Bullet Hole Markers at the Ministry of Agriculture Building – Budapest, Hungary - Atlas Obscura
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Budapest, Hungary

Bullet Hole Markers at the Ministry of Agriculture Building

This easily overlooked memorial immortalizes the scars from the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. 

In one of the most tourist-heavy sections of Budapest, a memorial to one of Hungary’s greatest national tragedies could easily go unnoticed.

The Ministry of Agriculture Building, located along the Kossuth Lajos Square and directly across from Budapest’s iconic Parliament Building, was the backdrop for a pivotal moment in Hungary’s 1956 Revolution against Soviet control.

On October 25, now known to Hungarians as Bloody Thursday, scores of spirited yet peaceful protesters congregated at the Parliament Building. To quell the mounting demonstration, Soviet troops and state secret police opened fire on the crowd of several thousand people. Some of the fleeing protesters took shelter behind the façade of the Ministry of Agriculture Building’s colonnade, and as a result, their pursuers fired in their direction, scarring the structure’s exterior in the process.

It’s unclear how many died during the massacre at Kossuth Lajos Square—sources vary, with some citing as few as 22 deaths and others claiming upwards of 100. And despite the bloody two-week revolution, the Hungarians’ bid for autonomy was ultimately squelched by Soviet reinforcements in November of 1956.

Today, dozens of bronze balls, each only slightly smaller than a tennis ball, demarcate where bullet holes from the revolution once riddled the outer wall of the building’s arcade.

Know Before You Go

You'll find the bullet holes in the building's arcade. You can walk by at any time.

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