A statue was erected for Skanderbeg, an ally of János Hunyadi, in the Városliget

Hungarian version of the article: Szobrot állítottak Szkander bégnek, Hunyadi János szövetségesének a Városligetben

July 5, 2021 at 4:00 PM

The bust of Skanderbeg was inaugurated in the neighborhood of Vajdahunyadvár, on the Platán promenade in the Városliget. The work is a gift from the city of Tirana to Budapest. Albanian prince Skanderbeg once fought in alliance with János Hunyadi against the expansion of the Ottoman Empire.

In the presence of Albanian President Ilir Meta and Hungarian President János Áder, the statue of Albanian prince Skanderbeg (George Kastrioti), a national hero, was inaugurated on Monday in Budapest, in Városliget, writes the MTI.

In his greeting, Illir Meta reportedly recalled that Skanderbeg had fought in alliance with János Hunyadi against the expansion of the Ottoman Empire into the Balkans, saying these two legendary leaders had become the shields of European civilization.

Bust of Skanderbeg, gifted by the city of Tirana to Budapest (Photo: MTI / Tibor Illyés)

The work of sculptor Agim Rada is a gift from Tirana to Budapest; the statue was inaugurated by the mayors of the two capitals, Erion Veliaj and Gergely Karácsony, on Platán promenade next to Vajdahunyadvár in the Városliget.

Gergely Karácsony, thanking the statue and praising the cooperation between Tirana and Budapest, emphasized that the work shows a real, close connection between the two capitals. An important element of this relationship is water, and water management - he said, then mentioned with great pride that through the cooperation between the waterworks of the capital and Tirana they were able to gain experience and develop the water management of these cities. The mayor said he was confident that Albania would soon be able to "unite with Hungary" in an even closer alliance as a member of the EU.

President János Áder (L4) and Albanian President Ilir Meta (L) lays a wreath at the inauguration of Albanian Prince Skanderbeg (George Kastrioti), a national hero, at the inauguration ceremony in the Városliget on Platán Promenade on 5 July 2021. The bust is a gift from the city of Tirana to Budapest (Photo: MTI / Tibor Illyés)

Albanian Ambassador Arian Spasse said, among other things, that the statue symbolized the centuries-old friendship between Albanians and Hungarians. He put it: Skanderbeg "is the hero of every European citizen who believes in freedom".

Skanderbeg was the son of Prince Gjon Kastrioti, who lived as a hostage in the court of the Turkish sultan as a child. He was raised in Islam faith, and he also received the name İskender bey. He soon excelled in his bravery, so in 1422 he was entrusted with the administration of a sanjak. After his father's death, he escaped from the Turks and occupied the castle of Krooja. He returned to the Christian faith and started a war of independence against the Turks. He made an alliance with Władysław I, the Hungarian king and in 1444 he won a bright victory over the army of Pasha Ali. After his castle was besieged in vain by the Turks, Sultan Mehmed II was finally forced to recognize him as the prince of Albania in 1461. He held his dominion until his death. 

Source: MTI

Cover photo: The statue of Albanian prince Skanderbeg inaugurated in the Városliget (Photo: budapest.hu)

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