl (sculptor)
- Antal Szerb (writer)
- Leó Szilárd (physicist)
- Mihály Táncsics (writer, politician)
- Ármin Vámbéry (linguist)
- Mihály Vörösmarty (poet) – his tomb is one of the oldest extant tombs: he was interred in 1855
- Leó Weiner (composer)
- Sándor Wekerle (Prime Minister three times)
- Miklós Ybl (architect)
- Mihály Zichy (painter, graphic artist)
- Note: This list is very far from complete. The full list of notable persons would include about 700 names. Their complete listing is available in a free booklet available at the cemetery.
- Lukacs Csernus and Zsigmond Triff, The Cemeteries of Budapest, Budapest, 1999. ISBN 9638376988